Online Certification

Register for Training

Welcome to the online Save Our Streams certification program! The first step is to register for your virtual classroom trainings. Be sure to register for both workshops!

Introduction to Water Quality

  • In this session, you'll learn about the Save Our Streams program and how your data will be used at the local, state, and federal level. We'll discuss the various water quality threats our streams are facing across the country and how monitoring can help us protect and advocate for America's waterways.
  • October 7, 7-8 p.m.
  • October 9, 1-2 p.m.

Introduction to Macroinvertebrates

  • In this session, you'll meet the stream critters we collect and identify in the Save Our Streams program. You'll learn the life history of each bug, what they can tell us about water quality, and how to identify them!
  • October 6, 1-2 p.m.
  • October 8, 7-8 p.m.

Online workshops are listed in Eastern time.

Start Your Training

Welcome to the online Save Our Streams certification program! We are thrilled to offer the opportunity for you to start the certification process from home. Follow these easy steps to complete the online portion of the certification!

  1. Watch the three webinars below – Introduction to Water Quality, Introduction to Macroinvertebrates and your region's Field Training Introduction.

  2. Fill out the Online Certification Registration Form to get access to the exam required to complete the online portion.

  3. Pass the online exam and earn your Online SOS Certificate!

After passing this exam, you will be ready for the field training session*, where you will learn the Save Our Streams data collection protocol. After that, you will complete your certification with a protocol exam. Participants who have completed the online certification portion will be contacted with training dates in their region.


*Due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions, we cannot confirm dates for the field days at this time, but we expect to begin hosting field days this season. In addition, at this time we will only be able to offer field days in states and regions with active staff and volunteer trainer presence. As such, we expect field days to be offered in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest.


FAQs for Online Certification

How do I take the Macroinvertebrate Exam?

Once you have attended both webinars and completed the registration form, you will receive the macroinvertebrate exam via email. Please reach out to our team if you do not receive exam instructions within 3 business days.


How long will it take to complete the online certification portion?

How much time the online portion takes varies from person to person, but we recommend starting the process at least 2 weeks before your scheduled field session. This allows you enough time to retake the exam as many times as you need and gives our staff enough time to process your certificate.


What if I don’t pass the exam?

Not a problem! SOS staff will follow up with you to review your answers. You will then be allowed to re-take the exam. There is no limit on how many times you can take the exam!


What if I don’t live in a state where field training will be offered?

We hope we'll make it to your state when it's possible to travel again – and we hope you'll join us then. In the meantime, chemical monitoring and macroinvertebrate monitoring with the Creek Critters app are great ways to collect data about water quality – and you can get started without any training.


I’m interested in water quality but don’t want to get certified. Can I still take these classes?

Of course! These classes are free and open to the public.


Introduction to Water Quality

Learn about water quality in the United States, threats to water quality, and why monitoring matters!



Introduction to Macroinvertebrates

Meet and learn to identify the critters we use to assess water quality!




Prepare for Your Field Training

Before attending your in-person field trainings, please take a few minutes to orient yourself with an introductory video.

The Save Our Streams certification program is somewhat different depending on what region you plan to monitor. Where will you be? If you live in the Mid-Atlantic area, use the map to check whether you're in the Chesapeake Bay region. (Remember to check based on your planned monitoring sites, which may be across the border from where you live.)

Once you have completed viewing these three videos, please fill out the Online Save Our Streams Certification Registration Form to access the next steps of the certification process.

Save Our Streams is a registered trademark of the Izaak Walton League of America.