Posts Tagged ‘Assessment’

AWSMP Hosts a Multi-Objective Stream Crossing Assessment Protocol (MOSCAP) Training

Posted on: June 13th, 2022 by Tim Koch

Here at AWSMP, the stream becomes a classroom where information flows freely.

On May 23 – 26, CCE Educator Tim Koch led a multi-day training on the Multi-Objective Stream Crossing Assessment Protocol (MOSCAP), a unique culvert and bridge assessment methodology developed and piloted in the Ashokan Reservoir watershed. Fourteen participants from county, regional, and state agencies learned field methods that integrate geomorphic compatibility, aquatic organism passage, and structural condition into culvert and bridge assessments.

MOSCAP training attendees assessing a culvert on an unnamed tributary of the Little Beaver Kill. MOSCAP surveys simultaneously assess geomorphic compatibility, structural condition, and aquatic organism passage.

To apply these methods, the class waded into streams at road-crossing locations, working their way through an entire MOSCAP field assessment at several sites. The assessments included measuring structure dimensions and making observations about stream channel and floodplain conditions. Data collected in the field are used to prioritize the road-stream crossings that would have the greatest positive impact if replaced. This includes improvements to stream channel stability, structural resilience, and improved upstream passage for aquatic and riparian organisms.

Trainees measured the active width of the stream channel and make observations about the size and distribution of sediment as part of a MOSCAP assessment.

The skills learned in this training will help area professionals assess and maintain road crossings over streams while protecting water quality, habitat, and building resilience to floods.

Another MOSCAP field methods training is being planned for later this year, and MOSCAP training documents are currently available upon request. Contact Tim Koch by email at

Interns Help with Stream Assessment and Monitoring

Posted on: July 18th, 2018 by Leslie_Zucker

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.