Extended Sessions

Details will be added as they become available.
Agenda subject to change.
Updated 12 March 2019

Extended sessions include workshops, panel discussions and short courses and are offered in addition to a full slate of concurrent sessions at any given time.

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for instructions on how to add an extended session to your existing registration.


Monday, March 25

Workshop: Water Quality Portal; Water Quality Exchange Training

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm / 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

Participants will need to bring a laptop.

The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is the largest repository for water quality data delivering over 350 million water quality results from over 400 data partners. WQX provides the means for partners to be able to publish their data to the WQP. This training will be a 6-hour session encompassing how to utilize the full search capability of the WQP, including EPA’s Data Discovery Tool, and how to publish and share data to the WQP using WQX Web. Participants in the full day training will learn how to use WQX to publish data, some of the WQX requirements, and how to resolve common errors. Participants will also learn how to use the WQP to discover and use data for water quality analyses.

Laura Shumway, US Environmental Protection Agency
Jim Kreft, US Geological Survey
Kevin Christian, US Environmental Protection Agency
Dwane Young, US Environmental Protection Agency



Tuesday, March 26

Panel Discussion: Integrating Volunteer Collected Data: An Agency Perspective on How to Support Volunteers and Assess Volunteer Collected Data

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Since 1998 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has worked with citizen water quality monitors and other organizations. Through the years, the agency developed procedures to maximize the use of water quality data submitted by these external partners to include in the biennial 305(b)/303(d) Integrated Reports. Today nearly one third of stations included in the report originated from citizen and other monitoring organizations. Much of this data is of the same quality and used the same way as Virginia DEQ collected results. This panel will include information on how Virginia’s program was built and perspectives that may be useful to other monitoring programs interested in incorporating data from external partners.

Danielle Donkersloot, Volunteer Monitoring Representative
Aaron Borisenko, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Barb Horn, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Sarah Gossett, Galveston Bay Foundation

Workshop: Designing and Instrumenting a High-Frequency Groundwater Monitoring Station

10:30 am – 12:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

High-frequency, long-term monitoring of water quality has revolutionized the study of surface waters in recent years. However, application of these techniques to groundwater has been limited by the ability to remotely pump and analyze groundwater. This workshop will describe the design and instrumentation of an autonomous groundwater-quality monitoring system which can sample multiple wells to identify trends in groundwater chemistry and evaluate the timescales of change in groundwater quality.

The system collects and transmits high-frequency data from supply and monitoring wells in real-time. Analytical constituents include water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen, and nitrate. The system consists of a water quality sonde and optical nitrate sensor, manifold, submersible three-phase pump, variable frequency drive, data collection platform, solar panels and rechargeable battery bank. The manifold directs water from multiple wells to a single set of sensors, thereby reducing setup and operation costs associated with multi-sensor networks. Sampling multiple wells at high frequency for several years provided a means of monitoring the vertical distribution and transport of contaminants in the aquifers through time. The system has been effectively deployed at 8 multi-well locations across the USA.

This workshop will demonstrate how to design and instrument a high-frequency groundwater quality monitoring station. Specific workshop sections include: high frequency groundwater monitoring site selection focusing on the various types of wells (supply, domestic, irrigation, monitoring); selecting perforation intervals; and instrumentation options including passive vs. active sampling.

There will be discussions covering: instrumentation, including the main components of the high frequency groundwater monitoring system (Saraceno et al. 2018); programming; communication; and power management. Calibration visits and why they are important for reliable data will be discussed. Standard protocols for high frequency groundwater monitoring equipment (Mathany USGS T&M Report, 2018) will also be outlined.

Data and signal processing methods will be presented, including: using Aquarius; de-spiking and noise reduction algorithms; and operational measurement uncertainty. Finally, applying trend analysis statistics to evaluate the data, including seasonal Kendall and Mann Kendall statistics and their associated R scripts, will be discussed.

Justin Kulongoski, US Geological Survey
Tim Mathany, US Geological Survey
Kenneth Belitz, US Geological Survey


Workshop: Macroinvertebrates.org: An Open Educational Tool and Training Resource for Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Identification

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

Macroinvertebrates.org is the product of a National Science Foundation funded web-based project titled ‘Learning to See, Seeing to Learn.’ The purpose of the online site is to provide high-quality tools and resources for training citizen scientists to identify aquatic macroinvertebrates with confidence and accuracy for water quality monitoring projects. This open educational resource is a powerful supplement to more-traditional identification keys typically used by volunteers. The tool features zoomable, high-resolution photography of the 150 most commonly found freshwater taxa in the Eastern United States with annotated diagnostic characters for 50 selected taxa at the order, family, and genus levels. These explorable images can be dynamically manipulated with supporting multimedia to see and learn these important characters in context. Detailed descriptions of the diagnostic characters, life history, food preferences, ecological information, pollution tolerance values, and terminology supports are also provided to aid identification for each taxon. Through this hands-on, minds-on workshop, participants will experience the many enhanced digital tools for identifying aquatic benthic macroinvertebrates to Order and some Family levels. Presenters will also provide an engaging presentation on the background and history of this project and the importance of understanding the needs to support and improve volunteer-level identification. Further time will be provided to explore the website with guided activities (a virtual ‘bug hunt’ and identification of preserved specimens) as well as time for the user to explore on their own. Additional sharing of effective resources to use with macroinvertebrate identification (keys, apps) to compliment the website and tips for training volunteers on aquatic macroinvertebrate will be presented. Participant feedback and commentary provided during the workshop will be used to improve the site in future design iterations.

Tara Muenz, Stroud Water Research Center

Workshop: Enhancing Water Quality Monitoring Using Satellite Data Products

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

With the recent advancements in satellite technology, the open-data policy, and the availability of analysis ready data, it is now possible to incorporate satellite data products into decision-making frameworks and complement existing filed-based water quality monitoring activities. To that end, satellite data providers and space agencies (like NASA), the aquatic remote sensing community, and the community of practice such as Geo AquaWatch plan to extend their reach to stakeholders, managements, and private sector across the nation to facilitate integrating satellite-derived water quality products (e.g., turbidity) into water resource management. This workshop is another attempt to bridge this gap and will showcase ongoing efforts toward augmenting monitoring practices with spatially explicit water quality products made available at high-frequency rates. During this workshop, the water quality managers, water authorities, GIS practitioners, and other stakeholders will become familiar with the potentials and limitations of satellite-based water quality monitoring, engage with scientists and data providers and obtain insights on how to play a role in existing activities in their jurisdiction. This workshop provides a forum to reinforce the dialogue among remote sensing scientists and stakeholders toward streamlining end-users’ access to satellite products for informed and timely decision-making.

The objectives of this session are to provide concrete examples of how satellite data can be used to augment in situ or modeled water quality monitoring efforts and to provide an open forum to discuss with participants how satellite data can be integrated into their existing monitoring efforts, in the context of domain characteristics such as how frequently water quality data are needed, over what area and at what scale, at what latency, and how the data are used.

Christine Lee, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA
Mohammed Al-Hamdan
Matt Miller, US Geological Survey
Dustin West
Brendan Palmieri



Wednesday, March 27

E8 / F8
Workshop: Screening for Biological Relevance of Environmental Chemistry Data Using the toxEval Software Package, Parts I & II

8:30 am – 10:00 am / 10:30 am – 12:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

Requirements for direct participation in the workshop.

    1. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop to follow along and explore the data analysis options.
    2. While this is an R software package, familiarity with the R environment is not necessary to use toxEval. There is, however, additional functionality that can be accessed by users with a background in R.
    3. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computer with the following software installed:
      1. R
      2. R-Studio
      3. The toxEval R-package.
      4. Directions for installation of all of these as well as the documentation for the toxEval package are included here: https://github.com/USGS-R/toxEval. Installing the toxEval package will automatically install the toxEval documentation as well.

This workshop is intended to provide an efficient method to evaluate potential adverse biological impacts using analysis of environmental chemistry data. With thousands of potential chemicals in our natural environment, and advancements in instrumentation and analytical capabilities often providing detection levels in the nanogram per liter and picogram per levels, determination of the biological relevance of chemical occurrence and magnitude is a challenging task. The US Geological Survey and the US Environmental Protection Agency have collaborated to develop the software package toxEval to simplify this type of evaluation by efficiently examining chemistry data in multiple ways. These techniques allow for analysis of small to large data sets including capabilities to visualize and examine results for multiple chemicals per sample with multiple samples per site collected at numerous sites across a broad geographic area.

In this workshop, environmental chemistry data is compared with benchmark bioeffect concentrations (concentrations at which adverse biological effects may exist) to screen for potential adverse effects and prioritize the potential hazard by chemicals and sites. This approach is intended to provide information for assisting scientists and watershed managers to better understand where the greatest likelihood of adverse biological effects exist, and what types of adverse effects to search for in resident organisms.

ToxCast is used as the default benchmark concentration database due to its broad coverage of more than 9000 chemicals and more than 300 bioeffect assays. Since there are often specific, previously compiled benchmark databases (e.g., the EPA aquatic life benchmarks) that are well established, an option is available to override the default bioeffect database in favor of a custom database for screening.

The workshop will include the following components:

  1. An introduction to bioeffect evaluation concepts included in toxEval,
  2. Formatting chemistry and site data for input into toxEval,
  3. Conducting an analysis using ToxCast as the bioeffect database (this is the default in toxEval)
  4. Conducting an analysis using a custom toxicity database
  5. Analysis using the graphical user interface (through the R Shiny environment)
  6. Additional flexibility in analysis using the underlying R code

Participants will be able to bring their own data set for analysis or use a data set provided by the instructors. While this is an R software package, familiarity with the R environment is not necessary to use toxEval. Participants are encouraged to bring their own computer with R, R-Studio, and toxEval installed. Directions for installation as well as toxEval documentation are included here: https://github.com/USGS-R/toxEval

Steven R. Corsi, US Geological Survey
Laura A. DeCicco, US Geological Survey
William Battaglin, US Geological Survey

Panel Discussion: Steps to Increase Interagency Coordination on Water-Quality Monitoring and Data Sharing

8:30 am – 10:00 am

Faced with the responsibility of wisely using limited funding for environmental monitoring, it is becoming increasingly important to leverage existing monitoring and data reporting across organizations to address interjurisdiction issues and support secondary data users who add to our collective understanding of water quality in US streams, rivers, and estuaries. Numerous past efforts have recognized the need for increased coordination. While these efforts have resulted in important advancements such as the formation of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council (NWQMC), the National Environmental Methods Index, and the Water Quality Portal, the vision for broad coordinated national monitoring and data reporting has not yet been fully realized. To build on these previous efforts, three new interagency workgroups have recently been established within the NWQMC to further explore ways to increase coordination of monitoring and reporting by taking into consideration past lessons learned about barriers and recommendations for success. Specifically, these workgroups are working to identify small changes that organizations can make without extensive modification to their current approaches and without securing large new sources of funding. In this way, organizations could continue to address their own priorities while realizing additional benefits from being part of a larger coordinated effort. The objectives of this panel session are to 1) present interim outcomes from these workgroups, on the topics of consistency in data collection, consistency in data reporting quality, and consistency in data discoverability and 2) seek input on next steps.

Lori Sprague, US Geological Survey
Bryan Rabon, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Jane Caffrey, University of West Florida
Laura Shumway, US Environmental Protection Agency
Roger Stewart, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Workshop: Your Data Means Nothing If No One Knows About It: Analyzing, Synthesizing, and Communicating Your Monitoring Data

10:30 am – 12:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

Water quality monitoring data are collected for a myriad of purposes. Whether it is for determining changes in water quality, evaluating climate change effects, protecting human health, establishing baseline conditions, measuring results of restoration activities, or modeling future conditions, synthesizing and communicating results is an essential part of using the data. Too often, monitoring datasets are not used to their full potential for managing, restoring, and protecting water resources. This cross-cutting session touches on a variety of conference themes and is intended for anyone working in the water quality monitoring world, including federal, state, tribal, and local water professionals, nonprofits, academia, volunteer citizen scientists, non-traditional monitors, managers, and researchers. This extended session will provide a brief overview of data analysis and synthesis techniques, and touch on science communication best practices. The majority of the session will include hands-on activities, where participants will use their own data to conduct analysis and synthesis. The results of the data discovery portion will be used to create data visualizations for the participant’s intended audience. Science communication strategies will be discussed, and multiple products will be reviewed to help the participant choose the communication products to best help them share their results and reach their intended audiences. Participants will walk away with new tools, techniques, and visualizations customized to their monitoring data and program goals.

Caroline Donovan, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Sky Swanson, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

G8 / H8
Workshop: Exploring Water Data in R, the EGRET Package and an Overview of WRTDS, Parts I & II

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Pre-registration Required

Exploring water quality and streamflow data is critical for understanding the world around us. The USGS has developed the EGRET R package to facilitate obtaining and interpreting surface-water quality data. This short course, presented by the authors of EGRET, will describe how these tools can be used. The EGRET package is designed to retrieve relevant water quality and streamflow data from USGS NWIS and EPA Storet and then structures the data in standard formats for analysis. EGRET uses the Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) method to evaluate trends in concentration and flux. It is focused on producing graphical outputs that can help enhance the understanding of the nature and possible drivers of the observed trends. These methods are highly flexible, allowing for the examination of non-monotonic trends and also allowing for considerations of trends that may be different across different seasons or flow conditions. They also allow for the proper analysis of “less than” data in the overall record. This workshop is designed to give participants a good understanding of the WRTDS method and the overall structure of EGRET and the types of analyses and products it can produce.

Robert Hirsch, US Geological Survey
Laura A. DeCicco, US Geological Survey

G9 / H9
Workshop: Protocols for Collecting, QCing and Analyzing Continuous Vertical Profile Temperature Data From Fixed Arrays in Lakes, Parts I & II

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Pre-registration Required

The EPA is working with its regional offices, states, tribes and other entities in the Northeast and Midwest to develop Regional Monitoring Networks (RMNs) for freshwater inland lakes. The data will be used to document current conditions and detect changing baselines through the collection of long-term data. One of the top priorities is collecting vertical profile data, which will provide important information about stratification (mixing) patterns. Where feasible, moored arrays of continuous sensors that record temperature and dissolved oxygen data year-round at 60-minute intervals will be deployed at RMN lakes. Vertical profile data are high priority because warming temperatures and earlier ice-out could contribute to an increase in the strength and duration of summer stratification, which would have wide-reaching, cascading effects on lake ecosystems.

During the first part of the workshop, we will go through the RMN protocols for collecting continuous vertical profile temperature data using low budget fixed arrays. The session will include a discussion about what factors to consider when selecting equipment. We will also hear lessons learned from lake RMN partners who recently started deploying continuous sensors. During the second half of the session, we will train participants on how to use a free R tool for QCing and summarizing continuous vertical profile temperature data.

Jen Stamp, Tetra Tech, Inc.
Erik Leppo, Tetra Tech, Inc.
Britta Bierwagen, US Environmental Protection Agency
Katie Hein, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Shane Bowe, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Kayla Bowe, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Lisa Borre, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


Thursday, March 28

Workshop: Developing a Monitoring Program That Delivers Results

8:30 am – 10:00 am | Pre-registration Required

Developing a water quality monitoring program is an effective means of reaching diverse audiences, providing education and raising awareness of local water resource issues that can lead to results – in understanding, protecting and restoring local waters. Prior to developing a monitoring program, it is essential to think through the scientific process and the steps necessary to create a program where the data collected match your monitoring objectives. The study design process facilitates the essential decisions that need to be made. This 90-minute, interactive session will explore the fundamental building blocks for building a strong monitoring program.

This study design workshop is an overview to orient new monitoring coordinators or agencies looking to implement monitoring programs as well as key resources and considerations needed to develop scientifically robust, sustainable programs. Session objectives will include:

  1. Getting started: Overview of tools from coordinating the first meeting to resources/trainings needed to successfully build the capacity of volunteers to collect and analyze water quality data.
  2. Six stage monitoring cycle: The 1,000 view on the entire monitoring process.
  3. Study design: A ten-step model to answer the who, what, where, how, and quality assurance/quality control measures needed to establish your program.
  4. Quality Assurance: Defining your programs data quality needs for your defined data uses and data users.
  5. Program evaluation: Defining parameters for success at the beginning of your project and developing a framework for iterative and formative evaluation of your project.
  6. Outreach, fundraising and additional resources: Insight to go-to fact sheets, web sites for additional resources.

Barb Horn, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Danielle Donkersloot, Volunteer Monitoring Representative

I9 / J9
Panel Discussion: Forging Effective Use of Diatoms in Assessment, Parts I & II

8:30 am – 10:00 am / 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Although diatoms have been integral to river and lake assessment for many decades, powerful resources to improve diatom data are now accessible to a broader audience. In this workshop, we will explore these new tools and their application to both small-scale and large-scale surveys to maintain data continuity over time. Diatoms of North America (diatoms.org) is a peer-reviewed web flora that guides identification to over 900 (and growing) species pages. Managers will learn how this project supports taxonomic consistency and how to use the site to make sense of their species data. Several regional voucher floras (northeast lakes, northeast rivers, southeast rivers, Pacific Northwest urban rivers, and California rivers) have been developed and are publicly available. We will discuss “what is a voucher flora”? and how we can use them to produce transparent, verifiable records of species data. Recently, through the USGS NAWQA program, QA/AC protocols have been refined to eliminate analyst bias. We will explore the steps necessary to design survey analyses so that analyst bias, if present, can be corrected. Finally, a diatom taxonomic certification program is being developed, and is planned to be administered through the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS). The taxonomic certification program will incorporate a series of training and testing modules so that diatom analysts have the ability to obtain up to four levels of certification for their expertise. The program will further manager’s abilities to select contracting laboratories and recognize the level of professional accomplishment by certified taxonomists.

Sarah Spaulding, US Geological Survey
Daren Carlisle, US Geological Survey
Meredith Tyree, University of Colorado
Eric D. Stein, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project
Mark Edlund, St. Croix Water Research Station
Janice Alers-Garcia, US Environmental Protection Agency
Sylvia Lee, US Environmental Protection Agency
Amina Pollard, US Environmental Protection Agency
Richard Mitchell, US Environmental Protection Agency
Marina Potapova, Academy of Natural Sciences, Drexel University
Ian Bishop, University of Rhode Island
Mihaela Enache, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Panel Discussion: Exploring Causal Hypotheses: What’s Driving Environmental Trends and Conditions?

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Identifying major drivers of change and variability in environmental systems is fraught with difficulty. These difficulties arise from the observational nature of the environmental data, confounding influences on the outcomes of interest, and high natural variability of the data. Furthermore, most causal statements are speculative or simply refer to previous publications. This session brings together water-quality and ecology experts on causal analysis to discuss the challenges and opportunities of approaching causal explanations for environmental trends and conditions from a systems perspective. Each panelist will briefly present work that explores causal hypotheses for spatial and temporal variability in water quality or riverine ecology, with a focus on Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) as a unified approach for addressing the study questions. Panelists will discuss the opportunities and challenges of studying causal hypotheses in environmental studies that cover a variety of geographic settings and scales. Audience members may also ask questions of the panelists and may contribute to the discussion by sharing their experiences and challenges of identifying major drivers of change and variability. While all panelists use SEM in their work, this session will not focus on the technical details of SEM. Instead, panelists will discuss their efforts to explore and confirm conceptual models of environmental change and variability more generally, with some insight on using SEM in an environmental context.

Jenny Murphy, US Geological Survey
Travis Schmidt, US Geological Survey
Karen Ryberg, US Geological Survey
Gretchen Oelsner, US Geological Survey
Jeff Chanat, US Geological Survey

K8 / L8
Panel Discussion: Applying the Biological Condition Gradient to Support Water Quality Management, Parts I & II

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

The Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) is a conceptual, scientific framework for interpreting biological response to increasing effects of stressors on aquatic ecosystems. The framework was developed based on common patterns of biological response to anthropogenic stressors observed empirically by aquatic biologists and ecologists from different geographic regions of the United States. It describes how measurable characteristics of aquatic ecosystems change in response to increasing levels of stress, from a natural condition (undisturbed or minimally disturbed by human activities) to severely altered conditions (highly disturbed). In this session, we consider the ways in which states and local governments are applying BCGs to support their water quality management programs. We also consider the added value of the BCG as a complement to other technical tools and models including indices of biological, watershed and catchment integrity. Panel members will discuss an innovative technical development or application that resulted from BCG development and application.

Susan Jackson, US Environmental Protection Agency
Lisa Huff, Alabama Department of Environmental Management
William Bouchard, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Martha Sutula
Jen Stamp, Tetra Tech, Inc.
Kate Macneale, King County Water and Land Resources
Prassede Vella, Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Program
Emily Shumchenia, E&C Enviroscape

Workshop: Introduction to Open-Source Environmental IoT Monitoring with Arduino Framework Data Loggers

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm | Pre-registration Required

This session introduces the use of open-source Arduino-framework data loggers for environmental Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring, providing history and case studies. A companion half-day, hands-on workshop is scheduled for Friday, March 29 and titled: “Programming IoT Monitoring Stations Built on the Arduino Framework with the EnviroDIY ModularSensor Library.”

We are seeing a revolution in low-cost wireless sensing devices that share real-time data via the internet. This Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has great potential to transform water quality monitoring. Many IoT devices are built on open-source hardware and software, such as the Arduino framework that is attracting growing attention by do-it-yourself (DIY) environmental monitoring geeks. DIYers generally find rapid success at reading data from simple sensors to an Arduino board. However, it is much more challenging to program an Arduino to perform all required functions of a solar-powered station that collects data from several research-grade environmental sensors, saves to an SD card, transmits to a public server with web services, and puts the sensors to sleep to conserve energy between logging intervals.

For Part 1, we will describe the history and evolution of successful open-source environmental data loggers, and the required hardware and software features for solar-powered, wireless environmental monitoring stations.

For Part 2, we will provide case studies of how we developed and deployed water quality monitoring stations using the EnviroDIY Mayfly data logger and the EnviroDIY ModularSensors software library (https://github.com/EnviroDIY).

Anthony Aufdenkampe, LimnoTech
Beth Fisher, University of Minnesota

Panel Discussion: Using the Water Quality Portal for Regional and National Water-Quality Studies

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

The availability of multi-agency water-quality data in online databases can help counterbalance diminishing resources for stream monitoring, enable access to decades of baseline data, and can lead to important regional and national insights that would not otherwise be possible. The Water Quality Portal (WQP) is currently the largest source of water-quality data for the Nation and users can access data from STORET, NWIS and STEWARDS. Since the WQP went online in 2012 there have been over 100 studies that reference the WQP. These studies generally fall into one of three categories: 1) use of the WQP to develop specialized regional water-quality databases to use for water-quality studies; 2) regional or national water-quality studies; and 3) use of data from the WQP to validate water-quality or remote-sensing models. This session will focus on how the WQP is used in these different types of regional and national water-quality studies with a focus on the science outcomes to highlight the kind of questions that can be addressed using data from the WQP. This session brings together scientists from federal, state, and regional agencies to discuss specific projects that use data from the WQP to address water-quality issues. Each panelist will briefly present the results of their studies. Panelists will also discuss the opportunities and challenges of working with the WQP and take questions from the audience.

Gretchen Oelsner, US Geological Survey
James Kreft, US Geological Survey
Claire Buchanan, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin
Hilary Dugan, University of Wisconsin
John Iiames, US Environmental Protection Agency
Melissa Riskin, US Geological Survey
Dan Wang, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
Jason Williams, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality



Friday, March 29

M1 / N1
Workshop: Programming IoT Monitoring Stations Built on the Arduino Framework With the EnviroDIY ModularSensor Library, Parts I & II

8:30 am – 10:00 am / 10:30 am – 12:00 pm | Pre-registration Required

Workshop attendees must bring a laptop. Attendees interested in purchasing the Arduino hardware at the end of the workshop, can pay with a check or cash.

The hardware purchase costs will be:

Hardware will be provided to attendees at no cost for use during the workshop. Payment is only required if attendees want to take them home.

This session is a hands-on programming workshop. For an introduction to the use of open-source Arduino-framework data loggers for environmental Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring, including history and case studies. A companion session “Introduction to Open-Source Environmental IoT Monitoring with Arduino Framework Data Loggers” is scheduled for Thursday, March 28 at 2:00–3:30 (K9).

We are seeing a revolution in low-cost wireless sensing devices that share real-time data via the internet. This Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has great potential to transform water quality monitoring. Many IoT devices are built on open-source hardware and software, such as the Arduino framework that is attracting growing attention by do-it-yourself (DIY) environmental monitoring geeks. DIYers generally find rapid success at reading data from simple sensors to an Arduino board. However, it is much more challenging to program an Arduino to perform all required functions of a solar-powered station that collects data from several research-grade environmental sensors, saves to an SD card, transmits to a public server with web services, and puts the sensors to sleep to conserve energy between logging intervals. The EnviroDIY community has made all of this much simpler by creating their Modular Sensor library.

Part 1 will introduce participants to using the EnviroDIY ModularSensors library and its high-level functions that work identically for a wide variety of Arduino boards, radios and environmental sensors, including those that use SDI-12 or Modbus communication protocols. Participants are required to bring a laptop with the following software installed prior to meeting: PlatformIO IDE (with Atom or VSCode; GitHub Desktop (connected to GitHub account); Git (installed separately from GitHub Desktop). Instructions for connecting to GitHub and installing PlatformIO are available in episodes 3 & 4 of the online tutorial at https://envirodiy.github.io/LearnEnviroDIY.

Part 2 will guide participants through a number of hands-on exercises to program a monitoring station. We will have the following station hardware available to participants for use during the workshop: an EnviroDIY Mayfly board, a USB communication cable for programing the board, and a DS-18B20 waterproof temperature sensor. Additional sensors will be available for programming demonstration and practice, and selected items will be available for purchase at the end of the workshop.

Anthony Aufdenkampe, LimnoTech
Beth Fisher, University of Minnesota