The 2014 Water Education Summit:

Think Globally - Act Locally

Only 2.5% of earth's water is fresh and less than one percent of this small fraction is available for human use. This century we face increasing pressure on our very limited and highly valuable water resources. Human population increase, climate change and economic development are affecting both water quality and quantity worldwide. From polluted rivers to wetland loss to water resource mis-management, our planet's freshwater resources are under a growing threat. Yet, while these challenges face us on a global scale, agencies, landowners, farmers, community leaders, and professionals can take action at the local level to make a difference and invoke change.

The 2014 Water Education Summit in Asheville, NC will focus on water resource challenges and ways to make a difference at the local level. This is your opportunity to network with and learn from leading educators working to improve several aspects of water resources protection and management. Topics of discussion will include climate change, water resources management, ecosystem restoration and preservation, watershed planning, and educational programs for elected officials and decision-makers. Presentations, discussions, workshops, and tours will emphasize innovative approaches for using information, technology transfer, and hands-on learning experiences to change behaviors and inspire water stewardship locally.

Who Should Attend:

  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Extension professionals
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Watershed groups
  • Private consultants and industry
  • Formal educators (K-12 and University)
  • Natural resource professionals
  • Anyone interested in learning more about effective communication and new trends in education and outreach


Continuing Education:

Up to 15 PDHs may be available for professional engineers.
10 CEUs are pending approval by the NC Board of Landscape Architects.
15 credit hours are approved by the American Planning Association; Event #e.27911.
Other professionals may appeal to their respective boards to obtain professional education credits.

This conference is made possible through the collaboration of:

Extension logos


September 8-10, 2014


Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville
One Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28806





Abstracts of all podium presenters can be viewed by clicking the Abstracts link and scrolling down to the Table. Click anywhere in the row of the Author or Title you're interested in seeing the abstract for.

Monday, September 8


  • Welcome
  • Conference Overview - Karen Hall, NC State University

1:15-5:00 Opening General Session

Innovation and change often starts on university campuses. New approaches to solving current problems can frequently be traced to educational institutions worldwide and water resource issues are no exception. Our opening panel includes sustainability leaders and experts of several different universities here on the East Coast. They will present their research, teaching, and extension strategies to addressing water quality and quantity at the campus scale and how the knowledge gained from these experiences can be relevant both locally and globally.

Keynote: Water Resources in the Southeastern U.S. – Quantity, Quality and Demand: How does a changing climate reality impact our daily lives? (Click the title link to view the presentation abstract.)
James Fox, Director for UNC Asheville's NEMAC (National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center)

James Fox, Director for UNC Asheville's NEMAC (National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center)
Michael Kensler, Director of the Office of Sustainability at Auburn University
Dwane Jones, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the University of the District of Columbia, a division of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES)
Howard Wertheimer, Director - Capital Planning and Space Management, Georgia Institute of Technology

Kevin Kirsche, Director of Sustainability, University of Georgia

Click here for Opening Session Presenters information and biosketches.

5:00-6:00 Poster Presentations (light hors d'ouvres)

6:30 Evening Gathering at Ben's Tune Up, a neighborhood bar at 195 Hilliard Avenue, downtown Asheville. Dinner on your own.


Tuesday, September 9

8:15-1:00 Concurrent Sessions (3) with lunch provided
1:00-5:00 Tour and Workshop (click the link to view details)

  • (no cost to attend tour; workshop has additional fee of $50)

6:30 Dinner on your own. Tour bus will drop off participants either downtown or back at the hotel, after the beer tasting at brewery.

Wednesday, September 10

8:00-10:45 Concurrent Sessions (3)

11:00 - 1:00 A Possibility Cafe, with lunch provided

  • A Possibility Café: Sparking Our Creative Genius
    A World Café process is an opportunity for everyone to participate in a meaningful conversation about questions that matter, tapping the collective intelligence of the group to generate collaborative learning and innovative possibilities for action. This café conversation will explore ways we can deepen meaning and meaningful impact for ourselves and our audiences in our work as educators.

Click here to see the commitments, offers and requests from attendees of the cafe session (pdf files).

Public Offers

Public Requests

1:00pm Adjourn


Tour and Workshop Descriptions

Tour: Urban Stormwater & Industrial Water Management (THE TOUR IS NOW FULL AND REGISTRATION IS CLOSED)

This tour begins on campus at UNC Asheville, an urban sustainability oasis where staff, students and faculty are directly engaged in water education, research, and best management practices. Led by Director of Sustainability Sonia Marcus, the tour will include specific water management infrastructure projects including rain/greywater harvesting and reuse systems, solar thermal water heaters, permaculture-based landscape features, water bottle refilling stations, low-flow fixtures, and interactive building interfaces. We will also meet faculty and staff who are conducting research on climate resilience and how we can better forecast and prepare for dangerous flooding in Western North Carolina. A visit to Glenn's Creek will follow, allowing participants to take part in an educational exercise on restoration ecology right alongside our students.

Next, we go to the Sierra Nevada Brewery for a tour and presentation by Sierra Nevada staff. Sierra Nevada is a leader in sustainable brewing practices. The new brewery is located on 190 acres and LEED certification is in process. Their business model is to reduce, reuse, and recycle; hence their use of materials on-site for construction of the brewery. They also have a constructed stream, solar, micro turbines running on biogas, and an extensive storm water management system. More than 3 million pounds of material was diverted from landfill since construction began. It's a one-of-a-kind facility and a MUST-SEE!

Tour Registration: Complimentary

Workshop: Integrating Urban Agriculture and Urban Stormwater
Instructors: Dwane Jones, PhD, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES), University of the District of Columbia; Amanda Rockler, University of Maryland Sea Grant Extension Program

About the workshop: For the first time in recorded history, in 2008, more people began living in urban areas than rural. Simultaneously, many studies show that the millennial generation and other consumers prefer to live in urban environments with access to local foods. This movement has created a dilemma where more people in urban areas rely on a declining farm population. It has also created an increased interest in urban agriculture.

However, associated with the rise in the popularity of urban agriculture, there is a need to mitigate the impacts of urban stormwater runoff. This workshop/presentation will highlight the University of the District of Columbia's Sustainability Program, which in part, aims at integrating urban agriculture and urban stormwater management. The presentation will highlight green infrastructure, low impact development, federal, state, non-profit and for profit partnerships, and a unique partnership with the DC Housing Authority. It will also include an evaluation of economics and social impacts.

Participants will engage in a design charette for an integrated urban agriculture/urban storm water project in DC.

Workshop Registration: $50 per person
Student Rate: $25

NOTE: For those who are interested in attending this workshop but are unable to attend the Summit itself, we have a separate online registration form. If you are NOT attending the Summit, and ONLY attending this workshop, please click here to register online for just the workshop. Otherwise, please use the Summit Registration Form to include your workshop registration in your general Summit registration.

Presenter Instructions

Guidelines for Lecture Presenters

Presentations are limited to 15 to 20 minutes. Please allow about 5 minutes at the end of your presentations for audience questions. Presenters must register and pay their registration fee.

Please bring your Powerpoint presentation on a USB drive. Visit the registration desk EARLY to drop off your presentation so that it can be pre-loaded onto our computers. A link to a powerpoint collection web page is provided so that you may upload your presentation in advance. Here's the link:

Click here to send us your presentation.

Guidelines for Poster Presenters

The Poster Presentations will occur between 5:00 and 6:00pm on Monday, September 8. Poster authors are requested to "man" their posters at that time. Presenters must register and pay their registration fee.

Set up
Posters may be set up by 1pm on Monday or anytime Monday afternoon before the Reception.

Take Down
The posters can stay up through Wednesday morning. Please take down your poster prior to the end of sessions on Wednesday. Those not taken down by that time will be discarded.

Materials Provided:
4-foot by 6-foot standing corkboard, thumb tacks. You are encouraged to bring handouts and business cards.

Design Suggestions

Guidelines for Moderators

Moderators must be sure to arrive at their session 15 minutes prior to the session start time. Also, please make every effort to keep the session on schedule so as to accommodate conference attendees moving between concurrent sessions.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the name and general topic of your session and make sure you know how to pronounce the presenters' names.
  2. Make sure all session presentations are on the computer (which our A/V person will pre-load for you)
  3. Jot down questions that you can ask if audience participation is low
  4. Give an introduction with (1) the name of the session; (2) the ground rules for presentations including the length of the presentation and the format and length of the Q&A portion (total time: 20 minutes or less per speaker)
  5. Announce the presenter by giving their name and affiliation. You will be given "Cue Cards" with the 5 minute mark, 2 minute, and 0 minute.
  6. Have closing remarks to end the session, including thanking the audience and presenters.


Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville
One Resort Drive
Asheville, NC 28806

A Conference Group Rate is available at the Crowne Plaza Hotel for $99 per night plus tax for a double-bedded room and $114.00 for king-bedded room. The $99 rooms are very limited, so please book your reservation early! The cutoff date for booking this group rate is midnight on August 9, 2014. Reservation requests received after the cut-off date will be accepted at Hotel’s prevailing rate, based on availability. Check-in time is after 4pm. Check out time is before 11am.

Book your reservation online using our personalized web link: and from the Home Page, Select "Reserve Online". Check Availability (enter dates of stay) and enter the Group Code: WES.

Or make your reservation by calling the hotel's Reservations Department at 1-888-211-7755 prior to midnight on Aug. 9, 2014 to obtain the group rate. They will request a valid Credit Card with each guest room reservation.


The hotel has a 24 hour cancellation policy. Individual reservations cancelled less than 24 hours prior to arrival will be charged one night room and tax. Individuals checking out early without 24 hour notice will be charged a $50.00 early departure fee.

Parking is free.  


Conference Registration fee: $200 per person if registering by August 25, 2014.

Tuesday Workshop Fee: $50 per person

If registering within 2 weeks of the conference and on-site, the fee will be $250. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE.

A student rate of $100 is available for the conference ($25 for Tuesday workshop). Students will need to present a current student ID at the registration desk.

Cancellation Policy: If cancelling at least two weeks prior to the start of the conference, you will receive a full refund minus a $50 administrative fee. If cancelling within two weeks of the conference, there will be no refund given.

Attendee substitutions from within the same company may be made at any time.

PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS: We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and checks. If paying by check, please make your check payable to: NC State University. Mail your check with a copy of your registration form to:

Campus Box 7625
Raleigh, NC 27695
Attention: Christina Shepard




We invite companies and organizations to sponsor the 2014 Water Education Summit. Sponsors will receive one registration, an exhibit space, web link, and recognition during the conference. Please click here to download a Sponsorship Commitment Form. Payment instructions are on the form.

Please contact Cathy Smith at if any questions.

We gratefully acknowledge our Summit Sponsors!

Storm Water Systems Inc logo    Stantec   RiverLink    NC Forest Service logo    Super Sod


Topics for Abstract Submittal

The abstract submission period is now closed except for poster abstracts. If you missed the deadline to submit an abstract for oral presentation, you may email our conference chair to submit one late, and we will try to accommodate you if we are able. Send an email with your abstract to:
Please read the instructions below before proceeding to the ONLINE ABSTRACT SUBMISSION FORM.
Click here to submit an abstract!

Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are accepted in the following categories:

  • Ecosystem Restoration and Preservation
  • Watershed Planning and Stewardship
  • Education for Public Officials and Decision-Makers
  • Stormwater Management
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Funding and Programmatic Resources
  • Climate Change and Water Resources
  • Innovative Knowledge and Technology Transfer
  • Private Sector Educational Programs

Abstract Format:
When submitting your abstract, please follow the format below and upload your file (preferably in MS Word or pdf) at the Abstract Submittal form online. Please use 12 pt. Times New Roman for the body of the abstract, and 14pt Bold for the title and first author's name. Please limit your abstract to 300 words or less. No graphics. Please include a short biosketch at the end of your abstract. Before submitting your abstract, please have all the following information ready:

  • Name, title, affiliation, full mailing address, email address, phone number of the main contact and the presenting author.
  • Abstract Title
  • Abstract (300 words or less) NO GRAPHICS

REVIEW: Abstracts should be limited to 300 words in length. Abstracts should communicate clearly and concisely the purpose, findings and results of your topic or study. Abstracts will be reviewed and ranked for acceptance and placement in the program. Papers and posters will be selected for presentation based on their scientific, technical and/or policy merit, currency, and relevance to conference focus. Abstracts received after the July 15, 2014 deadline may not be accepted.

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE/PLACEMENT: Applicants will be notified around July 30, 2014 whether their abstracts have been selected for oral or poster presentation. If the abstract is accepted, the notification will state the oral or poster session to which the abstract is assigned.

Posters Instructions: Poster authors will have an area of 4 ft by 4 ft to display their poster. The poster display boards that will be provided are double-sided cork boards and we will supply thumbtacks. We will have a list of poster presenters at registration, along with information on where to hang your poster. We hope that you display and man your poster for as many of the networking breaks throughout the summit as possible. We've scheduled a poster presentation and reception between 5:00 and 6:00pm on Tuesday evening, Sept. 9, right after the General Session ends. Light hors d'ouvres will be provided.

Click here to submit an abstract.

Poster Abstracts can be viewed by clicking this link (pdf file; 170kb)

To view the individual abstracts for oral presentations in the table below, please click anywhere in the row of the author or title you are interested in.


Questions? Please contact Cathy Smith or Christina Shepard at; or 919-515-6780; 919-513-2192.

Planning Committee

  • Karen Hall, NC State University, Chair
    Barbara Doll, North Carolina Sea Grant
    Andrea Ludwig, University of Tennessee
  • Eve Brantley, Auburn University
  • Mark Risse, University of Georgia
  • Calvin Sawyer, Clemson University
  • Greg Jennings, Jennings Environmental