Field Methods

Wetland safety (1:58) 20.3MB
How to Collect Macroinvertebrate Sample 2.8MB
How to conduct a vegetation sample 1.2MB
Plant Field Training.pdf 3.8MB
Invertebrate Monitoring field training.pdf 9.3MB

Macroinvertebrate Survey

A Citizen's Guide to Biological Assessment of Wetlands - The Macroinvertebrate Index of Biological Integrity (IBI), updated 2021 3.8MB
Setting a bottle trap (2:16) 23.1MB
Retrieving a bottle trap (2:08) 20.8MB
Collecting a dip net sample (2:36) 26.5MB

Vegetation Survey

2015 Citizen's Guide to the Biological Assessment of Wetlands - The Vegetation Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) 8.1MB
Selecting the vegetation survey area (1:45) 17.3MB
Establishing the survey plot (1:43) 17.8MB
Plant inventory (2:58) 31.3MB
Video script: Safety, Setting a bottletrap, Retrieving a bottle trap, Collecting a dipnet sample, Selecting the vegetation survey area, Establishing the vegetation sample plot (releve), Plant inventory 283.6KB

Macroinvertebrate Identification

Sample processing in the lab (pdf) 1.1MB
Snail identification (pdf) 1.8MB
Beetle and bug identification (pdf) 1.0MB
Dragonflies and Damselflies (pdf) 21.7MB
Leeches (pdf) 879.9KB
Diptera and other inverts (pdf) 2.1MB

External link opens in new tab or windowAquatic Insect Interactive Verification Program, Chironomidae Research Group, University of Minnesota

Vegetation Identification

Vegetation Identification (pdf) 5.6MB
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Early Detection 1.0MB
Vegetation Identification Overview (pdf) 2.4MB
Vegetation metric example (pdf) 151.7KB

External link opens in new tab or windowYouTube - search plant identification videos

External link opens in new tab or windowPlant Identification app - University of Minnesota

Invasive Plant Species

If prohibited/eradicated list species are spotted in counties other than Ramsey, volunteers should report them to the MN Department of Agriculture's Arrest the Pest Hotline (651-201-6684) or External link opens in new tab or If it is found on city property, call the city; likewise for county properties or those owned by watershed districts.


  • Equipment checklist
  • Site information/sketch
  • Releve datasheet (veg)
  • Metric scoring sheet(veg)


  • Gernes, M. and J. Helgen.  2002.  Indexes of Biological Integrity for Large Depressional Wetlands.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  St. Paul, MN.

Macroinvertebrate Guides

  • Bouchard, R.W. Jr.  2004.  Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest- Identification Manual for Students, Citizen Monitors, and Aquatic Resource Professionals.  University of Minnesota.  St. Paul, MN.
  • Burne, M. and L. Kennedy.  May 2001.  A Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools.  Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.  Westborough, MA.
  • Hilsenhoff, W.L.  1995.  Aquatic Insects of Wisconsin.  Publication Number 3 of the Natural Museums Council.  University of Wisconsin-Madison.  79 pp.
  • McCafferty, W. P. with Illustration by Arwin Provonsha.  1998.  Aquatic Entomology.  Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.  Sudbury, MA.
  • Merritt, R.W. and K.W. Cummins.  1996.  An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America, 3rd Edition.  Kendall/Hunt Publishing.  Dubuque, Iowa.  862 pp. 

Vegetation Guides
  • Bourdaghs, M. and M. Gernes.  2005.  A Citizen's Guide to Biological Assessment of Wetlands-The Vegetation Index of Biological Integrity.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  St. Paul, MN.
  • Borman, S., R. Korth, and J. Temte.  1997.  Through the Looking Glass-A Field Guide to Aquatic Plants.  Wisconsin Lake Partnership, University of Wisconsin-Extension.  Stevens Point, WI.
  • Chadde, S.W. 2002.  A Great Lakes Wetland Flora. Second Edition Pocketflora Press.  Calumet, MI.
  • Eggers, S.D. and D.M. Reed.  1997.  Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District.  St. Paul, MN.
  • Fink, D.F.  1997.  A Guide to Aquatic Plants-Identification and Management.  Ecologicals Services, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  St. Paul, MN.
  • Newcomb, L.  1977.  Newcomb's Wildflower Guide.  Little, Brown and Co.  New York, NY.
  • USDA, NRCS.  2004.  The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5  (External link opens in new tab or window  National Plant Data Center.  Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Wisconsin State Herbarium.  2004  WISFLORA-Wisconsin Vascular Plant Species (External link opens in new tab or window  University of Wisconsin.  Madison, WI.