The Illinois RiverWatch Network is offering Illinois residents the chance to train
to become citizen scientists and join a network of more than 750 volunteers throughout the state
who monitor water quality of Illinois streams.

RiverWatch is a statewide partnership of organizations and individuals working to protect
Illinois streams and waterways. Established in 1995 as a sub-program of the Illinois Department
of Natural Resources’ Eco Watch Network, certified volunteers called “Citizen Scientists”
examine indicators like stream habitats and diversity of macroinvertebrate species to provide
reliable water quality data that can be used by scientists to determine how the conditions of
streams are changing over time.

Today, RiverWatch is a program of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, a
partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois and the
Illinois Natural History Survey.

Since its founding in 1995, more than 1,700 individuals have received certification through
RiverWatch and 750 stream sites have been established for annual water quality sampling.

A series of volunteer training workshops will be held throughout the state this spring. The
workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and combine both lecture/classroom time with
field training in a local stream.

Registration is $50 per person and must be paid in advance of the workshop.

“As we learn more about the ecosystems that support life on this planet, we discover that in
order to properly assess the quality of our streams and rivers we need watershed level data,”
RiverWatch Coordinator Nate Keener said. “Unfortunately, this need has increased at a time
when state and local governments have seen the evaporation of funding for such monitoring.

“Where appropriate, RiverWatch Citizen Scientists can provide valuable and reliable data where
none previously existed. As a program, volunteers are indispensible for the continued success of
the program. As a source of knowledge, volunteers are similarly proving themselves a necessary
and capable tool for us to learn more about the world around us.”

Training workshops are for volunteers who have received no training or partial training through
RiverWatch programs and who wish to become a part of the certified network of volunteers
throughout the state.

Anybody can become a volunteer, but registrants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by
an adult.

To register for a workshop, contact Keener at (618) 468-2782 or For more
information about RiverWatch, visit

2013 RiverWatch Volunteer Training Workshops:

Sat., March 23
John A. Logan College
700 Logan College Rd, Carterville
Workforce Development Building “H,”
Room H-127
Park in Lot ‘B’
(618) 985-2828
Campus Map

Sat., April 6
Lewis and Clark Community College
5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey
Haskell Hall, Room 101
Park in Student Parking in front of
Haskell Hall
(618) 468-2782
Campus Map

Sat., April 6
Benedictine University
1500 North Fifth Street, Springfield
Dawson Hall Room D11
Park on Street
(217) 525-1420
Campus map

Sat., April 13
John Wood Community College
1301 South 48th Street, Quincy
Building B
Park in front of the building
(217) 224-6500|
Campus Map

Sat., April 20
Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve
109 S. Lake of the Woods Road, Mahomet
Main Entrance
Izaak Walton Cabin
(217) 586-3360
Directions & Map

Sat, April 20
University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street, Joliet
Tower Hall, Room N111
Park in Main Lot behind Tower Hall
(815) 740-3360
Directions & Campus Map

Sat., April 27
Sommer Park
6329 N. Koerner Road, Edwards
(309) 691-8423

Sat., April 27
Sugar Grove Nature Center
4532 North 725 East Road, McLean
(309) 874-2174
Directions & Map

Sat., May 4
Black Hawk College
6600 34th Avenue, Moline
Building 2, Room 204
Park in Lot 1 in front of Building 2
(309) 796-5000
Directions & Campus Map

Sat., May 4
Deerfield High School
1959 Waukegan Road, Deerfield
(224) 632-3000

Sun., May 19
Severson Dells Nature Center
8786 Montague Road, Rockford
Park on site (Stay to the right at the “Y”)
(815) 335-2915
Directions & Map

Sat., May 25
University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street, Joliet
Tower Hall, Room N111
Park in Main Lot behind Tower Hall
(815) 740-3360
Directions & Campus Map

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