UConn CLEAR, in partnership with the Northland NEMO program, held the 8th NEMO University (a.k.a NEMO U8) conference in Duluth, MN last month. The conference brings together outreach professionals from around the country, primarily from programs modelled after the CT NEMO program, to share innovative approaches and ideas to working with communities on land use and water quality.
NEMO U8 included participants from 18 states. The conference featured presentations from around the network, keynote talks from nationally renowned experts in LID and water quality outreach, seven different training sessions, a reception in a fresh water aquarium, and a train ride along Lake Superior.
Some of the new innovations highlighted at the conference were CLEAR’s LID Atlas & soon to be released Rain Garden App; an interactive, group mapping tool built using a Wii remote; and a watersheds board game (see picture on right).
The conference once again proved that no matter how much social networking or other electronic interactions we have, nothing measures up to a well-planned, face-to-face networking conference.
Comments from U8 attendees:
- “NEMO U and the NEMO Network is without a doubt the best and most effective opportunity for those involved in non-ag water quality to get re-energized in moving forward in implementation of our programs. We all face challenges and it is very good to hear what is working or not working for others.”
- “NEMO U’s are well known for their ingenious combination of new information, networking and hilarious good times. The creativity and thought that goes into the development of these conferences is apparent, and knowing the work that must accompany pulling off such and event, I am grateful to all the Network staff and partners who dedicated their time. Great work all!”
- “The conference reflected the dedication, skill and wit of the planners, the information gained and the networking opportunities were wonderful. Thank you!”
- “It is great to be around professionals that really know their stuff but are comfortable enough with themselves to let their hair down and create a congenial and creative atmosphere for sharing and inspiring our work.”
- “It gave me the will to go on….”