News

NEMO is a part of the Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) within the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. NEMO collaborates with other CLEAR programs on various projects in an effort to create the most useful tools and resources for municipal officials and other local community groups.

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Below are some recent postings to the CLEAR blog. Click an article you'd like to read or go directly to the blog for a complete list of CLEAR-related news at clear.uconn.edu/blog.

8/07 - UConn & NEMO RElease Jordan Cove CD

7/07 - New LID Conference August 16, 2007!

3/07 - Community Resource Inventory (CRI) is Now Online!
3/07 -
Do Rain Gardens Work in the Winter?

1/07 - Press Release - New Website for CT Planners


8/07 - UConn & NEMO Release Jordan Cove CD

It’s finally here! UConn’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and CT NEMO have just completed a compendium CD of  resources on the Jordan Cove Project. The project, which began in 1995, was designed to determine water quantity and quality benefits of using LID/BMP techniques in a residential subdivision.
 
The multimedia CD highlights the project’s background, has detailed descriptions of the low impact development processes used, lists technical and non-technical results and shows interviews from key players in the process. It is a great resource for anyone looking to demonstrate the effectiveness of Low Impact Development approaches. All hail to Mike Dietz (formally of CT NEMO) and our own Kara Bonsack for assembling and designing this excellent resource.

To learn more or for a copy of the CD contact Jack Clausen at john.clausen@uconn.edu or call 860-486-0139.

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7/07 - New LID Conference August 16, 2007!!

Low Impact Development: Are we ready yet? is a day-long conference that will focus on these issues. National experts in LID research will talk about the results of their research, and reflect on how their work refutes or supports common perceptions about LID. Also, speakers from Connecticut drawn from a number of development-related fields will give their perspective on barriers to LID implementation.  The goal of the conference is to begin a productive, statewide dialog on how remaining barriers to LID can be addressed. This conference is appropriate for engineers, landscape architects, and other professionals. Town personnel may also find the conference of interest.

Visit the conference website: www.conferences.uconn.edu/lid/

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3/07 - Community Resource Inventory (CRI) is Now Online!

?Natural resource-based planning is a mantra that runs through most NEMO workshops. Simply put, this approach to land use planning starts with an inventory of your town’s natural and cultural resources, prioritizes those resources through the development of open space plans or plans of conservation and development, and implements those plans through regulations or town policies. Although the concept is simple, we’ve found that starting the first step—the resource inventory—is often a stumbling block for communities that lack staff, resources and geographic information system (GIS) technology.

No longer. Thanks to funding from the CT DEP, the NEMO program has created a dedicated website to help bridge the GIS technology gap. Called the Community Resource Inventory (CRI) Online, the website provides mapping resources, tutorials, examples and other resources that will assist you in getting started with natural resource-based planning. By working through the website, you will be able to develop a basic inventory of your town’s natural and cultural resources, upon which you can build.

Visit the CRI website.

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Do Rain Gardens Work in the Winter?

- Article by Michael Dietz, CT NEMO

?Although we are nearing the end of another Connecticut winter, a frequent question asked is about the winter performance of low impact development (LID) systems, especially rain gardens. The common perception is that because of frost in the ground, water will not infiltrate, and therefore the systems won’t function in the winter. Fortunately, research has shown that these systems DO function as designed through the winter months.

The results of my research here in Connecticut showed that a bioretention system, the technical term for rain gardens, functioned as designed through the winter months, retaining 99% of inflow over a two year period (see nemo.uconn.edu/research/raingarden.htm). Frost penetration was up to 7 inches during one winter of study. In general, if the ground is frozen, any precipitation will be in the form of snow. However, occasionally the ground has frost, and a rain event occurs. Interestingly, when an event like this happens, meltwater ponds for a short time, then infiltrates into the system. (This phenomenon was captured on video last winter at the Haddam rain garden. The clip can be viewed on the website above.) The soil media in the bioretention system thawed out very quickly, and allowed infiltration into lower layers. The frost in the system was not solid. This was due to the nature of the coarse, sandy-organic soil mixture and the non-compacted, planted surface. These systems are different from wetlands, which have poorly drained, organic soils that are not conducive to infiltration when frozen. Rob Roseen at the University of New Hampshire (see www.unh.edu/erg/cstev/) has performed similar research, but on a larger bioretention facility. He has confirmed, with detailed monitoring data, the rapid thawing of the soil media during a melt event, and subsequent re-freezing after. Overall, their bioretention system has performed very well in that northern climate.

There is also concern about the performance of porous paving alternatives through the winter months. Specifically, people are concerned about frost heaving. The key to avoiding frost heaving on any pavement is the installation of a proper base course. Rapid drainage is essential beneath any road, so just as with asphalt, specifications for most alternative porous pavements call for a base that is designed to infiltrate water rapidly. Once this water passes through the coarse surface materials and into the base, any freezing will not cause heaving of the pavement surface. There are many examples in cold regions of porous pavements that have survived numerous winters without obvious damage. The Ecostone® paver road at the Jordan Cove project here in Connecticut is a local example; the pavers were installed in 2000, and the surface is still in excellent condition.

In contrast to the LID systems, a typical dry detention pond, with its highly compacted soils, will likely provide very little infiltration through the winter. In general, research has shown that a properly designed and installed bioretention or porous pavement system will provide for rapid drainage, without excessive ponding or overflow, even through the winter months.

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1/07 - Press Release - New Website for CT Planners

At long last we are releasing the Community Resource Inventory (CRI) Online! Below is the press release that CT Dept. of Environmental Protection sent out. Take a look at the site and tell us what you think. All hail Emily Wilson (task master and GIS guru) and Kara Bonsack (designer and web genius) for keeping us flying straight and producing such a magnificent site.

Read Press Release

CRI website: nemo.uconn.edu/tools/cri/index.htm

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8/06 - CT NEMO Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

6/06 - New Workshop for Those Who Get Their Hands Dirty
6/06 - Municipal Initiative Program produces 3 more Stellar Graduates
6/06 - Coming Soon from the NEMO Program
6/06 - From the NEMO Science Desk

1/06 - BBC News article: Rain gardens 'cut city pollution'


8/06 - CT NEMO Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

The CT NEMO Team has been awarded the 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award by the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation (RNRF) for their Putting Communities in Charge publication. As you probably know, this is the CT NEMO program’s first official compilation of some of the local actions that have been catalyzed by CT NEMO. The first printing of the publication went like hotcakes (or even better – hot Krispy Kremes), but there are a few of the second printings lying around if any one would like a copy (see Publications). The official press release is also attached for those who want to learn more.

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6/06 - New Workshop for Those Who Get Their Hands Dirty

OK, so we have all of the town officials, commissions, and planners educated on LID practices (well, maybe not all, but quite a few…), the engineers know how to design them, so now we just need to get them in the ground! What do you mean none of the contractors want to do it? Well of course not! These techniques still are fairly new in this part of the country, and many contractors have not been shown the proper way to install them so they will perform properly.

As part of the Niantic River Watershed Project, NEMO held its first workshop dedicated to contractors. Experts from CT NEMO, and Aqua Solutions, LLC conducted the workshop on February 23, 2006 at the University of Connecticut Avery Point campus. Stormwater basics, low impact development concepts and specific installation and maintenance guidance were highlighted at the workshop to 40 participants. Additional workshops for contractors are being planned over the next year. If you are interested in participating, or helping to organize, a workshop in your area contact Mike Dietz (a.k.a. “Dr. Stormwater”) at michael.dietz@uconn.edu.

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6/06 - Municipal Initiative Program produces 3 more Stellar Graduates

It won’t surprise you that we at the NEMO Program strongly believe in the power of education to effect long-term change. Still, education is really just the catalyst that inspires informed action. Whether it’s a new stormwater regulation for a town or responsible lawn care for homeowners, the trick is to take new information from a workshop or publication and apply it to your unique circumstances.

Enter the Municipal Initiative. The Municipal Initiative (Muni) is a unique program developed in collaboration with the CT Department of Environmental Protection that allows the NEMO Team to focus more resources on a few municipalities. During an application process, towns identify specific town planning goals they wish to accomplish, and through education and “over-the-shoulder” advice, the NEMO Team assists the town to achieve those goals. Although the NEMO Team can only focus on a few towns per year, the chosen towns then serve as case studies to inspire other towns in Connecticut.

In order to qualify for the Muni, selected towns must designate a contact person who will be responsible for facilitating a NEMO Task Force. The membership of this task force includes, at a minimum, members of the major land use commissions or boards and the office of the chief elected official (town council; board of selectmen, mayor’s office). Other groups, such as town departments, land trusts and economic development commissions are also encouraged to participate.

The Municipal Initiative, now in its fifth year, remains a gratifying experience in what a group of dedicated town staff and volunteers can accomplish, given a little backup education and advice. In 2005, NEMO worked with three communities under this initiative: Killingly, Killingworth and Torrington. These communities have either completed the Muni, or are in the final stretch.

If your town is interested in participating in the Municipal Initiative, contact John Rozum, the CT NEMO Program Director.

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6/06 - Coming Soon from the NEMO Program

Build a Community Resource Inventory…Online!
Before you can plan the future of your community, you need to know what you have. A resource inventory of your town is a vital planning and review tool for your commissions, but how do you get started? The NEMO Team has been delivering the Community Resource Inventory (CRI) workshop for five years and many communities have gotten started with their inventories. However, finding and using the plethora of published maps has been a stumbling block for many.

No more! Beginning this summer, the NEMO Program will launch the CRI-Online website. The website, funded by a grant from CT DEP, is designed to be a tool that helps commissions get started in developing a customized resource inventory for their town. This “one stop shop” of map making will provide town-level maps for printing or to be inserted into your favorite GIS program. Look for an announcement on the NEMO website.

All About Rain Gardens

Although the focus of NEMO education efforts has typically been town personnel and commission members, it doesn’t mean the information isn’t applicable to a wider audience. An upcoming publication, created by Mike Dietz of CT NEMO and Karen Filchak (UConn Cooperative Extension), brings rain garden design to homeowners. The Rain Garden Design Manual is another step in the direction of moving from “why” to “how” in LID practices. The manual, based on a similar publication from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will provide homeowners with simple, yet detailed guidance on all aspects of home rain garden installation. Topics such as where to put the garden, how large to make it, what plants to use, and how to maintain it will be covered. The manual is scheduled to be available in the summer of 2006. Copies will be available upon request from Mike Dietz, and the electronic version (pdf) will be available on the NEMO website.

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6/06 - From the NEMO Science Desk

Many folks familiar with NEMO teachings are well aware of the local and regional impacts that land use has on natural resources and the water cycle. However, the impact of global land use patterns on large scale climate patterns has been highlighted in a recent article (“Land Use and Climate Change”, by Roger A. Pielke Sr., Science, Vol. 310, December 9, 2005). Pielke cites NASA reports estimate that human development has transformed between one-third and one-half of the earth’s land surfaces.

There is growing evidence that land use patterns, in addition to greenhouse gas production, is playing a role in climate disturbances.

Although greenhouse gas production may have a larger global influence on average temperatures, land use changes seem to produce varying regional effects. Pielke cites the alteration of thunderstorm patterns due to land use changes as one mechanism that can influence regional temperature and precipitation regimes. Interestingly, while some areas may experience temperature increases, other areas may experience temperature decreases. These changes can cancel each other out when averaged out globally. However, Pielke reminds us that “people and ecosystems will experience the effects of environmental changes regionally, and not as global averaged values.”

This cutting edge research shows how important land use decisions can be, from the local, regional and global perspectives. The human influence on global systems is undeniable. With all of its success stories in the land use arena, NEMO is helping to tip the balance in the other direction, in favor of ecological and social balance.

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1/06 - BBC News article: Rain gardens 'cut city pollution'

By Mark Kinver
BBC News science and nature reporter

Link to article

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8/05 - CT NEMO Rethinks Filing System

5/05 - NEMO Welcomes Mike Dietz
5/05 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Web Update
5/05 - Putting Communities in Charge Booklet Back by Popular Demand
5/05 - New Workshop: Map Reading 101

4/05 - CLEAR Wins Environmental Leadership Award

1/05 - CT NEMO’s New Publication, Putting Communities in Charge
1/05 - Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual Training
1/05 - CLEAR & NEMO featured in the Earth Imaging Journal


8/05 - CT NEMO Rethinks Filing System

In its ever-present quest for increased efficiency, the Connecticut NEMO Program, led by John Rozum, AICP, is testing out new theories of filing science. After reading a thought-provoking article in the Journal of Applied Organizational Techniques entitled “Filing cabinets and recycling bins: can their functions be combined?” Rozum has totally reorganized the bustling CT NEMO office. Seen here are pictures of John’s first test of the new filing system, which was apparently a whopping success.

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5/05 - NEMO Welcomes Mike Dietz

Dr. Michael Dietz will be joining the NEMO program team in June as an Extension Educator, specializing in “low impact development” (LID) stormwater practices. Mike is no stranger to UConn, having earned all his degrees here, including his recently completed PhD from the Natural Resources Manage-met and Engineering Department. Working with Dr. Jack Clausen, Mike has participated in a number of projects researching the effectiveness of stormwater practices, including the Jordan Cove Project in Waterford and his doctoral research on the rain garden treating the roof runoff from NEMO Central at the Middlesex County Extension Center. Mike’s addition brings long-sought engineering expertise to the NEMO Team, and beefs up our ability to develop educational programs and conduct applied research in the burgeoning field of LID. With our current emphasis on the Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual and the increased use of LID practices around the state (including at UConn), Mike’s arrival couldn’t be better timed. Mike is a nice guy (another new wrinkle for the NEMO Team!) and can be reached here at Haddam after June 3rd at 860-345-4511 or by email at michael.dietz@uconn.edu

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5/05 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Web Update

The Connecticut’s Changing Landscape website now includes on-demand town and watershed maps. At the Your Town or Your Watershed portions of the site, you can click the state map or use the pull-down menu to access land cover and land cover change data tables, statistics, maps and (for a lucky few) animations. NEMO’s Emily Wilson made this possible with something called “active server page” technology. Whatever it’s called, it’s pretty cool—check it out at:

clear.uconn.edu/projects/landscape/local/town.asp

clear.uconn.edu/projects/landscape/local/rbasin.asp

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5/05 - Putting Communities in Charge Booklet Back by Popular Demand

Putting Communities in Charge is a new booklet that highlights the work of a number of communities that have been working with NEMO over the past decade. It demonstrates the wide range of activities and initiatives that a community can pursue, once it begins to implement an agenda of natural resource-based planning. It also has succinct and painless summary information on NEMO programs, research, partners, etc. Released as a can’t-miss stocking stuffer around the holidays, our supply was quickly exhausted—but thanks to our NEMO parent/partners at Connecticut Sea Grant, we are doing a second printing. So, order a free copy today by calling John at 860-345-5225 or visiting the NEMO publications page.

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5/05 - New Workshop: Map Reading 101

Map Reading 101 is a new NEMO educational workshop that focuses on the basics of site design review. Have you ever felt at a disadvantage as soon as an applicant’s engineer whips out the site plans (c’mon, be honest….)? This workshop will benefit anyone who has ever had trouble locating the North arrow or been perplexed determining where the water drains from those irritating topo lines. The workshop is a typical 2-hour extravaganza, with interactive exercises and plenty of time for Q&A, and was developed in collaboration with the Connecticut Land Use Education Partnership and NEMO’s CLEAR sister project, the Green Valley Institute. A perfect primer for all land use boards that review plans.

The workshop is free of charge. We recommend scheduling 2 hours to allow for discussion and questions. Contact John Rozum at john.rozum@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511 to schedule a workshop.

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4/05 - CLEAR Wins Environmental Leadership Award

The Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) was recently presented by the University Environmental Policy Advisory Council (EPAC) with a 2004-2005 ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP AWARD, in the category of University-affiliated Group. Winners were selected based on proven dedication and outstanding contributions to the principles of environmental leadership as outlined in UConn’s Environmental Policy Statement. The first-ever awards were presented to CLEAR Director Dan Civco and other CLEAR staff at a special ceremony on Earth Day, April 22, 2005.

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1/05 - CT NEMO’s New Publication, Putting Communities in Charge

CT NEMO recently printed its first official impact report dedicated to the work of the NEMO Program in Connecticut. The report describes the origin, objectives and progress of the program and includes a number of exciting new initiatives that have begun during this past year.

The main body of the Report, however, is given over to portrayals of selected towns that have worked with NEMO, and the ways that these towns are taking charge of their community’s future development patterns. The report profiles Old Saybrook, Waterford, Woodstock, Salem, Central Naugatuck Valley, Watertown, East Haddam, Candlewood Lake Authority and Stonington. The examples detailed in the report, while they represent only a portion of the good work being done around the state, demonstrate the power of local citizens to bring about positive change in their communities.To order a copy of the report, free of charge, visit the CT Impact Reports section of the Publications page. The profiled areas (Old Saybrook, Waterford, Woodstock, Salem, Central Naugatuck Valley, Watertown, East Haddam, Candlewood Lake Authority and Stonington) are also available as individual .pdf files for easy online viewing.

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1/05 - Connecticut Stormwater Quality Manual Training

The CT NEMO Program Team will be providing training around the state during 2005 on the new Stormwater Quality Manual by CT DEP. A number of key constituents will be targeted including municipal officials, town and consulting civil engineers, landscape architects, public works departments, state employees and others. View the manual at: http://dep.state.ct.us/wtr/stormwater/strmwtrman.htm.

For more information:
on the manual: Cheryl Chase, CT DEP, (860) 424-3860, cheryl.chase@po.state.ct.us on the workshops: John Rozum, UConn, (860) 345 4511, john.rozum@uconn.edu

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1/05 - CLEAR & NEMO featured in the Earth Imaging Journal November/December 2004 vol.1 no. 6

An article about CLEAR and NEMO was recently published in Earth Imaging Journal, a fairly new high-profile publication in the remote sensing world. EIJ is published by private sector remote sensing interests, and is not a peer-reviewed journal. However, their interest in our work (they solicited the article), and the fact that they put it on the cover of the hard copy journal, is a good sign indicating our growing national recognition. Interestingly, we assumed that they wanted to know all about our latest CLEAR research, but the Editor kept asking us for more about NEMO and the on-the-ground results of our work. Thus, there are nice breakout boxes on both CT and National NEMO. The e-article is at: http://www.eijournal.com/Local_Decisions.asp

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6/04 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Project in the News
6/04 - NEMO Highlighted in the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's Preliminary Report

2/04 - New NEMO Program Coordinator Announced
2/04 - Steal These Maps!
2/04 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Presentation
2/04 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Project, So What's Next?
2/04 - GIS Training Workshop: Geospatial Technologies at Work

1/04 - CLEAR Launches New Series of Land Cover Data for Connecticut


6/04 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Project in the News

Connecticut's Changing Landscape project got a bit of press this past winter. Below are several articles, originally printed in The Hartford Courant.

March 22, 2004 - The Hartford Courant, Editorial
Maps Tell Sprawl Story (pdf 27KB)

March 21, 2004 - The Hartford Courant, Commentary by Chester Arnold
Sprawl: A Birds-eye View (pdf 27KB)

January 4, 2004 - The Hartford Courant, ArticleBy Mike Swift
Satellite Pinpoints State's Sprawl
- New Computer Maps Show Loss Of Land In Every Town To Development Over Decades (pdf 33KB)

• Or read the original electronic article posted on The Hartford Courant's ctnow.com website. Satellite Pinpoints State's Sprawl (you may need to sign up for a free e-subscription to access the article.

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6/04 - NEMO Highlighted in the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy's Preliminary Report

"Released by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy on April 20, 2004, this document presents the Commission’s preliminary findings and recommendations for a new, coordinated, and comprehensive national ocean policy. Mandated by the Oceans Act of 2000, the Preliminary Report is now available for review and comment by the nation’s Governors and interested stakeholders." NEMO is highlighted in Section V, chapter 14: Addressing Coastal Water Pollution, page 170.

Visit the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy website. View full report.

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2/04 - New NEMO Program Coordinator Announced

Finally, you have someone to call! After a nation-wide search for a NEMO Program Director, it turns out that we had only to look down the hall. John Rozum, an AICP Planner and our first and only National NEMO Network Coordinator, decided to throw his hat into the ring after our original search, this past fall, did not produce quite the right candidate.

After earning Master's degrees at the University of Arizona in Ecology and Land Use Planning, John worked as an environmental and community planner in Michigan for three years. In 1999 he came to UConn to lead the National NEMO Network, which at the time was just starting to take shape. Under John's tender ministrations, the Network has grown like a weed, going from 9 to 34 programs in four years. While John was nurturing the National Network, he was also delving into local planning in the Nutmeg State. He is a member of East Haddam's Planning and Zoning Commission, the East Haddam Village Planning Group and the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Study Management Committee. In addition, John has provided many important contributions to Connecticut NEMO during his tenure as National Coordinator, including leading the development of the Community Resource Inventory educational module.

With enthusiastic support of the rest of the team, John made the decision to focus on assisting Connecticut's communities, even though he'll miss the national program. Having recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary, the NEMO Program is at an important crossroads. With John at the helm, the NEMO Team will in short order reshape the program to keep all that has made it successful while adding new ideas, new services, new information and new partnerships into the mix.

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2/04 - Steal Connecticut Land Cover Maps!

No need for larceny, you can download the maps and information on Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Project for free on the CLEAR website. Here you will find more information on how the data were created, some preliminary interpretation, fact sheets, frequently asked questions, as well as ways to download the GIS information for those geospatially inclined. If you don't have the latest GIS software on your computer, no worries. The website also includes an interactive mapping section that allows you to view, query and print the maps using nothing more than your internet browser. So grab your favorite beverage and point your browser to the CLEAR website to learn more about Connecticut's changing landscape.


2/04 - Connecticut’s Changing Landscape Presentation

Website isn't enough? Want to learn more about Connecticut's changing landscape right from the horse's mouth? Your friendly neighborhood NEMO Team has a 45 minute presentation about the project that we'd be glad to bring to your town. Call John Rozum at (860) 345-4511 or email nemo@uconn.edu.

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2/04 - Connecticut's Changing Landscape Project, So What's Next?

Connecticut's Changing Landscape is a project in several installments. Over the next year, CLEAR researchers will be applying several landscape analyses to the new 1985, 1990, 1995 and 2002 land cover datasets. Urban growth and forest fragmentation models will help us to further mine the land cover data. With this type of information, we hope to be able to better address some of the more qualitative issues involved with development—in other words, not just how much we've developed, but in what pattern, and with what implications for the health of our communities and natural resources.

Another analysis will deal specifically with that nemesis familiar to NEMO veterans—impervious surfaces, an indicator of the impacts of urbanization on water resources. Using the developed category from the new land cover data as a “first cut” identifier, and then applying cutting-edge “subpixel” analysis that estimates the amount of impervious cover directly from the satellite data, CLEAR researchers will be able to accurately chart the growth in impervious cover from 1985 to the present.

So what about the million dollar question: Does Connecticut's changing landscape present compelling evidence on sprawl in our state? We still don't know enough about what the data is telling us to say much in the way of definitive statements. What we do know is that the study is coming at an opportune time, given the debates on sprawl and “smart growth” that are taking place from the Capitol to town halls across the state. It's interesting to note that the first two organizations to request downloading of our data were the Connecticut Homebuilder's Association and The Nature Conservancy! Like those groups, we invite you to pour over the study results and come to your own conclusion. As we collectively absorb and debate the results of the study, the true take home messages may become clear. By the time of our next newsletter issue, you can expect some of the preliminary results of the next wave of studies to hit the web!

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2/04 - GIS Training Workshop: Geospatial Technologies at Work

Next class June 14 - 18, 2004 - Interested in learning how to use GIS? For more information and to download the registration form, visit the Geospatial Technology website.

Location: University of Connecticut, Main Campus, W. B. Young Building, Storrs, CT.

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6/04 - CLEAR Launches New Series of Land Cover Data for Connecticut

The University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Project Team
(from left) Sandy Prisloe, Director of the Geospatial Technology Program, Emily Wilson, Research Assistant, James Hurd, Remote Sensing Research Assistant, Dan Civco Director of CLEAR, (not pictured, Chet Arnold, Assistant Director of CLEAR)

The Center for Land use Education And Research (CLEAR) has just released a new series of four dates of land cover data (1985, 1990, 1995 and 2002) for the state of Connecticut. These data, prepared from medium resolution satellite imagery, provide for the first time a consistently defined and interpreted set of land cover data that will allow state, regional and local planners to evaluate and study landscape changes over a seventeen year period. The data will be valuable to many organizations and government agencies as the state increasingly begins to deal with issues concerning development, sprawl, traffic congestion, forest loss and other aspects of landscape change.

The land cover data were interpreted from Landsat satellite imagery. Sensors aboard the satellite detect radiation reflected from the earth’s surface and store these data as images. The images, which are made up of millions of squares with a ground resolution of 30 meters (~ 100 feet) on a side, are converted via computer programs and human expertise into land cover maps. Land cover, as its name implies, shows the "covering" of the landscape. This is to be distinguished from land use, which is what is permitted, practiced or intended for a given area. For example, an area of low-density rural residential land use, as permitted by local zoning, likely will appear as forest in a Landsat image – there are a lot more trees than houses. Similarly, downtown Hartford, which is classified mostly as a “Developed” land cover is a mixture of uses that include offices, restaurants, stores, apartments, roads, parking lots, etc. From the satellite image it’s not possible to determine what the land uses are but we can describe the area as being developed. The land cover data include eleven consistently defined classes and include: developed areas, turf and grass, other grasses and agriculture, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, water, non-forested wetlands, forested wetlands, tidal wetlands, barren areas, and utility rights-of-way. In preparing the data, care was taken to insure the accuracy of land cover classifications from one time period to the next thereby making it possible to conduct change analyses.

The land cover maps and a number of interpreted products can be viewed on the CLEAR website and each of the four dates of data can be downloaded for use in geographic information systems. http://clear.uconn.edu/projects/landscape/index.htm

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6/03 - Laurie Giannotti Leaves the CT NEMO Program
6/03 - Introducing Emily Wilson

3/03 - New States Join the Network


6/03 - Laurie Giannotti Leaves the CT NEMO Program

As some of you may know, CT NEMO Coordinator Laurie Giannotti left the University in April to become the Executive Director of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition. All of us here at NEMO Central would like to thank Laurie for the great job that she did, and the great friend that she was, and is.

Laurie was the first and only Coordinator the program has had, and was with us for six years. During that time, she initiated a wide variety of innovative projects, including the Reducing Runoff website and the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Project, in Haddam, CT. However, her greatest achievement was her stalwart work on the Municipal Initiative, which she created with Jim Gibbons and ran for the three years it has been in effect.

Changes to the team notwithstanding, NEMO is alive and well. NEMO responsibilities during this interim period are being handled by the team of Jim Gibbons, Chet Arnold and National NEMO Network Coordinator John Rozum. We're looking forward to working on a number of new educational programs over the summer, and kicking off yet another round of the Municipal Initiative in the fall. And, we're looking forward to welcoming a new CT Coordinator to the team this summer, so you can expect an introduction in the near future.

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6/03 - Introducing Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson is the remote sensing and geographic information systems specialist for the Connecticut NEMO Program. Emily was originally hired back in 1999 by NEMO's research sister program at UConn, the Regional Earth Science Applications Center. There, she helped pioneer new techniques at looking at land cover data, including methods to characterize urban growth and forest fragmentation—both of which we are eagerly waiting to apply to our new land cover change information. Emily jumped the fence over to the NEMO education side last August, and in her first year has served as an invaluable link between Connecticut NEMO and Sandy Prisloe's Geospatial Technology Extension Program. At the moment, Emily is working on the interactive mapping website for Focus on the Coast, as well as helping Sandy with his GIS training courses and pitching in on various research and technology initiatives. Emily is also available to give the GIS and Your Town presentation, which is an ideal primer on GIS and RS technology for towns considering getting into the digital game.

Emily has a BA in Environmental Studies and Botany from Connecticut College and an MS in Forestry and Remote Sensing from the University of Maine. She lives in East Hampton with her husband Josh, an Environmental Analyst, and her brand new baby Abigail.

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3/03 - New States Join the Network

You may not know it, but you are the inspiration for a national network of projects. The National NEMO Network is a group of affiliated projects adapted from the Connecticut original. Member projects, which now number 29 in 28 states and territories (map), agree to share educational tools, materials, and experiences, to create a network that is more than the sum of its parts. Communication and coordination services for the Network are provided by the UConn project, with support from EPA, NOAA, and USDA.

The Network continues to grow, stretching ever westward, with new states in Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi and Nevada. The Arizona NEMO Program is led by Deb Young of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension System and will focus on several issues unique to the arid Southwest. The Colorado project, coined AWARE (Addressing Water And natural Resource Education) Colorado, is coordinated by Loretta Lohman of Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and by Cynthia Peterson of the CO League of Women Voters. In Mississippi, the Department of Environmental Quality is leading the charge under the direction of James MacLellan, an actual professional engineer (don't worry James, we don't hold that against you). Last, but not least, Nevada is gambling on NEMO to help identify and address a number of water related issues, awarding a Section 319 grant to Susan Donaldson, a water quality education specialist for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Congratulations to all and welcome to the Network.

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12/02 - CT NEMO goes to the APA National Conference in Denver
11/02 - NEMO Project Finally Succumbs to the Urge to do a Newsletter!
11/02 - Middlesex Extension Green Roof and Rain Garden Demonstrations
11/02 - Reducing Runoff Web Site Debuts
11/02 - Watershed Booklet Spells Out the Process
11/02 - Two New Educational Presentations Hit the Street
11/02 - ISAT, a New Geospatial Analysis Tool
9/02 - NEMO Named the Group of the Month
9/02 - NEMO Featured in NWQEP
4/02 - "NEMO: Successful Connecticut Project Used as Model Nationwide"


12/02 - CT NEMO goes to the APA National Conference in Denver

The CT NEMO project through our collaboration with the CT DEP 319 program, delivered a regional "Linking Land Use to Water Quality" program during 1998 in the northwestern corner of the state. The regional planners took our recommendations to conduct a parking utilization study to heart. Over the last 4 years they have obtained funding, hired a consultant and completed the first phase of their work. The NEMO Team along with Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc (consultant for the parking study) and the Northwestern CT Council of Governments will be discussing the project on April fools day (hmmm?!) in Denver. Come to our session entitled "Too Much Parking" or visit our website in the spring to download the study.


11/02 - NEMO Project Finally Succumbs to the Urge to do a Newsletter!

After a decade of existence, we finally gave in to the urge to produce a newsletter to keep our friends and colleagues up to date on things NEMO, whether they be local triumphs, new educational materials, upcoming events, or "other." The deciding factor was the bevy of great things that are being done in the towns participating in our Connecticut Municipal Initiative. In a compromise between our need to transmit information and our long tradition of brevity, we intend to issue the 4-page newsletter only twice a year. Get your framing materials out, because you can download the collector's edition of Volume 1, Issue 1 right now in our Publications section, General NEMO Information.

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11/02 - Middlesex County Extension Center Demonstration Project forges ahead with Green Roof and Rain Garden demonstrations.

Connecticut NEMO Coordinator Laurie Giannotti has undertaken yet another gargantuan task - turning the NEMO Project's home base, the Middlesex County Extension Center, into a multifaceted educational site that demonstrates many of the site design practices that NEMO preaches! This fall, the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Project gained some serious momentum with the installation of both green roof and rain garden demonstrations. The green roof demo is a collaboration with Weston solutions Inc. of Glastonbury, CT, and uses their new modular GreenGrid system. The rain garden demo is a collaboration with Dr. Jack Clausen of the UConn Natural Resources Management & Engineering Department. Read all about these exciting, in-the-ground events at the Sustainable Landscape Demonstration Project web location (be sure to click on "New Management Practices" to see updates on the rain garden and green roof demos):
nemo.uconn.edu/case_studies/case_studies/demosite.htm

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11/02 - Reducing Runoff Web Site Debuts

The NEMO website has a new primary destination! In collaboration with the CT DEP's NPS Program, Reducing Runoff (R2) provides you with innovative techniques and development materials for keeping stormwater runoff on site. The R2 site contains photographs, information sheets, case studies, links to manufacturers and more. Whether you're pondering a grass roof or a gravel driveway, this is the place for you to start. This information will be especially useful for those communities and developers affected by the state's upcoming Stormwater Phase II program. Please visit our Reducing Runoff section.


11/02 - Watershed Booklet Spells Out the Process

Natural Resource-Based Planning for Watersheds: A Practical Starter Kit, is a joint publication of the NEMO Project and the UConn Forestry Extension Program. The 27 page booklet, heavy on illustrations and mercifully light on text, is meant to demystify the process of planning to protect multi-town resources like watersheds. Along the way, it relates simple tips, and examples of ways to keep yourself from bogging down or blowing up when tackling your local watershed. The Kit can be ordered through the Publications section of the NEMO website (cost is $5). An associated workshop can also be scheduled, see our Workshops section of the NEMO website.


11/02 - Two New Educational Presentations Hit the Street

Conducting a Community Resource Inventory, a recent addition to the NEMO stable of presentations, is now available. As all true NEMOids know, a resource inventory is an essential first step toward all natural resource-based planning initiatives. This presentation goes over the process, and describes a basic inventory that can be cobbled together from existing state data layers, in your spare time and using only tools to be found in your basement.

Focus on the Coast is a multi-media project that educates local decision makers about the priority coastal resources of the Connecticut coastline. The program will include a PowerPoint presentation, fact sheets, and website complete with map information. Focus on the Coast is a collaboration of the NEMO Project, the Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, The Nature Conservancy Connecticut Chapter Coastal Program, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Office of Long Island Sound Programs.

For more information on any of these programs, please contact Chester Arnold at chester.arnold@uconn.edu or call (860) 345-4511.

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11/02 - ISAT, a New Geospatial Analysis Tool

ISAT is an ArcView 3.x extension designed to estimate the percent area of a watershed (or another user specified geographic area) that is covered with impervious surfaces and to display the results in the familiar NEMO green, yellow and red colors indicating possible water quality impacts. The extension, written by staff at the NOAA Coastal Services Center, was designed around a prototype application developed by the Connecticut NEMO Project. ISAT easily and quickly estimates impervious surface area based on land cover data and a set of land-cover specific impervious surface coefficients. It also allows the testing of various land use change scenarios to determine how they could impact water quality.

To introduce users to ISAT and to explore impervious surface coefficient development, a training workshop was held October 24th and 25th in the Marine Sciences building on the UConn Avery Point Campus. The workshop was team taught by Dave Eslinger, from the NOAA Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC, and Sandy Prisloe. Dr. Dan Civco, from Natural Resources Management and Engineering, UConn, also made a presentation on cutting edge techniques to extract impervious surface data from satellite imagery. Approximately 20 people attended the workshop and included NEMO project staff from 7 states and land use officials from a number of Connecticut municipalities. For more information, contact Sandy Prisloe, Geospatial Extension Specialist, UConn Cooperative Extension System or visit the GTP website at clear.uconn.edu/geospatial. To download ISAT, go to website www.csc.noaa.gov/crs/is/.

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9/02 - The NEMO program was named the Group of the Month

The NEMO program was named the Group of the Month for July 2002 by a Canadian water quality organization. The Water Information Network (H2infO) is a project founded in late 1999 by RiverSides Stewardship Alliance, the Toronto Environmental Alliance and the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy.

The project aims to improve municipal water quality, quantity and flow by fostering and supporting community-based programs and increasing civic participation in national, provincial and local efforts to control municipal non-point sources of water pollution. H2infO promotes the achievement of sustainable municipal, provincial and national policies and programs respecting urban water quality by empowering civic and community action through research, information dissemination and exchange, partnership building and representation.

Anyone ready for a Mapleleaf NEMO program? Visit the H2infO website and see the write-up on NEMO! www.h2info.org.

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9/02 - NEMO Featured in NWQEP

Can't get enough information about NEMO? NC State University's NCSU Water Quality Group Newsletter, NWQEP NOTES, is featuring NEMO in its latest issue! The article focuses on the impacts of the CT NEMO program. The May 2002 publication can be accessed on the NWQEP website. www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/wqg/issues/Notes_105.pdf

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4/02 - "NEMO: Successful Connecticut Project Used as Model Nationwide"

EPA Section 319 Success Stories, Vol. III

"NEMO is an educational program for land use decision makers that addresses the relationship between land use and natural resource protection, with a focus on water resources. The NEMO project was created in 1991 by the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service (UConn/CES), in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources Management and Engineering and the Connecticut Sea Grant Program. NEMO receives funding from a number of federal and state agencies; major funding is provided by the USDA/Cooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service Water Quality Program, the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency."
Continue Article . .

 

Article below appeared in the CANR Journal - Oct/Nov/Dec 2001 issue (Vol. 8, No. 4)
© 2001 University of Connecticut

12/01 - New Center Brings Together Land Use Programs
By Kim Colavito Markesich

A new center is being created in the College that will bring together existing land use programs and make way for new ones. The Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR) creates an umbrella for these programs that will expand research, teaching, outreach, and student support.

CLEAR incorporates the philosophy of land grant, space grant, and sea grant college systems into what NASA has been calling an "earth grant college" approach. Although the term "earth grant" is not officially recognized, College faculty have taken the idea to heart.

CLEAR will focus on the impacts of land use on natural resources. "The intent of the Center is to bring together expertise, data, education, and technical tools to assist Connecticut communities in their land use planning," says Daniel Civco, CLEAR’s director.

The center assembles a talented crew with a record of success. In addition to Civco, a renowned expert on remote sensing and GIS, principals include Chet Arnold, CLEAR’s associate director and water quality educator; Jim Gibbons, land use planning educator; Sandy Prisloe, geospatial extension specialist; and Steve Broderick, state forester.

"We see the new center as an umbrella for our ongoing programs that have some key elements in common," says Arnold. "They’re all about land use and they all result in practical educational programs with information and tools for land use decision makers in the state."

"Just about every town in Connecticut is facing the challenge of how to balance the need to save their important natural resources and at the same time develop to help the tax base," adds Gibbons. He continues, "Extension’s role is to take research at the University out to the public, presenting it in a way that is understandable and meaningful so that it can make some change."

Several very successful programs will be a part of CLEAR:

  • The nationally recognized NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) program addresses non-point source pollution, now in 22 states across the country. John Rozum is the national network coordinator, and Laurie Giannotti is Connecticut program coordinator.The Community Land Use Planning Program is an ongoing state-funded project.
  • The Green Valley Institute ensures that community and individual land use owners in northeastern Connecticut’s Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor have the knowledge necessary for future planning.
  • The new Earth Grant Geospatial Technology Extension Program provides geospatial education and training to help local officials understand and benefit from remote sensing, GIS and GPS. Connecticut was the fourth state selected by NASA to place a geospatial specialist The three states to pilot this program were Utah, Mississippi,and Arizona.
  • The NAUTILUS (Northeast Applications of Useable Technology In Land planning for Urban Sprawl) program focuses on research methods for detecting land use change and developing quantifiable measurements to characterize urban growth, specifically how land use change causes forest fragmentation.
  • The genesis of the remote sensing and GIS research program dates back to 1990, when Civco founded LERIS, the Laboratory for Earth Resources Information System. In 1997, LERIS was officially recognized as a NASA Center for Excellence of Earth Observation. Currently, LERIS-related projects support four full-time research assistants and eight to ten graduate students.

One focus for the past few years has been on developing methods that characterize impervious surfaces, an important indicator of the impacts of development on waterways. Other research tracks involve measuring change in the Connecticut landscape over the past 30 years, with particular attention to the growth of urban land at the expense of forest and farmland. High-resolution satellite information is a major part of this new research. "We actually have satellites that rival the quality of those used by the intelligence community," notes Civco. With these new cutting-edge data as a foundation, CLEAR hopes to expand and enhance its many educational programs for Connecticut communities and land managers.

Current annual funding for existing CLEAR-related programs totals over $600,000, from a variety of sources including the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Sea Grant, the Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor, USDA, CSREES, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, and NASA.

With the establishment of CLEAR, researchers and educators at the University will be able to create a truly integrated esearch, education, applications, and outreach facility that makes meaningful con-tributions to our understanding of, and ability to address, the impacts of land use practices and change on natural resources.

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