Learn how bugs and plants living in a wetland indicate its health
Put on a pair of waders, jump in, and help monitor wetlands in your community. Dakota County is seeking volunteers for the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP). Volunteers work with a community-based team to monitor the biological health of wetlands. A science background or previous monitoring experience is not required. All training and equipment is provided.
WHEP volunteers gather data on macroinvertebrates (beetles and bugs) and plants living in wetlands. Cities use the collected data to study wetland health trends and changes as well as to assist with natural resource management.
Volunteers receive training in field methods, insect collection and identification, and plant survey techniques. Teams work under the direction of a team leader. Each city WHEP team takes samples from three to five wetlands between June and August. Volunteers commit between ten and 30 hours, including training, field work, and lab analysis.
For more information about volunteering, contact Dakota County Water Resources Department at 952-891-7000 or www.mnwhep.org. Participating in the Wetland Health Evaluation Program is an excellent educational opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about the ecology of wetlands or anyone involved in wetland studies.