Posts Tagged ‘Assessment’

Interns Help with Stream Assessment and Monitoring

Posted on: July 18th, 2018 by Brent Gotsch

There’s a lot of work being done this sum­mer at AWSMP and we use all the help we can get! Thank­fully, we have an arrange­ment with SUNY Ulster and the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion to hire interns to help with field work and other essen­tial tasks. This year we are proud to have both Justin Alecca and Kait­lyn Per­rone as our sum­mer interns.

Justin and Kait­lyn help mon­i­tor com­pleted stream projects. This includes sur­vey­ing the chan­nel and sam­pling stream sed­i­ment. They use sur­vey equip­ment and Global Posi­tion­ing Sys­tem (GPS) devices to record mea­sure­ments of the stream. These tasks are repeated every few years and after floods to track changes and deter­mine if a com­pleted stream project is suc­cess­ful in its goal to sta­bi­lize the stream.

One type of chan­nel sur­vey, called a cross sec­tion, mea­sures how deep the stream bed is at a par­tic­u­lar point. Sed­i­ment sam­pling involves mea­sur­ing the size of dif­fer­ent sed­i­ment par­ti­cles to deter­mine what size par­ti­cles the stream is mov­ing. Steeper more pow­er­ful streams tend to move larger, heav­ier sed­i­ment par­ti­cles. Lon­gi­tu­di­nal pro­files char­ac­ter­ize the aver­age stream slope and depth of rif­fles, pools, runs and glides and is used to delin­eate stream types. Dras­tic changes such as increased build-up of sed­i­ment (also known as aggra­da­tion) or severe deep­en­ing of the stream bed (also known as degra­da­tion) can be evi­dence of insta­bil­ity that indi­cates a need for stream work. 

AWSMP Summer Interns Justin Alecca (left) and Kaitlyn Perrone (middle) help AWSMP Watershed Technician Tiffany Runge (right) run a cross section along the Stony Clove Creek.

AWSMP sum­mer interns Justin Alecca (left) and Kait­lyn Per­rone (mid­dle) help SWCD Water­shed Tech­ni­cian Tiffany Runge (right) run a cross-section along the Stony Clove Creek.


There are seven stream restora­tion projects that will be sur­veyed this year. After chan­nel sur­vey are com­pleted, this busy team will move on to veg­e­ta­tion mon­i­tor­ing at numer­ous ripar­ian buffer plant­ing sites. They will wrap up the sum­mer field sea­son with stream assess­ments in Lost Clove and Hatch­ery Hol­low near Oliverea.

Justin is a stu­dent at SUNY Ulster who recently became a crim­i­nal jus­tice major. He learned about the intern­ship oppor­tu­nity through his biol­ogy teacher. His favorite part of the intern­ship is being able to gain field expe­ri­ence while learn­ing about streams. He has one more year at SUNY Ulster and would ulti­mately like to become a game war­den in either Maine or Colorado.

Kait­lyn is a recent grad­u­ate of SUNY Ulster who majored in ecol­ogy. She learned about the intern­ship through her adviser. Her favorite part of the intern­ship is being out­doors and walk­ing through the stream, since you can learn so much by being immersed in it. She plans to take a semes­ter off and then trans­fer to a 4-year col­lege to com­plete her bachelor’s degree in either ecol­ogy or biology.

We thank both Justin and Kait­lyn for all their hard work this sum­mer and wish them the very best with their future plans and careers!


New Interns Hit the Field

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by Leslie_Zucker

Saman­tha Kahl, AWSMP’s Tem­po­rary Water­shed Edu­ca­tor reports on train­ing for this year’s sea­sonal stream tech­ni­cians. The tech­ni­cians, and occa­sion­ally Sam, will be in the field sur­vey­ing Ashokan Reser­voir streams this sum­mer. In Sam’s words.…

I just spent five days with seven Water­shed Corps (WCC) interns train­ing under the super­vi­sion of Mark Vian, Emily Polin­sky, and Danyelle Davis of the NYC DEP Stream Man­age­ment Program.

The first three days of the Stream Man­age­ment train­ing was con­ducted in a class­room at Ulster County Com­mu­nity Col­lege (UCCC).  Mark and Emily pro­vided us a solid (and fun) aca­d­e­mic back­ground detail­ing water­shed his­tory, the impor­tance of stream mon­i­tor­ing, and var­i­ous tools and tech­niques used in the field. They are foun­tains of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the NYC Water­shed, mak­ing the aca­d­e­mic por­tion both inter­est­ing and exciting.

WCCC Training 2017_Credit Emily Polinsky

From Left to Right: Justin Alecca (Brown hat, pur­ple shirt), Saman­tha Kahl, Bren­dan Keat­ing, Aaron DePetris, Amanda Caban­il­las (crew leader), Brid­get Bromm (UCCC), Erica DePalma (SCA), Mark Vian, Travis Ferry (RNSMP), Court­ney Brill, Emily Polin­sky, Aimee Hartwig, Win­ston Gedicks.

Due to inclement weather, we lost one of our field train­ing days, but our fear­less lead­ers made the most of our remain­ing two days out in the field. We trav­eled to the Frost Val­ley YMCA where we accessed the West Branch of the Nev­ersink River for our sec­ond round of train­ing. Mark, Emily, and Danyelle, as well as sea­soned WCC intern Amanda Caban­il­las, rein­forced our aca­d­e­mic edu­ca­tion by get­ting us in the stream for visual assess­ments and con­duct­ing stream cross-sections using laser lev­els and sta­dia rods. We also trained on spe­cific com­puter soft­ware (River­Morph) that pro­duces a graph of the cross-section data col­lected; the soft­ware pro­vides a visual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how the streambed looks if you were to cut the stream in half.

Provisional Data XS1 FVMF

A stream chan­nel cross-section.

The entire group is com­prised of intel­li­gent and ded­i­cated stu­dents from all back­grounds; each of them con­tribut­ing to the train­ing in their own amaz­ing way. A friend from the Round­out Nev­ersink Stream Pro­gram shared with us the ben­e­fits of Chaga mush­rooms and where to find them; a UCCC stu­dent shared his fly tying sto­ries with us; while oth­ers shared expe­ri­ences from their lives and their rea­sons for enter­ing the envi­ron­men­tal field. It was great to be in the field and work with stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als learn­ing about geo­mor­phol­ogy, all of whom respected each other and gen­uinely cared about stream man­age­ment prac­tices. In my opin­ion, we all came out of the train­ing with the knowl­edge and field expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary to be suc­cess­ful in our desired fields.