Maryland Biological Stream Survey

Maryland Biological Stream Survey Training & Certification

2021 COVID PANDEMIC UPDATE

2021 MBSS SUMMER TRAINING IS CANCELLED​

We are working to develop alternative plans to provide training and certification opportunities for individuals interested in obtaining certification in MBSS Fish Taxonomy, Fish Crew Leader, and/or Physical Habitat Assessment.

If you are not currently certified, but are interested
in obtaining these certifications this year, please fill out this SURVEY.

Due to safety concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID pandemic, everyone currently certified in MBSS Fish Taxonomy, Fish Crew Leader, and Physical Habitat Assessment will have their certification extended for an additional year.

For those of you that became certified in Fish Taxonomy as of 2019, your certification has been extended for another year (through 2021).

For those of you that became certified in Fish Crew Leader as of 2017 and have maintained your certification, your certification has been extended for another full year. If your Fish Crew Leader certification was set to expire in 2021, it will now expire in 2022.

For those of you that became certified in Physical Habitat Assessment in 2019 or 2020, your certification has been extended for an additional year.

Powerpoint presentations summarizing MBSS fish sampling protocols and physical habitat assessment, and other protocols from the 2019 MBSS Summer Training are available below. For those of you who are certified and planning to sample this summer, we recommend taking the time to review these before you hit the streams this June. We also recommend that you review the MBSS Sampling Manual prior to sampling: https://dnr.maryland.gov/streams/Publications/R4Manual.pdf

If you have questions about MSS training and certification or MBSS protocols, please contact either Jay Kilian (410) 260-8617; jay.kilian@maryland.gov or Scott Stranko (410) 260-8603 scott.stranko@maryland.gov. Stay safe and see you next year!

Presentations


MBSS Certifications

MBSS on site training session

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​ (formerly known as the North American Benthological Society) certification (not offered by the department) is 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 Society for Freshwater Science taxonomist 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 checks for 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.
  8. Due to the COVID pandemic, the terms of several certifications were extended, in some cases for an additional two years. Visit the MBSS registry at the link below for more details on COVID related changes to each certification.

MBSS Registry of Certifications

MBSS Certification Documents


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