Joining the Network

If you’ve gotten this deep into National NEMOdom, it’s safe to assume that you are either preparing to get started with your NEMO adaptation, or very thoroughly checking this whole NEMO thing out (or just possibly, a web junky with a lot of time on your hands). More than likely, you’ve talked to NEMO program team members, and/or participated in a NEMO workshop.

If that’s the case, you know that we have formed a National Network of programs adapted from NEMO. Many of your colleagues have asked what exactly that means, and what are the requirements, conditions and caveats involved with participating in the National NEMO Network. The answer is: “darn few.” However, those few items are important, so they bear some explanation. So here it is.

How Does a Program Become a Member?

At NEMO U2, the Network conference held in January 2002, member programs agreed on the vehicle of a Network Charter (see below), which programs sign to become part of the Network. The Charter has two main purposes. First, it sets forth several key shared philosophical and operating principles for Network programs. These include:

  • a non-regulatory, research-based educational approach;
  • a primary target audience of local land use decision makers;
  • a focus on natural resource-based land use planning and design; and,
  • the use of landscape research and mapping technologies to help community leaders visualize their current and future landscapes.

Second, it describes the responsibility that Network programs have to fellow members, and to the Hub. The emphasis is on the free exchange of ideas and materials, helping to ensure that the Network reaches its goal of becoming greater than the sum of its parts.

For the benefit of the Network, there’s a need to distinguish between:

  • officially sanctioned, licensed, card-carrying Network member programs;
  • folks and organizations who are making use of NEMO educational materials here and there, but not in an organized, programmatic way, and;
  • folks and organizations that are, either knowingly or unknowingly, ripping us off.

The Network Policy Statement (see below) was drafted with these distinctions in mind.

Starting a Program: Things to Consider

Below is our current take on the major issues to be discussed when contemplating NEMO-ization. The issues are listed in the order that we suggest you tackle them. One disclaimer on the incredibly sage advice that follows: ultimately, you have to trust your own instincts on what will and won’t work in your area.

1. Who is Your Target Audience?
2. Which Issue(s) Will You Address?
3. What Geographic Area Will You Cover?
4. What Expertise is Needed? And What About Partners?
5. Leaning on NEMO Central

1. Who is Your Target Audience?

Failure to identify a specific target audience is the most common culprit behind failed educational programs. NEMO was planned and designed specifically for local land use decision makers. In Connecticut, this means municipal officials on local planning, zoning, inland wetland and conservation commissions. In your area, this may mean county commissioners, county planning staff, watershed councils or some other group. The important thing is to identify the group(s) making land use decisions, and develop a NEMO adaptation that meets their needs. A good educational program can’t be all things to all people!

That being said, we recognize that there are other important audiences. For instance, in our watershed projects we target forest and riparian land owners in addition to local land use officials. And there are other audiences out there—engineers and landscape architects, for instance—that we are beginning to reach. However, none of these efforts overshadows our basic focus on the relationship of land use to water quality, and on local land use officials as the target audience.

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2. Which Issue(s) Will You Address?

NEMO is about nonpoint source pollution, but there is considerable flexibility as to what particular issues or problems you want to address within the context of linking land use to water quality. NEMO’s basic slide presentation breaks down land cover into major categories, and talks about them individually. Our Connecticut landscape dictates that we spend more time with residential and commercial/industrial areas, but you could concentrate on agricultural lands or forests or wetlands, depending on the nonpoint source threats in your area.

Flexibility is the key. There’s plenty of opportunity to build in specific relevant information, from water quality monitoring results to information on resource issues like fisheries. As another example, to date NEMO has focused primarily on surface water resources, but there’s no reason that NEMO’s basic methodology can’t be used for aquifer protection.

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3. What Geographic Area Will You Cover?

We feel that a watershed focus makes the most sense. Working on the watershed level recognizes some basic truths about the best ways to manage and protect water resources; it doesn’t, however, change the fact that land use decisions are made at the level of local political units (which is why you need NEMO in the first place!).

We suggest that you start with a focused effort as a first step, and then use that pilot project as an example and platform for more widespread programs. A watershed with a workable number of political units is ideal; of course, the definition of “workable” is largely up to what your experience tells you (and what your resources allow). Here in Connecticut, we seem to be most comfortable with “sub-regional” watersheds, which are in the 25-100 square mile range and involve somewhere around 2-10 towns.

We also strongly suggest that you select for success. For each candidate watershed, consider the existing factors that could give your effort a leg up. A few examples:

  • Is there an existing motivation, like a well-recognized water quality problem and/or a valuable or well-loved aquatic resource?
  • Is there water quality data available? Land cover data?
  • Are any of the chief elected officials interested in protecting water resources? Or at least not openly hostile to the idea?
  • Do you have a good working relationship and positive track record with any of the towns, counties, nonprofits, or other potential partners?

Sometimes, the answers to these questions will lead you away from a watershed focus and toward a town or county-level project. That’s o.k.—NEMO still addresses watersheds, even if your pilot effort isn’t geographically defined by watershed lines. In fact, our own pilot efforts were on the town level, and we’ve found that these examples serve as effective educational tools to reach other towns across the state. Even so, after considerable town-level work and several watershed programs, it took a few years for us to truly become a statewide resource to all 169 towns in Connecticut. By “statewide resource,” we mean that we are now planning and conducting regional workshops and Internet- driven map resources that make NEMO accessible to all areas of the state.

Some folks at our scoping workshops have asked about launching a statewide program. While we recommend the pilot approach noted above, we feel that our learning curve in Connecticut should help to shorten the time it takes a new NEMO Network program to reach a broader (possibly statewide) audience. If that’s a goal of yours, you may want to consider parallel efforts: conducting a pilot watershed project while using an adapted version of our Basic NEMO slide show to reach a wider audience/area. Of course, this level of effort may take more that one partner. Speaking of partners…

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4. What Expertise is Needed? And What About Partners?

Four critical areas of expertise are needed for a successful NEMO program. This expertise can be acquired through different combinations of partners and funding. A few thoughts:

1. Water quality expertise is practically everywhere, and can frequently be contributed by University and/or state environmental agency staff. Depending on the issues in your area, you might need to graft on some specific expertise; for instance, in riparian zones, tidal wetlands or fisheries.

2. Planning expertise is perhaps the most difficult to find. However, regional planning agencies are beginning to show up with some regularity in the list of NEMO Network program partners. In some cases, the target town/county itself can contribute this expertise, in the form of professional planners working with the other partners to educate their commissioners. More important than pure planning expertise is practical experience in dealing with local officials and the land use process; this can be invaluable for the team member who is actually delivering the program.

3. Geographic information systems (GIS) expertise is becoming increasingly common, as is accessibility to statewide GIS data layers through central state GIS shops and websites. Our sense is that there are usually several GIS outfits out there in each state that would be very interested in a practical, on-the-ground application of their technology (although not necessarily as a freebie—even many University-based GIS shops operate as “cost centers.”). Of course, GIS maps can be “bought” as products, but this is unlikely to work as well as having a GIS expert as a true team member.

4. Educational expertise is the fourth critical component of a NEMO program. NEMO is first and foremost an educational effort, so it is essential that professional educators be involved in the development and delivery of the program. Forgive us for saying so, but boatloads of money have been unwisely spent by various agencies on “education” that failed because the organizations involved had no educational experience or expertise. Most of our NEMO adaptations are led by either Cooperative Extension or Sea Grant, University-based organizations with research, public service and education missions. We realize there are other groups out there with educational expertise; for instance, in some Network programs nonprofit groups have assumed leadership in the delivery of the program.

Answering the basic question, Who will be delivering the educational program to the target audience?, goes beyond educational expertise to encompass public perception of the “messenger.” Some partners may not be a good choice for the “up-front” role of program deliverer, no matter how expert and well-respected the staff. For instance, local officials may not be receptive to presentations from either regulatory agency staff or environmental groups, because these organizations may be viewed as having agendas beyond unbiased, research-based education. Again, you must use your own (collective) best judgment on these tricky issues.

One final consideration: the individual(s) conducting the programs must be good presenters. All the expertise in the world cannot make up for a poorly-delivered talk. Conversely, a good educator doesn’t have to have all the answers to be effective.

Above and beyond the four critical elements and the partners that contribute them, there are a whole host of potential partners that can bring things to the table. Some of the things that watershed associations, civic groups, and others can offer to enrich and/or assist a NEMO program include:

  • local knowledge of the landscape, both natural and political;
  • specific scientific knowledge of natural resources;
  • historic knowledge of the area;
  • the ability and contacts to get the word out on educational programs.

And don’t overlook individual contributions. As far as partnerships go, our experience has been that good individuals can overcome horrible organizational problems, while the best “paper partnership” in the world will be useless if the individual staff from those organizations can’t work together.

One last word about partnerships. In a few states, we have had multiple groups interested in adapting NEMO. We will certainly let you know when such a situation arises, but we’re not always aware of all NEMO-inspired efforts. Our recommendation is that groups try to work together whenever possible. For instance, it might make sense for one group to take on a pilot effort, while the other oversees a broader educational campaign using the adapted slide show. Pooling resources is one way to attain the critical mass needed to get the program going. Which brings us to…

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5. What Level of Effort & Funding Are We Talking About Here?

How many people will this take? is a question that pops up to the surface of the discussion like a cork. We feel it’s best addressed after some of the above issues have been hashed out—that is, if folks are still talking to each other. Our feeling is that NEMO is best implemented with dedicated staff responsible for pulling together the expertise/ partners required, and organizing and delivering the educational programs. So, we suggest that a successful NEMO Network program needs at least one person-worth of effort (commonly referred to in the business as 1.0 FTE (full-time equivalent), plus related support expenses.

Who’s going to pay for this? Well, in our world an “FTE plus some” means $50,000 - $100,000 per year, depending on various factors and how much expertise is contributed by partners. NEMO adapters have sought funding sources (successfully and otherwise) from:

  • EPA Section 319 nonpoint source funding (through state agency).
  • NOAA/coastal zone management section “6217” coastal nonpoint source funds (though state agency).
  • USDA Water Quality Initiative funding (through Cooperative Extension).
  • NOAA/National Sea Grant College Program funding (through state Sea Grant programs).
  • Great Lakes Protection Fund.
  • Private charitable foundations.

We believe that many organizations, including the agencies on the National NEMO Network Work Group (NOAA, USDA, EPA and NASA) and some of our other NEMO partners (USFW, The Nature Conservancy, state environmental agencies) are moving toward greater recognition of the critical need to educate local decision makers on land use issues and how they relate to natural resource protection. So, even in a down-sizing era, we think there’s reason to hope for future funding for these efforts.

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6. Leaning on NEMO Central

Just remember, we’re right behind you (no, really!) The Network Hub will conduct workshops, respond to phone calls and internet messages, and make educational tools and models available through publications and the website. The Hub also organizes nearly annual conferences (called NEMO University, or NEMO U) that allows Network programs to interact and facilitates the sharing of experiences and ideas. Expertise in the Network is growing day-by-day and new resources and presentations are being developed by our Network partners that will help your program serve the needs of your local land use officials.

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Frequently Asked Questions

So, you’ve scoped out NEMO and decided to have a “go” at adapting it to your state. You’ve answered most or all of the basic questions about target audience, topical focus, geographic focus, partners, expertise and funding (read National Fact Sheet 1). But before you get down to business, you have some other questions about how this may play out farther down the NEMO road. As one of our national contacts put it in a letter, “…since we’re now getting serious about signing on, we want to feel comfortable with what’s coming.”

Cornered again! Fair enough. Here are his questions—taken more or less verbatim from his letter—and our responses.

Question 1: Based on your experience what has been done in Connecticut and other states in terms of local contributions or match for participation in NEMO?

Question 2: What local conditions do you feel are necessary for NEMO to be “welcomed” by a town and for it (NEMO) to effect change?

Question 3: What characteristics do you look for in a pilot location?

Question 4: As we proceed with a pilot project, what role can your office play in educating towns about NEMO?

Question 5: We’d like to get a break-down of the cost of starting a NEMO Program.

Question 6: Once a NEMO program is initiated in a municipality, what types of assistance, materials etc... do municipal officials typically request following the initial completion of the project?

Question 7: How does the CT NEMO program evaluate success when working with municipal officials?

Question 8: What are the minimum computer/GIS coverage requirements do you need to run a successful program?

Question 9: We’re leaning toward a structure where NEMO would be very minimally housed at the state level and educational programming delivered at the regional level. Based on your experience, do you see this as workable?

Question 10: We are interested in developing pilot projects in coastal and lake watersheds. Have any other states developed modules for NEMO that address coastal or lake issues?

Question 1: Based on your experience what has been done in Connecticut and other states in terms of local contributions or match for participation in NEMO?

In Connecticut, match requirements for grants to NEMO are typically met through state (salary) contributions. However, considerable local effort is involved by volunteer organizers, the volunteer commission members, and, where applicable, town staff. Often, local data on such things as land use, property ownership and zoning is provided by the town, either to enhance the GIS analyses and educational presentations, or as part of follow-up efforts. These contributions could be quantified as legitimate matching funds, and probably are in some of our network programs.

Over the long term, towns pursuing NEMO recommendations can contribute considerable effort. However, since there is no NEMO “12 step program” set in stone, the time and effort it takes to pursue NEMO-generated initiatives varies widely. Many things (e.g., asking the right questions of developers) can be done as part of the usual course of business, without large additional amounts of time or effort. Other things, like conducting natural resource inventories, open space plans, or watershed plans, take considerable time and effort—whether they are done in-house, or by a consultant.

Some examples: The town of Waterford, CT hired a prominent consultant to work with them on a watershed management plan. The cost was around $50,000. The Town of Branford, CT decided to create a NEMO Committee composed of departmental staff and representatives of all land use boards and several other organizations (garden club, watershed group, land trust, etc.); the dollar amount of the time of these volunteers has not been estimated, but is considerable.

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Question 2: What local conditions do you feel are necessary for NEMO to be “welcomed” by a town and for it (NEMO) to effect change?

We feel strongly that support for the program by the chief elected official is critical. NEMO has to do with better planning, and communication is the most important element for that to occur. The chief elected official is in a position to create and support that communication. Communication is also the reason that we strongly recommend that all land use boards be present during NEMO presentations. Just having them hear the same message at the same time, and giving them a chance to discuss the issues, is key to getting something going in the town.

Also, keep in mind that we never force our way into a town! Almost all of our programs are the result of being “asked in” by some local organization or board. Once the invite is extended, we prevail upon our “host” to broaden the awareness of, and support for, the program before we give the presentation; this extends to contact with the chief elected official. In the few cases where we have been asked into an area not by the municipalities but by a federal or state agency, we have taken considerable time and effort to seek out the town leaders, explain the project to them, and answer any question or concerns.

With regard to local issues or concerns, obviously water resource protection is usually the thing that stimulates interest in NEMO. However, this is not always the case. By addressing water quality issues through land use, NEMO eventually ends up in a whole host of community concerns (traffic, road design, neighborhood design) that can be summed up as “community character.” Whether you call it sustainable development, sprawl, liveable communities, or some other buzzword, community character is typically an important issue to a broader spectrum of local residents than water quality as a “stand alone” topic.

Over the long haul, effecting change requires that there be at least one, and more probably several, people who will push things along. This is no different than any other local initiative. In towns with professional staff, things can sometimes move more quickly (however, professional staff can also impede change if they are invested in the status quo.) Carefully-timed project follow up advice and education are also important to keep the ball rolling (see Question 6).

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Question 3: What characteristics do you look for in a pilot location?

The most important factor is looking for a pilot is to select for success. Remember, a pilot approach (which we are very much in favor of) has several purposes

• To demonstrate the usefulness of the approach;
• To work out any kinks in the system and learn what works best in your state;
• To use as an example and educational tool for more widespread efforts.

With these goals in mind, it only makes sense to choose an area that has a number of positive factors that could give your effort a leg up. Some questions along these lines include:

• Is there an existing motivation, like a well-recognized water quality problem and/or a valuable or well-loved aquatic resource?
• Is there existing digital data available? Some key data types are water quality, land cover, and zoning.
• Are any of the chief elected officials interested in protecting water resources? Or at least not openly hostile to the idea?
• Do you have a good working relationship and positive track record with any of the towns, counties, nonprofits, or other potential partners? (Geographic considerations are discussed in National Fact Sheet 1).

In summary, we feel that a watershed focus makes the most sense, although town and county-level programs can certainly work. You need a watershed with a workable number of political units, but the definition of “workable” is up to you. Here in Connecticut, we seem to be most comfortable with sub-regional watersheds, which are in the 25-100 square mile range and involve somewhere around 2-10 towns.

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Question 4: As we proceed with a pilot project, what role can your office play in educating towns about NEMO?

The Network Hub can help out in a couple of ways during the early stages of your program. Let us count the ways…

1. Speaking: If at all possible, we can help to jump-start interest in NEMO through speaking at a statewide or regional event that you deem particularly important or strategic.

2. Scoping Workshops: Once your core program team is assembled, we can run a scoping workshop to get into even more excruciating detail about our techniques and experiences.

3. Educational Tools: We provide a variety of educational tools (fact sheets, slide presentations) that you can adapt to your own issues and audiences; some of these are “promotional” in nature and can be used to help spread the word about your program. And, we will continue to develop new educational resources.

4. Training: The Network Hub holds training sessions for Network programs to help them expand programming in their states. These training workshops may focus on a specific technical tool or may stress the development of a new topical area, such as open space planning or NEMO in urban environments.

5. Websites: the NEMO ( and National Network websites are a resource to both you and your local constituents. Getting the NEMO web address “out there” via newsletters, article and fact sheets or flyers should help you to raise awareness of NEMO among your clientele.

6. Geospatial Technologies: The Network Hub, together with the UConn Geospatial Training Program, are working to make connections and create new tools for the use of Network programs.

7. Communication: Perhaps most important, we try to provide ongoing, long-term support to you through “over the shoulder” advice and guidance. The Hub also provides a Network newsletter, a Network-wide List-serve, and up-to-date information from the federal agencies and our partner organizations. Just as important are the almost yearly Network conference, known as NEMO U (NEMO University). This gives you a chance to meet with other NEMO coordinators in other states, to share successes and challenges and to otherwise revel in things NEMO.

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Question 5: We’d like to get a break-down of the cost of starting a NEMO Program.

Of course, we would like to see a five-person NEMO office equipped with Dell workstations and special NEMO van. However, we realize it may take 2 or 3 years for you to get to that level, so here’s an overall breakdown of a basic NEMO pilot. Obviously, this is to be taken with a grain of salt, since things can vary widely depending on all sorts of factors.

We estimate that implementing a NEMO pilot project will cost between $80,000 and $120,000, depending on the location. Most of the funding is for a full-time program coordinator/director. Although other arrangements may be workable, we feel that a NEMO program needs to have a full time professional person there to conduct the educational presentations, coordinate with other agencies and organizations involved, and communicate on a regular basis with the target town(s). You probably have a very good feel for what an “FTE” (full-time equivalent) costs in your organization: depending on fringe benefits and overhead involved with hiring a person, this can easily be $60,000-$80,000 alone, even for a relatively junior position.

The next chunk of funding is for the cost of conducting educational programs. Since NEMO can provide much of the foundation educational materials, the costs mostly involve printing, program delivery (laptop and computer projector or slide projector) and travel (which can vary widely depending on the geographic scope). We are great fans of the qualitative improvement that computer projected presentations (e.g., PowerPoint™) make; however, a decent laptop and projection system may run you $5,000 - $8,000 (but getting cheaper and better all the time!). So, say maybe $10,000 as an average figure for this whole category, including the projector system.

Costs for data acquisition and GIS services vary widely. They can be expensive if “shopped out,” but most NEMO adaptations to date are using in-kind services from state or regional agencies to provide them, at little or no cost to the project (and providing some of that match that we talked about in Question 1). In general, the data is there for basic NEMO educational applications. Data for more intense analyses (like our Eightmile River Watershed project) may have to be generated, or at least collected from multiple sources. So, the costs of this part of the budget page could be from zilch to maybe $25,000.

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Question 6: Once a NEMO program is initiated in a municipality, what types of assistance, materials etc... do municipal officials typically request following the initial completion of the project?

Beyond the startup phase, what type of staffing commitment is necessary for the coordinating state agency on an ongoing basis per the above structure?

We are very clear about what types of assistance we are willing and able to render. We stress that we are an educational organization, and that our follow up would be in the form of education. Our educational role, and simple staff time constraints, mean that we usually cannot provide detailed GIS analyses, reviews of Plans and regulations, or other work of an intensive and analytical nature. (This would also put us in conflict with the private sector in some cases). However, this does not preclude the possibility of technical follow-up assistance from other agencies or organizations involved in the NEMO partnership. If Regional Planning Agencies are willing to follow up with detailed planning advice, or the state regulatory agency can help with recommendations on specific best management practices, that’s great.

That being said, our printed materials and slide presentations have basically been developed in response to the requests that we’ve received over the years. The most frequently-requested information concerns impervious surface reduction and open space planning, and we have presentations and materials to address both issues. Our “Clean Waters” presentation and materials, which focus on how homeowners can help to protect water quality in and around their home, are also quite popular. We have other follow-up presentations, all listed on our website.

Staffing requirements for providing ongoing support is a riddle that we haven’t necessarily solved. Early on, we became aware that we never really finish with any town that truly gets involved in NEMO. Calls may be fewer and farther between, but they don’t stop. Good natural resource-based planning is an ongoing process, and of course the cast of local land use decision makers changes continually. To date, we have been able to handle the work load, but our staff has also grown with time. Also, to be fair, one measure of success is a certain amount of independence of town officials from the program; the most successful towns have internalized NEMO to a great degree.

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Question 7: How does the CT NEMO program evaluate success when working with municipal officials?

Our measures of success are changes to local policies, practices and plans. This isn’t easy to measure in the traditional sense of surveys, evaluation forms, etc... We have done evaluation at our presentations, which we find to be very instructive as to the effectiveness of our educational methods; however, this information does not get at impacts.

Our experience has been that successful outcomes must be documented through remaining in close contact with the town, and noting changes that have occurred to town documents, town maintenance policies, subdivision design, etc... And, since NEMO recommendations cover several different areas, we have a wide range of possible impacts, ranging from open space planning to parking regulations to riparian buffers. These changes are sometimes difficult to document, but it can be done. Letters from town officials, newspaper articles, the plans and regulations themselves—all this can add to evidence of success.

The other complicating factor is the length of time it takes for things to change at the local level. It is not uncommon for several or more months to go by between our first contact with a town, and a request for follow-up services. Then, more time is taken up in slow infiltration of new ideas into the town land use decision making processes. Our most impressive impacts to date have occurred in some of the first towns in which we worked. For example, we conducted our first NEMO presentation (ever) in the Town of Waterford, CT in the fall of 1993. Although there were many changes in the way the town commissions did business in the period immediate, some of the major impacts took/are taking years to come to fruition: considerable water-related changes were included in the 1996 update of the town Plan of Conservation and Development (finalized in 1997), in 1999 the town and a consultant put the final touches on a watershed management plan, and a state-of-the-art water quality subdivision was built as part of a research and education project (Visit the Jordan Cove Urban Watershed Project website).

We understand the time constraints typically involved in a federal or state-funded project. Many sources of funding now allow 2-year project periods (or longer), which of course would be very desirable for a NEMO program. Even so, the compressed time period, and the need to show results, is yet another argument for a pilot approach. Even when it is too early in the life span of a program to have realized substantial long-term impacts to plans and regulations, it is possible to evaluate the success of the program as a pilot, in terms of reaction to the programs and first steps taken by towns. Some of this can be garnered through the type of evaluation form mentioned above, and we have our version of this for those who are interested.

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Question 8: What are the minimum computer/GIS coverage requirements do you need to run a successful program?

Data layers that are needed for basic NEMO, including the impervious surface build-out analysis, are detailed in our Technical Paper 4: “Do It Yourself!

Many of the most powerful educational images—that of watersheds and land use, for example, are the most easily acquired. If existing data layers are used and simply manipulated in ArcView™, then a high-end PC is all that’s required.

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Question 9: We’re leaning toward a structure where NEMO would be very minimally housed at the state level and educational programming delivered at the regional level. Based on your experience, do you see this as workable?

In a word, yes. The main thing you need is an educator who is good on their feet and has a real feel for land use decision making in your state. This person is probably better off housed in the region where he or she is working, rather than “up at the state office.” As noted in National Fact Sheet 1, you must carefully consider which agency will house the person actually delivering the educational program—the “messenger is as important as the message” issue, as we call it. In other words, the NEMO message may be more warmly received if it’s coming from an organization that is perceived as having no axe to grind or hidden agendas.

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Question 10: We are interested in developing pilot projects in coastal and lake watersheds. Have any other states developed modules for NEMO that address coastal or lake issues?

Both the Maine and Massachusetts NEMO programs developed a Lakes module for their states. In fact, the creation of this module was the result of collaboration between these two states, a particular victory for the concept of the Network and the efficiency of being greater than the sum of our parts. CT NEMO, in collaboration with the CT Sea Grant Program, the Nature Conservancy, and the CT Department of Environmental Protection, developed a coastal module called Focus on the Coast, which addresses the unique issues decision makers face in coastal communities.

Finally, we want to emphasize that we are very supportive and excited to have NEMO-adapted programs find their own way to address particular issues of concern. Whenever you can improve on our basic model with better data, more specific scientific relationships, or innovative educational techniques, let it rip! We will make you famous through the national network (and only claim most of the credit ourselves).

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What is a Scoping Workshop?

The first big step to starting a NEMO program is the scoping workshop. This is an opportunity for you to gather potential partners, potential funders, a few representative local decision-makers (i.e. land use commissioners) and even potential detractors together to learn about NEMO and the NEMO Network and then engage the participants in a frank discussion of what a NEMO program would like in your state.

For more information about planning a scoping workshop, contact us. Email | Contact Page

National NEMO Network Charter

The National NEMO Network is a group of affiliated programs that educate local land use decision makers about the relationship of land use to natural resource protection. In order to maintain the communication and cohesion necessary to exist as a viable Network, and to ensure the level of collaboration required to grow and evolve together as a Network, we hereby agree to the following statements.

As a National Network member, we endorse these common elements:

  1. Our program is a non-regulatory, educational program. Our educational materials and methods are intended for educational, non-commercial use only.
  2. Our program was adapted and/or created with the knowledge and assistance of the University of Connecticut NEMO Program.
  3. Our program endorses the Network mission statement of helping communities better protect natural resources while accommodating growth. To this end, our program addresses land use issues and promotes natural resource-based land use planning and other, related techniques.
  4. Our program has a primary target audience of local land use decision makers, as defined by program partners for our area.

As a National Network member, we agree to:

  1. Recognize the central coordinating role of the University of Connecticut NEMO "Network Hub", and the importance of the two-way communication with the Hub upon which this coordination depends. The Hub stays in regular communication with Network members and facilitates communication among Network programs. Hub services include Web-based communication, Network conferences, workshops, phone consultations and liaison activities with the National NEMO Network Interagency Work Group.
  2. Recognize and promote our relationship with the National NEMO Network. While our program remains principally identified with our partner organizations, we agree to recognize our relationship with the Network on our educational materials and products as per guidelines circulated by the Hub. We also agree to represent the Network at meetings or conferences, when deemed appropriate by consultation between us and the Hub.
  3. Share information and materials freely with other Network programs, so that the Network becomes "more than the sum of its parts" through the multiplying effects of information sharing. Materials adapted directly from other Network programs must acknowledge the original program as deemed appropriate by that program.
  4. Provide information and materials to the Network Hub, for the purposes of information sharing and Network-wide reporting and marketing. The Hub will collect and organize these materials into Network publications and reports, for the use and benefit of the entire Network.
Network Policy Statement

As stated in the NEMO Network Charter, Network programs are encouraged to share educational materials, including publications, fact sheets, presentations, websites and the NEMO name and logo. In order to protect the rights of the original authors and the integrity of the Network, a few simple guidelines are required.

This Policy Statement applies to all Charter members of the National NEMO Network.

Non-members should contact the Network Hub for additional guidance on use of NEMO materials and logos.  Email | Contact Page

Use of Materials

NEMO educational materials and methods are intended for educational, non-commercial use only. Any commercial or for-profit use is a violation of the Network Charter and a potential copyright infringement.

Sharing Materials


  1. For adapted materials: When adapting materials from another Network program, we request that you: (1) notify the originating program, and forward a draft copy to them for comments; (2) provide the Network Hub with a copy of the adapted material for our files and for sharing with the network.
  2. For original materials: Please provide a digital copy to the Network Hub for our files and for sharing with the network.

Giving Credit

  1. For material adapted from the Connecticut NEMO Program: The following phrase must appear on adapted printed materials and on main website pages (the level of conspicuousness is up to you):
  2. © The University of Connecticut. [Used][Adapted] with permission of the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System.

  3. For materials adapted from other NEMO programs: Publications and presentations adapted from other Network programs should give prominent credit to the originating program. Request specific language from that program.
  4. In the case that several Network materials are used in the making of a new publication or presentation, i.e., used more as reference materials than as a template for an adaptation, the material should either note these as references, if appropriate, or include the phrase

Adapted from resource materials of the National NEMO Network.

Network Affiliation and Logo

As stated in the Charter, Network members agree to recognize and promote their relationship to the National Network. Therefore, all NEMO related materials including program websites, publications and presentations should contain the following acknowledgement:

[name of your program] is a charter member of the National NEMO Network.
Also, all NEMO related materials should display the National NEMO Network logo. NEMO Network logos are available for your use from the Hub and on the National Network website (