This summer, we deployed aquatics field crew leader Nina Selvage and a crew including Kyle Callegari, Caitlin Forster, and Kelly Lawhead on 6 hitches to survey wadeable streams for the BLM's Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) program. If you didn't already know, the AIM program provides a standard "process for the BLM to collect quantitative information on the status, condition, trend, amount, location, and spatial pattern of resources on public lands."
Our aquatics crew surveyed sections of streams from 90 different sites, working in such magnificent places as Marion Creek, Seven Mile, Aniak, Galena, and Denali National Park. Within each stream section surveyed, they collected data on water quality, geomorphology, riparian habitat, and macroinvertebrate assemblages on customized tablets while hiking through some of Alaska’s most stunning scenery in hip waders. These data will be submitted to the national BLM Aquatic AIM database to help address management issues ranging from invasive species control to the effectiveness of land use plans.