Sam Miller Mar 22, 2017
From staff reports Feb 2, 2017
The CE3 Water Program works regularly with the Appalachian Watershed Research Group (AWRG), which was initiated over a decade ago by a group of Ohio University faculty and staff from the Voinovich School. The group provides interdisciplinary, high-quality, applications-based water research for the benefit of the region. These research projects are designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students with innovative learning opportunities while also solving real-world problems. The work of the AWRG benefits watershed groups, federal, state, and local governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, businesses, and industry.
The AWRG research areas of interest include chemical, biological, and physical water quality research, acid mine drainage reclamation, aquatic outreach and education, fish and invertebrate assessment, sediment toxicity, PCB and TCE contamination in surface and groundwater, chemical water quality trainings for watershed professionals, teachers, and students, and linking of data to decision-making tools through the use of online reports, charts, maps and graphs. Students are a part of the project teams thus providing them with experience that demonstrates teamwork, builds leadership skills, and integrates teaching and learning.
Interim Director of Environmental Programs
Ohio University Voinovich School
Natalie Kruse, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Ohio University Voinovich School
On March 28, 2017, the Voinovich School hosted a webinar to inform regional organizations and communities on protecting local waterways by organizing storm drain stenciling volunteer events. The events are meant to connect residents to their local watershed by empowering them to stencil educational messages next to storm drains. Sarah Cornwell, environmental specialist at the Voinovich School, discussed the how-tos on holding a successful stenciling event, including how to borrow all of the supplies (for free!) from Voinovich School. This webinar was targeted to units of local government, non-profit community organizations, and organizations seeking public service activities. Tailored to the Appalachian region of the Ohio River Watershed, webinar and stenciling supplies are funded by a grant from Ohio EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund.
Contact Sarah Cornwell at email@example.com if you have questions or are ready to organize an event!
This webinar was hosted by the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs with support from the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, in partnership with Rural Action and the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Since 2001, the Appalachian Watershed Research Group (AWRG) has been a pioneer in acid mine drainage research and Appalachian water quality restoration, effectively reclaiming 47 miles of stream in the southeast Ohio region. Now, in partnership with Rural Action, a regional non-profit organization, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs can expand the focus of the AWRG to include water quality improvement projects, education, and training in areas of water quality beyond acid mine drainage. With funding assistance from the United States EPA (USEPA), the formation of the Appalachian Ohio Clean Water Initiative will allow for the Voinovich School (spearheaded by the AWRG) and Rural Action to tackle complex, interdisciplinary water quality issues across the entire coal-bearing region of Ohio, while also providing education and training resources for affected community members and local school districts.
The Voinovich School has partnered with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to engage local watershed groups to conduct a water quality investigation of abandoned coal mine drainage in Wills Creek and White Eyes Creek in Coshocton and Muskingum Counties. The School will analyze the data and provide a summary report of impacts from acid mine drainage in these streams. Once Jen Bowman, senior environmental project manager, and Gary Conley, research supervisor for Ohio University’s Air Quality Center, present their findings, the MWCD will develop a viable and cost-effective restoration plan to provide cleaner water for Ohio. An article about the project can be found here.