NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) was created in the early 1990’s to provide information, education and assistance to local land use boards and commissions on how they can accommodate growth while protecting their natural resources and community character. The program was built upon the basic belief that the future of our communities and environment depend on land use, and, since land use is decided primarily at the local level, education of local land use officials is the most effective, and most cost-effective, way to bring about positive change.

NEMO was unique and innovative in several ways: in its use of geographic information system and remote sensing technology as educational tools; in its promotion of land use planning rather than mechanical devices as the primary weapon against water pollution, and; in its steadfast focus on local land use decision makers as the primary target audience. More than a decade later, these concepts are not nearly so radical, and communities across the state are changing the way they plan, regulate and build their landscapes—assisted by the information and education of the NEMO Program.

  • Natural Resource Protection is the Goal: (Even we feel that no further elaboration is needed on this point.)
  • Land Use is the Issue: We believe that better land use decisions are the key to protecting the natural resources, community character, and long-term economic health of our communities.
  • Local Officials are the Target Audience: Because land use is the issue, the people making land use decisions are our key target audience. In the United States, this means local officials serving on land use boards at the county and municipal levels. (Quick - name 5 groups or organizations devoted to assisting these critical decision makers! Can’t do it, can you? Chalk up yet another good reason for NEMO…)
  • Education is the Method: Given that the local land use decision making process is complex, political, and widely varying, state and federal regulation can only go so far in dictating better land use policies and practices. We believe that education—particularly research-based, non-advocacy professional outreach education—is the best way to foster better land use decisions.






  • Michael Dietz and Dave Dickson, UConn Environmental Leadership Award, Faculty/Staff Team
  • Michael Dietz, UConn Environmental Leadership Award, Alumni


  • CT NEMO's Michael Dietz and the National NEMO Network's David Dickson won the 2013 Nancy and David Bull Innovation Award from the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources for their creation of the Rain Garden App, the first University app for the general public.


  • CT NEMO's Michael Dietz and Chet Arnold have been given the Environmental Merit Award through EPA Region 1, for their work on New England Rain Garden Trainings. EPA's Environmental Merit Award is an annual award that recognizes outstanding environmental advocates who have made significant contributions toward preserving and protecting our natural resources.
  • CLEAR Geospatial Educator Emily Wilson was honored as a Connecticut Woman of Innovation by the CT Technology Council. As stated at the CTC website, "the awards program, sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council, recognizes women in the workforce and at the high school and college levels, who are innovators, role models and leaders in the technology, science and engineering fields."


  • The Association of Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) has selected NEMO Co-founder Chet Arnold to receive the Excellence in Extension award in the Northeast Region. The award is presented annually to an individual who has strived throughout his/her career to achieve benchmarks reflective of excellence in extension educational programming. Chet is being recognized for his work in co-founding and running the CT NEMO program, the National NEMO Network and CLEAR. He is the first recipient of this award from UConn or even New England.


  • CT NEMO's Emily Wilson won the 2008 Environmental Professional Award in recognition of her exemplary efforts to help local land use officials by brining geospatial technology to town hall through the CRI Online and Connecticut's Changing Landscape projects. The award was given by the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District.
  • The National NEMO Network received the Water Resources Team Award from the USDA/CSREES Water Program (to Dickson, Rozum, Arnold, Gibbons).
  • The CT NEMO Program won the 2008 Communications Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Plan Association for its set of three interrelated websites focused on Low Impact Development (LID).
  • The National NEMO Network won the 2008 national award from USDA as the Outstanding Integrated Water Resources Program.


  • The AZ NEMO video, “Stormwater Management from a Watershed Perspective: Extreme Western Climates,” produced in partnership with the University of Washington, has won numerous awards, including AEGIS Film and Video Production Award: 2007 Finalist; HERMES Creative Awards - 2007 Gold Winner; The Videographer Awards - 2007 Honorable Mention; The Telly Awards - 2007 Bronze Winner.
  • The NEMO program, comprised of CT NEMO and the National NEMO Network, was awarded the 2008 Water Resources Team Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Outstanding Integrated Program.


  • CT NEMO won the 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation in D.C. for its publication Putting Communities in Charge, which details the on-the-ground actions that Connecticut municipalities have taken after working with CT NEMO.
  • Public Outreach and Engagement Award, University of Connecticut (to CT NEMO Program) in 2006.


  • CT NEMO’s Connecticut’s Changing Landscape website received a national award in 2005 from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.
  • The WA NEMO Program and its partners received an Environmental Plans Merit Award from the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association for the Chico Creek Watershed Alternatives Future Planning Project.
  • Sue Donaldson of the NV NEMO Program received the Golden Pinecone award in 2005 by Environmental Leadership, a community based nonprofit organization for her pioneering environmental education programs.
  • NV NEMO fact sheets received a national award in 2005 from the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.
  • Northland NEMO and its partners were also awarded a 2005 Merit in Planning Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects for their multimedia Guide to Using Natural Resource Information in Local Decision Making. The Guide can be found here.


  • Northland NEMO won an award in 2004 for Outstanding Public Education from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Planning Association for their Linking Local Ordinances to Water Quality presentation and CD package.
  • NEMO was highlighted in the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy’s 2004 Final Report, which recommended an expansion of NEMO efforts. The full report can be found at www.govinfor.library.unt.edu.


  • In the spring of 2003, the SC NEMO website was awarded the AT&T Communications 1st Place Award for 2003 from Clemson University.
  • ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in Geographic Information Systems, ASPR.
  • Kristine Uhlman, coordinator of the Arizona NEMO program, was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission.


  • In the spring of 2003, the SC NEMO website was awarded the AT&T Communications 1st Place Award for 2003 from Clemson University.
  • Kristine Uhlman, coordinator of the Arizona NEMO program, was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission.
  • The journal article in Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing entitled Enhanced Outreach Education as a Decision Support System for Local Land Use Officials won the 2001 ESRI Award for the Best Scientific Paper in Geographic Information Systems.


  • University of Connecticut Chancellor's Information Technology Award, to the NEMO Project.


  • Outstanding Natural Resource & Land Use Management Program Award, to the NEMO Project. National Environmental Education and Training Foundation.


  • Outstanding Planning Program Award, to the NEMO Project, Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association.
  • Outstanding Municipal Project Award to the NEMO Project, presented by Middlesex County Soil and Water Conservation District.


  • Small Town and Rural Planning Award for Excellence: Outstanding Educational Program Award, to the NEMO Project, American Planning Association.


  • Water Quality & Water Resources Education Award, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Environmental Education.


  • Certificate of Creative Excellence, U.S. International Film and Video Festival 1994 Competition (for the NEMO Project Videotape).
  • Northeast CES Directors Award of Excellence (for the NEMO Project).
  • Special Recogniton Award, The Nature Conservancy, CT Chapter.