Texas Stream Team

Texas Stream Team (TST) is a joint collaboration of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and US Environmental Protection Agency. TST coordinates a network of partner organizations and trained volunteers, termed citizen scientists, to conduct water quality monitoring at assigned sites on their local lakes, rivers, streams, and estuaries across the state. Citizen scientists currently monitor 105 quality sites in the North Texas region.

The citizen scientist program seeks to increase public knowledge of water quality issues and non-point source pollution across the state through water quality monitoring, data collection and analysis, and related educational programs. The information collected by citizen scientists is submitted to a database containing 23 years of data on hundreds of sampling sites maintained by The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.

TST will continue to expand and strengthening their statewide citizen science network by working with partners and established groups; creating partner networks and citizen scientist groups; expanding the role of citizen scientists in Texas, and training the public, students, volunteers, and resource managers about water quality, non-point source pollution, and watersheds.

Become a Partner

Leadership Partners coordinate their own monitoring and education programs using the Texas Stream Team Program's standardized protocols and environmental education tools. A Leadership Partner may work with a network of Patron and Donor Partners to fully support its group. Texas Stream Team staff may assist Leadership Partners in writing grants to secure extra funding and loan out training materials whenever necessary. Leadership Partner is the typical role for Municipalities who wish to be part of the TST partnership program.

Educational Partners utilize Texas Stream Team's Education and Outreach materials and curriculum for purposes that may include the following.

  • Incorporating TST water quality monitoring as part of their educational activities
  • Utilizing TST/environmental educational curriculum, but not necessarily employing active water quality monitoring as part of their educational activities.

More information about educational opportunities with Texas Stream Team can be found here.

Patron Partners contribute funds as a one-time contribution or as on-going support to maintain program activities. These contributions may be provided to assist smaller groups, facilitate watershed monitoring efforts, or to fund general Texas Stream Team activities and support such as routine monitoring and training sessions, technical assistance, and education and outreach.

Supporting Partners contribute in-kind services to an existing network of partners and citizen scientists. These services might include laboratory services, data management resources, or organizational staff to provide field or training support.

Benefits of Partnership

  • Recognition on the Texas Stream Team website and social media 
  • Recognition at Texas Stream Team Regional and Statewide meetings 
  • Technical assistance in implementing citizen monitoring and education activities 
  • Outreach materials and NPS watershed model for distribution upon request 
  • Ability to extend professional monitoring resources by utilizing supplemental data 
  • USEPA-approved certification of partner and volunteer participants as Texas Stream Team Citizen Scientists, Instructors, Quality Assurance Officers 
  • Online dataviewer with analysis functions (2011) 
  • Customized data reports and datasets 
  • Provide technical staff training/technical assistance with water quality issues 
  • Support education and outreach activities – staff training, curriculum (develop and usage), events (travel reimbursement may be necessary) 
  • Professional networking opportunities 
  • Building stakeholder involvement through monitoring 
  • Watershed Protection Plan stakeholder recruitment and coordination 
  • Implementation of monitoring plans/water quality improvement plans 
    • Can include MS4, TMDL, WPP initiatives 
    • Supplemental water quality data 
  • Collaborative grant writing and fundraising 
  • Materials and content for customer/client/community outreach

Partner Support

To apply to be a partner, fill out the application form and send it by email to txstreamteam@txstate.edu or mail to:
Texas Stream Team
Ivey-Moore House – Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666

Partner planning assistance documents, training documents, field guides, and reporting forms can be found here.  If you have questions about becoming a partner or other partner support needs, please contact Michael Jones at mj1226@txstate.edu or call 512-245-1346.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Anyone with a desire to monitor water quality or learn more about the natural resources in Texas can be involved. Volunteers monitor a wide variety of habitats from rivers, creeks, ponds, and lakes to bays, bayous, and estuaries. Volunteers range from school age to senior citizens, from individuals to organized groups like Master Naturalists.

Texas Stream Team citizen scientists are certified by completing a three phase training course using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters of water.

Participation in the program includes these commitments:

  • one-year commitment to monitor at least one location,
  • monitor their site(s) monthly at approximately the same time of day each month. Monitoring takes approximately one to two hours.

In order to collect quality-assured data, citizen scientists are asked to attend two quality-control sessions in the first year and one session per year thereafter.

To become connected with your local partner, contact Texas Stream Team at txstreamteam@txstate.edu or (512) 245-1346.

Tested Parameters

Citizen scientists from each partner organization collect data on various water quality parameters to assist communities, government agencies, businesses and industries, and educational organizations in promoting informed natural resource management decisions.

  • Water and Air temperature
  • pH
  • Dissolved Oxygen
  • Total Dissolved Solids and Conductivity
  • Water Clarity
  • Field Observations

TST citizen scientists with advanced training can collect data on additional water quality parameters, such as:

  • E. Coli bacteria
  • Nitrate-Nitrogen
  • Orthophosphates
  • Water Turbidity
  • Streamflow calculations

TST's equipment information, including supplier options and prices can be found here. Each partner is responsible for maintaining the tools and chemicals in their monitoring kits.

Texas Stream Team Supplies and Equipment

Volunteers can submit their data to the Texas Stream Team program directly or through their designated TST Partner organization. All monitoring forms are reviewed upon entry to assure the data meets the requirements set by an approved Quality Assurance Protection Plan (QAPP).

All data that meet the requirements of the QAPP are sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) database to be used as a supplement to professionally collected data. The TCEQ uses of approved Texas Stream Team data include the following.

  • Comparison with water quality standards
  • Trend analyses
  • Identifying water quality conditions and concerns requiring TCEQ action
  • Use as baseline information in the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development process

All Texas Stream Team volunteer data are available to the public via the Dataviewer

Local Partners
Organization Location Name Email Phone
City of Dallas Dallas Christopher Morris christopher.morris@dallascityhall.com  214-948-4232
City of Denton Denton Matthew Hendrix Matthew.Hendrix@cityofdenton.com  940-349-8203
City of Fort Worth/Nature Center & Refuge Fort Worth Michael Perez Michael.Perez@fortworthtexas.gov  817-392-7414
City of Grand Prairie Grand Prairie Echo Rexroad ERexroad@gptx.org  972-237-8082
City of Grapevine Grapevine Betsy Marsh bmarsh@grapevinetexas.gov 817-410-3071
City of Irving Irving Amber Nelson anelson@cityofirving.org  972-721-4760
City of Plano Plano Carolyn Russell
Heather Firn
Aquatic Alliance Dallas Richard Grayson rhg500@gmail.com 214-733-4140
John Bunker Sands Wetland Center Seagoville John Defillipo jdefillipo@wetlandcenter.com  972-474-9100
Perot Museum Dallas Jessica Crowley Jessica.Crowley@perotmuseum.org  214-428-5555
Town of Flower Mound Flower Mound Matthew Green Matthew.Green@flower-mound.com  972-874-6354