Reflecting on a Successful Training with The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

On Saturday, July 30th, Gunpowder Riverkeeper hosted a very successful training with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) at the Oasis Marina in Joppa! Shelby Brown, the Citizen Science Program assistant for Chesapeake Water Watch, showed 20 volunteers how to use the Hydrocolor app on an Android or an iPhone, how to collect water samples, and how to upload these data into Fieldscope.

With the help of a gray card (that can be purchased on Amazon) , the Hydrocolor app can be used to measure turbidity–how cloudy, thick, or opaque the water is–at different sites in the Chesapeake Bay area. Once data are collected on the Hydrocolor app, volunteers upload them on to Fieldscope and SERC compare them to water quality imagery collected by NASA satellites.

We wanted to extend another huge thank you to the kind folks at Oasis Marina for providing us with a wonderful space to use this training and allowing us to use their dock to test out the Hydrocolor app. Thank you again to Shelby and SERC Elizabeth for taking the time to teach us about this invaluable citizen science project. We also greatly appreciate the volunteers from the Gunpowder, Bird, Bush, Middle, and Little Gunpowder River watersheds that represent the important upper Western shore tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, who attended the training!

For those who were not able to attend the July 30th training, SERC developed virtual training protocol. Gunpowder Riverkeeper staff participated in this virtual training and provided feedback. If you would like to complete the virtual training, please send us an email:

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