November 18, 2022 9:00 am 4:00 pm

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) hosts an annual volunteer monitoring conference each fall. The conference provides an excellent opportunity to stay up to date on monitoring methods and to meet and interact with other volunteer monitors. Participants join stream and lake monitoring volunteers and program coordinators from across Michigan to learn, network, and celebrate our collective achievements!

The 2022 conference was held online due to inclement weather. All sessions were recorded.  You can view the entire playlist of recordings, or click on the titles of individual sessions below to view them.


Friday, November 18

9:00 am     Welcome and MiCorps Updates –  Jo Latimore (MSU), MiCorps Director

  • Introduction of MiCorps staff and their roles, resources for MiCorps volunteers and program leaders, status of MiCorps program and funding

 9:45 am     Awards, Volunteer Recognition, and Grantee Presentation

  • Stream grant recipients – Paul Steen (Huron River Watershed Council), MiCorps Streams Program Manager
  • Presentation by 2021 VSMP Implementation Grant recipient – Berrien Conservation District
    • Overview of program goals and accomplishments
  • Lake volunteer recognition – Erick Elgin (MSU Extension), MiCorps Lake Programs Manager

10:50 am   Breakout Sessions (Breakout sessions will be held concurrently. Choose one session.)          



Option A: An Introduction to Freshwater Mussels  –  Joe Rathbun, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (retired)

Freshwater mussels are the most endangered group of aquatic organisms in the world. This presentation will review their ecology and importance; the threats to their survival; mussel identification; and mussel sampling. Field guides and posters of the mussels of Michigan will be available.




Option B: Local use of MiCorps volunteer monitoring data

A panel of MiCorps volunteers and program managers will share examples of how they are using their monitoring data to protect Michigan waters. Short presentations followed by moderated discussion. Moderator: Tamara Lipsey (EGLE)

  • Ralph Bednarz, Rennie Lake, Grand Traverse County
  • Chelsea Cooper, Manistee Conservation District
  • Heather Smith, The Watershed Center – Grand Traverse Bay
  • Paul Steen – Huron River Watershed Council


1:00 pm     Workshops (Workshops will be held concurrently. Choose one workshop.)



Option A: Stream macroinvertebrate identificationPaul Steen (HRWC), MiCorps Stream Programs Manager, and Tamara Lipsey (EGLE), EGLE MiCorps Program Lead

Learn and practice macroinvertebrate identification with live specimens from a local stream. Review MiCorps macroinvertebrate scoring procedures.




Option B: Lake data interpretation: Total phosphorus, Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch, and dissolved oxygen/temperatureErick Elgin (MSU Extension), MiCorps Lake Programs Manager, and Jo Latimore (MSU), MiCorps Director

Learn why we collect this data and how to interpret the data for your lake, using real MiCorps reports and data sets.

3:00 pm      Closing Keynote: Volunteer monitoring to protect Michigan waters – benefits, strategies, and opportunities – Jake Lemon, Monitoring and Community Science Manager, Trout Unlimited