Citizen scientists help monitor water pollutants

STEM insignia for Girl Scouts

Over the past two-years, Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Director of Biodiversity Valuation and Assessments Beth Polidoro spearheaded a citizen science project titled “Community Monitoring of Pollutants in Urban Waterways and Recreational Fisheries in Metro-Phoenix.”

During this time, at least 14 undergraduate students were trained in field sampling, water quality monitoring and fish identification. In addition, more than 45 K-12 students from the Girl Scouts and Phoenix ZooTeens participated in sampling and training events.

All project participants monitored water quality and recreationally caught fishes in seven urban lakes and ponds, at least four times each, across the Phoenix-metro area.

Through this process, more than 14 ASU undergraduate students, majoring in Biology, Environmental Science or Forensics, were trained in field monitoring and laboratory analytical techniques.

Additionally, more than 45 K‐12 students from several local Girl Scout Troops and the Phoenix ZooTeens Conservation Team were introduced to urban water quality issues and discussed careers in environmental science.

At least 35 Girl Scouts earned the ASU-STEM badge for their participation, designed by Anahi Mendez, CBO manager of communications and business operations.