CCPaSEC logoCentre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

at ClearWater Conservancy

 

2009 Meeting Highlights

February 11, 2009 - General Meeting - An information sheet describing new features of our new website, http://ccpasec.contreconnect.org , was distributed and explained. This sheet will also be emailed to our members. Elections were held. The current slate of officers will remain in office for the 2009 calendar year.

  • Doug Macneal - President
  • Mick McKay - Vice President/ClearWater Conservancy Liason
  • Genie Robine - Secretary
  • Ellen Perry - Treasurer

A New Members' Training Session will be held at the Pleasant Gap Fish Hatchery Visitors' Center on April 29 - the time to be determined. Director Melinda Hughs-Wert of Nature Abounds, based in Clearfield, will attend our March 11 meeting to speak about the mission of the organization and about how it may help existing PaSECs. Brianna Hutchison, the new Water Resourses Monitor for ClearWater Conservancy, asked for volunteers to help with quarterly water sample collection in ClearWater's Water Resources Monitoring Project. She also will help us with macroinvertebrate surveys and the OLLI* class we will conduct in the summer, as her time permits. Brian Querry, from the RSVP office, gave a summary of the insurance available to RSVP volunteers. He distributed a flier with more details. ( http://www.cimaworld.com.) He noted the importance of reporting volunteer hours with the dates in case an accident claim would be filed. The next meeting will be March 11, 2009, 9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Cafeteria.

*Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State

March 11, 2009 - General Meeting - Melinda Hughes-Wert, the director of Nature Abounds, spoke about the organization. It hopes to support environmental stewardship from the national to local levels and help existing PaSEC chapters with training and possibly supply purchases. Carl Undercofler from Clearfield PaSEC would like to see help with restarting the Train the Trainers Programs of PaSEC.

Several members gave a report of their volunteer efforts in the quarterly collection of stream, well, and spring samples and data recording for the Water Resourses Monitoring Project (WRMP). A discussion followed concerning the WRMP meters used for pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity.

Mick McKay gave a Quality Control presentation on dissolved oxygen. He displayed several charts and graphs with data from our sampling efforts.

Doug Macneal reviewed the PVCA meeting regarding the fish kill on Elk Creek resulting from improperly applied manure which polluted the creek at a stream side farm.

Steve Lupis distributed monitoring chemicls after the meeting.

April 8, 2009 - General Meeting - New pH and Conductivity meters were discussed. It was agreed to purchase 2 new meters of higher quality than what are currently being used. They would be used on a trial basis by one team side-by-side with the current meters to compare the readings. After the trial period we will decide if more of the same type of meters should be purchased and how to distribute them for use.

There was a discussion as to if and how our data was being used. It was noted that some State College High School classes and Penn State faculty might be interested in using the data.

CCPaSEC will purchase a group membership in the Nature Abounds organization whose goals include assisting the existing PaSEC groups and restarting the train the trainer programs.

A training session for new members will be held April 29 at the Pleasant Gap Hatchery Visitors Center Classroom. Chemical testing, meter calibration, and macroinvertebrate collection will be covered in the training session.

Angela Bransteitter from DEP presented information on bacteria sampling procedures and distributed materials for groups who will be doing this sampling for Elk Creek and Sinking Creek. She will give us feedback on the results of the testing.

May 13, 2009 - General Meeting - New pH and Conductivity meters were discussed. A suggestion was made to purchase new meters of higher quality than what are currently being used for all groups. These would not be as costly per meter as those approved for purchase in April. Funding sources for the less costly meters will be explored before purchase.

Three groups from CCPaSEC will do bacteria sampling for the DEP this summer. Angela Bransteitter of DEP will give us feedback on the results of the testing. For further information or to get started, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Biosurvey (Macroinvertebrate) Data Entry forms and spreadsheets are in the processes of being set up for each stream site. Forms are based on field data sheets used to collect the data. The data entry process will be similar to that for chemical/physical data. Data enterers will soon be sent the information necessary to begin biosurvey data entry.

A draft of the Operational Guidelines was presented to members present and will be emailed to those not in attendance. The guidelines will be discussed at the July meeting.

Any members interesting in assisting Brianna Hutchison of ClearWater Conservancy in her quarterly WRMP monitoring in June should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. through the ClearWater office.

August Picnic - Clearfield PaSEC will be contacted to determine their interest in meeting with CCPaSEC for a picnic in August.

Volunteers were solicited for ClearWater's "Growing Native" project for starting/repotting plants for riparian buffers. Interested members should contact Steve Schroeder.

There will be no June meeting. The next meeting will be July 8, 2009 at Laurel Haven Environmental Center at 9:30 a.m.

July 8, 2009 - General Meeting - Steve Lupis will purchase 2 new meters - a conductivity meter for Team 7 and a multi-test meter for the new Team 12 to be used on a trial basis.  If the multi-test meter is acceptable it may become the new replacement type of meter.

Bacteria sampling for the DEP this summer for Elks Creek and Bald Eagle Creek has been completed. One cycle of sampling for Sinking Creek has been completed. Angela Bransteitter of DEP will give us feedback on the results of the testing. For further information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Nature Abounds will not be able to provide assistance for chemical purchases at this time.

An OLLI class was held June 30 by 5 members of CCPaSEC on macroinvertebrates from Penns Creek.  Brianna Hutchison from ClearWater Conservancy provided her experise in macro identification.

CCPaSEC has a new team, Team 12, to monitor Wallace Run.  Team members are Terry Agona, Ella Bashore, Jack Rimer, Lydia Fox, Barbara Massey, and Homer Rhodes.  Ann Donovan from the Centre County Conservation District helped establish the stream site location at the team's first monitoring session on June 24.

DEP will no long receive funding for its Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Project.  Doug Macneal will send a letter to ClearWater Conservancy and RSVP regarding the effect on CCPaSEC.

The September meeting will be a Quality Control Session at Laurel Haven.  Each team should have two members present and bring their testing kit.

Monitoring Data - Analyzing, summarizing, and comparing the data may make it more useful to anyone interested in it.  The DEP will be contacted as to the status of their efforts in resurrecting the "EASI" database.

A draft of the Operational Guidelines  will be discussed at the October meeting.

The CCPaSEC Picnic will be held with Clearfield PaSEC on August 12, 9:30 a.m. at the Black Moshannon State Park.  Members are asked to bring a dish to pass, tableware, and beverages.

August 12, 2009 - Picnic & General Meeting -The meeting was held at Black Moshannon State Park.

Quality Control - Our September 9, 2009 meeting (9:30 a.m.) will be a quality control workshop at Laurel Haven Environmental Center, Julian.  Teams are to bring 2 team members, their kits (including phosphate kits), and a list of needed chemicals.  Phosphate testing will be demonstrated at this meeting as well.

2 new meters were purchased - a conductivity meter for Team 7 and a multi-test meter for the new Team 12.  4 more meters will be purchased since many teams' meters are malfunctioning.

Updated brochure - the current brochure will need to be updated. Brian Querry offered to print some updated CCPaSEC brochures in black and white for use quickly at the Penn Ag Dem Picnic on August 19.  Doug Macneal described the picnic as having a theme of Farmers Markets and Sustainable Agriculture.  ClearWater Conservancy and the Conservation District will have displays there.

Data Entry - Only 3 active teams are current with their physical/chemical data entry.  Ella Bashore has volunteered to help with data entry to bring our active teams' data up to date.   Biosurvey data forms are now available for teams to use for macroinvertebrate survey data.

Nature Abounds will not be able to provide assistance for chemical purchases at this time.

At the combined meeting with Clearfield PaSEC, the two chapters shared information about our activities.  We shared our website and on-line data access information while Clearfield PaSEC shared efforts on their restoration activities in conjunction with their county watershed specialist.  (Clearfield County encompasses 27 watersheds.)

Picnic - The food was great!

September 9, 2009 - Quality Control Session & General Meeting - at Laurel Haven Environmental Center, Julian.

Quality Control - Phosphate testing was demonstrated with some member participation. Chemical inventories for the kits present were taken. Those teams not present should send a completed Chemical Inventory Sheet to Seve Lupis before the October meeting.

Operational Guidelines - The draft version was discussed and will be updated with changes to be voted on in October.

Updated brochure - The PaSEC brochure has been updated. Some new CCPaSEC brochures were printed in black and white.  There is a needed revision and members are to review the brochure for additional changes before the next meeting.  The Conservation District will print color brochures for us when revisions are complete.

Brianna Hutchison, from ClearWater, needs volunteers for taking stream flow measurements during rapid changes in stream flow, such as during a rain event.  Volunteers will be on an "on-call" list.

The Conservation District has 7 stream restoration projects underway.

2009 Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference, October 19-20 at Dickinson College in Carlisle - Members are invited to attend. Please sign up and contact Doug Macneal if interested.

Spring Creek Day at Millbrook Marsh on October 4, 12-5 p.m. - Members are needed to man the CCPaSEC display board. Contact Doug if you are interested.

October 14, 2009 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building Room 317.

Steve Lupis will place an order for a year's supply of replacement chemical test packets.  Trout Unlimited will be approached to help fund our purchase of these replacement chemicals.

The revisions to our CCPaSEC brochure have been agreed upon. The Centre County Conservation District will be asked if they will print the revised color brochures for us.

Several members of CCPaSEC are planning to attend the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference, October 19-20 at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

The Western PA Conservancy's Watershed Conservation Program will award 2 grants for the next 2 years.  Nature Abounds and the Centre County Conservation District will be contacted as to their interest in applying for or their need for support for these grants.

A final version of the Operational Guidelines was approved by the members present.

CCPaSEC has need of a new Membership Chairperson to contact new members and handle their assimilation into the group.  A member was suggested for this position and will be contacted about serving.

Brianna Hutchison, from ClearWater, still needs volunteers for taking stream flow measurements during rapid changes in stream flow, such as during a rain event.  Volunteers would be on an "on-call" list.  Contact ClearWater Conservancy if you are interested.

Doug Macneal made a presentation, focusing on Elk Creek, to a Water Studies Center class lead by Lyle Sherwin.  Photos and data were shared with the class.

Ella Bashore will begin to update monitoring data for select teams whose data has not yet been entered into our on-line data sheets or whose data is incomplete.

The next meeting will be on the third Wednesday of November, November 18, at the Willowbank building, Room 317.

October 19-20, 2009 - Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference - Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

2 members of CCPaSEC attended the conference.  The theme of the conference was Sustaining and Enhancing Volunteer Monitoring Efforts.

View the Abstract and Bios for the conference.

View the notes taken by the attendees.

View presentations for many of the sessions.

The following presentations were made available by their authors for many of the sessions.

Track A: Sustaining Volunteer Organizations

  • 1A: Staying Alive: Fundraising Tips & Ideas - Anna Mathis, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
  • 2A: Sustaining A Successful Monitoring Program: It's All about the Volunteers - Ginger North - Delaware Nature Society
  • 2A: Volunteer Development and Retention - Megan Ward - Nanticoke Watershed Alliance
  • 3A: Revisiting Your Study Design - Julie Vastine - Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) at Dickinson College
  • 4A: Build Capacity and Share Successes with Partnerships - Aileen Winquist - Arlington County, VA
Track B: Data use and Data Sharing
  • 1B: Resortation Effectiveness Monitoring - Cheryl Snyder - PA DEP
  • 1B: Coliscan Easygel:  The Poor Man's BST - James Beckley - VA DEQ
  • 1B: Abandond Mine Drainage Remediation - Andy McAllister - Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
  • 2B: Volunteer Data Entry in STORET - Bill Richardson - EPA Region 3
  • 2B: Linking Local and National Volunteer Databases with STORET WQX - Leah Miller - Izaak Walton League of America
  • 3B: Clean Air Board - Tom Benjey - Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania
  • 3B: Success Stories - EJ Chalaba - Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
  • 4B: Principles of Effective Science Communication: Assembling Visual Elements to Tell Your Story - Caroline Wicks - EcoCheck
  • 4B: Sharing Volunteer Data - Ginger North - Delaware Nature Society
Track C: Emerging Watershed Issues
  • 1C: Climate Change Overview - Neil Leary - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education at Dickinson College
  • 1C: Climate Change Monitoring: The Role of Volunteers - Melinda Hughes-Wert - Nature Abounds
  • 4C: Introduction to Stormwater - Allison M. Graham - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3
  • 4C: What About Sediment Pollution - Jane Fava - Brandywine Valley Association

Track D: Monitoring Workshops

November 18, 2009 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building Room 317.

The supply of replacement chemical test packets has not arrived yet.  Trout Unlimited will be approached to help fund our purchase of these replacement chemicals.

The Centre County Conservation District has printed 100 copies of our CCPaSEC brochure.

Joyce and Mick McKay attended the 2009 Mid-Atlantic Volunteer Monitoring Conference and reported on the sessions that they attended.  PaSECs represented at the conference were from Centre, Clearfield, Indiana, Philadelphia, and Capitol Region.  Sessions included: Climate Change; Member Retention and Recruitment; Keeping Current; Chemical Kit Selections; Fund Raising Tips and Ideas; Grant Writing; Web Based Data Bases; Communicating and Sharing Data.  There is an EPA nationwide data base called STORET.  It was suggested that groups should subscribe to Volunteer Monitor, a national newsletter of volunteer watershed monitoring.  View information on subscribing to the Volunteer Monitor.

Monitoring Data Updates - Ella Bashore is "in training" for her new role of updating our on-line monitoring data.

Marcellus shale drilling is presently occurring in the Beech Creek Watershed area.  There is concern that adequate monitoring on affected area streams will not be done. A professor from Lock Haven University is working with students on water quality projects and has an interest in stream monitoring upstream and downstream of the drilling sites. Doug Macneal will contact the professor and invite him to speak to us at our December meeting. After that time, we will determine how or if we will participate in the monitoring.

Ralph Locklin has agreed to serve as Membership Chairperson to contact new members and handle their assimilation into the group.

Doug Macneal will make a presentation at the Water Monitoring Panel at the November 19th PVCA meeting.  He will share information about CCPaSEC.

The next meeting will be on December 19, at the Willowbank building, Room 317Members and spouses are invited to the Gamble Mill for lunch, following the meeting.

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