» Environmental monitoring

Ground-Water-Level Monitoring and the Importance of Long-Term Water-Level Data

Ground water is among the Nation’s most precious natural resources. Measurements of water levels in wells provide the most fundamental indicator of the status of this resource and are critical to meaningful evaluations of the quantity and quality of ground water and its interaction with surface water. Water-level measurements are made by many Federal, State, and local agencies. It is the intent of this report to highlight the importance of measurements of ground-water levels and to foster a more comprehensive and systematic approach to the long-term collection of these essential data. Through such mutual efforts, the Nation will be better positioned in coming decades to make wise use of its extensive ground-water resources. Read More

Breaking Down the Blocks that Build Biosensors

Research and industry are increasingly exploiting the potential of aptamers. As well as their application in research, medical diagnosis and treatment, aptamers are also interesting as a basis for biosensors for use in environmental analysis because their characteristics enable them to identify and bind target molecules as surely as a key fits a lock. In a new book, researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) describe the methods used to obtain aptamers. A newly-approved project aims to develop new nanostructured biosensors to measure harmful substances in water. Read More

Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring Superfund Research Program

This was the first of two seminars on Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring sponsored by the NIEHS Superfund Basic Research Program and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Technology Innovation Program. Dr. Michael Denison and Shirley Gee from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) presented their work on the development of miniaturized, fast, sensitive bioassay systems for use in environmental research and monitoring at hazardous waste sites. Dr. Ian Kennedy, also from UC Davis, discussed his advances in nanotechnology and the use of MEMs (Micro Electro Mechanical system) fabrication techniques to make a micro-sized instrument for optical detection of trace amounts of chemicals in aqueous solutions. Read More

Biosensors for Environmental Monitoring

National Exposure Research Laboratory in Las Vegas (NERL-LV) is conducting research on biosensors for environmental monitoring applications. This research is designed to address a critical and growing need for real-time and in situ monitoring devices which can be used at Superfund sites and RCRA facilities, as well as for ground water monitoring. Because biosensor technology lends itself to fast, economical and continuous monitoring capabilities, development of these systems to complement classical analytical measurements is expected to result in a substantial cost benefit, especially when sample turnaround time and cost per analysis are important issues. Biosensors are currently being considered for development for detection of environmental pollutants such as phenols, genotoxins, and pesticides such as organophosphates, 2,4-D, etc. Read More

National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) Assessment Methods

Chemical, biological, and microbiological methods of environmental pollutants assessment. Read More

National Exposure Research Laboratory's (NERL) Models

The National Exposure Research Laboratory’s (NERL) mission is to conduct research on the extent and nature of exposure of humans and the nation’s ecosystems to environmental pollutants and other stressors. These are some of the models that show potential exposure of humans and ecosystems. Read More

National Exposure Research Laboratory's (NERL) Databases

The National Exposure Research Laboratory’s (NERL) mission is to conduct research on the extent and nature of exposure of humans and the nation’s ecosystems to environmental pollutants and other stressors. This research has resulted in many databases of information. Read More

Biosensors for Analytical Monitoring References

Bibliography of references on environmental use of biosensors. Read More

Animals as Sentinels of Human Environmental Health Hazards: An Evidence-Based Analysis

“Despite recognition that animals could be serving as “sentinels” for environmental risks to human health, there are no evidence-based guidelines for the use of animal sentinal data in human health decision making. We performed a systematic review of the animal sentinel literature to assess the evidence linking such events to human health. A search of MEDLINE identified peer-reviewed original studies of animals as sentinels for either chemical or biological environmental hazards. A limited search of the CAB and AGRICOLA databases was also performed. We classified a random sample of 100 studies from the MEDLINE search according to species, hazard, and health outcome examined; study methods; and linkages to human health. Animal sentinel studies were difficult to locate in MEDLINE because of a lack of adequate key words for this concept. We found significant limitations in the study methods used to investigate animal sentinel events. Clear linkages to human health were frequently absent. Studies of sentinel events in animal populations hold potential for the recognition and control of human environmental health hazards, yet a number of barriers exist to using such data for evidence-based human health decision. There is a need for greater data sharing and cooperative research between human and animal health professionals regarding environmental hazards and health outcomes in animal and human populations.” Read More

International Program at the Earth Resources Observation Systems (EROS) Data Center - environmental monitoring and information systems

Overview of the environmental monitoring component of the international program at the EROS Data Center using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, with links to data, partners, publications, and workshops. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu