Citizen Scientists Apply Here

A citizen science project is real scientific research conducted by people like you and me. If you decide to participate, you can contribute to our understanding of the Muskegon River Watershed and allow us to takes steps to preserve and restore our valuable resource. No advanced degree is required, and you can do it in your spare time.

MRWA will conduct a series of Citizen Science projects in the coming months. The first in the series, launching in April, is Monitoring River and Stream Quality. Space is limited. So do not wait – get involved now!

Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Stream Monitoring

A team of at least four people will conduct their research at a designated site on a local stream, typically along one of the tributaries of the Muskegon River. The project leader scrapes material from the bottom of the stream with a net and empties the sample into containers. Team members on shore sort through the material to find macroinvertebrates for identification. They label and preserve the aquatic insects they find in jars of alcohol, compile the data and send it to the MRWA.

We enter everything into the MiCorps database. The findings will help us learn about the quality of the water and the life it supports. Environmental agencies use the information to determine the health of sampled locations and consider possible restoration work if indicated.

This is a great opportunity for citizen scientists of all ages. Young participants learn the value of environmental stewardship with experiences that could not be more hands on. Monitor teams sample in the spring and fall each year and it only requires a couple of hours of volunteer time for each sampling.

MRWA provides training free of charge to all team leaders and one assistant. Board Director and Ferris State University instructor Cindy Fitzwilliam –Heck has signed up as the class instructor so it will definitely be a valuable session. Thanks to a MiCorps grant, we also provide waders, net, handbook and all other necessary supplies.

The training date is April 28, 2018, 9:00 a.m. at Brooks Township Hall in Newaygo. After the classroom work, we will assemble at the stream site for sampling. The first sampling of record will take place in the month of May with your team.

Pre-registration is required. Please return the enclosed form to MRWA @Ferris State University, 1009 Campus Dr., JOH 200, Big Rapids, MI 49307-2280 or contact the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly by email at or by phone at 231-591-2334.


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. 

~Margaret Mead