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.

2020: 20/20 A CLEAR VISION FOR THE FUTURE

The 2020 Forum took place through a series of videos due to the cancellation of the in-person event. Take a look at the videos, project submissions, and forum winners.

2020 Forum Recap
2019: DATA DRIVEN PROBLEM SOLVING

The 2019 River Watch Forum will be held February 27 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND.

2019 Forum Recap
2018: RIVER WATCH IN ACTION!

The 2018 River Watch Forum was held February 7 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND. Look back at team video submissions and resources from the day.

2018 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

*Coming Soon*

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