Maryland Biological Stream Survey Training & Certification
MBSS SUMMER TRAINING – May 23 – 26, 2022
We are happy to announce that MBSS summer training will be held at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD from May 23 to May 26. The following is a brief overview of the four-day training. Breakfast and lunch will not be provided, but there is a cafeteria (Café on the Quad) on campus. A more detailed summer training agenda will follow, so please check back here for updates.
Day 1: (23 May 2022) – Fish Crew Leader and Physical Habitat Assessment Certifications
- MBSS training and certification overview
- Fish sampling protocols presentation
a - VIRTUAL
- Review of physical habitat assessment protocols presentation
b – VIRTUAL
- Fish taxonomy review (afternoon) – IN PERSON
Day 2: (24 May 2022) – Fish Crew Leader and Physical Habitat Assessment Certifications
- Fish sampling protocols – field demonstration – IN PERSON
- Fish crew leader written certification test
- Physical habitat assessment protocols field demonstration – IN PERSON
- Physical habitat assessment written certification test
- Fish taxonomy presentation - VIRTUAL
- All day fish taxonomy review – IN PERSON
Day 3: (25 May 2022)
- All day fish taxonomy review – IN PERSON
Day 4: (26 May 2022) – Fish Taxonomy Certification
- Fish taxonomy exam
c – IN PERSON
a Required for Fish Crew Leader Certification. A field audit is also required to complete this certification.
b Required for Physical Habitat Assessment Certification. Each applicant will be required to undergo a field audit during training.
c Required for Fish Taxonomy Certification. A field audit is also required to complete this certification.
If you have questions about MBSS training and certification or MBSS protocols, please contact either Jay Kilian (410) 260-8617;
firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Stranko (410) 260-8603
Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) stream sampling protocols are currently required by some counties and state agencies. To accommodate these requirements, Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers five certifications and two training opportunities in MBSS protocols. The certifications include benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, benthic macroinvertebrate laboratory processing and subsampling, fish crew leader, fish taxonomy, and physical habitat assessment. To be certified by the Department of Natural Resources for benthic macroinvertebrate taxonomy, a Society for Freshwater Science certification in EPT East and North American Chironomidae (not offered by the department) are required.
Attendance at MBSS spring and summer trainings is a partial requirement for four of the five certifications. Passing written tests and field audits will be required, as well as passing additional tests and quality assurance procedures. Passing a laboratory audit and a written test will be required for benthic macroinvertebrate laboratory processing and subsampling certification.
- To be considered consistent with MBSS protocols, benthic macroinvertebrate data must be collected by a person certified in benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, the sample must be processed by an individual who is certified in laboratory processing and subsampling, and a person who is a certified taxonomist in both EPT East and North American Chironomidae by the Society for Freshwater Science must perform the benthic macroinvertebrate taxonomy.
- To be considered consistent with MBSS protocols, the fish data must be collected by a crew led by a certified crew leader. Additionally, a certified fish taxonomist must identify the fish collected by the crew.
- The department will not accept payments of certification fees from individuals who register for benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, fish crew leader, or fish taxonomy certification until after the written tests administered at training have been passed. If the written test is passed, the department will accept the check and the certification process will continue. If the written test is not passed, no payment is required.
- An audit site used for benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, fish crew leader, or fish taxonomy certification can be an actual biomonitoring site (i.e., a site on the applicant’s sampling schedule), if the location and scheduling for the site is also agreeable to the Department of Natural Resources Quality Control Officer conducting the audit, and the audit takes place during the index period. As an alternative, audits may also be conducted at a mutually agreed upon site convenient for both parties. It is important to note that, if the audit is not passed, the person will not be certified, and the department will be unable to document the quality of the data compared to data collected by a Department of Natural Resources crew.
- To maintain an active certification in benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, persons must attend spring training each year for the three-year certification term.
- To maintain an active certification as fish crew leader, persons must attend the fish sampling protocol portion (usually Day 1) of summer training each year for the three-year certification term.
- After successful completion of a particular certification process, the certified person's name will be listed as being certified for that aspect of MBSS sampling protocols in a registry (see below) on the MBSS website and provided upon request.
MBSS Certification Documents