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UC Environmental Researchers Awarded $250K for Water Monitoring, Education


With $250,000 of new funding, UC researchers will be able to expand water quality monitoring and education outreach efforts as soon as this summer.

Date: 4/23/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Elissa Yancey
Phone: (513) 556-4350
Photos By: Elissa Yancey

UC ingot  

With $250,000 of new funding, University of Cincinnati researchers will be able to expand water quality monitoring and education outreach efforts as soon as this summer.

Provost Beverly Davenport accepted a giant check for a quarter of a million dollars from Duke Energy Foundation and Duke Energy representatives on Earth Day. David Nash, professor of geology, and David Lentz, professor of biology, joined McMicken Dean Ken Petren to celebrate the award that will support their work. 

Specifically, the Duke grant will help fund the Great Miami Ground-Water Observatory (GMGWO) in the Miami Whitewater Forest. The Hamilton County Park District donated the land the researchers need to support their efforts. Nash said the GMGWO advances the region’s ability to detect threats to the Great Miami Buried Aquifer System, which supplies drinking water for about 2.3 million people in Southwest Ohio, including Dayton and residents of the northern edge of Greater Cincinnati. 

UC leaders accept a giant check from Duke Energy officials

“Groundwater research is critical to ensuring the safety of our water and measuring the impact of industries that locate in our region because of it,” said Nash, who is working with Amy Townsend-Small, assistant professor of geology, on the project. 

The rest of the Duke grant will support a summer environmental research training program for K-12 science teachers. The summer session pairs teachers with UC researchers in the field for hands-on learning about water quality, biodiversity, waste management and other related topics. Biologist Lentz is the executive director of the Cincinnati Center for Field Studies, better known as UC’s Field Station, which is centered at the historic South Shaker Farm in the middle of the 4,000-acre Miami Whitewater Forest. 

“UC’s corporate and community partners are helping our faculty and researchers expand the reach of their important work on water quality and sustainability,” said Beverly Davenport, UC provost & senior vice president for academic affairs. “Duke Energy’s generous grant will help expose students at UC and students throughout the Cincinnati and Dayton region to expert monitoring methods as well as benefit the broader Greater Cincinnati community.”

Duke’s award to UC came in conjunction with another $250,000 worth of environmentally focused awards to Thomas More College, which operates a Biology Field Station on the Ohio River that serves as the home of the Center for Ohio River Research and Education.

McMicken Dean Ken Petren with Provost Beverly Davenport

Duke Energy Grant in the News:

Duke gives $500K to UC, TMC to study waterways

Grants will fund water quality research and STEM education


$500,000 grant to benefit river studies by Thomas More, University of Cincinnati