2013 Community Involvement Training Conference
- About the 2013 training conference
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 13th Community Involvement Training Conference was held July 30-August 1, 2013 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. This dynamic training conference brought together nearly 400 community involvement practitioners with the purpose of both informing and training EPA staff as well as Agency stakeholders and partners in best practices to enhance community involvement.
Community involvement is a field that has changed significantly over the years and continues to evolve. As a result, the last training conference theme "The Next Generation of Community Involvement" sought to explore best practices and innovative solutions for community involvement.
- Other Community Involvement Training Conferences
The U.S. EPA Community Involvement Training Conference was held annually from 1998-2007 in various locations throughout the United States. As of 2007, the conference moved to a two year cycle. The conference provides EPA staff, as well as Agency stakeholders and partners, who plan and implement environmental community involvement and public communication, education and stewardship programs. Attendees gain an opportunity to learn from and share experiences with each other, as well as hear and learn from other stakeholders involved in such programs through:
- classroom-style training
- case studies
- panel sessions
- group discussions
- information sharing
- interactive exercises
- field trips
- networking opportunities
- poster and multimedia presentations
The conference also provides a platform for all parties to discuss successes, obstacles and lessons learned, as well as an opportunity to cultivate cross-program/cross-agency relationships.
The conference booklet summarized conference activities and events and included an abstract for all conference sessions (90-minute information and training sessions of 3-, 4-, and 7-hours). In keeping with our Green Meeting goals, we did not print and distribute copies of the conference booklet. Rather, the booklet was distributed via email and posted as a downloadable file.
Presentations & Exhibits
Poster presentations on a specific project or activity were displayed during the first two-and-a-half days of the conference and highlighted during an evening Networking Reception on Tuesday. During this session, poster presenters interacted with participants to answer questions and provide additional information about the project or activity they presented. The posters were displayed on large panels in the Grand Ballroom, where plenary sessions were held.
This year we highlighted technology demonstrations at the same time as the poster session. The goal of the technology demonstrations was to present new tools, technologies, and software applications that attendees may either be able to immediately apply to their community involvement work or that they may easily determine how to use after leaving the training conference and returning to their home office.
Poster/Tech Demo Awards
Awards were presented to the two best poster/tech demo displays. Best Overall Award was selected by a panel of conference organizers. The People's Choice Award went to the poster that received the most votes from conference participants. Poster Award winners were announced during the Thursday plenary session, and the award recipients were honored with a prize.
Best Overall Award
The Best Overall Award was presented to Teresa Blakinger of Concepts Captured for her poster, Groundwater Protection: Citizens' Committee Recommendations to Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
People's Choice Award
The People's Choice Award was presented to Gladys Rivera, San Juan Bay Estuary Program for the poster, Estuary Guardians: Monitoring as a Social Tool to Reestablish Community's Bond with Urban Waters.
Unmanned tabletops or free-standing exhibits that presented community involvement programs, organizational information, or examples of outreach, education and other community involvement products were displayed in the Grand Ballroom foyer throughout the conference.
Green Meeting Policy
EPA Green Meetings and Conferences Policy, May 1, 2007
The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. We expect that all Agency meetings and conferences will be staged using as many environmentally preferable measures as possible. Environmentally preferable means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.
As in past years, the U.S. EPA was committed to help make the Community Involvement Training Conference more environmentally friendly. With this goal in mind, we:
- Reduced printed conference documents by distributing documents through email and this website and eliminated handouts during the conference.
- Held our traditional "Tote-Bag Exchange" instead of procuring a new tote bag for conference participants.
- Encouraged conference participants to use public transportation or share rides when traveling between the airport and the hotel.
- Worked with the hotel to recycle newspapers, beverage containers, and other items.
Elana Goldstein, EPA Conference Co-Chair
Office of Water
Laura Knudsen, EPA Conference Co-Chair
Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Pam Harting-Barrat, EPA Region 1 Conference Co-Chair
EPA, Region 1
Catherine Sims, Community Involvement Conference Coordinator
Environmental Management Support
If you have any questions or comments about this website, please contact the Conference Coordinators.