River Watch

River Watch enhances watershed understanding and awareness for tomorrow’s decision-making through direct hands-on, field-based experiential watershed science.  Schools throughout the Red River of the North Basin participate in a variety of unique and innovative watershed engagement opportunities suited to their school, community, and watershed needs. 

Schools participate in:
Water Quality Monitoring
Annual River Watch Forum
Macroinvertebrate Monitoring
River Explorers


Water Quality Monitoring

Students collect and record conditions at local rivers and streams using state-of-the-art scientific methods and equipment.

ROUTINE SAMPLING

River Watch Teams visit assigned monitoring sites several times a year and then submit their data into our database. Explore data across years and sites at river.watch.

River Watch Database
CONTINUOUS MONITORING

IWI utilizes continuous monitoring stations designed by Stroud Research Center to collect data every five minutes. Explore sites and data at monitormywatershed.org.

Monitor My Watershed
ANNUAL TRAINING

IWI and MPCA host an annual training to ensure a high standard of data quality in the Red River Basin.

Training Materials

Annual River Watch Forum

The annual River Watch Forum brings teachers, students, and natural resource professionals together to present, learn, and engage on water resource topics.
The first River Watch Forum took place in 1995 and has grown from several small local gatherings into a major annual event with over 300 attendees.

2024 RIVER WATCH FORUM ASSIGNMENT RESOURCES

The 2024 River Watch Forum will be held on February 28th at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Students are tasked with completing a sampling information binder for their school, a community River Watch Calendar, and a podcast on a subject related to water in their community.

Assignment SheetCalendar TemplateFall Kickoff PowerpointPoster CriteriaJudging RubricPoster TemplateT-shirt Design Form
2023: OUTSTANDING IN YOUR FIELD…SCIENCE!

The 2023 Forum was held on March 1st, 2023 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Teams were asked to analyze and report on data collected from sampling sites in the subwatershed. At the Forum, they presented their findings in front of a live judging panel!

2023 Forum Recap
2021: JUST AROUND THE RIVER BEND

The 2021 River Watch Forum was held virtually through a series of challenges completed by each team. Check out the challenges and winners below!

2021 Forum Recap
2022: TOGETHER AGAIN; YOUR WATERSHED, YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR FORUM

The 2022 Forumw as held on March 30th, 2022 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. River Watch teams were tasked with planning, marketing, and executing their very own River Watch Event!

2022 Forum Recap
PAST FORUM ARCHIVE

Access posters and videos submitted by our schools from 2012 to present.

Forum Archive

Macroinvertebrate Sampling

Macroinvertebrate sampling allows scientists to connect water quality to in-stream biological health. Certain species of river bugs (macroinvertebrates) are only able to survive in unpolluted systems. Their presence or absence can indicate whether or not a waterbody is healty. Oh, and it is also a fun, hands-on experience for all!

IBI SCORING INDEX

Scoring indices help estimate the quality of water – below is one example of an IBI Index.

Index
VIRTUAL MACROS

Learn more about macros and put your knowledge to the test with this virtual activity.

Macro Virtual Activity

River Explorers

An opportunity for River Watch teams to kayak local streams, allowing a unique persepective of watershed health, recreation, and wildlife.

STORY MAPS

Following the completion of a River Explorers Paddling Trip, students and staff work together to compile photos and observations to create a map.

Story Maps