Protocols for the Analysis of Algal Samples Collected as Part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program

Edited by Donald F. Charles, Candia Knowles, and Robin S. Davis

[Patrick Center for Environmental Research, Report No. 02-06]

These protocols describe procedures for laboratory analysis of algae samples collected by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA) ( nawqa/). They are used by staff in the Phycology Section (PS) of the Patrick Center for Environmental Research (PCER) at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (ANSP), and subcontractors. Nearly all procedures have been in use since 1998, and many since 1995 when ANSP began analyzing NAWQA samples. They cover all steps in analysis, from receipt and log-in of samples at ANSP, to final transmission of data to NAWQA.

Algal samples are analyzed as part of a Cooperative Agreement between ANSP and the USGS. The overall objective of research performed under this agreement is to evaluate water quality using data on algae samples collected from rivers throughout the U.S. Roles of the ANSP include analysis of samples, ecological synthesis of data at the national scale, and development of new approaches for using algae as water quality indicators. This cooperative research effort is intended to benefit the public through the availability of a national database of algal data, and the publication of USGS reports and scientific journal articles.