Summer 2011

 In Newsletter

The CBMEN has been active this year largely with equipment loans and fielding questions related to invasive species, monitoring protocols and monitoring gear. Borrowers this summer included: Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s University, Clean Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Adopt-a-Stream, Parks Canada, Sackville Rivers Association, Indian Point Young Naturalist Club, Halifax North West Trails Association and CBWES. The 2011 Equipment Catalogue was also updated this summer and is available on-line. A newly purchased YSI Pro2030 will also be available through the equipment bank soon.

The Monitoring Sites Map available through the CBMEN website is currently being updated to include environmental stewardship groups actively monitoring in Nova Scotia. This will be a working map, therefore if there are any changes to your organization or you would like to have your group included on the map, please send us an email. The Network has also been involved with the CURA H2O project, with CBEMN researchers conducting product research and further instrument testing. A special thanks goes out to Environment Canada’s Denis Parent for his involvement with the equipment testing.

CURA H2O is a five-year project that received funding this past March from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. CURA stands for Community-University Research Alliance, and the purpose of this project is to standardize water quality data collection at the community level through the Wet-Pro training course and toolkit developed by the CBEMN. This project also aims to integrate data collected by stewardship volunteers into governmental watershed management through the development of an online geodatabase. The CURA H2O team is led by CBEMN founder and Research Coordinator Dr. Cathy Conrad, and is composed of individuals representing stewardship organizations, government, academia, and private businesses throughout Nova Scotia. This project will focus on community needs related to water quality, and aims to increase community capacity for environmental problem-solving while providing governmental decision-makers with a broader set of reliable data upon which to base more informed decisions. CURA H2O began this summer with a Start-Up Meeting of the entire CURA team that was held at Saint Mary’s University on June 20th.

The team was able to discuss project goals for the upcoming year, as well as overall timelines and governance structures. This project will involve practical research and training in water quality monitoring, as well as a strong theoretical research component that will guide the monitoring and training process. A project website is also currently under development.

In addition to project components that are taking place in Nova Scotia, CURA H2O student researchers and Dr. Conrad have also been working in The Gambia, West Africa, to provide education and training in issues related to water and health, pollution prevention, and monitoring. Researcher Melissa Healey travelled to The Gambia this summer and was assisted by Saint Mary’s University summer interim cartographer Emma Garden, to promote peer health water quality awareness through new training for NSGA peer health educators.

For more information about CURA H2O, please contact Project Coordinator Sarah Weston.

Over the next year the CBEMN will be open part-time with Community-University Liaisons, Melissa Healey and Ashley Shelton over-seeing the Equipment Bank. Any equipment inquiries or requests can be sent to the Network’s email. As always we recommend that you provide as much notice as possible to ensure that the equipment will be available for the dates requested.

We hope everyone had a great summer and we look forward to working with you in the Fall!

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