Biological and Habitat Surveys


The NCWQR conducts research and bioassessment projects on the biological communities of Lake Erie, inland lakes, streams, and wetlands. Most of these projects focus on the application of benthic (bottom-dwelling) macroinvertebrates as a tool for measuring the environmental quality of aquatic ecosystems and the use of assessment tools such as the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s Invertebrate Community Index. The biological staff has expertise in the identification of benthic macroinvertebrates and crustacean zooplankton (cladocerans and copepods) and is highly skilled in the design and implementation of biological surveys using a wide range of sampling techniques. We are certified by the Ohio EPA to perform stream habitat assessments using the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index. Results of recently completed projects appear in various research reports.

Available Services

  • Bioassessment project design
  • Quantitative and qualitative field collections of aquatic macroinvertebrates and zooplankton
  • Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI) surveys
  • Biological sample processing (e.g., picking and sorting of Ponar and Ekman grabs, Hester-Dendy and qualitative samples)
  • Taxonomic analysis of macroinvertebrates, cladocerans, and copepods; special taxonomic expertise in identification of oligochaete worms and chironomid midge larvae
  • Data analysis and interpretation, including calculation of Invertebrate Community Index (ICI) scores
  • Educational workshops on bioassessment methods, taxonomy, and aquatic habitat assessment


Mr. Jakob Boehler
419.448.2054 or 800.925.9250 Ext. 2054

National Center for Water Quality Research
Heidelberg University
310 E. Market St.
Tiffin, Ohio 44883

Fax: 419-448-2345