What is the Stormwater Corps?
Stormwater Corps is a UConn offered course which combines classroom learning and real-world experience. For this class, students will travel to a designated town and develop strategies for impervious cover disconnection which will then be presented at the end of the semester. Your town will receive a detailed report and there will be a presentation for all interested parties on the contents of the report. You can find more information for communities on Stormwater Corps here: https://nemo.uconn.edu/stormwater-corps/communities/
What do the students do for Stormwater Corps?
Through this program, a team of students will identify, assess, and recommend opportunities to retrofit traditional stormwater control measures with low impact development/nature-based approaches like rain gardens, bioretention, tree box filters, pervious pavers, etc. The students will focus primarily on lower cost retrofits for municipal properties. For examples of the types of reports students will produce, visit: https://nemo.uconn.edu/stormwater-corps/projects/
What is the “Summer Corps” program?
The Summer Corps is a version of the Stormwater Corps in which UConn students are selected for a paid summer job to do the same type of stormwater retrofit analysis as in the Academic Year program (see other FAQs for more info). Summer Corps is grant funded and so not always available – if you’re an interested UConn student, please contact the instructors listed above.
How many towns are chosen to participate?
The number of openings we offer for towns varies from semester to semester based on how many students we have. Typically, we try to offer 6 openings per semester.
How can my town be chosen for Stormwater Corps?
We typically send out a notification for openings a few weeks before each semester. The best way to find out is to subscribe to our listservs. Be sure to check out both our MS4 Listserv and our Public Works Listserv.
Simply reply to the listserv post or reach out to Dave Dickson (David.email@example.com) to let him know if your town is interested. We keep track of all who have reached out, so even if you don't get chosen for that semester, we will have you on hand for future projects.
Is there a certain criteria that must be met to qualify?
While there aren’t any strict qualifying criteria that must be met, there are some aspects we take into consideration when choosing towns.
We try to choose towns that have not already participated in recent stormwater corps projects, or a stormwater retrofit-focused Climate Corps project. We also look for towns that are located closer to campus to allow for greater accessibility for the students.
Again, these are not hard criteria. If your town is interested in participating, please reach out and we will do our best to find a spot for you in one of our projects.
What would be expected of the town (cost, time, resources, etc.. )?
In terms of the town’s involvement, the responsibilities are to:
- Participate in a virtual meeting with the students to discuss potential municipal sites to assess.
- Alert folks at the selected properties that students will be coming to visit on a particular day. We will be staying only outside and wearing bright orange vests. Town staff are welcome to walk the properties with us but are not required to.
- Participate in a virtual meeting to follow up on the field visits and answer any questions they students may have about the sites they visited.
- Invite relevant town staff and officials to participate in a virtual meeting where the students present their recommendations.
- Share the team’s report with relevant folks (planning, engineering, public works, school district, elected officials, land use commissioners) in town who might be interested in implement some of the practices.
In addition, this program is part of a larger overall project at UConn, the Environment Corps, designed to give students real world experience while providing towns with help in addressing environmental problems. As such we are evaluating the impact on both students and towns. It is possible that you will be asked at some point in the future to complete a survey or answer questions about your experience in the program.
What is the time commitment for participating towns?
In terms of the town time commitment, it’s several 1-hour virtual meetings with the students to discuss potential sites, help in alerting folks that need to be alerted when we conduct site visits, and pulling together town staff and officials for a presentation of the student’s recommendations.
Is there a distance limit to where the UConn program would travel to?
As of right now, there is no set distance limit. However, given the students schedules and access to transportation, it is a challenge to get to certain parts of the state for this program which may put your town at a disadvantage. We recommend still letting us know of your interest and we will try our best to include your town for future projects.
I’ve reached out about participating, what should I do next?
You are on the interested list, so there is nothing else you need to do at this point. We will reach out shortly to let you know if your town has been chosen to participate or not.
I’ve already been a part of the program. Can I be chosen again?
Unfortunately, in order to provide this opportunity to as many towns as possible, we are unlikely to do a repeat town for our upcoming semesters. However, we will be sure to keep your town in mind as future projects arise.
Does my town need to be registered under the CT MS4 Permit to participate?
No, your town does not need to be registered under the CT MS4 Permit to participate. However, because the Stormwater Corps Program is focused on promoting disconnections of impervious cover, this can be very helpful to MS4 towns trying to meet their 2% disconnection goal. We strongly encourage MS4 towns to reach out about participating.
Are there other projects to participate that aren’t stormwater focused?
The Environment Corps (E-Corps) programs were created to provide assistance to the communities of Connecticut by harnessing the power of trained undergraduate students. Each E-Corps course is a two-semester experience: a hands-on, interactive classroom semester followed by a “practicum” semester where student teams undertake environmental projects in the community. In addition to Stormwater Corps, UConn also offers Climate Corps and Brownfields Corps, targeting climate adaptation and remediation of contaminated sites. All classes have a focus on the local (municipal) perspective. Be sure to visit the websites for more information. You can also watch our E-Corps video at the E-Corps project website.