CCPaSEC logoCentre County Pennsylvania Senior Environmental Corps

at ClearWater Conservancy

 

2017 Meeting Highlights

December 8, 2017 - General Meeting - 9:30 AM at the Willowbank Building, Room 116, Bellefonte, Pa.

On Nov. 1, Justin Kozak filled Ann Donovan's position at the Centre County Conservation District (CCCD).  He is well-qualified to serve in that position and will be a great resource for CCPaSEC as was Ann Donovan. He was invited to accompany several teams on their monitoring events.

Membership:

  • A Vice-President is needed for CCPaSEC! Please consider volunteering for this position..
  • CCPaSEC needs someone to fill in for Marni until summer to manage new members and assign them to teams.
  • An additional member is needed for Team 12 (Wallace Run sites).
  • One new member, Tim Robinson has joined Team 5 (Elk Creek sites).

Supplies: Oakton meter probes are still being manufactured by the company. Nature Abounds supports using Hanna meters but will order Oakton supplies for us for now. It was suggested that batteries be replaced every Feb. during the equipment check.  Penn State, Best Buy and possibly Wal-Mart  have systems for recycling old batteries. Type of batteries to be used was discussed. A cost analysis will be done to see if rechargeable batteries, lithium, or alkaline batteries would be more cost effective.

Training: Feedback is requested on the training documents Ralph Locklin composed and distributed to all teams. Currently training consists of training by the assigned team and an introduction meeting for new members.

Photos of the Muddy Creek sites have been posted on this website on their respective webpages.

Miscellaneous:

  • There will be a Shale Network Workshop in the spring. A member of one of the Marcellus Teams is requested to attend. More information will follow.
  • Penn State is looking for 50-60 volunteers who will monitor the Susquehanna River for endocrine-disrupting compounds. For more information, 'google' "Citizen Scientists to Help Researcher Gauge Susquehanna Water Quality."
  • Jack Miles is working on a project to make our data more useful to the public.

CCPaSEC Holiday Luncheon: The luncheon will be held at the Garden Room of the Penn Stater Conference Center following this meeting at 11:30 AM.

The next meeting will be on January 10, 2018   9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa. It will be an executive and committee-chairs meeting.

November 8, 2017 - General Meeting - 9:30 AM at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

Dr. Robert Carline, retired professor of Fisheries Science at Penn State gave a very interesting presentation on  "Reproduction of Trout in the Spring Creek Watershed.”   He addressed the improvement of a portion of Spring Creek after studies and interventions.

Juston Kozak replaces Ann Donovan as the Centre County Watershed Specialist/Education Coordinator.

Leftover water from sampling should be poured into the soil rather than directly into the stream.

Two PSU grad students are researching community data collecting and analyzing.  They are looking at how PaSEC functions.  They were invited to join a team going out next week.

Membership:. One new member has been added to Team 14.

Supplies: It was suggested that batteries be replaced every Feb. during the equipment check.  Penn State, Best Buy and possibly Wal-Mart  have systems for recycling old batteries. It was discovered that some of the old Hach kit NitriVer3 reagent packets (for the low range nitrate test) might have been distributed as colorimeter NitriVer3 packets.  The incorrect lot number is A5215, which is printed to the left of the expiration date on the packet. If any packets from that lot are found they should be returned to Dan for replacement.  Ralph agreed to send out this information in his monthly newsletter.

Quality Control: Duplicate sampling is complete.  The data has not been analyzed.

RSVP Luncheon: Several of the group members were recognized for 5, 10 and 15 years of service.

CCPaSEC Holiday Luncheon: The luncheon will be held at the Garden Room of the Penn Stater Conference Center on Dec. 13, 11:30 AM. Laurie Jeffreys will make the reservation for the group. A brief meeting at the Willowbank Building will be held prior to the luncheon.

The next meeting will be on December 13,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

October 11, 2017 - General Meeting - 9:30 AM at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

Membership:. One new member has been added to Team 14 and one new member has been added to Team 2.

Supplies are available for teams who need refills.

Review of new recruitment materials: The group reviewed a volunteer fair handout composed by Betsie. Because PaSEC already has a brochure on the web site which can be printed for the volunteer fair, there was a discussion about limiting the handout to the site map and list of team streams. Some changes need to be made to the map.

Venue for December luncheon: The luncheon will be held at the Garden Room of the Penn Stater Conference Center on Dec. 13. Laurie Jeffreys will make the reservation for the group. A brief meeting at the Willowbank Building will be held prior to the luncheon.

Funding: There is concern about the possibility of losing funding in the future. Several suggestions were made. We will plan ahead and add funding to the agenda and get estimates of reasonable budget. Several funding options were made which can be explored in the future.

It is important to submit our volunteer hours by each requested due date. The hours are used by RSVP, Nature Abounds and ClearWater Conservancy for grant purposes.

Wastewater from water testing:- The question arose about the disposal of wastewater containing chemicals. It was reported that Jim Wert of Nature Abounds said the amount of chemicals is small enough that the water can be diluted with lots of water and poured down the drain. Some chemicals can be taken to the Bellefonte Water Treatment Plant.

The next meeting will be on November 8,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

September 13, 2017 - General Meeting - 9:30 AM at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa

18 members attended the meeting.

Replacement of our worn out Oakton meters was again discussed. Using Litmus strips was mentioned as a possible idea. Measurements can only be made to one decimal place. No decision was made.

It is important to submit our volunteer hours by each requested due date. The hours are used by RSVP, Nature Abounds and ClearWater Conservancy for grant purposes.

The group discussed how to efficiently integrate new members into existing teams in the future and developed the following plan:

  • Handouts including a map of the locations of existing sites and team information will be available at the Bellefonte volunteer fair.
  • An introductory meeting with team leaders and new volunteers will take place in the spring. (including equipment)
  • Team leaders will train the new members.
  • The purpose of the group will be part of the conversation.
  • We will have a large site map for display at the Bellefonte volunteer fair.

Training folders should be kept with the kits. The forms will be available on the website.

West Branch Susquehanna Coalition Report: funding moving from federal to state level, possibly cutting environmental funding. To balance the PA budget, the PA House will vote on a bill removing funds from the Environmental Steward Fund (Growing Greener). Contractors for acid mine drainage projects might not be paid and matching monies (federal and others) could be lost.

We encourage a representative from each team to attend all meetings. This will enable information to be disseminated to all members.

We will try to have a speaker for the October meeting. Several possible suggestions were made.

The next meeting will be on October 11,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

August 9, 2017 - CCPaSEC & Clearfield SEC Joint Picnic and General Meeting - 11:00 AM at Black Moshannon State Park, Pav 1

Autum Hanley from Dr K's lab and Melinda Hughes from Nature Abounds gave us updates.

There were lots of good food items to sample and great conversation to be had!

The next meeting will be on September 13,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317, Bellefonte, Pa.

July 12, 2017 - General Meeting - 9:30 AM at the Willowbank Building, Room 116, Bellefonte

Quality Control: Duplicate testing has begun and will continue into August. Calibration of the Oakton meter for conductivity was discussed. For now, teams should calibrate as usual while Team 8 studies the effects of ambient temperature on the calibration.

New Members: Some new contacts have not responded to messages about joining a team for training. We will not continue to contact these folks assuming their interest or availability is in question. It was suggested that for volunteer fairs, we make a list of teams needing members and their monitoring days so that potential new members would be able to check their availability. Team 4 and Team 15 each now need a new team member.

CCPaSEC Newsletters: June and July 2017 Newsletters are now available on the website.

Monthly Meeting Attendance: Officers are concerned about the low turnout for monthly meetings. There have been several teams who have no representation at the meetings. Questions arose as to whether those teams are receiving up to date information on testing procedures and equipment care and usage. It was suggested that new recruits be required to attend at least one monthly meeting.

Vice President Position: The VP position is still open. We need to find someone willing to accept this position.

Centre County-Clearfield County SEC will hold a joint picnic on August 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM at Black Moshannon State Park. Representatives from Dr. K's lab and Nature Abounds will update us on current issues. Please bring a dish to share and your place settings. Guests are welcome!

Letter to Fish and Boat Commission: Dan Kerstetter will draft a letter to the F&B Commission's Local Waterways Conservation Officers outlining CCPaSEC's monitoring activities in Centre County.

Fundraising for RSVP: There will be a fundraising day at Hoss's Restaurant in State College on Sunday, July 16, 2017. Print out the email notice you receive from RSVP and bring it to Hoss's on that day.

Ken Johnson showed a pH meter made by Apera Instruments. He was looking for possible replacements for the Oaktons when they fail and are no longer able to be replaced. The meter displays a smiley face when the reading has stabilized.

Landowner Site Access Permission Forms are now available on the Forms page of the CCPaSEC website. This form should be signed by the team leader and the current landowner of the site.

The next meeting will be our Picnic on August 9,  11:00 a.m., at Pavillion 1 of Black Moshannon State Park.

June 14, 2017 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 116, 9:30 AM

Students from the Penn State College of Information Science and Technology were introduced. The group is researching how older adults are using technology to connect with others. They observed part of the meeting.

Centre Gives contributions were made by seven members to CCPaSEC during the campaign in May.

Proper Storage of Oakton Meters was discussed by Dan DeLotto. He has 7 Hanna multi-parameter meters for replacement for the Oakton meters when they are no longer functioning.

New Member Placement: Teams 1, 2,12 & 15 have accepted new members. New teams can be added as needed. We should increase communication with ClearWater and Penns Valley Conservation Association.

'Hot Training Tips - Oakton Meter' was presented. These tips will be put on the website for reference. Flowmeter Tip - keep the impeller on the wand during storage to avoid damage.

Shale Network Workshop: The Shale Network collects and analyzes data on water quality in the Marcellus Shale drilling region. The group looks at waste production management, seismicity in PA and methane. Pennsylvania State Seismic Network - view stations & events. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Regulations.gov: A website to submit public comments on federal legislation and rule making

West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Coalition (WBSRC): We are a partner organization. WBSRC focuses on acid mine drainage and fisheries.

Team Leader Specific Meeting: The meeting is being planned for September. All team leaders are expected to attend.

New Landowner Permission Forms should be obtained for each site. The form will be available on the website on the Forms page.

The August Picnic will be discussed next meeting in July.

The next meeting will be on July 12, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 116.

May 10, 2017 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Several new members have joined CCPaSEC. Marni asked team leaders to contact them by email/phone to have them participate in training. Team leaders are to keep Marni informed of the training progress. New members will need to complete a RSVP application for insurance purposes.

Genie Robine reported that we had 11 members help with the ClearWater Conservancy cleanup day.

Ken Johnson reported that RSVP has sent out our February Newsletter with their RSVP Newsletter mailing. He would like to do a fall newsletter and would like some articles (stories) submitted to him for inclusion.

The CentreGives campaign is currently underway and will conclude May 10, 8 p.m. Donations should be made through the ClearWater Conservancy's CentreGives account. After donating, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to ask that your donation be channeled to CCPaSEC.

Our Marcellus teams will no longer be taking samples for Methane testing for Penn State.

Ralph Locklin's Hot Training Tips and his Experience Tracker Forms will be published on the Forms page of our website.

New Flowmeter: We have one new kit which is complete except for a flowmeter. We will wait until after the CentreGives donations come in to determine if we will be able to purchase one for the new kit. The flowmeter costs about $450.

Atrazine Testing: Several of the teams have done their Atrazine sample testing. Results are entered into a database from the University of Nebraska.

From now on, we will include "Action Items" and the responsible parties in the Agenda and the Minutes for our meetings.

The 2017 Shale Network Workshop will be held May 18-19, at the Atherton Hotel in State College and on the campus of Penn State. Anyone interesting in attending should go to http://www.shalenetwork.org/content/2017-shale-network-workshop for more information on the workshop and to register.

The next meeting will be on June 7, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 116.

April 12, 2017 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Deb Nardone from ClearWater Conservancy made a presentation on protecting Slab Cabin Run and source waters by preserving the Everhart-Meyer properties.

Joe Chandler shared a powerpoint on the Atrazine in the Susquehanna River Basin project. He asked for CCPaSEC's help to monitor atrazine levels in Centre County streams. He demonstrated a how to use a provided pipette and atrazine test strips, check the level of atrazine -present, not present, or indeterminate - and report the results to the project leader. Several teams have agreed to participate. One test strip will be provided per team. Samples should be taken between April 16 and May 15.

Pat DeLotto volunteered to be the Secretary for CCPaSEC. She will take notes for this meeting. We will need a different person to take the minutes for May, since she will not be able to attend.

Several new members have joined CCPaSEC. Marni asked team leaders to contact them by email/phone to have them participate in training. Team leaders are to keep Marni informed of the training progress. New members will need to complete a RSVP application for insurance purposes.

Genie Robine asked for more help with the ClearWater Conservancy cleanup day. Volunteers should meet at the Benner Township Building, April 22, at 8 a.m. Ken Johnson requested help with the picnic.

The CentreGives campaign will be held May 9, 8 a.m. through May 10, 8 p.m. Donations should be made through the ClearWater Conservancy's CentreGives account. After donating, contact Sarah Edge at ClearWater to ask that your donation be channeled to CCPaSEC.

CCPaSEC data will be checked this month. Data enterers are asked to make sure their data entries reflect their data recording sheets.

Every kit should have a mini-manual.

The Oakton meters will be phased out. Hanna meters will be used as meters need replacing.

QC duplicate testing will begin after the Atrazine samples are tested.

Temperature should be taken into account when calibrating the Oakton meters for Conductivity.

Newsletter: Ken's newsletter has an article by Carolyn Hatley. RSVP and ClearWater Conservancy will be asked to distribute it to their membership.

The next meeting will be on May 10, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 317.

March 8, 2017 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 116, 9:30 AM

Joe Chandler shared a powerpoint on the Atrazine in the Susquehanna River Basin project. He asked for CCPaSEC's help to monitor atrazine levels in Centre County streams. Volunteers would go to a stream, indicate the gps coordinates and, using a provided pipette and atrazine test strips, check the level of atrazine -present, not present, or indeterminate - and report the results to the project leader. Several teams have agreed to participate. Joe will send more instructions by email. This will provide baseline data for future testing.

Laurie Jeffreys volunteered to take notes for this meeting. We will need a different secretary at each meeting until a secretary is found.

Two new members have joined CCPaSEC.

Team 16 will be monitoring two new sites on Muddy Creek starting this spring.

New batteries will be purchased since all have been distributed from our inventory.

The 2016 Quality Control Report by Ken Johnson is now available on our website on the Quality Control page.

Announcements:

  • Nature Abounds will be offering training for trainers. Once certified, the trainers will be expected to serve as trainers in their region. More specifics will be discussed as the training develops. If interested, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Intergenerational Leadership: Matt Kaplan will be offering a nine week certificate training program starting April 18 and running into June. If interested, email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Bellefonte Volunteer Fair: Saturday, March 11 from 10:00 to 2:00 at the Philatelic Society Building.

Joyce McKay attended the Watershed Connections Conference, March 5-6, 2017, and went to a session sponsored by the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Management (ALLARM) on Volunteer Recruitment and Retention. Ideas were noted which may help our group recruit and retain volunteers.

Testing for iron: Ken Johnson noted that some other SECs test for iron. These SECs are in Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) areas of the state. A discussion as to our testing of iron ensued. It was noted that most of our streams are not impacted by AMD.

Newsletter: Ken also presented a draft of what could be a quarterly newsletter. He is asking for editorial help if this idea goes forward.

The next meeting will be on April 12, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 116.

February 8, 2017 - General Meeting - at Willowbank Building, Room 317, 9:30 AM

Election of officers was held for 2017:

President: Betsie Blumberg

Vice President: Ken Johnson

Secretary: Need to fill position

Treasurer, Co-Webmaster: Rob Fugate

Co-Webmaster, Data Manager: Joyce McKay

Macro invertebrate Collection Chair: Genie Robine

Membership and Training Chair: Ralph Locklin

Quality Control Chair: Dave Truesdale

Supplies Chair: Dan DeLotto

An excellent presentation was given by several PSU students, from Dr. Susan Brantley’s GeoSC 413W class. They have done a project on water quality at sites in the Beech Creek Watershed area in conjunction with CCPaSEC’s Team 13.

A second excellent presentation was given by Mary Ann Zimmerman from the Center County Children and Youth Services. She spoke and provided handouts on the Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse for Volunteers. She noted that all CCPaSEC members, through their volunteering, who come in contact with minors/those under 20 years of age need to be certified. The certification is free and lasts for 5 years. Certification information can be found through the following link: http://keepkidssafe.pa.gov/clearances/index.htm

Dan DeLotto reported on the January 2017 Equipment Check. Meters from all kits were checked using standard solutions. Ken Johnson wrote a very thorough report on the Percent Recovery (PR) for the meters. Dan noted that teams should inspect YSI DO meter probes for possible buildup of residue or other problems before each use.

Ralph completed his Training Forms and information packet and his Hot Training Tips packet to be included in each kit. These were distributed to teams’ representatives attending the meeting.

Ann Donovan provided a list of 12 potential new monitoring sites. Six of those sites were locations at which Centre County Conservation District has proposed projects.

The next meeting will be on March 8, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 116.

January 17, 2017 - Board Meeting - 9:30 AM in Room 317 Willowbank Building, Bellefonte.

Year in review:

  • Lots of new members
  • A new team was formed to monitor Moose Run - Team 16
  • Outreach - Monitoring with Heather Gall's PSU class at Halfmoon Creek & Buffalo Run, Working with Dr. Susan Brantley's PSU class at Marcellus sites, Bellefonte Volunteer Fair
  • Educational & social events - Training Day with Nature Abounds at S.B. Elliot State Park, Sustainability Expo at State College Municipal Building, Annual picnic at Elk County Visitor Center, WBSRC meetings, Holiday Luncheon
  • Speakers from Clearwater Conservancy and Heather Gall's class from PSU
  • A new website was launched - ccpasec.org

Ralph Locklin distributed the PaSEC Training and Experience Tracker, a work in progress. It was suggested that maybe everyone should complete this document because some current members may not have mastered all the skills we use.

Nominated for Officers: President - Betsie Blumberg, Vice President - Ken Johnson, Treasurer - Rob Fugate, Secretary - still need to fill this position. Committee Chairs have agreed to continue in their respective offices, however, Dave Truesdale will fill the Quality Control Chair position.

Treasurer, Rob Fugate, gave a financial report for 2016 and a budget for 2017. Known and potential expenses for 2017 were listed which led to a discussion of potential fundraising activities. Among those were the Centre Gives campaign & Hoss's Community Fundraiser. Ken volunteered to head the CentreGives campaign for 2017.

Background Checks: Ken recommended we have a speaker to update us on the state of backgrounds checks for those in our group who work with minors. We will find a speaker for the February general meeting to address this topic.

Presentation for the February 2017 meeting--Dr. Susan Brantley’s class at PSU, which accompanied Team 13’s monitoring in 2016.

Help needed: Data Checking, Fundraising, Publicity, Secretary - we need a secretary to take meeting minutes.

Coming up: 1) 2017 Bellefonte Volunteer Fair at the Philatelic Society, Saturday, March 11, 10:00 to 2:00 2) Shale Network Workshop, May 18-19, Atherton Hotel, State College

The next meeting will be on February 8, 2017,  9:30 a.m., at the Willowbank Building, Room 116.

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