Dakota County is looking for people who are eager to pull on a pair of waders and jump into monitoring the health of the community wetlands through the Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP).
Volunteers will work with a community-based team to monitor and collect information — such as data on plants and macroinvertebrates — that is used by cities to study health trends in order to better manage wetlands and surrounding natural resource areas. Previous monitoring experience or science background is not necessary to take part.
WHEP volunteers will receive training in field methods, macroinvertebrate collection and identification, and plant survey techniques and identification. Volunteers are grouped into teams by city, and each team will take samples from 3–5 wetlands between June and August. Wetland monitoring teams will be formed in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Dakota County Parks, Eagan, Farmington, Hastings, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount, South St. Paul and West St. Paul.
Volunteers typically commit 10–20 hours of their time, which includes training, field work and lab analysis. The County provides all of the training, equipment and leadership.
Volunteer registration will be accepted through May 15.
To sign up, go to the Volunteer page. Once on the volunteer website, click to sign up with Environmental Resources and create a new account.
To learn more information, visit www.mnwhep.org or call the Dakota County Environmental Resources Department at 952-891-7000.