EPA recently awarded funding to MassBays under the Exchange Network Grant Program to provide tools, training, and services to citizen groups conducting water quality monitoring in the Bays. The project will result in the following products:
1. AquaQAPP, an online application facilitating preparation of Sampling and Analysis Plans/Quality Assurance Project Plans (QAPPs) for marine and freshwater water quality and benthic monitoring programs.
2. Data management archiving for groups conducting monitoring, through EPA’s Water Quality eXchange (WQX) platform.
3. Training workshops and one-on-one assistance to monitoring program coordinators for monitoring program design, scoping for volunteer training, utilization of AquaQAPP and WQX, and data analysis.
4. A web-based reporting tool (EcoHealth Report Card) to present and interpret results of monitoring in the Bays for multiple audiences.
MassBays seeks applicants for the position of Dependent Contractor, a “Circuit Rider” to lead work on program component number 3 above, to be based in Boston but serve all of MassBays’ planning area. This person will provide outreach, training, and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and their staff on components of quality-assured monitoring programs in near-shore areas. Topics may include: developing monitoring program objectives, selecting suitable sampling sites and water quality parameters, suitable training for volunteers, identifying certified laboratories for sample analysis, statistical data analysis, and data interpretation with reference to program objectives. The Circuit Rider will also organize and recruit attendees to regional training workshops for program coordinators focused on the online AquaQAPP application in October 2019, as well as a second set of workshops (March 2020) to introduce utilization of WQX.