Trainer FAQs

  • How do I post my upcoming workshop on the AAS calendar?

    Send the workshop information to the State Office to be placed on the Adopt-A-Stream Workshop Calendar. This helps others find your workshop and ensures the State Office knows what is going on around the state!

    1. Gather all of the details for the workshop. Be sure to include the following:
      1. Workshop title including location and type of workshop (ex: Macon Chemical Monitoring Workshop)
      2. Date(s) and time(s) of the workshop
      3. Location, address, and any needed directions
      4. Description of the workshop (you can use the text on the Workshop Descriptions page), whether it will include new certifications as well as recertifications, and anything else that would be helpful for the volunteer to know in advance (any costs, to bring boots or lunch, etc.)
      5. Instructions on how to RSVP and contact information
    2. Send all workshop details by email to [email protected].
  • What do I need to do after conducting a workshop?
    1. Enter workshop data into the database (see "How do I enter participants and certifications into the database?")
    2. Follow up with the participants by email and notify them if they have passed or need to try again. Include where they can view their certificate. A follow up email template is available on the Trainer Resources page of the AAS website.
    3. If participants would like printed certificates, hover over “Data Entry” and click on “Certificates and Letters.” Find and click your workshop in the workshop list. Click on the “Certificates” button. Certificates can be printed from this page or you can email the State office with your request.
  • How do I enter participants and certifications into the database?
    1. Enter workshop data at
      1. Sign in using your username and password.
      2. Using your sign in sheet, first look up your workshop participants to see if they are already in the AAS database. Do not enter workshop data before you've checked, because adding a new contact will wipe out any workshop data you've entered!
        1. To add a contact, go to "People" under the "Citizen Monitoring" tab, click “New Contact” and input their contact information and newsletter preference indicated on the sign in sheet from your workshop. Click Save.
        2. Note: If the volunteer is under 18, DO NOT enter a home address, only an e-mail address.
      3. Hover over “Data Entry” and then click “Enter Workshop Data”.
      4. Record the names of all the trainers that helped with your workshop and choose the type, location and date of your workshop. If needed, adjust the length of your workshop to reflect the time spent.
      5. Click Save.
    2. To enter workshops with multiple certifications but the same participants and trainers:
      1. Enter all the information for the first certification. (For example, Chemical QA/QC.)
      2. Click Save.
      3. Select the other certification type. (For example, Macroinvertebrate QA/QC.) Update ‘Passed’ column for individuals, if necessary. 
      4. Click Save.

    *If there are edits that need to be made to your submitted workshop information, you can access and edit all of your entered workshops by going to ‘Trainer Workshop History’ under ‘Data Entry.’  Please contact the State office with any questions.

  • I want to teach a workshop, but no one has requested one...

    The best way to get people attend your workshop is to proactively recruit new volunteers: set a date, reserve a location and, publicize the workshop. Whether you have 5 or 25 participants, you are fulfilling one of the Adopt-A-Stream goals of increasing public awareness. Additionally, email us at [email protected] to have your event posted on the Adopt-A-Stream website Workshop Calendar. We can also assist you in setting up a workshop through lending equipment and workshop materials.

  • How do I get through all of this information in the time allotted?
    • Outline, Outline, Outline.  Stick to your outline.
    • Use the AAS PowerPoint Presentations. They can all be found on the Trainer Resources page of the Adopt-A-Stream website.
    • Remember that you can’t teach them everything. Remind them (and yourself) that this is just the beginning of a long learning process.
    • To better acclimate potential volunteers and not overwhelm them, you may want to offer a “Getting Started” or introductory presentation and a monitoring specific workshop on different days.
  • There is so much information to teach! How do I remember it all?
    • Start with the basics (see outlines in the Download this pdf file. Train the Trainer manual ).
    • Create a detailed outline and stick to it.
    • Print out copies of the presentation to be given to your participants.
    • Use tools such as the video, presentations, the manuals, maps and written directions for the chemical monitoring tests.
  • I know the science, but don’t feel comfortable leading a whole workshop. What can I do?

    Some other trainers are good speakers, but don’t feel as comfortable with the science. It can be very helpful and a great learning experience to team up with another trainer that may have different strengths than your own. Again, use props and vary your teaching methods. A good goal is to convey the information with the least amount of talking. Handouts, small group activities, and hands-on activities all work well. 

  • How do I keep it interesting and fun for the entire workshop?

    The more props, hands-on activities, and variety in speaking voices (more than one trainer, or you can just act like two or three different people – that should make it interesting) that you can provide, the better the workshop will be. Try to get out to the stream quickly. Anything you can demonstrate at the stream, don’t demonstrate in the classroom!