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Community Based Approach To Environmental Education

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Opportunities in Environmental Engineering Curriculum

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.321.1 - 9.321.10



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Paper Authors

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Wade Peerman

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Michael Payne

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Vivian Chang

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Sonya Havens

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John Lendvay

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Eliot Metzger

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2651

Community-Based Approach to Environmental Education

Vivian Chang, Eliot S. Metzger, Michael Payne, Sonya M. Havens, Wade R. Peerman, and John M. Lendvay

University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA


The Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco, California, is a diverse community that experiences an inordinate amount of pollution. Within this five square mile area, heavy industry, the city’s sewage treatment plant, and the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard (HPNSY) all act as concentrated and diffuse pollution sources. This research project focuses on Yosemite Slough, which lies on the southeast shore of San Francisco and is plagued by the aforementioned hazards as well as several outfalls from the city’s combined sewer. During heavy precipitation events, these combined sewer overflows (CSOs) discharge storm water runoff as well as untreated municipal sewage.

Undergraduate researchers from the University of San Francisco lead groups of community youth in a water sampling program. These local high school students are taught about the environmental factors that impact the slough, receive training on proper sampling procedures, and are ultimately certified as “research assistants” prior to participation in data collection during bimonthly sampling events. A year of baseline data has been collected and is currently under review by the community. Furthermore, geographical information systems (GIS) are utilized as a tool to analyze results and present the data to the community in a clear, dynamic, user-friendly format. These GIS displays are comprised of pertinent data layers, including water quality parameters, elevations, topography, and tidal activity.

The principal goal of the project, formally known as the Yosemite Slough and South Basin Watershed Restoration Project, is to educate local youth and the Bayview-Hunters Point community. This is accomplished through the scientific data collection process and regular community meetings and presentations. The data is ultimately targeted for community use in future redevelopment decisions. The aim is to empower the Bayview-Hunters Point community through environmental education so they can envisage a future in which they live in a safer and cleaner environment.


Located in the southeast corner of the City and County of San Francisco, the Bayview-Hunters Point (BVHP) Community lies roughly within the boundaries of the watershed that historically drained into Yosemite Creek. This creek has since been overcome by urban development and today is restricted to flow through the city’s combined sewer system or through soil medium.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Peerman, W., & Payne, M., & Chang, V., & Havens, S., & Lendvay, J., & Metzger, E. (2004, June), Community Based Approach To Environmental Education Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13278

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