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Westminster College's Environmental Programs Hosted Datashed Training Workshop

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College's Environmental Programs hosted a Datashed Training Workshop April 19 at the Westminster Field Station. Datashed is an online tool to assist volunteers, students, industry, and government agencies in the operation and maintenance of passive treatment systems for abandoned mine drainage.

Three Westminster College students attended the Datashed Training Workshop:

  • Colin Feeney, a senior biology and environmental science major, is a son of Donald and Debra Feeney of Waterford and a graduate of Fort Le Boeuf High School.
  • Lauren Pierce, a junior environmental science major, is a daughter of John Pierce and Laurie Pierce, Harrisburg, and a graduate of Central Dauphin East High School.
  • Tyler Umstead, a junior chemistry major, is a son of Daniel and Jill Umstead of Butler and a graduate of Slippery Rock Area High School. 

The workshop was held for anyone interested in being familiar with the industry standard for exploration and mining software; those interested in technologic advances in 3D data visualization software, web design for the geoscience industry, or simulation models used by engineers, or those that have already taken a GIS course and wanted more real-world field applications. Participants also learned how to upload documents and photos, access stored information, and create webpages for projects.

The workshop was organized by Cliff Denholm from Stream Restoration, Inc., a non-profit organization in Mars, focused on restoring streams impacted by abandoned coal mine drainage. The organization is involved in the construction of passive treatment systems, demonstration passive treatment systems, the restoration of riparian buffers, creation of wildlife habitat, GIS mapping, and stream assessments.

Stream Restoration, Inc. has partnerships with private industries, government agencies, grass roots organizations, and academic institutions, including Westminster College and Slippery Rock University. Twenty-one Westminster College chemistry and biochemistry majors presented the results of a service-learning project at a meeting of the Slippery Rock Watershed Coalition (SRWC) in October at the Jennings Environmental Education Center.  Through this type of research and workshops, students are able to contribute to the advancement of passive treatment technology. 

The Workshop was a part of Westminster's Earth Week activities, which included lectures on sustainable urban storm water management, hydraulic fracturing, and making recycled paper; a canoe tour and bio trail clean-up; and a Vespers service at the Edmiston Meditation Labyrinth.

Contact Dr. Helen Boylan, associate professor of chemistry, at (724) 946-6293 or email for additional information. 

Colin Feeney
Lauren Pierce
Tyler Umstead