Environmental Scientist Aaron Laver has passed the test to be certified as a mussel surveyor in Ohio. This certification will allow Aaron, an avid diver and underwater photographer, to be MAD’s lead surveyor for projects with proposed impacts to Group 1 and 3 streams and rivers. A list of these streams and rivers is provided in the Ohio Mussel Survey Protocol, which can be downloaded here. To prepare for the exam and hone his skills, Aaron spent weeks reviewing the taxonomic literature in our library, including The Freshwater Mussels of Ohio (highly recommended, by the way) and the Field Guide to the Freshwater Mussels of the Midwest. He then completed some intensive review of the bivalve collection at The Ohio State Museum of Biological Diversity.
The test, administered by staff at the museum, consists of identifying 100 bivalves based only on external characteristics (and, for certain species, location data) during a three-hour exam. To earn this certification, Aaron had to correctly identify more than 80% of the mussel species, and could not miss a single Federal or State-listed Threatened or Endangered Species. Congratulations to Aaron on this accomplishment!
If you have a water-dependent project that will involve disturbance below the Ordinary High Water Mark of a Group 1 or 3 stream, we hope to hear from you!