Risks to Recreation

Integrating Children’s Exposure in Risk Assessment

Helena Solo-Gabriele

No Bio Delivered
Outbreaks Associated with Untreated Recreational Water — United States, 2009-2017

Michele Hlavsa

Michele Hlavsa is chief of the U.S. CDC's Healthy Swimming Program and the agency’s lead on the Model Aquatic Health Code. She collaborates with U.S. and non-U.S. public health authorities and the aquatics sector to develop evidence-based measures to prevent recreational water–associated illness and pool chemical injuries and has >90 scientific publications. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of New Jersey and a master’s in public health/epidemiology from Emory University. Michele was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC before joining the Healthy Swimming Program.
The One Health Harmful Algal Bloom System (OHHABS)

Virginia Roberts

No Bio Delivered
Canine Mortalities in Michigan, Water Exposure

Susan Peters

Dr. Susan Peters is a Waterborne Disease Epidemiologist with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, she is responsible for increasing agency capacity to respond to waterborne illnesses, including harmful algal blooms, through enhanced surveillance and reporting, increased education and outreach, and interagency collaboration with a variety of stakeholders. Dr. Peters received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University in 2006 and her Master in Public Health from the University of Minnesota in 2013.
National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS): Findings and Applications on Algal Toxins and Pathogens

Sarah Lehmann

Sarah Lehmann serves as Team Leader for the National Aquatic Resource Surveys in U.S. EPA’s Monitoring Branch. In this role, she provides leadership for each of the national surveys including lakes, rivers and streams, coastal waters, and wetlands. Prior to this, Sarah worked in EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago as the Regional Monitoring Coordinator working states and tribes in the development and implementation of monitoring and assessment strategies.

Advances in Monitoring, Approaches and Technology

Five Years of Enterococci qPCR in Chicago: Research to Practice

Kendall Anderson

Kendall Anderson is an environmental epidemiologist who specializes in micro/molecular biology for recreational water and drinking water in sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked in this field since 2014 at Georgia Southern University and most recently in Chicago Illinois from 2016 onward at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Chicago Park District. Currently Kendall is employed by the Chicago Park District as the project manager for beach water quality in which he oversees the administration of the beach water quality monitoring program he helped develop while at the University of Illinois along with Drs. Shrestha and Dorevitch. Recently his roles have expanded to encompass marine trash mitigation and using remote sensing data via small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and time series photography to understand beach erosion in collaboration with Illinois Coastal Management. Kendall obtained a masters of public health in epidemiology from Georgia Southern University in 2016 and a masters of science in environmental and occupational health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019.
Towards a Quantitative Human Fecal Source Identification Recreational Water Quality Management Tool

Orin Shanks

Dr. Orin C. Shanks is a Senior Scientist for the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Research and Development Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling.  His primary research focus is the development, validation, and implementation of molecular technologies for environmental water quality management.  Over the years, he has investigated the identification of host-associated genetic markers of fecal pollution, development of quantitative DNA-based molecular methods, as well as fate and transport of nucleic acids.  Dr. Shanks received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Wyoming and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University.
Using Next Generation qPCR to Monitor for Toxic Cyanobacteria

Laura Webb

No Bio Delivered
Antimicrobial Resistance in Wastewater Effluent Streams Discharging to Urban Coastal Waters

Josh Steele

Dr. Joshua Steele is a microbiologist who specializes in environmental microbiology and microbial ecology, including cultivation-independent tracking of pathogens and natural microorganisms in the coastal ocean and watersheds. While at the California Institute of Technology, he focused on applying next-generation sequencing, metagenomics, metaproteomics, and biogeochemical rate measurements to study deep-sea methane seep microbial communities. His research involves development and application of molecular techniques to detect and track pathogenic bacteria and viruses, determine their viability and infectivity, and link them to beachgoer risk using statistical models; application of next-generation sequencing and metagenomics to connect the environmental microbiome and antibiotic resistome to water quality, ecosystem health, and health risk; and using bioinformatics tools to measure natural populations and community-wide changes in genes or gene expression in response to environmental changes. He received his B.S. in molecular biology in 2000 from the University of California, San Diego and his Ph.D. in biological oceanography in 2010 from the University of Southern California. He joined SCCWRP in January 2014.
Derivation of the Equivalent qPCR Value for Escherichia coli to Existing Culture-based Water Quality Standards for Monitoring Beaches in Michigan

Shannon Briggs

Shannon Briggs has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology and is a Toxicologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. Dr. Briggs administers grant funds to local health departments to support beach monitoring and source tracking at 400 regularly monitored beaches. Dr. Briggs is also a member of the Great Lakes Beach Association that has annual meetings and a beachnet list serv. Significant improvements for monitoring beaches have been adopted in Michigan, including the use of beach sanitary surveys and a lab network of 15 labs with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) instruments to monitor for E. coli and other genetic markers to identify hosts of fecal contamination. Recently, the lab network grew to 18 labs that received a digital droplet instruments and were trained to monitor 3 gene targets for a wastewater surveillance pilot project. Dr. Briggs continues to work with many partners to improve beach water quality.
Use of Novel Autonomous Technology for Improved Water Quality Monitoring in High Priority Recreational and Shellfish Harvesting Waters

Denene Blackwood

Denene Blackwood is a research specialist with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the Institute of Marine Sciences. Ms. Blackwood graduated from the UNC-CH with a degree in biology. She has worked in the fields of molecular and environmental microbiology for over 20 years, co-authoring over 40 publications. Excelling in methods development and novel technologies, Ms. Blackwood has submitted two patent applications and led six workshops training the next generation of scientists in molecular applications. In her free time, Ms. Blackwood enjoys gardening, boating, cooking, and spending time with her daughter Jessie.
Predictive Models and Fast Detection of Coliphages for a Paradigmatic Improvement in Rapid Assessment of Water Quality

Anicet Blanch

Anicet R. Blanch is Full Professor of Microbiology at the University of Barcelona. His research in Water and Environmental Microbiology is focused on the development of selective and specific methods for the detection of bacteria, on Microbial Source Tracking and on the use of bacteriophages as viral indicators in water, food and sludge. He is participating in national and EU-projects since 1988. He has also expertise on innovation and knowledge management and has been participating as member of technical panels in standardisation agencies (AENOR/CEN/ISO). He is member of the Directive Board of the Water Research Institute at the University of Barcelona, and trustee of the Technology Transfer Foundation of the University of Barcelona.
Portable System for Early Detection of Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins

Sarah Bickman

Sarah Bickman is a senior scientist and the product manager of the water and food division at LightDeck Diagnostics.  She has been at LightDeck for 8 years and has contributed to all aspects of the development of the system including assay development, engineering, and improvements for manufacturability.  Prior to working at LightDeck, Dr Bickman worked in lasers and optics at Vescent Photonics and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.  She received her PhD in atomic physics from Yale University and her BA from Amherst College in both physics and anthropology. 

Notification and Risk Communication

Beach Report Card and NowCast: Successes and Challenges of Public Water Quality Notifications

Luke Ginger

Luke Ginger is a Water Quality Scientist at the Southern California nonprofit Heal the Bay. He spends his time looking out for the people who go to the beaches, rivers, and streams by managing the organization’s recreational water quality programs. He has a B.S. in Biology from The University of St. Thomas and a M.S. in Biology from Miami University. Although Luke does not consider what he does at Heal the Bay “work,” when he’s not in the home office he is hiking in the National Parks or hanging out on the beach.
Lake Erie Beach Monitoring and Public Notification Database: Beachguard

Jenifer Hassinger

Jenifer Hassinger is a Sanitarian Program Specialist at the Ohio Department of Health. She has been working with the recreation program team in several programs, including bathing beach monitoring and advisory notification for the past four years.
Improving the Communication Strategy for the S.C. Beach Monitoring Program

Lindsey Lachenmyer

No Bio Delivered
Monitoring & Public Notification Program for Harmful Algal Blooms in Recreational Lakes

Matthew Graul

No Bio Delivered

Restoring Waters to Recreational Use

Tracking Land-based Sources of Nutrients and Microbial Contamination in a Pacific Northwest Estuarine Watershed

Amy Zimmer-Faust

No Bio Delivered
Ambient Water Quality Thresholds for Human-associated HF183: Effect of Water Temperature, Aging, and Co-contamination with Gull Feces

Jeff Soller

Mr. Jeffrey Soller is the Principal Scientist at Soller Environmental, LLC. He conducts microbial risk assessments, evaluates, interprets, and communicates water quality issues, and specializes in working at the interface of risk-based science and environmental policy. Mr. Soller has been a visiting scientist with the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research in New Zealand, and a Risk Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, at Berkeley, His work is widely cited in the peer reviewed literature.
MERA – an Integrated, Transdisciplinary Study of Water Quality and Human Health at a Tropical Beach

Valerie Harwood

Dr. Valerie J. Harwood is an environmental microbiologist. She is a professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. She has over 25 years of research experience that focuses on microbial ecology and water quality. Her interests include development and application of microbial source tracking methods, persistence and ecology of fecal bacteria and viruses in extra-intestinal, and antibiotic resistant bacteria in aquatic environments. She is an author of over 115 peer-reviewed papers Her current projects include a collaborative study on the effects of animal fecal contamination on human health and microbiome status in Ecuador.
EPA’s New Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Freshwaters

Samantha Fontenelle

Commander Samantha Fontenelle is a Commissioned Officer with the U.S. Public Health Service stationed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology. She supports the EPA’s Fish and Beach programs and is the Technical Lead for EPA’s Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Freshwaters. Prior to joining EPA, Commander Fontenelle worked in Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water supporting the development of the Water Laboratory Alliance. Commander Fontenelle has a Master of Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s MST Toolbox in Action

David Whiting

Mr. David Whiting works for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as the Deputy Director over the Laboratory and Water Quality Standards Programs within the Division of Environmental Assessment and Restoration. In addition to administrating the laboratory and WQS programs, he is currently involved in FDEP’s Microbial Source Tracking efforts to identify fecal sources, FDEP’s Harmful Algal Bloom response activities, and the state’s efforts to understand the potential impacts of emerging contaminants of concern. Dave has a B.A. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and a M.A. in Ecology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Email:, Phone: (850) 245-8191.
Lessons Learned on Remediation Options for Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in Recreational Lakes

Becky Tuden

Becky Tuden is the Ecological  Services Manager for the East Bay Regional Park District.  The District oversees 125,000 acres in the East Bay of the San Frnacisco Bay Area.  Becky oversees the natural resource permitting, Integrated Pest Management and Water Management programs for the District.  She has been heading up the Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) workgroup for the past 3 years.  Previously, she worked on water resource issues with the US EPA and the San Francisco Regional Water Board including wetlands permitting, water quality standards, dredged material management and development of a watershed plan for Tomales Bay.  She also worked for the City of Oakland on storm water management, creek restoration and implementation of green infrastructure projects.  Becky has a Masters in Environmental Policy from U.C. Berkeley.
Identifying Septic Pollution Exposure Routes During a Waterborne Norovirus Outbreak -- A New Application for Human-associated Microbial Source Tracking qPCR

Mia Mattioli

Dr. Mattioli is the PI for the CDC’s Waterborne Disease Prevention Branch’s Domestic WASH Lab within Environmental Microbiology and Engineering Laboratory Team. Her research focuses on the intersection between the environment and human health with a specific interest in the relationship between, and fate and transport of, fecal indicators and enteric pathogens. Dr. Mattioli also leads CDC’s environmental investigations of waterborne outbreak responses. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering from the University of Georgia and a Master and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University.
Sky Harbor Beach Restoration: Impacts on E. coli Levels Over a Three-Year Period

Cindy Hakala

Cindy Hakala has been the Beach Program Coordinator for Minnesota since 2011. She has piloted Virtual Beach modeling in Minnesota, evaluated the notification and outreach component of the Beach Program, and created new outreach methods to help the public understand the link between their behavior and their health at the beach. In the past several years she has had the pleasure of closely watching and documenting the improving water quality at two Lake Superior beaches. She has a Master of Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She is also a co-founder and president of Starry Skies Lake Superior, a chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association and enjoys fighting light pollution in her spare time.

Building Partnerships in Rec. Water Monitoring and Remedation

Citizen Science at the EPA: Streamlining Water Quality Testing and Future Visions

Jay Benforado

Jay Benforado is the Chief Innovation Officer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development. Jay is a founding co-chair of the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, helping to guide it from a small informal group to an influential network of over 400 members representing 60 agencies.  Jay’s efforts to establish citizen science, innovation project competitions, and voluntary partnerships help EPA, State, Tribal and local environmental agencies prepare for the challenges of a rapidly-changing world.  Previous positions at EPA include Director of the National Center for Environmental Innovation and Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy, Economics and Innovation in the EPA Administrator’s Office. 
Citizen and Community Evolvement to Make a More Swimmable California

Erick Burres

Erick Burres is a Senior Environmental Scientist Specialist with California’s State Water Resources Control Board where he leads the Clean Water Team. Mr. Burres has a BS in Zoology and a MPA in Public Policy and Administration. He has worked on wildlife conservation, fisheries and watershed stewardship projects since the late 1980’s and has been with the Clean Water Team since 2000.
Utah’s Joint Harmful Algal Bloom and E. coli Recreational Water Quality Advisory Program

Kate Fickas

Dr. Kate Fickas earned her Ph.D. at OSU coming up with novel ways to use dense time series analysis of satellite imagery to track spatio-temporal dynamics of wetlands in Oregon back to 1985. During her Ph.D., she worked closely with researchers at Google and NASA in order to develop and process her satellite-based algorithms. After her Ph.D. in 2018, Kate went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst researching how to use drones to capture changes in salt marsh wetlands on the East Coast. Currently, Kate is the position of Harmful Algal Bloom Program coordinator and aquatic ecologist at the Utah Division of Water Quality in the Department of Environmental Quality. In her time at DWQ she has worked to increase communication, collaboration, and trust between DWQ and Utah’s LHDs. Kate also continues to work with NASA on making Utah a sentinel state for emerging remote sensing technology in the use of observing HABs from satellites.
A Water Quality Standards Perspective on Swimming in An Urban Waterway – The Anacostia River

Ed Dunne

Ed is the Branch Chief of Water Quality Standards and Total Maximum Daily Loads in the Water Quality Division at the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). Prior to DOEE, Ed was a program officer with the Water Science and Technology Board at the National Academies of Sciences. There he led consensus-based studies on water resource management. Ed was also a supervising environmental scientist with the St. Johns River Water Management District in Florida where he managed an 800-acre constructed wetland. Ed holds PhD and MSc degrees in environmental resource management from University College Dublin in Ireland and a BSc degree in biology from Bangor University in Wales.
Development of a Multifaceted Statewide Strategy for the Monitoring and Assessment of Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms in California

Jayme Smith

Dr. Jayme Smith is a scientist at Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), a water quality research institute in Costa Mesa, CA. Dr. Smith specializes in the ecology of harmful algal blooms (HABs) and is interested in determining biological, chemical, and physical conditions that related to the development of HABs in both marine and freshwater systems. She is also interested in the improvement and development of HAB monitoring programs and tools in aquatic systems in California. Dr. Smith earned a B.S. in Biology from Vanguard University in 2009 and a Ph.D. in Biology 2018 from University of Southern California.
Building Partnerships to Enhance Public Health Protection at the Beach Through the Surfrider Foundation’s Blue Water Task Force

Mara Dias

Mara Dias is the Water Quality Manager for the Surfrider Foundation, an international, grass-roots, environmental NGO. She received her B. S. in marine biology from Southampton College in New York and her M. S. in Environmental Policy from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She currently leads the Surfrider Foundation’s Clean Water Initiative which includes managing their volunteer-run beach water testing program, the Blue Water Task Force, and working on advocacy campaigns to improve water quality monitoring and public health protection programs at beaches across the U. S. She also assists Surfrider chapters in addressing their local water quality concerns by building community awareness and partnering with local agencies to identify and address sources of beach pollution.
Integrating Advanced Technologies with Citizen Scientists to Monitor Harmful Algal Blooms in Western Lake Erie

Tim Davis

Dr. Timothy Davis is the Patrick L. & Debra (Scheetz) Ryan Endowed Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Director of the Center for Great Lakes and Watershed Studies (CGLWS) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).  Over the past 15 years, Dr. Davis has studied the ecology of harmful algal blooms (HABs) in marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments.  Dr. Davis is a Co-Chair of the National HAB Committee (NHC), is a member of the GlobalHAB Scientific Steering Committee and a member of the US EPA Board of Scientific Counselors, serving on the safe and sustainable water resources subcommittee.

What's Next? Emerging Concerns

How well do Coliphages Predict the Presence and Concentrations of Human Enteric Viruses in Water and Wastewater?

Mark Sobsey

Dr. Mark Sobsey specializes in environmental health microbiology and water, sanitation and hygiene. His research, teaching and service encompass the detection, characterization, occurrence, environmental survival/transport/fate, treatment, human health effects characterization and risk assessment of viruses, bacteria and parasites of public health concern in water, wastewater, biosolids, soil, air and food for the prevention and control of water-, food- and excreta-borne disease. His research interests address pathogens, fecal indicators and antimicrobially resistant bacteria in the environment, their occurrence, transport and fate, their removal by wastewater, water treatment and water reclamation and reuse processes and their human health risks. He has served on many advisory boards, scientific and technical work groups and in other expert advisory capacities for many organizations, including the World Health Organization, The World Bank, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the State of North Carolina.
Risk-based Water Quality Threshold for Coliphage in Surface Waters of Different Temperatures

Alexandria Boehm

Alexandria Boehm is a professor at Stanford University in the department of civil and environmental engineering. She received her BS from Caltech in engineering and applied science, and her MS and PhD in environmental engineering from Univ California Irvine. Her research focuses on pathogens in the environment including their sources, fate, and transport in natural and engineered systems. She is also interested broadly in coastal water quality where her work addresses the sources, transformation, transport, and ecology of biocolloids - specifically fecal indicator organisms, DNA, pathogens, and phytoplankton - as well as sources and fate of nitrogen. Presently, she serves on the State of California Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia science task force, and is an associate editor at ES&T and ES&T Letters. She received the ASCE Huber Prize for research in 2016 and an NSF CAREER award in 2007.
Large-scale Patterns of Antimicrobial Resistance Genes and Fecal Indicator Bacteria in United States Rivers and Streams

Scott Keely

Dr. Scott Keely is an EPA microbiologist and has 30 years of research experience in infectious diseases and molecular genetics. His EPA research is highly collaborative and responsive to contemporary public health crises including microbial and chemical contaminants in graywater, wastewater and surface waters, and wastewater-based monitoring of human enteric viruses and recently SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Keely is a member of EPA’s COVID-19 emergency response team that is monitoring SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern in US sewersheds. Dr. Keely received his PhD in an interdisciplinary molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology program from the College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati.
Pathogenic Vibrio Species in Southern California Coastal Waters

Rachel Diner

Rachel Diner is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, San Diego in Jack Gilbert’s laboratory. She is the current recipient of an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology and an NIH-funded San Diego IRACDA Fellowship. She is broadly interested in understanding how coastal microbes influence human, animal, and ecosystem health. Her current work investigates which environmental factors regulate water and shellfish microbiomes, and how this relates to shellfish health and human pathogen and toxin accumulation. She is also interested in the microbial ecology of pathogenic Vibrio species in southern California and investigating the role shellfish-associated microbes play in pollution remediation. She received a BS in Biology from the University of Georgia, a J.D. in law from the University of San Diego focusing on coastal environmental law and policy, an MS in Marine Biology from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. Subsequently, she was a joint postdoctoral researcher with the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project and the J. Craig Venter Institute.
International Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Microbial Communities from Wastewater Treatment Plant Final Effluents and Receiving Environments

Ayella Maile-Moskowitz

Ayella Maile-Moskowitz is a fourth year PhD student at Virginia Tech in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has studied antibiotic resistance in wastewater, specifically how wastewater treatment plant final effluent impacts receiving environments and how hospital effluent influences antibiotic resistance within simulated wastewater treatment plants. This past year she has led the wastewater sampling effort at Virginia Tech testing for RNA from SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, in campus sewers and at the local wastewater treatment plants. After graduation she aims to continue addressing society's water quality challenges through a career in wastewater research at the university, government, or industry level.
EPA’s Development of Recreational Water Criteria for Coliphage

Kaedra Jones

Kaedra Jones is a Lead Health Scientist at ICF, where she has supported the U.S. EPA's Health and Ecological Criteria Division for the past 11 years. She is the project manager for ICF's work with U.S. EPA focused on activities to support the development of recreational water quality criteria for coliphage. This effort is led by Lesley D'Anglada at U.S. EPA and Ms. Jones is presenting on her behalf. Prior to joining ICF, Ms. Jones was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Ohio State University where she received her MPH with a specialization in Environmental Health Sciences and her BS in Biology.