Biological Methods and Manual Development

EPA scientists conduct research to develop and evaluate analytical methods for the identification, enumeration and evaluation of aquatic organisms exposed to environmental stressors and to correlate exposures with effects on chemical and biological indicators. Environmental measurements are required to determine the quality of ambient waters and the character of environmental stressors. Environmental stressors can include chemical pollutants, microbes and pathogens, physical agents such as land use, and processes such as alteration of wildlife habitat.

EPA’s scientists prepare and update field and laboratory protocol and methods manuals for stream and source monitoring indicators: fish, macroinvertebrates, periphyton, zooplankton, functional ecosystem indicators, water and sediment toxicity, and fish tissue contaminants. They also provide technical assistance to regions and states on the implementation and interpretation of these manuals. The current manuals and protocols prepared by EPA’s scientists are listed below.

Field Methods

Toxicity and Contaminant Methods