Published: Nov. 4, 2015

Community, tribal and K-12 groups are invited to submit project proposals that explore impacts of oil and gas development on their local communities with support from the AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network based at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The grants of up to $5,000 each aim to improve understanding of the risks and benefits of oil and gas development as identified by community organizations. Grant recipients will work with AirWaterGas researchers for the duration of their one-year projects.

Proposals are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Grants will be awarded early in 2016. Successful projects must be completed by March 1, 2017.

Project proposals that connect to the scientific expertise of AirWaterGas, including water quality, air quality, public health and social and economic systems, are highly encouraged.

Projects may focus on citizen science initiatives, project-based learning, the interface of science and policy issues or other energy-related topics that have relevance for local schools, organizations or communities.

Following are examples of community grant awardees from last year:

  • Pagosa Springs High School won a grant for air quality monitors to be added to its existing science curriculum to investigate air quality impacts of energy use;
  • The Poudre Learning Center in Greeley won a grant to fund its Well Watch Project, which drills groundwater quality monitoring wells to teach students about the science of groundwater. Well Watch is working with AirWaterGas researchers to add content on the potential impacts of oil and gas development on groundwater quality to the science curriculum and to teacher workshops.

Applicants are encouraged to review the AirWaterGas project summary for more information at

The AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network is a research project funded by the National Science Foundation. The interdisciplinary network involves researchers from nine institutions and aims to provide a science-based framework for evaluating the environmental, economic and social trade-offs of developing oil and natural gas resources and of protecting water and air resources.

The network includes an active outreach and education team that focuses on citizen science, public involvement and awareness of the science and policy issues. This team facilitates the community small grant process.

Funding for the community grants is made possible by the CU-Boulder Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The grants are administered by the AirWaterGas Sustainability Research Network and the CU-Boulder Office for Outreach and Engagement.

Katya Hafich, AirWaterGas Research Network, 303-492-9113
Julie Poppen, CU-Boulder media relations, (O) 303-492-4007, (M) 720-503-4922