WEBINAR: Developing Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Research as Curriculum to Protect Drinking Water Sources

Originally Aired June 12, 2024 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET



Teresa Thornton
President and CEO
Get Wet! Groundwater Education Program

Since 2004 Teresa has been involved in community-based environmental monitoring research (CBEMR) to protect source waters and develop social networks that engage all levels of stakeholders. In addition, her decades of program development and implementation involved a variety of pollutants in a wide array of surface water and groundwater scenarios. Through her 501c3 GET WET! (http://getwetproject.org/), Teresa has been able to collaborate with more than 46 educational institutions, governing boards, local businesses, ENGOs, and GOs to affect thousands in seven states and more than 44 towns. She has also resided on or presided over more than 12 professional committees focused on water curriculum and in 2017 was awarded the Mary H. Marsh Medal for Exemplary Contributions to the Protection and Wise Use of the Nation's Water Resources from AWRA. Teresa earned a BA in Biology, WCU, and MS in EES Water Resources/PhD in Forest Resources from UMO.


Community-based programs promote greater social benefits because students and mentors are engaged in interdisciplinary, social experiences. Using students as community-based field researchers improves student knowledge regarding source water health, aids in evaluative and processing skills, and increases student-initiated civic action. Beginning with forced involvement through the creation of place-based projects in required courses, student interest soon leads to voluntary participation in independent environmental research, greater involvement in local community service projects, the development of field research courses, and an interest in water resources at the college or career level. When local and federal environmental governing agencies request the data performed in these courses, students displayed greater value in the process. They expressed a feeling of empowerment and confidence as well as the development of vital skills. This was in part because they were required to obtain professional mentors, work in BSL certified laboratories, and create a final product that was to be presented at professional conferences and submitted to professional journals.

This presentation will describe the many machinations of curriculum-based research projects, and community-based programs developed by and for both undergraduate and secondary students with a description of methods that help students to plan and expedite investigations, analyze and interpret data, construct explanations, and design solutions.

Learning Objectives

  1. Determine local needs in the area that students can facilitate in Community Based Environmental Monitoring Research.
  2. Build deeper or larger social networks through identification of local stakeholders willing to collaborate.
  3. Quantify and qualify changes in water health through CBEMR and define volunteer motivations to create lasting collaborations.

Webinar Recording & PDH Certificate

Included with your webinar registration is access to a recording of the program and a fillable certificate to self-report your Professional Development Hour (PDH)/Continuing Education Credit (CEU). Your certificate will be available to download and a link to the recording of this webinar will be sent within a week of the live program from [email protected]. The recording is exclusively for you, the registrant of the webinar. They are not to be shared or forwarded.


If you actively engage in our community, your career and organization will benefit. We offer multiple opportunities for engagement via conferences, social media, webinars, committees and publications.

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