Data and Research
Data and Research
Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP)
A QAPP outlines the procedures a monitoring project uses to ensure that all samples and data are of high enough quality to meet program standards. By adhering to these procedures, Texas Stream Team program personnel and citizen scientists ensure QAPP-approved data can be used for functions including educational purposes, research, best management practice (BMP) effectiveness, and any other uses deemed appropriate by resource managers and TCEQ.
Anyone who wants to learn more about the QAPP document can contact Texas Stream Team at TxStreamTeam@txstate.edu or by calling 512.245.1346.
QAO’s are certified citizen scientists who complete the Trainer Training process that qualifies them to conduct quality control sessions. Another means of becoming a QAO is to undergo training by a trainer or Texas Stream Staff as a QAO. The latter takes place on a case-by-case basis and dependent upon experience as a citizen scientist.
Citizen scientists are asked to attend one quality control (QC) session every two years. These sessions are led by a certified QAO and are designed to detect and correct discrepancies in monitoring technique or equipment accuracy.
If the QAO trainee is a certified Texas Stream Team trainer, Data Coordinator, or citizen scientist, the following QAO training standards will apply:
- Trainee must assist or coordinate a QC session with a certified QAO that includes each of the parameters specified in the trainees training packet
- Trainee must coordinate and lead a QC session assisted by a QAO that includes each of the parameters specified in the trainees training packet
- Trainee must demonstrate the ability to use and communicate the Data Quality Objectives Table with citizen scientists (for Core Data Quality Objectives, see section Data Quality Objectives in the Texas Stream Team Core Water Quality Citizen Scientist Manual)
Citizen scientist accuracy is determined at QC sessions by comparing the citizen scientist results to those of the QAO. Sampling results from monitoring conducted by citizen scientists and at QC sessions must fall within a range specified in the QAPP. This requirement is necessary to ensure the highest quality and comparability in the citizen scientist data statewide.
If results fall within the specified range, the data pass quality control and are submitted to the Texas Stream Team. If results do not fall within the specified range, the data are flagged and submitted to the Texas Stream Team for further review by staff. If the data are deemed to have not passed quality control after review by staff, they will remain flagged and will be excluded from data reports and EPA’s Water Quality Xchange database submissions.
Accuracy of long-term volunteer water monitoring data: A multiscale analysis from a statewide citizen science program
Kelly Hibbeler Albus, Ruthanne Thompson, Forrest Mitchell, James Kennedy, Alexandra G. Ponette-Gonzalez