Betty Fetscher, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
So. Cal. Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)
Progress on Stream Algae Assessment Tool Development in Southern California
$25 for members, $30 for non-members, add $5 if reservation is not received by 5pm the Friday before. Walk-ins with no reservation will be asked to wait until those with reservations are seated.
Bioassessment is an important component of stream monitoring both in ambient assessment and compliance monitoring. While benthic macroinvertebrates (bugs) have been used throughout the State for many years, there is a need for additional bioindicators in order to provide weight of evidence, and to provide a broader perspective on attainment of aquatic life beneficial uses. Algae have been used extensively in bioassessment worldwide and can provide information about water quality complementary to what macroinvertebrates tell us. SCCWRP is heading up an effort to develop an index of biotic integrity (IBI) for southern California streams using diatoms and soft-bodied algae. Preliminary data reveal community-level responses of algae to broad anthropogenic stress, as well as specific responses to nutrients and other factors, thus showing promise for algae as a second bioindicator for use in our streams.
Betty Fetscher is a biologist with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) who specializes in stream ecology, botany, and the analysis of ecological data. She received a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. from UC San Diego. Dr. Fetscher directs SCCWRP's stream benthic algae research program and has been working with State agency personnel to develop the capacity for statewide stream bioassessment using algal indicators.