To ensure the advancement of knowledge and the social benefits of this CURA, an analytical research component is being conducted by a well-developed alliance of academic leaders, students, community and government partners.

This research will generate new knowledge around issues of effective community-based resource management, improved accuracy of data collected by volunteers, and the successful integration of volunteer monitoring into resource management. This project component is guided by the Research Coordination Committee, and more information about faculty, students, and partners conducting the research can be found in the About CURA H20 and Community Partners sections of this website.

This research is focused on four main themes:

Research Theme 1: Community-Based Monitoring (CBM) in Nova Scotia, nationally, and internationally

1. A social network analysis of community-based monitoring in Nova Scotia

  • What are the linkages between environmental stewardship groups and civil society?
  • Are there benefits to civil society participating in monitoring, such as innovation and social capital?
  • What strategies can be used to share knowledge between environmental stewardship groups and community at large/civil society/other community groups?
  • Recommendations for other regions?

2. Review state of CBM in Canada

3. Can CBM improve the capacity for communities in developing countries to address health concerns related to the accessibility of clean water?

Research Theme 2: CBM Data Collection

4. Can CBM groups collect reliable data?

  • Will water monitoring training and certification and a standardized toolkit of monitoring equipment increase the reliability of data collected by CBM groups?

5. What are the perceptions of trained water technicians/government scientists to CBM?

  • Will water monitoring certification and training and a standardized toolkit of monitoring equipment increase the perception of the reliability of data collected by CBM groups?
  • How does government value CBM data?
Research Theme 3: Linkages between government and CBM groups

6. What is the state of linkages between decision-makers and stewardship groups who are collecting water quality data?

  • How is/can data be used/what are the barriers to linkages?
  • When is CBM most effective/least effective/appropriate/inappropriate/
  • How do we move from “feel good” CBM to “meaningful” CBM and what constitutes meaningful?
Research Theme 4: CBM and Ecosystems

7. Are there observable and/or measurable improvements to the ecosystems that are being monitored through CBM? What are observable benefits to ecosystems from CBM?

  • Documentation of monitoring as a tool that leads to benefits (case study approach)
  • Documentation of variety of benefits: qualitative/quantitative/did CBM initiate action/stop an adverse action/benefit (types vary)