BioAssessment Services

Tom King at Microscope
river scene
aquatic insect



aquatic insect

About BioAssessment Services

Recent and Ongoing Projects

BAS has been and is currently involved with the biological assessment and monitoring of urban streams in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. BAS has extensive experience conducting biological assessment and monitoring for various FERC-licensed hydroelectric projects using both the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure (CSBP) and the Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP) protocols. Supplemental work has consisted of compiling information on effects of hydropower operation on BMI assemblages and utilizing this information to evaluate variation in benthic fauna documented from surveys associated with the relicensing process. Results of this work were published in several of the FERC license applications. Most recently, BAS has been assisting clients with procedural changes from the CSBP to the SWAMP. Applications of SWAMP procedures to a watershed assessment of the Merced River yielded information on BMI assemblage differences between multiple habitat and targeted riffle sampling approaches, as well as documenting changes in BMI composition along the elevation gradient of the watershed and foothill reservoir systems. Spatial changes in BMI assemblages for the Merced River were evaluated using both multimetric and multivariate procedures.

Laboratory Operations

Mr. King performs the primary duties of taxonomic identifications, sample inventory, data processing, analysis, report preparation and routine checks of quality of subsampling work. Costs are contained by maintaining a home-based office and by using subcontractors who have demonstrated reliability and efficiency through their home-based offices. In order for home-based operations to function at a professional capacity, a thorough evaluation period is required of subsampling contractors. It is the policy of BAS to thoroughly evaluate subsampling contractors using the quality criteria specified in the standard operating procedures. The invertebrate identifications performed by Mr. King are evaluated routinely by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Aquatic Bioassessment Laboratory for taxonomic and enumeration accuracy and conformance to standard taxonomic level. Mr. King uses a Zeiss Stemi 2000-C stereomicroscope and Dolan-Jenner fiber optic light source for most identification, and a Meiji MX4000 compound microscope for slide mount preparations and zooplankton work.

Field Sampling

BAS typically contracts with a client to assist with sample collection or provides training in the collection of samples. Alternatively, BAS provides complete sampling services by contracting experienced individuals to assist for the duration of the sampling effort. BAS has experience with a variety of sampling protocols including the CSBP, SWAMP, Hester-Dendy plate samplers, and basket samplers.

Experience and Background

Tom King

Mr. King has 20 years of experience in a broad range of surface water quality and biological assessment/monitoring throughout California. His wide range of experience includes both private sector and government, and both field and laboratory work, some of which includes:

  • Conducting field sampling and water chemistry analyses for a statewide atmospheric acid deposition study
  • Applying a suite of metrics to generate a fish health index
  • Managing a commercial water quality laboratory
  • Conducting general herpetofauna and fringe-toed lizard surveys
  • Conducting salmon escapement surveys
  • Performing routine biological analyses and special studies as a biologist
    at the Sacramento County Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Conducting three-species toxicity tests
  • Designing toxicity tests for specialized applications
  • While working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife from 1993 to 1998, Mr. King gained proficiency in the identification of aquatic macroinvertebrates and made contributions to the refinement and implementation of the California Stream Bioassessment Procedure (CSBP). Mr. King was actively involved with other aspects of biological assessment including fieldwork with stream channel/ habitat typing, benthic sampling, and fish and herpetofauna surveys. Mr. King participated in a variety of bioassessment projects including evaluating effects of point-source perturbations on BMI assemblages, documenting the spatial distribution of BMI and fish assemblages in the Cosumnes River and conducting biological assessments of streams in the central coast and central valley regions of California. Mr. King is an active member of the Southwest Aquatic Freshwater Invertebrate Taxonomists (SAFIT), an organization that maintains current taxonomic reference materials, and provides training workshops emphasizing invertebrate taxonomy. Mr. King received his Bachelor of Arts in Biological Science from California State University, Sacramento and has since completed coursework in biometrics and conservation policy, and regularly participates in taxonomic and bioassessment workshops. Mr. King has completed training for the reachwide benthic sampling component of SWAMP and the riverine module of the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM).