Citizen Scientist

The Citizen Scientist FREE Water Monitoring Program

The Citizen Scientist Program is a collaboration between the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and GC Resolve.  Other participants include various High School Science and FFA Students, various organizations, and dozens of volunteer Citizen Scientists. 

The reason we are testing private wells on farms is to give an opportunity for farm families and rural residents to increase awareness about rising contaminants in Eastern Nebraska, and to help improve their health by identifying potential contamination in drinking water supplies from excess nutrients. 


Here is the latest data collected by Citizen Scientists from the 2018 summer testing period:



How Does The Program Work?

The University of Nebraska Deparment of Civil Engineering will provide all testing materials to volunteers. Volunteers will measure the concentrations of key nutrients, nitrates, nitrites and phosphates, using rapid test strips that provide an accurate and reliable results in less than 1 minute. All volunteers will receive training (30 minutes) to ensure that they are comfortable with the tools provided.

The information that you collect will be sent to the University of Nebaska, by either mail or email, for analysis. Expert faculty and staff will answer questions and provide feedback to you on the levels of plant nutrients in the water that you tested. As a Citizen Scientist, you will be kept informed about the results of this program and alerted to future opportunities to improve your water resources.

When Will We Be Testing Next?

The first three testing periods were held in the spring, summer, and fall of 2018.  We are now seeking additional Citizen Scientists for 2019.  Dates for 2019 testing periods will be announced soon. If you were a Citizen Scientist in 2018 you will receive additional testing packets for 2019 testing!

To Become A Citizen Scientist:

PLEASE CLICK HERE if you want to test your water and live in Burt, Cass, Colfax, Cuming, Butler, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Douglas, Lancaster, Madison, Platte, Polk, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, Stanton, Thurston, Wayne or Washington Counties.

If you have additional questions please contact:

Graham P. Christensen
GC Resolve
402-217-5217 |


Shannon Bartelt-Hunt
University of Nebraska
402-554-3868 |
1110 S. 67th St
Omaha, NE 68182-0178

Thank you for considering this opportunity to participate in monitoring your water resources!


This program is not affiliated with or under the direction of any regulatory body, such as the U.S. EPA.