Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016WV223B

Environmental STEM Research Program: West Virginia University/Boy Scouts of America Bechtel Summit

Institute: West Virginia
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $67,072 Total Non-Federal Funds: $204,168

Principal Investigators: Paul Ziemkiewicz, Richard Thomas, Nicolas Zegre, Todd Petty, James Anderson, Tamara Vandivort

Abstract: West Virginia, with its mountainous terrain, multitude of streams and rivers, and energy resources (coal, oil, and natural gas) has been challenged with striking a balance between developing its energy resources and protecting its natural, non-energy resources. Energy extraction, manufacturing, and recreational activities add economic opportunities to the State. All these activities as well as electric power generation, river transportation, and human consumption require water. The States water resources are at the heart of this tug-of-war between every activity that requires water. Now add to this the potential threat of climate change on water resources. A key component in attempting to strike this balance in competing uses for water is education. In 2007 a unique opportunity was sprouting which would introduce multitudes of young people to the State and its resources. In 2007, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was looking for a permanent location for the National Scout Jamboree. They were also looking for a fourth high adventure base to accommodate a large number of Scouts who have been wait-listed at the other three high adventure camps every year. What transpired was the selection of property in West Virginia not only as a venue for the Jamboree and a high adventure base but also a summer camp and a leadership center all housed on the same property. Communications between West Virginia University (WVU) and the BSA have resulted in an interest by both parties in establishing a long-term relationship for the purpose of developing environmental education and research opportunities for Americas next generation centered on the Bechtel Summit facility.