Become a diatom taxonomist, certified by the Society for Freshwater Science.

The Level 1 Diatom Taxonomic Certification indicates an up-to-date working knowledge of the diagnostic characteristics of accepted North American inland diatom genera, providing a practical base for proficiency in performing taxonomic identifications of inland diatoms at the genus level. This certification serves as the first step to certification at the species level.

The Society of Freshwater Science Taxonomic Certification Program was implemented to certify that trained and skilled people are providing aquatic identifications in North America. The Stroud Water Research Center currently administers the Taxonomic Certification Program for SFS. The successful completion of the taxonomic certification process results in a certificate of proficiency in performing taxonomic identifications of inland diatoms that stands for 3 years.

The program also helps promote undergraduate and graduate training of new taxonomic experts, training of taxonomic technicians through workshops, development of new manuals for identifying aquatic invertebrates and algae, and taxonomic excellence in other disciplines and other parts of the world.

BACKGROUND: Since the 2017 NADS meeting, the Diatom Taxonomic Certification Committee (Diatom TCC) led by Sylvia Lee, have worked to develop the first exam as one of a series of exams of diatom certification. The committee (Sylvia Lee, Alison Minerovic, David Burge, Julianne Heinlein, Mark Edlund, Jan Stevenson and Sarah Spaulding) have been meeting regularly over the past two years to work out the details of certification.

PREPARATION: Participants can learn about the genera included in the exam and the exam format. A practice test is available to learn the style of the exam and the software that operates it. The taxonomic treatment of the exam will be based on this website, Diatoms of North America.

DETAILS: The exam is offered online. It is based on composite light and electron micrograph images of diatom genera. The exam includes 60 questions and participants will have 120 minutes to complete it. A score of 95% is required for certification.

COST: The fee is set at (~$100).

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Clint Davis, Rhithron Associates - scored 100% correct on the Level 1 Diatom Exam
Fragilaria
Image Credit: John Wehr
Filaments of Fragilaria cf. capucina