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Monday, January 29 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
SYMPOSIA-01: Recruitment, Training, and Retention of Stream Monitoring Volunteers

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AUTHORS. Ilana Haimes, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. When working with citizen scientists, it is essential that a program effectively recruit and train volunteers. Equally important for success is the retention of the well-trained volunteers. Water Action Volunteers (WAV) is a statewide volunteer stream monitoring program facilitated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin – Extension that has been recruiting, training, and retaining volunteers in water quality sampling for more than 20 years. Statewide, more than 600 individuals and 1000 students participate annually. Each year several new volunteers are trained, the majority of whom participate in the program for at least one year. Existing volunteers are provided with further training opportunities for supplemental monitoring. This talk will cover some of the ways in which new volunteers learn about the WAV program, the evolution of the WAV training to accommodate more volunteers as well as the additional materials made available for volunteers to revisit methods and monitoring information. Training methods and availability has changed with the increase in size of the program, the addition of new technologies, and the dedication of long-term volunteers. Additionally, this talk will explore reasons for volunteer retention, including, but not limited to partnership with complementary organizations throughout the state.

Monday January 29, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST