Water Module   

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The NatureMapping Program's partners have developed methods and materials to conduct various forms of water quality and macroinvertebrate sampling. The NatureMapping Foundation will store macroinvertebrate data via Naturetracker software.

When The NatureMapping Program began the Wildlife Module, the "Gap 1040" (the minimum variables that observers needed to report in order to conduct analyses) were identified. This isn't true for water.

The NatureMapping Program has many partners who have ongoing monitoring programs and have created manuals. These are listed under the appropriate subject in the References Section. The materials listed below are also used in the Wildlife Module.


Topographic maps are important tools to locate and report monitoring sites. Maps using a scale of 1:24,000 (also called a 7.5 minute quad) are recommended. The U.S. Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) has maps for the entire nation.

A city street or land use map may be helpful, especially if your area is undergoing a lot of growth and the U.S.G.S. maps may be out-of-date. (You can check on the bottom of the map for the map preparation date.) Visit the County Assessor or your city Land Planning offices for a copy of their land use maps. These are visually the most up-to-date maps.


Cameras are very useful for long-term projects. Pictures of before, during, and after restoration projects are valuable for project assessment.

Field Notebooks

Field notebooks allow you to record detailed information when you are in the field. We can't remember everything. Referring to notes is a critical component of the scientific process. A sketch of the field site (or a photograph) is a handy way to remember your visit.

Field notebooks are important if a question arises after you return from the site. It is much better to have notes than try to guess. Data reported on the field notebooks can include wildlife sightings, plant and insect identification. If you decide to report wildlife observations in the future to The NatureMapping Program, you already have your notes.

Naturetracker is an electronic field notebook. It is useful for inventorying and monitoring sites. But, sometimes the best technology is simply a pencil and paper. What you use depends on what you are monitoring and the amount of detail needed.

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