DEEP: 2019 Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference

2019 CT Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference
Celebrating 20 Years of Volunteer Water Monitoring in Connecticut!
{Compilation of images showing volunteers conducting water monitoring.}
Conference Theme:
Many Waters, One State
Uniting Connecticut's Lake, River, Wetland & Long Island Sound Citizen Science Communities
April 5, 2019 
Three Rivers Community College
(574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT)
{Picture of the Three Rivers Community College campus}
Conference Recap:
The 2019 Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference was held on April 5, 2019 at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT! The conference was the second such conference to be organized by the CT DEEP in collaboration with partners to celebrate volunteer water monitoring in Connecticut.  (The first conference was held in 2014.) 
The conference marked the successful wrap-up of DEEP's 20th year supporting volunteer water monitoring. (The DEEP's flagship volunteer water monitoring program, Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) was launched in 1999.) Since the program's inception, DEEP's volunteer water monitoring network has grown tremendously. 185 individuals representing individual volunteers (citizen scientists), watershed group leaders, municipal commissioners, college and university professors, state and federal scientists, students, and representatives from the environmental consulting industry registered to attend the 2019 conference.  In total more than 100 volunteer monitoring groups were represented - more than twice as many as were represented at our 2014 conference!
The conference was opened with welcoming remarks from the conference chairs, TRCC Dean Farinellis and Congressman Joe Courtney.  Phil Trowbridge, Assistant Director of the DEEP Water Planning and Management Division, offered additional thoughts on the importance of volunteer monitoring - also referred to as citizen science - both here in Connecticut as well as across the nation.  Phil's thoughts provided an excellent introduction to the technical portion of the conference, which was kicked off by a keynote speech from Dr. Jennifer Shirk, the interim Executive Director for the Citizen Science Association.  Jennifer gave a tremendous presentation about the breadth of citizen science, ranging from astronomy to medicine to fisheries.  It was an inspiring talk that set the tone for the day! 
The science program for the 2019 conference was wide-ranging! Nine concurrent tracks followed featuring presentation and workshops, ranging from beginner to advanced level discussions regarding river monitoring, lake monitoring, coastal monitoring, education and outreach, technology and several special topic areas. The lunch social featured a student poster session, highlighting the work of 13 student water monitoring projects from across the state.  The afternoon featured a second round of concurrent presentations and workshops followed by a wrap-up social and awards presentation. 
Conference Agenda:

7:30 -   Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 -   Welcoming Remarks

9:00 -   Keynote Presentation: Dr. Jennifer Shirk, Citizen Science Association

10:10 - Concurrent Presentation Sessions A, B, & C

12:00 - Lunch & Student Poster Social

1:30  -  Concurrent Presentation Sessions D, E, F

3:15   - Awards Presentation & Afternoon Refreshments

4:00   - Conference Concludes – Safe Travels!

Keynote Talk:
Deep Roots, Broad Branches: Growing a Connected Community for Citizen Science
Jennifer Shirk, Citizen Science Association (Interim Executive Director)
  {Jennifer Shirk} Jennifer works to research, advance, and serve the field of public participation in scientific research. As the Interim Executive Director of the Citizen Science Association, she builds collaborations to share transferrable knowledge of practice from across different citizen science contexts. Based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she has worked in a wide range of informal learning and natural resource management settings to explore promising practices of citizen science that support integrity in both research and public engagement. Jennifer’s research interests focus on the effective use of citizen science for scientific research and conservation, particularly where complex decisions are at stake. Jennifer has a B.A. in Conservation Biology from Bard College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University.
Conference Presentations:
Presentations are listed in order of session/track below.  Refer to the links above for speaker information and presentation abstracts.  Note that the titles below reflect actual presentation titles; titles in the materials above reflect abstract submissions. 
Suggested Citation Format:
[Last Name and Initials of First Name]. (2019, April). [Presentation title]. Presented at the CT Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference, Norwich, CT.
A4. RBV Fieldwork and Mentoring Opportunity for Three Rivers Community College Students  
A6. 30 Years of Change in Long Island Sound Fish and Water Quality 
C3. Using Citizen Science for Large-Scale River Monitoring in Fairfield County 
C6. Coastal Acidification: Establishing Water Monitoring Networks  (Student Scholarship Awardee!)
C9. How Water Quality Data can be used to Effectuate Change
D/E/F10. Monitoring to Influence and Support Municipal Decision Making: How Can (and Can’t) Towns Use Volunteer Data?  (Panel Discussion)
      -- D/E/F10 Supplemental Materials   
D14. Natural Resource Maps on the CT ECO Website   
Student Posters:
Suggested Citation Format:
[Last Name and Initials of First Name]. (2019, April). [Poster title]. Poster session presented at the CT Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference, Norwich, CT.
Questions about the conference can be sent to the DEEP Volunteer Water Monitoring Program Coordinator / Conference Chair at
The 2019 CT Volunteer Water Monitoring Conference was presented by
{Compilation of DEEP, Three Rivers Community College, and Connecticut Federation of Lakes logos.}
in collaboration with the 2019 Conference Advisory Board:
{Compilation of logos of various organizations involved in the conference advisory board.}
Conference Planning Team:
Conference Sponsors
*2019 Conference Chair
Conference Advisory Board
Thank you Three Rivers!
Many thanks to Three Rivers Community College for being a phenomenal host! Thank you to Dean Brachini and Professor Khan-Bureau of the Environmental Engineering Program for the warm welcome and invitation to the use facilities. We extend our sincerest gratitude to Sandy Dean, Kathy Shea, and Kevin Watson of the TRCC staff for all of their hard work leading up to the event and on the day of the conference itself. Finally, thank you to the twenty student volunteers from the TRCC Environmental Engineering Technology Program who served as conference ambassadors for the day: Mathias Gribbin, Leif Horstmeyer, Christina Konstantinidis, Jennifer Lafayette, Allen Lyon, Jennifer Messervy,  Kelly Morgan, Nicholas Nado, Jennifer Paul, Jessica Reid, Christia Valli, Ashley Wibel, Emily Woodin, and Brianna Woomer. Your help navigating the campus was invaluable to conference attendees! We could not have asked for a better host venue; TRCC has set the bar high for the 2024 conference venue! 
Content last updated August 22, 2019.