New England Public Health Training Center

Monitoring for Cyanobacteria

This is an all levels course offering CPH, CHES, and MCHES — Free
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Time to Start

< 3 minutes


1.00 hour


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This course provides an overview of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and the risks it poses to people and pets. Learn how to monitor recreational waters for cyanobacteria (including distinguishing it from look-alikes), manage recreational waters when cyanobacteria is present, and track blooms. Information is provided on documentation through photographs, water sampling and reporting systems.

This training is intended for public health and environmental personnel, state and municipal employees responsible for management of recreational waters, citizen scientists participating in a cyanobacteria monitoring program, as well as anyone interested in learning about cyanobacteria and how recreational waters are monitored and managed from a public health perspective.

This training was developed in conjunction with the University of Vermont, Vermont Department of Health, and Lake Champlain Committee to address the concern about water quality in Vermont. Therefore, the regulations and administrative processes cited are specific to Vermont. However, the underlying science and public health implications are applicable to all states and jurisdictions.

Reviewers say, "This was an excellent course to help as a refresher for those who test water and for those who are new to the field as education."

What You'll Learn

  • What are cyanobacteria?
  • What are the risks to people and pets?
  • How do you monitor for it?
  • What should you do if you find it?
  • How can you track instances?

Competency Terms

Communicable Disease Control
Application of Public Health Sciences

Related Occupations

Public health - multiple occupations will benefit

Related Job Tasks

Investigate, diagnose, and address health problems and hazards affecting the population