New Resources Build on Two Decades of Innovation at Atlantic Water Network

Meet Laura Chandler,
Atlantic Water Network’s Program Manager


“This is it. This is the one.” Laura Chandler knew that Atlantic Water Network’s Program Manager role was made for her when she saw it posted in 2019. She describes her career trajectory as wild:

“I got my undergrad and my Master's in math, but through my Master's I took the Collaborative Water Program at the University of Waterloo. I wanted to figure out a way to bring my math background to real world problems. So after I graduated, I gave myself a set time period to apply to environmental jobs where I could do this. Right as time was almost up, I saw this job… And here we are!”

Atlantic Water Network (AWN) ‘absorbed’ Laura Chandler, the network’s Program Manager, into its community of water leaders in 2019. Lucky for them, because she’s been instrumental in releasing some highly anticipated AWN resources this year!

I spoke to Laura in February 2024 to hear more about this resource launch. She emphasized how it could not have been possible without building on work by AWN’s partners, staff, advisors, and volunteers over the past two decades.

AWN’s Resources

AWN fills a significant resource gap in the maritimes by offering a ‘one-stop-shop for all things water quality monitoring’. Community watershed groups rely on the network’s tools to monitor water quality health.

See below for a list of resources developed by AWN through time in response to community partner needs. Note that many are also available and relevant for pan-Canadian groups (denoted by this symbol 🇨🇦). Recent resources (starred ) were developed as a direct result of AWN’s 2021 needs assessment. Laura then played a key role in getting these from the ideation stage to official launch, supported by AWN’s science advisory committee and countless community partners.


  1. Equipment Bank (started in 2007): Five different hub locations across the maritimes provide equipment loans for water monitoring. When requested, AWN offers training to use the equipment.
  2. 🇨🇦 WET-Pro certification 🇨🇦 (started in 2012): AWN offers a free online course on everything community partners need to know about community-based water monitoring.
  3. Data Management (started in 2018): AWN became the regional lead for Atlantic DataStream when it launched in 2018, offering assistance to get data online, as well as training on data analysis and management.
  4. Water Monitoring Bootcamps (started in 2020): AWN offers on-the-ground intensive workshops to support communities building water monitoring programs from scratch.
  5. ⭐ 🇨🇦 Water Monitoring Knowledge Hub 🇨🇦⭐ NEW (launched 2024): This is a virtual space where community partners create content for community partners. The hub already organizes nearly 150 resources, tools and training opportunities around the water monitoring cycle (assess, plan, implement, analyze, adapt, share). It will continue to evolve as partners add new content.
  6. Community Partners Map ⭐ NEW (launched 2024): This interactive tool allows Atlantic water monitoring groups to visualize who is in the network, and includes watershed boundaries and Indigenous territories and treaties. It currently showcases 27 community partners and is integrated with Atlantic DataStream, making it possible to see monitoring locations for each community partner.
  7. ⭐🇨🇦 Water Monitoring Plan Builder 🇨🇦⭐  NEW (launched 2024): This tool leads community partners through a step by step process to build a water monitoring plan in local watersheds.
  8. ⭐ Watershed Reporting Tool ⭐ IN DEVELOPMENT (launch date TBD): This tool is being developed because of a need for guidance on what to do with watershed data. It will provide a standard form for communicating data back to communities. As with other resources, community partner beta testers are contributing feedback to make the tool as user friendly as possible.

AWN is an anchor for community watershed monitoring in Atlantic Canada and has accomplished so much since its launch in 2004. The team is always thinking ahead about new innovations – Laura wants to see AWN continue offering high quality water monitoring resources and in person opportunities, while also expanding support to community partners facing climate anxiety and challenges around organizational resilience.

Congratulations to AWN for two decades responding to a deep need for community watershed resources and network support in Atlantic Canada!

Photo credits © Atlantic Water Network, including header and photo of Laura Chandler

Rebekah Kipp
About Rebekah Kipp
Network Communications Lead, Our Living Waters: mother, freshwater champion, beachcomber, and origami enthusiast
New Resources Build on Two Decades of Innovation at Atlantic Water Network
New Resources Build on Two Decades of Innovation at Atlantic Water Network
Imagine a Canada where all waters are in good health: