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CPD004 Field Skills for Freshwater Quality Monitoring

Ended 17 Nov 2021

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Full course description

The course uses virtual fieldwork training to demonstrate and practice field sampling and monitoring techniques for freshwater quality monitoring and assessment. It comprises practical exercises for monitoring site selection, sample collection, field-based measurements (chemical and biological), field quality assurance, risk assessments and logistics.

The course is aimed at anyone working in the field of freshwater quality monitoring and assessment who wishes to improve their knowledge and skills in field sampling and measurement techniques. This course provides an opportunity for professional development to participants from around the globe, without the added expense of international travel.

Course contents:

  • Groundwater sampling and microbiological monitoring.
  • Measuring stream discharge, taking water samples, and making in situ measurements.
  •  Sampling site selection and interpreting water quality data: case study of the River Lee catchment (Ireland).
  • Sampling and determining water quality using biological monitoring.
  •  Physical and chemical monitoring (including aspects of Citizen Science).


Course details:

  • Course start/end date: 20th October until 9th November 2021.
  • Duration: 3 weeks.
  • Participants should expect to spend approximately 40 hours in online engagement and on field activities.
  • Online with live Q&A sessions (sessions will be recorded). Times depending on time zones of the participants
  • Participants that obtain 80% in the online tests will get a certificate of completion at the end of the course.
  • All participants are provided with a field sampling kit that is shipped in advance of the course once the fees are paid.
  • Spaces limited to 20 participants per intake. Waiting list available.



  • Reduced fees for UNEP GEMS/Water nominated students.
  • Fees: €400.


Course facilitators/Who delivers the course:

The course content has been designed by the UNEP GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre (CDC) staff and School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences (BEES) staff at University College Cork (UCC): Dr Timothy Sullivan (Director of the UNEP GEMS/Water CDC, UCC), Dr Deborah Chapman (Deputy Director of the UNEP GEMS/Water CDC, UCC), Dr Steve Hutton (Research Support Officer of the UNEP GEMS/Water CDC, UCC), Dr Simon Harrison (Lecturer in Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science at the School of BEES, UCC); Dr John Weatherill (Academic at the School of BEES, UCC, specialized in groundwater),  Luisa Andrade (PhD candidate in Environmental Science at the School of BEES, UCC); and additional staff from BEES as required.