The Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network (CBEMN) is an organization that has been initiating and supporting community-based environmental monitoring and management for over a decade. Founded by Saint Mary’s University professor Dr. Cathy Conrad in 2004, CBEMN continues to increase the capacity for environmental stewardship in the Atlantic Provinces. Through the provision of support and resources such as our Equipment Bank, we work with several organizations throughout Atlantic Canada, as well as others across the country. For a list of current community partners please click HERE. Also check out our Stewardship Map to discover more than 500 organizations involved in freshwater monitoring and management across Canada

The CBEMN acts as a catalyst and support system for environmental stewardship in the Atlantic region by providing equipment from our Equipment Bank, and both online and face-to-face training to the volunteers, students, and staff of community organizations. If you or the environmental organization you work for are looking for training on equipment calibration and maintenance, or educational and supplemental resources, please contact our office!

Do you or a member of your orgnaization have questions about water quality monitoring?  If you want to know more about any of the following… give us a shout!

  • How to monitor/measure the environmental quality of the ecosystems in their community (based on Environment Canada’s Ecological Monitoring and Assessment (EMAN) Protocols.
  • How to “access” scientific and social scientific data related to the environment.
  • How to use this data and utilize technology as a tool to further their understanding of their communities.

A Message from the Founder

Dr. Cathy Conrad
Research Coordinator

Welcome to the Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Network website. In Saint Mary’s Academic Plan, it describes the university as being “…uniquely committed to service the local, regional, national and international communities, a commitment which it realizes through outreach activities, community-based research programs, and contributions to life-long learning. Its reputation as an open and responsive educational institution has brought it a large measure of goodwill in the community.” The creation of the CBEMN and its endeavors have been strongly supported by the university since its creation in 2004.

Many of our faculty have been involved with a number of community organizations in the region, whose mandate is environmental stewardship. Our goal has been to build on those relationships and to establish new ones through the Network by providing resources and equipment to be loaned out. Consequence of reduced government funding for monitoring has led to the proliferation of stewardship organizations who are undertaking monitoring activities of some form or other. We serve as a source of information through direct contact with our office and through a mechanism for knowledge transfer across groups.

Our Network takes a holistic and interdisciplinary ecosystem approach. We have produced  The Nova Scotia Marine Community Monitoring Manual which presents monitoring protocols that are aquatic, marine and terrestrial in scope. Through our CURA H2O project we have created a standardized field kit and training program for community-based water monitoring ( We are always looking to partner with new environmental stewardship organizations across the Maritime Provinces in the effort to study and protect our environment for future generations. I would like to invite you to learn more about our Network and to join us in the effort to share monitoring experiences and methodologies.