This workshop will include a combination of discussion and microscopic lab practical sessions. We will explore several new tools and their application to small- and large-scale surveys to obtain consistent, transparent species data.


  • Learn about the elements of the newly implemented SFS Diatom Taxonomic Certification program.
  • Practice light microscopic techniques, particularly for diatom observation
  • Become familiar with diatom genera most common in freshwater assessment
  • Understand taxonomic consistency for diatoms and how to obtain consistent data from multiple analysts and labs

Planned Activities

After an introduction to the diatom genera, participants will use this website to practice genus level identifications with samples from North American rivers. Second, we will discuss voucher floras and learn how to use them to produce transparent, verifiable records of species data. Third, we will explore the steps necessary to design survey analyses so that analyst bias, if present, can be corrected. Finally, at the end of the workshop, participants have the option of taking the Level 1 SFS Diatom Taxonomic Certification test.


The workshop is open to all levels of experience. The activities are directed at both novice and experienced taxonomists who are interested in obtaining diatom taxonomic certification through SFS.

Class Size

Limited to 40 participants, as we will have 20 light microscopes equipped with 100x oil immersion lenses

Contact us for more information.