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2024 Aquatic Insect Ecology Workshop

Aquatic Insect Ecology for Environmental Professionals - Level 2
Michael Baker Intl and Penrose Environmental
May 13 - 16, 2024

About the Level 2 Workshop

Aquatic insects (Benthic Macroinvertebrates) play key roles in many regulatory water quality programs in North Carolina and the Southeast. These insects have been used by regulatory agencies to assess water pollution and trends in stream health since the mid-70’s. Many metrics have been developed to make the use of these data effective and understandable to non-biologists. Benthic insects are proposed as tools for the determination of stream restoration effectiveness and project prioritization by regulatory agencies. Despite the value of this group of organisms in regulatory programs, very little is generally known about these insects as valuable regulatory tools. This workshop series will introduce participants to the ecology and taxonomy of aquatic insects.


Level 2 Workshop is Geared to Environmental Professionals

  • Local, State and Federal Aquatic Ecologists; Interagency Review Teams

  • Biologists with Environmental Consulting Firms

  • Faculty and Students with Aquatic Emphasis

  • Managers with Citizen Science Programs

Venue and Lodging for the Level 2 Workshop

The Level 2 Workshop will take place at the Laurel Community Center in Shelton Laurel, NC (4100 NC 212 Hwy Marshall, NC 28753). Field trips we be to local streams, including Outstanding Resources Waterway, the Laurel River. Hot Springs is the closest town and has many options for overnight lodging and dining. It is best to reserve rentals early as they do get booked quickly. For travel and visitor information visit 

Workshop Schedule

The Level 2 Workshop is primarily a field and laboratory exercise; however, we intend also to have several presentations each day. We will have copies of the Morse 1 taxonomic key available for purchase at the workshop for $40. We also recommend that participants are familiar with the Standard Operating Procedures of the NC Division of Water Resources 2.

Registration Information


o Regular Fee - $800
o Government/Non-Profit Fee - $600
o Book Purchase – Clemson University Public Service Publishing - $40 (optional)

o If you are interested in pursuing SFS Taxonomic Certification, please indicate so on the enrollment form.

   Workshop participation will be limited to 20 people.

Payment Instructions

Online payments will be made through the Laurel Community Center's PayPal. If payment by check is preferred, please make it out to Laurel Community Center and mail to: 

Laurel Community Center at 4100 NC 212 Hwy Marshall, NC 28753 

Please make sure to include your name with your payment whether online or  via check.

*Payments made online include the coverage of additional fees. Make sure that you check the first box below your cover the PayPal fees associated with your transaction.  an additional $25 transaction fee. You MUST enter the amount of either $825 or $625 when making your online payment. (No PayPal account is needed.)


You MUST complete the registration form AND pay to be enrolled in the class. If you have issues with either, please call or email Cheoah Landis at the Laurel Community Center for assistance with enrolling.   

(828) 656-3633

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation requests should be emailed to the and CC to All cancellation request must be submitted at least twenty-one (21) days before the date of the workshop to receive a full refund. Cancellation requests made between twenty-one (21) and seven (7) days before the date of the workshop will receive a full refund minus a $50.00 administrative processing fee. Any cancellation requests made within seven (7) days of the workshop will be ineligible for refund. Attendee substitutions from within the same company may be made at any time at no cost. Please send an email requesting a substitution.

Payment will be refunded in the form of check. Please make sure and include who the refund check should be made out to when requesting a cancellation.

Severe Weather Cancellation and Refund Policy

In the event of severe weather, this workshop may be postponed or cancelled at the discretion of the workshop instructors. If the workshop if postponed, you may receive a refund if you are unable to attend the newly scheduled date, time, and location. Please email the and CC to if you are unable to attend the rescheduled workshop. If the workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund. If the workshop is postponed or cancelled, the workshop instructors and staff are not responsible for participants not meeting their PDHs or CEUs requirements with their various professional licensing boards.

What to Bring

We will provide the necessary field gear to collect aquatic insects using the protocols
developed by the NC Division of Water Resources. Our instructors can also demonstrate
collecting protocols from other State regulatory agencies as needed and/or field
identification of most aquatic insects to genus.
o Hip Waders
o Raingear
o Bug spray and sunscreen
o Water and snacks
o Magnifiers and cameras


Jason York

Jason is an Environmental Scientist for Michael Baker Intl. (MBI) in Asheville, NC where he oversees MBI’s NC Certified Laboratory for Population Studies of Benthic Macroinvertebrates. His work is focused on pre and post construction biological monitoring of streams using aquatic insects as indicators of water quality. Jason has completed several large contracts throughout the mid- Atlantic region with MBI and Penrose Environmental Consulting assessing water quality using aquatic insects. He is a certified taxonomist for Eastern Mayflies, Stoneflies, Caddisflies, North American Chironomids, and General Eastern Arthropods through the Society for Freshwater Science of which he is also a member. Jason has lived in Madison County, NC since 2006 where he enjoys his family, the rivers, the insects, and the people.

Dave Penrose

Dave retired from the Water Quality Group at North Carolina State University in 2008 and moved to Western North Carolina to relax but failed. He was elected as the president of the Society for Freshwater Science in 2012 and to Board of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents in 2015. Most of his career was spent as a benthic taxonomist with the NC Division of Water Resources where he helped with the development of several metrics that are used to evaluate stream health using aquatic insects. There have been many highlights of Dave’s career, but perhaps the best was teaching as a Fulbright Scholar a class on Stream Ecology and Restoration at Kathmandu University in Nepal. “Everyone should see the Himalaya Mountains at least once in their life”.

If you have questions regarding registration, payment, refunds or the facility, please contact Cheoah Landis at the Laurel Community Center. 

(828) 656-3633

If you have questions regarding PDHs or CEUs requirements, SFS Taxonomic Certifications or other questions about content of the class, please contact Jason York or Dave Penrose.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you in May 2024!

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