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(In-Person) BioU: Freshwater Macroinvertebrates

July 18, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - July 19, 2020 @ 5:00 PM


Biodiversity University: Freshwater Macroinvertebrates
Instructors: Declan McCabe
July 11 – 12 | $265
Course size: 10 students

In this course we will explore the major invertebrate groups found in freshwater habitats. We will cover the ecology and differences between aquatic habitats. This is a hands-on course that will include instruction in a range of field sampling techniques and sample processing. Using preserved samples, and samples collected during the course, we will cover all of the major taxonomic groups of aquatic invertebrates to the family level, and pursue a subset to the genus level.

Lab work will include microscopy and identification using a range of resources.  By the end of this course you should be familiar with the common macroinvertebrate orders at a glance, and have the taxonomic tools at your fingertips to identify whatever you may encounter.

Course Goals and Course Objectives

  • Learn where and how to sample and collect freshwater macroinvertebrates.
  • Become familiar with the equipment used to collect and identify aquatic organisms.
  • Learn the laboratory skills used to explore the wonderful world of aquatic macroinvertebrates.

About the Instructor(s)

Declan McCabe is a professor of biology at Saint Michael’s College where he has worked since 2001. Declan is a community ecologist specializing on freshwater macroinvertebrates. Recent research topics he has addressed include interactions between zebra mussels and the benthic fauna of Lake Champlain, effects of caddisfly aggregations on stream macroinvertebrate communities, and how river sampling approaches change the answers to scientific questions.

His lab group has focused on biomonitoring and experimental manipulations in Vermont streams as part of the Vermont EPSCoR Streams Project since 2008. Declan hosts a BREE (Basin Resilience to Extreme Events) water quality lab, where he supports watershed sampling for Vermont EPSCoR’s high school outreach program.

The working title of Declan’s upcoming book is “A Freshwater Bestiary.”



July 18, 2020 @ 9:00 AM
July 19, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
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North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602