The Texas Stream Team is a network of trained volunteers and supportive partners working together to monitor and promote stewardship of Texas waterways, and ensure the information is available to all Texans. Volunteers are trained to collect quality-assured information that can be used to make environmentally sound decisions.

Established in 1991 as Texas Watch, Texas Stream Team is administered through a cooperative partnership between the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Since its inception, the Texas Stream Team has trained over 11,000 volunteers to collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams with programs across the state. Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water.

H-GAC has been a Texas Stream Team Partner from the beginning and coordinates a Texas Stream Team Monitoring Group and holds Standard Core Water Quality Monitoring Trainings within the H-GAC region.

H-GAC Texas Stream Team Certified Water Monitoring Trainings

H-GAC and local partners offer the Texas Stream Team Standard Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training at different locations across the region each year in cooperation with local partners. Core trainings are typically limited in size and combine Phase I and II into a one-day training followed by an individually scheduled Phase III.

If you are interested in the H-GAC Texas Stream Team program to become a certified Water Quality Monitor in the H-GAC Region, please contact us at [email protected].

About the H-GAC Texas Stream Team Certified Water Monitoring Trainings

Certification
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Participants in H-GAC's Texas Stream Team program are certified at various levels depending on their environmental monitoring activities. Participants will work with H-GAC's Texas Stream Team staff to develop a monitoring plan to specify their monitoring location, schedule, and their goals for monitoring.  Volunteers are asked to monitor their site(s) monthly at the same time of day each month, for a two year commitment. Monitoring takes approximately one to two hours per month per site.

Standard Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training

Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water, including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity or salinity, and field observations. The Standard Core Water Quality Training consists of three phases. H-GAC holds Phase I and II trainings together as a full-day course, and Phase III trainings are scheduled individually after completion of the first two phases. See the Training Phases section below for more information. 

Please email [email protected] to see about scheduling a training in your area.

Advanced Water Quality Citizen Scientist Training

H-GAC's Texas Stream Team program does not currently provide Advanced trainings, including testing for bacteria (E. coli), turbidity, nitrate-nitrogen, and orthophosphates. After completing the Core training and monitoring for at least six months to one year, volunteers may pursue Advanced training from other Texas Stream Team partners across the state.

Please email [email protected] if you want to discuss Advanced training options.

 
Training Phases
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Training Phase I

Hands-on training in a classroom setting. Explains how to handle the monitoring equipment and demonstrates the tests. Participants then perform the tests under the close supervision of the trainer. Adherence to safety procedures is emphasized. Approximately 3 hours.

Training Phase II

Provides participants the opportunity to conduct the monitoring procedures in the field. Safety considerations in monitoring and site selection are emphasized. Participants conduct the tests with limited supervision and assistance of the trainer. Trainer carefully observes participants' procedures, answers questions, and corrects errors in procedure and safety. Approximately 3 hours.

(Phase I and II Training are usually completed in the same day, with morning and afternoon sessions.)

Training Phase III

Conducted as a one-on-one session with a trainer and each participant at their assigned monitoring site. Participant conducts all tests under limited supervision from the trainer. If satisfactory, the trainer signs off and training is complete, and participant becomes a certified Texas Stream Team Citizen Scientist with H-GAC's program. Approximately 3 hours.

Quality Assurance Field Audits
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Texas Stream Team Citizen Scientists are required to attend one quality control session or field audit at least once every two years after certification. The Texas  Stream Team protocols were developed under a TCEQ-approved Quality Assurance Project Plan. The QAPP ensures that data collected is high quality information to augment professionally-collected data in the region.

Information for Texas Stream Team Volunteers

The following are resources for current H-GAC Texas Stream Team volunteers.

Data Submission
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Texas Stream Team Monitoring Forms are developed and updated by the Meadows Center. To ensure you are using the most up-to-date form it is recommended to download a new form from the Meadows Center’s Texas Stream Team website, listed under the Standard Core Monitoring section, each month or use the new Electronic Monitoring Form. 

Please note, if you have been certified for the Advanced Monitoring there are separate sections for those forms, and an electronic form is not currently available.

To make sure H-GAC’s Texas Stream Team Data Manager receives your monitoring form to review it is important to follow the instructions below:

PDF Form

Complete all fields on the monitoring form, including the Quality Control Checklist, and email to [email protected]. This is a different email than the one listed on the PDF form because you are part of H-GAC's monitoring group.

Electronic Form

Select H-GAC as your Monitoring Group on the electronic form. H-GAC is a choice in the drop-down menu on the form. Even if you monitor as part of another group, like the Texas Master Naturalists, selecting H-GAC ensures that the form is routed to H-GAC’s Data Manager for review.

If you have any questions about using one of the forms or how to submit your data, contact us at [email protected].