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Westminster College to Host Public Meeting on Local Water Quality Monitoring Program

Friday, September 20, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College will host a public meeting about the Lawrence and Mercer Alliance for Aquatic Resources Monitoring (ALLARM) program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, in Thompson Clark, room 205. The event is free and open to the public.

The ALLARM program was founded by Dickinson College. Westminster College seniors Lance Jubic, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, and Tyler Umstead, a chemistry major, developed a website for the ALLARM program focusing on Lawrence and Mercer Counties, which allows water quality data and information to be shared among those who monitor hydraulic fracturing activity in the region.

Jubic is a son of Gregory and Mary Jubic of Leechburg and a graduate of Kiski Area High School.

Umstead is a son of Daniel and Jill Umstead of Butler and a graduate of Slippery Rock Area High School.

The students will demonstrate the features of the website and discuss how community members can get involved in the user-friendly water monitoring program, even if they don't have a scientific background. The Lawrence and Mercer ALLARM website was created to empower local communities with scientific tools to assess, protect, and restore waterways.  With increased hydraulic fracturing activity in Pennsylvania, one of the features of this website focuses on monitoring of contaminants associated with shale gas extraction.

Carrie Hahn, a member of the local Fracking Truth Alliance organization, will also brief attendees on recent hydraulic fracturing activity and pipeline plans in the region, both of which have the potential to impact water quality.

Following the presentations, there will be time for open discussion about water quality issues in the region.

The ALLARM website can be accessed at: https://sites.google.com/site/lawrencecountyallarm/.

The project was completed as an independent study under the direction of Dr. Helen Boylan, associate professor of chemistry and chair of environmental science. She will open the meeting.

Contact Boylan at 724-946-6293 or email for additional information. 

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Click image to enlarge.

Umstead (L and Front) and Jubic (R) work in the chemistry lab.