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Title: An Information and Dissemination Program for Riparians and Citizens

Investigators: Lois G. Wolfson, Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University

Focus Categories: EDU, GW, SW, WQL

Congressional District: Eighth

Descriptors: Water Quality; Watershed Management; Macroinvertebrates; Water Chemistry; Monitoring

Problem and Research Objective

The need for an effective information dissemination program is both immediate and far reaching. Information on water related fields is being generated at such a rapid rate that researchers and others interested in the issues often are not aware of its existence so its application is not as extensive as it could be. To address this information transfer gap in the water related fields, the Institute of Water Research has developed an information dissemination and training program.

The objectives are to develop and present educational programs designed to increase the public's awareness and appreciation of the water quality and quantity problems in Michigan and to stress the economic trade offs required to solve water related problems. These programs are offered in the form of conferences, seminars, training workshops, computer models, web-based materials and printed material.


Methods used to meet the objectives are to: (1) review, edit, and publish proceedings from conferences and workshop; (2) prepare lecture/demonstrations and audio visual materials; (3) develop a series of training sessions and workshops to assess trends in water quality; (4) utilize the worldwide web to offer interactive educational learning modules that utilize geographic information systems; (5) establish a statewide conference and coordinating center at Michigan State University to compile, interpret, and distribute water related information as well as directing users to appropriate sources of expertise and information; and (6) cooperate with the Michigan State University Extension Service to make water related information available through the county cooperative extension agents.

Principal Findings and Significance

The dissemination portion has involved a number of technology transfer mechanisms such as seminars, workshops, and conferences; video productions and slide/tape programs; pamphlets and a monthly newsletter. Each program is designed to make the latest information available to the appropriate user groups. Local, state, and federal agency personnel as well as students, staff, and others are given the opportunity to hear and interact with outstanding researchers and have access to a variety of written materials and multi media presentations. Participants have been able to use the information gained from these programs in their decision making processes concerning water resources.

Publications and Web-based Programs:

Wolfson, L.G. 1998. Water (chapter 3) in A Framework for Assessing Environmental Health in Michigan - Community Health Profiles Project, Michigan Public Health Institute, Lansing, MI.

Zebdi, A., L.G. Wolfson, and Y.T.Kang. 1998. Water Quality Data Access System. Website address:

Lusch, D.L., L.G. Wolfson, and P. Machemer. 1997. An Introductory Land and Water Learning Module. Website address:

Nevala, A., D. Wilson, J. Chamberlain, K. Kirk, R. Kline-Robach and L.G. Wolfson. 1995. Groundwater Stewardship in Michigan: A Manual for Community Action. Institute of Water Research, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48823.

Wolfson, L.G., Y.T. Kang, T.E. Zahniser, and J.F. Bartholic. 1995. A Wetlands Information Management System (WIMS) for Facilitating Wetland Evaluations. Completion Report, USEPA Grant No. X995791-02-0, Region V, Chicago, IL

Itakura, Y., J.S. Eades, F.M. D’Itri, M. Kawashima, S. Endoh, and H. Kitamura. 1999. Integrated Environmental Management: Development Information and Education in the Asian Pacific Region, Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, MI 288 pp.

D’Itri, F.M. 1999. Environmental Contamination and the Information Highway. In: Integrated Environmental Management: Development Information and Education in the Asian Pacific Region, Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, MI, pp. 211-222.

D’Itri, F.M. 1999. What Education and Information Systems Can Do To Help Solve Environmental Problems: A Summary. In: Integrated Environmental Management: Development Information and Education in the Asian Pacific Region, Ann Arbor Press, Chelsea, MI pp. 271-277.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Tuesday November 1, 2005 11:35 AM
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