2018 Volunteer of the Year
We are excited to announce our volunteer of the year - Janet Hancock!
Janet started volunteering with us this year and has been invaluable for our monitoring program in the Bear River Watershed. She has eagerly participated in several programs including HAB (Mantua and Wellsville Reservoirs), E. coli (Cache Valley) and photo point (along the Logan River) monitoring.
While identifying cyanobacteria in the microscope was initially challenging, Janet quickly got the hang of looking for the identifying features of the five target species with the support of Jen Maucher, NOAA's PMN Volunteer Coordinator.
Gabe Murray, the Bear River Watershed Coordinator uses the photo points Janet collected to assess pre and post project improvements along the Logan River.
Why did you decide to participate in UWW?
I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and was excited to find the HAB testing. I felt like it was an opportunity to get to use the environmental side of my degree (Environmental Photography). At the training I learned about the photopoint monitoring and E.coli opportunities so I volunteered for them as well.
What have you enjoyed most from your participation?
I love the chance to get outside and so some field work! Plus I enjoy getting to see the results in the lab.
What have you learned from your monitoring experiences this year?
I learned how to do the testing and about some of the conditions that lead to the HAB problems. I also learned a lot more about the dangers of the algae blooms.
Image above: Planktothrix, one of the less common target cyanobacteria. Janet found a small presence of Planktothrix this year in Wellsville Reservoir where she has been monitoring.