Environmental Monitoring, Modeling and Assessment (EMMA): An Integrated Design for Evaluating Risk and Disparities in Residential Communities

EPA Grant Number: SU833936
Title: Environmental Monitoring, Modeling and Assessment (EMMA): An Integrated Design for Evaluating Risk and Disparities in Residential Communities
Investigators: Hanrahan, Grady
Institution: California Lutheran University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 31, 2008 through July 31, 2009
Project Amount: $9,997
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Water , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


This will be a student-led research project that incorporates chemical monitoring, integrated modeling, social surveys of residents and qualitative data collection from two sites in the Ventura River, California watershed. The design will define and identify potential pollutants in the aquatic system, model their behavior and transport, and address environmental justice concerns to educate the community and public lawmakers. We will be working with the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Stormwater Quality Program to obtain access to testing sites and in dissemination of results.


To determine whether low-income communities bear disproportionate environmental pollution risks when compared to higher-income communities; to communicate findings and potential risks to community groups.


Investigators will develop a sampling and monitoring protocol (for both dry and wet weather conditions) considering the identification of scientific objectives, safety issues, quality assurance and budget constraints. Time-paced composite samples from two automated water quality monitoring stations will be collected and analyzed for selected pollutant parameters. Faculty and student investigators will develop and refine models to predict nutrient loading into the watershed from both point and non-point sources. Investigators will develop a methodological design that will assess both perceived risk and reactions to knowledge of actual risk of the residents living in potentially contaminated communities of the watershed. A community forum for each of four census tracts will be held to communicate results.

Expected Results:

A greater insight into the types and relevant concentrations of potential pollutants in the Ventura River watershed will be gained. Student learning will be enhanced by the modern quantitative methods employed in this design. The design will likely serve as a model for other interdisciplinary projects, both on-campus and within the community. We expect raised public awareness of potential pollutants and possible social inequity and health disparities.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Sustainable water management, sustainability monitoring, water quality, aquatic modeling,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report