Our survey on webinar topics includes the following proposed sessions. Let us know if you want to hear about tools for assessment, or specialized diatom topics. Go to the link for the webinar survey to indicate your preferences.

A brief guide to algal contracting for managers. Designing a study with clear purpose. Can I achieve that purpose with diatoms? What data do I need? How to ask for it? How to manage taxonomic data. How to interpret lists of species?

How are diatoms used in assessment? An introduction for managers. Setting clear goals in assessment. Why use diatoms, or soft algae, or molecular sequences? What are the crucial considerations for study design and field methods. How does ecology and physiology of diatoms relate to field methods?

What can I do with diatom data? When should I use indicator taxa, thresholds, multimetric indices, or O/E models? What is stressor diagnosis? Protecting aquatic life use, developing biological criteria.

Diatom multimetric indices. Diatom physiology and ecology: the fundamental knowledge underlying the use of diatoms in assessment. What are metrics and what do they do? What are the advantages and the pitfalls of metrics? How to process species data into metrics.

Paleolimnology: reconstructing the past. What is the process for obtaining sediment cores from lakes? What are the equipment and field needs? What is a chronology and how much does it cost? Lake calibration and training sets. Case studies of historical reconstruction.

Molecular approaches to assessment: where we are now? Collecting, preserving, extracting DNA from samples. General overview of metabarcoding. What is bioinformatics workflow? Progress and challenges with molecular methods.

The genus x: morphology, ecology, distribution. Diving into genera that are informative of water quality (e.g., Navicula, Psammothidium, Nitzschia), or that people would just like to know more about! Key morphological differences between challenging groups of taxa. In-depth preparation for the Level 1 certification exam: review key morphological differences between selected genera in the exam study materials.

Light microscopy and imaging diatoms. Tips and trouble-shooting problems with optimizing light. Calibration of analogue and digital measurements. Photography: multiple images for valves with special features, image stitching for large diatoms. Make thousands of scalebars for your thousands of images, quickly.

Making diatoms clean. How to work with preserved samples and identifications at genus-level or higher. A close look at processing and slide making methods: tips and trouble-shooting problems. Quantitative and qualitative sample processing and slide preparation methods.

Diatom taxonomy. Guess what? Nomenclature is fun! Learn to understand the ICN and love names. International Code of Nomenclature of Algae, Fungi and Plants (ICN). When is something a “new” species? How do you know when a specimen(s) do not fit a known species or OTU? Why are some species transferred to new genera? How do you find a current accepted name of a taxon?

Ask a diatomist. Open questions. Suggest a diatomist you would like to hear from, think internationally. Anything diatomaceous is fair game!

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