1. Using R for Graphical Analysis and Data Visualization
Facilitator: Lou Reynolds, EPA Region 3 ([email protected]
This class will be an introduction to the GGPLOT 2 graphing package in R. This package allows the user to get some unique looks at biological data offering everything from xy plots to faceted geometric boxplots, all designed to help better explore datasets. It can also produce beautiful presentation quality graphics. The real power though, comes in being able to automate plot making, saving time when making and remaking the same plots over and over again. This course assumes a beginner to intermediate knowledge of R. I will supply you with code to make graphs and explore data. I will not spend much time on basics like reading data into R. I will give you code that does it and I will walk you through how to change that code to work for you. For advanced R users, only come to this class if you are a GGPLOT2 novice. I will give anyone at the meeting all the code and resources you could ever want to use GGPLOT2. If you are already R savvy and prefer R commander or prefer using no front end, that is fine. If you are trying to figure out if this is for you, visit: ggplot2.org and if you want to learn a bit about R, check out http://www.statmethods.net/
Bring a laptop loaded with a current version of R. Also download and install RStudio. Both R and R Studio are free and can be found using a search engine.
(Limit: 20 Participants)2. Continuous Instream Monitoring
Facilitators: Michael Lookenbill, ([email protected]
) , Dustin Shull, ([email protected]
) - PaDEP; Jeff Chaplin ([email protected]
) USGS-PA Science Center
Continuous Instream Monitors or data sondes have become widely used to characterize surface water quality by State and Federal agencies, as well as industry and consultants. Over the past couple of years the technology of these instruments has evolved, and the ability to apply effective quality assurance and quality control measurers has also increased. The Continuous Instream Monitoring Workshop focuses on the application of different types of equipment and at least one example of an applied protocol adopted from USGS and modified by PA DEP to fit the agencies particular needs. The workshop will hit on the basics of deployment, equipment and data maintenance, reporting, and lessons learned.
Participants are welcome to bring an instream monitor/data recorder, share QA troubleshooting issues, deployment problems, and other sonde operating questions.3. Water Quality Standards 101: a Mini-WQS Academy
Facilitators: Tom Gardner, [email protected]
EPA HQ; Mark Barath, [email protected]
EPA Region 3 Water Quality Program
Folks: Still uncertain about the finer points of Water Quality Standards and a little uncomfortable about asking someone? Don’t fret! This workshop is intended to tie up those loose ends you may have with regards to your WQS knowledge. Serving as a refresher for the more tenured biologist and an introductory presentation for the newbie, the workshop will cover topics such as: “Waters” of the US; Designated Uses; Antideg; TMDL; Biocriteria; Endangered Species Act; Aquatic Life, Human Health, N&P and Bacteria Criteria; Monitoring; and NPDES. Newer State WQ program staff are encouraged to attend. 4. Wetland and Riparian Invasive Plants: Impacts, Identification, and Control
Facilitators: Whitney Bailey, WVU Environmental Research Center/WV DNR, [email protected]
; Paul J. Harmon, WV DNR, [email protected]
Non-native invasive species can significantly disrupt ecosystem functionality by decreasing biodiversity, altering community composition, and increasing structural homogeneity. It is important to document occurrences of the most common and harmful invasives so that existing populations can be managed appropriately and new ones controlled or eradicated before they cause significant harm. This presentation will give participants an overview of non-native invasive plant species that they are likely to encounter in riparian and wetland areas in the Mid-Atlantic, with a particular focus on species found in or near West Virginia. Extensive visuals will be supplemented with herbarium specimens and handouts.
A hand lens is recommended but not essential. 5. Identification and Taxonomy of Mussels
Facilitators: Dr. Art Bogan; North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences, ([email protected]
) Rick Spear; Pa-DEP ([email protected]
The aquatic molluscan fauna of North America, north of Mexico, was historically the most diverse molluscan fauna in the world. Today, freshwater mussels (Family: Unionidae) are ranked among the most imperiled fauna group worldwide, and have been identified as the most imperiled fauna group in North America. This dramatic decline can be linked to habitat alterations, loss of host fish species, and increased siltation resulting from past dam construction along major rivers. Currently, poor land use practices, urban development, and a spectrum of domestic, industrial, and agricultural pollution have disrupted the physical and chemical properties of freshwater systems, reduced habitat quality and quantity, and accelerated the decline of freshwater mussels throughout North America.
The first portion of the workshop will examine the conservation issues facing freshwater mussels, from a worldwide and EPA Region 3 perspective, and will discuss the biology, life history, and distribution of freshwater mussels. The second will focus on taxonomic identification, providing methods as well as some examples of freshwater mussels found throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, DC, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring their own freshwater mussel keys or resource materials. Selections from keys and other handouts will be distributed. Participants may also elect to bring their own voucher specimens.
Participants should bring their own hand lenses.
(Limit: 25 participants)6. Conservation, Ecology and Identification of Mid-Atlantic Crayfishes
Facilitators: Zachary Loughman, Ph.D., West Liberty University ([email protected]
There are more than 350 species of crayfish in North America with around ½ currently threatened with population decline or extinction. This workshop will review crayfish biology, distribution, and ecology specific to the Mid-Atlantic region. Focus will be placed on the major anatomical characteristics used to differentiate crayfish species and key concept associated with their taxonomy. Special attention will be made to learn how to differentiate between non-native and native species and discuss the history and potential future for crayfishes in the in the Mid-Atlantic region. Identification keys will be provided and attendees will have the opportunity to key out live and preserved specimens of regional crayfish species.
Although some microscopes may be available for use, participants may wish to bring their own scope, illuminating system, extension cords and power strips. Bringing your own hand lens would be suitable.
(Limit: 25 Participants)7. Taxonomy of Mayfly Nymphs: Beyond the 4th Edition!
Facilitator: Dr. Steve Burian, Southern Connecticut University ([email protected]
Since the publication of the mayfly chapter in the 4th edition of M-C-B there have been several new taxonomic studies that have required adjustments to the keys presented at that time. This workshop will focus on updates to the mayfly chapter specifically with regard to the immature, or nymphal, stage; it will provide an overview of recent changes; information on difficult to interpret characters – specifically high lighting problems in genera of the Baetidae, Heptageniidae, Ephemerellidae, and Leptophlebiidae; and assist participants in identifying (or verifying) genera they find problematic. Although the genus-level of determination will be the primary focus of the workshop, some information on species or species-groups may be presented were possible.Attendees: Yeah, just like you were in college lab but with no university supplied equipment - Please bring:
a stereo microscope; illumination source (Limited power strips will be available but you are encouraged to bring one to share);If possible, a copy of at least the mayfly chapter from the 4th edition of M-C-B : additional materials/notes will be provided, but you need the full chapter to work from; 2 small petri dishes or Syracuse-style watch glasses; 2 pairs of watch makers (or fine tip) forceps; 1 or 2 small pin probes (e.g. #3 stainless steel insect pins); 1 pair of flat feather touch forceps for moving specimens in and out of vials; 1 small inexpensive detail water color paint brush. Optional materials: label paper, waterproof pen or soft-lead pencil, extra vials, and a few paper towels.
(Limit: 20 participants)