Equipment Needed

Chemical test kits sit near a stream ready for a Watershed Education program, Pennsylvania State Parks.The following is a list of equipment needed to properly perform data collection. You may want to purchase durable totes to store and transport equipment for each parameter. Don’t forget a copy of the WE lesson plan for each parameter.

Prevent the spread of invasives and extend the life of your gear

  • Use hot (140° F) water to clean your equipment
  • Spray equipment with a high-pressure washer. If hot water is not available, a commercial hot water car wash also makes an ideal location to wash your gear
  • Dry everything before entering new waters. Allow equipment to dry to the touch and then allow it to dry an additional 48 hours
  • Thick and dense material like life jackets and felt-soled wading gear will hold moisture longer, take longer to dry, and can be more difficult to clean

Equipment needed for physical parameters, stream walk, and mapping

  • Hip boots/waders (as many as needed)
  • Armored thermometer (Celsius)
  • Aluminum meter stick
  • 50-meter measuring tape
  • Wooden stakes
  • Compass
  • Hammer or mallet for driving stakes
  • Cord or string
  • Float (apple or orange or tennis ball)
  • Colored clothespins (optional)
  • Stopwatch (optional; may use smartphone)
  • Calculator (optional; may use smartphone)  
  • Plant and aquatic field guides
  • Copies of data sheets, stream walk papers, pencils and clipboards
  • Topographical map of stream and watershed
  • Higbee Stream Map of Pennsylvania

Teachers learn about the equipment used in a Watershed Education program, Pennsylvania State Parks.

Equipment needed for chemical parameters

  • Iron test kit
  • pH test kit
  • Dissolved oxygen test kit
  • Total Hardness test kit
  • Turbidity test kit
  • Nitrates test kit
  • Alkalinity test kit
  • Leak proof container for chemical wastes and a funnel
  • Distilled water
  • First Aid Kit and eye wash kit
  • Safety goggles
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Copies of chemical data sheets, clipboards and pencils

Equipment needed for biological parameters

  • 1 x 1 meter fine mesh kick net with poles
  • Handheld nets
  • Pans for macroinvertebrates (plastic or enamel - white)
  • Entomological forceps (featherweight) or small paintbrushes
  • Spray bottles
  • Magnifying bug boxes
  • White plastic ice cube trays for sorting macros
  • Laminated Macro ID keys & field guides
  • Copies of biological data sheets, clipboards and pencils


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