Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Maryland Biological Stream Survey Training & Certification


2023 MBSS SPRING TRAINING – February 27 and 28

We are happy to announce that MBSS spring training will take place on February 27 - 28, 2023. This will be a hybrid event with a half day virtual training on February 27 consisting of presentations describing MBSS spring sampling protocols including benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and physical habitat assessment. This virtual training will be followed by a half-day, in-person field demonstration of those protocols on February 28. The field demonstration on February 28 will be held at Meadowbrook Park near Ellicott City, MD (https://goo.gl/maps/PfaAf3jHrjoyj5B86). In the event of inclement weather on February 28, the makeup day will be the following week on March 7.

To register for MBSS Spring Training, please click HERE. The deadline for spring training registration is February 13.

A spring training agenda and web access details will be sent to you via email prior to the training.


2023 MBSS SUMMER TRAINING

MBSS summer training plans are progressing but are not finalized. Summer training will occur in May 2023, either the week of May 22 - 26 or the week of May 30 - June 2 (pending venue availability). We will provide Fish Crew Leader, Fish Taxonomy, and Physical Habitat training and certification. We will also provide training and testing on the taxonomy of Maryland’s reptiles and amphibians, crayfishes, and freshwater mussels. We are planning for summer training to be in- person in 2023 but are still working out the details. Please check back to this website for updates.

If you have questions about MBSS training and certification or MBSS protocols, please contact either Jay Kilian (443) 504-4565 jay.kilian@maryland.gov or William Harbold (410) 271- 7216 william.harbold@maryland.gov.


Presentations


MBSS Certifications

People surveying a stream 


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.

Notes:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. To maintain an active certification in benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, persons must attend spring training each year for the three-year certification term.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 Registry of Certifications


MBSS Certification Documents