Phytoplankton Monitoring Network
Help us safeguard against harmful algal blooms and protect local ecosystems.
The Phytoplankton Monitoring Network was established as an outreach program for monitoring marine phytoplankton and harmful algal blooms (HABs).
Anyone can volunteer to sample local waters twice a month and identify phytoplankton that are found. Volunteers are an asset to the community through the knowledge gained and shared. They are the primary investigators for the local waters and community health.
Benefits include scientific sampling equipment given to participants to fulfill volunteer responsibilities. In addition to educational and community awareness benefits, volunteers are involved with research and have opportunities to collaborate with and tour NOAA labs and research vessels.
Volunteers are given an instructional training course that explains the program, introduces phytoplankton and explains their ecological importance. Volunteers view a plankton sample in order to develop and practice identification skills. After the initial training, all volunteers practice identification on their own, before scheduling and attending a second training event.