The Upper Susquehanna Coalition has teamed up with the Environmental Resource Research Institute at Penn State to develop a suite of ArcView GIS-based environmental assessment tools for use by environmental professionals in the Upper Susquehanna watershed. The ArcView Stream & Environmental Assessment Monitoring System (AVStrEAMS) is a collaboration of many components which aid in providing an environmental assessment report pertaining to a particular stream segment and it's surrounding area. AVStrEAMS utilizes some of the most widely recognized environmental assessment protocols, both Federal and State, as well as some developed in-house for unique applications.

    AVStrEAMS uses either USGS Digital Topographic maps or Digital Aerial Photography as base maps. The user is given specially designed tools to create points or line segments on the base maps corresponding to the desired application. For example, the user can click on the base map to create a point for a stream monitoring site, or draw a box around a section of stream to delineate a badly eroded segment. The program creates the necessary GIS coverage, which then allows the user to open a digital data sheet (dialog) and record the observations. The observations are stored in the attribute table of the coverage for later compilation, queries, or maps. Click for a detailed overview.

    All assessment dialogs have fields that are automatically filled in based on where the user created the point or line segment, such as watershed, county, municipality, latitude and longitude coordinates, and stream names. Some dialogs automatically complete complex calculations once the data has been entered including various erosion estimates as well as weighted scores. Customized tools are included that allow the user to access the power of a GIS, features include button-driven map layouts and summation calculations by watersheds, towns, or user defined areas of interest. The application even has a specialized project manager which controls creating, opening, and saving projects. This suite has been developed to meet the needs of anyone interested in compiling and entering field data in an organized and geographically accurate fashion. Ultimately, the user does not need to have any experience or background with ArcView for them to utilize AVStrEAMS.

AVStrEAMS Project Components

The AVStrEAMS assessment forms are outlined and described below. Click on the thumbnail forms to view the examples. Some of the protocols involve multiple forms that would not fit in the space provided. Click to view a complete catalog of assessment forms. 9 Mb Word Document

 

 

Assessment Form Categories

Streambank Erosion

Stream Geomorphology

In-Stream Habitat Assessments

Macro-Invertebrate and Biological Assessments

Water Quality Assessments

Riparian Assessments

Wetland Assessments

Road Ditch and Roadbank Erosion

Agricultural Assessments

 

 


 

Streambank Erosion

 

NRCS Erosion Prediction Worksheet

United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). New York State Field Office Technical Guide. Section I - Erosion Prediction. (Available at NRCS county field office locations.) 52, 59-66p.

 

 

USC Stream Bank Assessment

Initial survey test form designed by Jim Curatolo & Mike Lovegreen, Upper Susquehanna Coalition.

Lovegreen, M. and J. Curatolo. 2000. A Riparian Buffer Evaluation and Stream Classification Form. Bradford County Conservation District files. Towanda, PA 2p.

 

NRCS Stream Visual Assessment Protocol

Newton, B., C. Pringle, and R. Bjorkland. 1998. Stream Visual Assessment Protocol. National Water and Climate Center Technical Note 99-1. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Washington D.C. 42p.

   

Stream Geomorphology

 

Stream Reconnaissance Handbook, Geomorphological Analysis of River Channels:

        Streambank and Floodplain Vegetation Description Field Form

        Region and Valley Description Form

        Stream Bank Survey

        Channel Description Form

        Channel Transition Form

 

Thorne C.R. 1998. Stream Reconnaissance Handbook, Geomorphological Investigations and Analysis of River Channels. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

 

Stream Channel Stability Assessment in Vicinity of Road Crossing

Rapid Assessment Method - Dr. Peggy Johnson - Pennsylvania State University

Johnson, P.A., Gleason, G., and Hey, R.D., 1999. Rapid assessment of channel stability in the vicinity of a road crossing. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, 125(6): 645-652.

 

 


 

In-Stream Habitat Assessments

 

Habitat Assessment: US EPA Rapid Bio-Assessment Protocols For Streams and Wadeable Rivers

        High-Gradient Streams

        Low-Gradient Streams

Barbour, M.T., J. Gerritsen, B.D. Snyder, and J.B. Stribling. 1999. Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadeable Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish, Second Edition. EPA 841-B-99-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Office of Water; Washington, D.C. 339p.

 

 

USFWS Barriers to Fish Movement Inventory: US Fish & Wildlife Service.

(Currently in development)

 


Macro-Invertebrate and Biological Assessments

Fish Assessment: US EPA Rapid Bio-Assessment Protocols (Fish Sampling)Barbour, M.T., J. Gerritsen, B.D. Snyder, and J.B. Stribling. 1999. Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Use in Streams and Wadeable Rivers: Periphyton, Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish, Second Edition. EPA 841-B-99-002. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Office of Water; Washington, D.C. 339p.Biosurvey Analysis: PA DEP & the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement Corps (Biosurvey Assessment)Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Field Manual compiled by The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement, and the Citizens' Volunteer Monitoring Program of the Department of Environmental Protection. Revised 5/7/01. (Available through the PaSEC state coordinator, Beth Grove, 2998 Cape Horn Rd, Red Lion, PA).

                                                                                                        

                                                                                               

    

Water Quality Assessments

 

Water Chemistry Analysis: Water Quality Monitoring Field Data Sheet

PA DEP & the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement Corps.

Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Field Manual compiled by The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, the Environmental Alliance for Senior Involvement, and the Citizens' Volunteer Monitoring Program of the Department of Environmental Protection. Revised 5/7/01. (Available through the PaSEC state coordinator, Beth Grove, 2998 Cape Horn Rd, Red Lion, PA).

 

Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Assessments

NYS Onsite Wastewater Treatment System Assessment: NYS DEC and NYS OWTS Workgroup.

Yearick, C.D., 2002. An ArcView GIS-based onsite wastewater treatment system assessment tool and protocol. To be submitted to NYS DEC OWTS Workgroup for final approval, 2003.

 

 

Road Salt Storage Facility & Use Assessment

NYS DEC and Upper Susquehanna Coalition.

(Currently in development)

 

 


 

Riparian Assessments

 

Riverkeeper Riparian Restoration Stream Visual Characteristic Assessment Form

Delaware Riverkeeper Association, Stream Visual Assessment Protocol, June 2000.

 

Riparian Area Assessment Analysis

Melissa Schnier - Pennsylvania State University

Schnier, M.D. and C.P. Ferreri. 2002. Assessment of Riparian Buffer ZonesTool Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. School of Forest Resources, The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA.

For more information, contact Melissa Schnier at mzs108@psu.edu.

Wetland Assessments

 

US ACOE Wetland Tracking and Information Documents: US Army Corps of Engineers.

        Existing Wetlands

        Wetland Creation

        Restoration and Creation Opportunity Identification.

United States Army Corps of Engineers, (US ACOE). 1997 A Wetland Screening Assessment for the Upper Susquehanna River Basin Reconnaissance Study. US ACOE Baltimore District Office. Baltimore, MD.

 

Vernal Pool Assessment

Vernal Pool Monitoring and Location Information Collection Program - The Vernal Pool Assessment Form

Yearick, C.D., Yearick, M.A., 2003. Upper Susquehanna Coalition Vernal Pool Assessment and Monitoring Protocol. Horseheads, NY 15p.

 

         

 

 


 

Road Ditch and Roadbank Erosion

 

Road Ditch and Roadbank Erosion Prediction Worksheet

Upper Susquehanna Coalition field assessment protocol based on NYS NRCS Field Office Tech Guide - Erosion Prediction Worksheet.

Yaun, M.A., 2002. Upper Susquehanna Coalition Road Ditch and Roadbank Inventory. Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District files. Horseheads, NY 8p.

 

United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS). New York State Field Office Technical Guide. Section I - Erosion Prediction. (Available at NRCS county field office locations.) 52, 59-66p.

 

 

Unpaved Road Evaluation

Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies / Pennsylvania State University.

Verified Sites Workgroup. 1999. Center For Dirt and Gravel Road Studies. Pennsylvania State University.

 

USC Road Culvert Assessment

Upper Susquehanna Coalition field assessment protocol based on Cornell Local Roads Program Roadway and Roadside Drainage.

Orr, D.P., P.E., 1998. Roadway and Roadside Drainage. Cornell Local Road Program, CLRP Report No. 98-5. updated June 2001. 88p.

(Currently in development)

 

 


 

Agricultural Assessments

 

Agricultural BMP Implementation Assessment

Upper Susquehanna Coalition Agricultural Best Management Practices Implementation Assessment Form.

Yearick, C.D., S.M. Wetherbee, and M.A. Yaun. 2002. An agricultural Best Management Practices implementation assessment for the Chesapeke Bay Program in the Upper Susquehanna River Basin. Chemung County Soil & Water Conservation District files. Horseheads, NY 10p.

 

 

For more information on current descriptions/definitions of Bay Program BMPs, refer to Appendix H: Chesapeake Bay Watershed Model Applications & Calculation Of Nutrient & Sediment Loadings - Tracking Best Management Practice Nutrient Reductions in the Chesapeake Bay Program at http://www.chesapeakebay.net/pubs/777.pdf

For more information contact Chris Yearick at cdy3@cornell.edu

 

 

Last Updated  7/14/04