Evaluating the Effectiveness of Volunteer Watershed Monitoring

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Environmental Policy And Management

Organizational Unit

University College, Environmental Policy and Management


Environmental Policy And Management

First Advisor

John Hill


Environmental monitoring, Spokane County, Environmental conditions, Volunteer, Conservation of natural resources, Washington (State), Watershed restoration, Monitoring


Funding for the growing number of environmental projects needed to maintain and improve the environmental quality of waters in the United States is in short supply. In two lake watersheds in Spokane County, Washington, volunteers routinely collect monitoring information and turn that information over to local resource managers for their use. The purpose of this research is to verify that the practice of using volunteers is consistent with this national cost-cutting trend, and to evaluate the effectiveness of volunteer monitoring at a local level. In Washington State a significant portion of the responsibility for conducting watershed studies has been shifted to local groups of volunteers who do field monitoring to supplement or take the place of paid government or paid contractors working on behalf of regulatory agencies. This approach was found to be consistent with state and local programs elsewhere in the United States. Trends indicate an overall improvement in both of these two lakes' water quality indicators.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

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