WEBINAR: Outcomes and Motivations of Student Researchers in a Community-Based Environmental Monitoring Research (CBEMR) Project

July 17, 2024 | 1:00 - 2:00 PM ET



Teresa Thornton
President and CEO
Get Wet! Groundwater Education Program

Since 2004 Teresa has been involved in community-based environmental monitoring research (CBEMR) to protect source waters and develop social networks that engage all levels of stakeholders. In addition, her decades of program development and implementation involved a variety of pollutants in a wide array of surface water and groundwater scenarios. Through her 501c3 GET WET! (http://getwetproject.org/), Teresa has been able to collaborate with more than 46 educational institutions, governing boards, local businesses, ENGOs, and GOs to affect thousands in seven states and more than 44 towns. She has also resided on or presided over more than 12 professional committees focused on water curriculum and in 2017 was awarded the Mary H. Marsh Medal for Exemplary Contributions to the Protection and Wise Use of the Nation's Water Resources from AWRA. Teresa earned a BA in Biology, WCU, and MS in EES Water Resources/PhD in Forest Resources from UMO.


Three high schools in different areas of South Florida worked together with local experts to produce a comprehensive study on their ground water drinking sources. They used the community-based education program GET WET! (Groundwater Education Through Water Evaluation and Testing). For 20 years students in seven states have been monitoring their drinking waters through this program by incorporating thousands of secondary students, university students and professors, governmental representatives, and employees, ENGOs, and local businesses to educate the public to the need for private well testing. To encourage water source protection and facilitate peer-learning strategies, the fledgling program in Florida employed high school students as peer mentors and educators. Their participation required hours of extra work outside of the classroom and they did not receive a grade or any other compensation for their efforts. Results indicate that participation in this kind of community-based research project propelled students to choose additional coursework based on water issues, develop meaningful relationships with professionals in the water community, and consider careers in water related fields. The presentation will explain the program and key points in engaging professionals and students towards meaningful, lasting collaborations as well as offer the ability to speak directly to students who presented their research at AWRA conferences in the past and future!

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify student motivations and long term effects of participation in a Community Based Environmental Monitoring Research.
  2. Describe and encourage the desired effects of student participation in a CBEMR.
  3. Compare and contrast the affect of student experiences from the additional participation of presenting independent research at an AWRA conference.

Webinar Recording & PDH Certificate

Included with your webinar registration is access to a recording of the program and a fillable certificate to self-report your Professional Development Hour (PDH)/Continuing Education Credit (CEU). Your certificate will be available to download and a link to the recording of this webinar will be sent within a week of the live program from [email protected]. The recording is exclusively for you, the registrant of the webinar. They are not to be shared or forwarded.


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