Report Back From First REMOP Community Talk

Georgia WAND Education Fund, Inc. (GA WAND) and University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Lab (SREL) hosted the first of a year long series of Community Talks at the Burke County Library on July 24, 2017. Georgia WAND community organizers Janie Scott and Natalie Herrington, community leader Annie Laura Howard-Stephens, and Program & Communications Manager Lindsay Harper joined Megan Winzeler and Dr. Gene Rhodes of SREL in engaging residents from Burke county and the surrounding area about the Scientific Method & Radiological Education Monitoring and Outreach Project (REMOP) Introduction. Attendees included several long-time and newer private residents of the Waynesboro and Shell Bluff communities, each of whom received packets with hard copies of the talk lesson plan.
This months talk focused on REMOP goals, project outcome expectations, and the community education curriculum.  It also focused on the Scientific Method; something that many people unknowingly use in everyday life which is also the most basic component of scientific research. The Scientific Method is where scientists start to build research questions and experiments to answer those questions. It has five parts: 1. Making an observation, 2. Making a prediction, 3. Testing the hypothesis with an experiment, 4. Analyzing the results, 5. Making a conclusion. After Megan’s informative talk presentation, attendees raised and concerns about the many cancer sicknesses and deaths in the area. There were also several interested in having their land and water tested as part of the project.  Georgia WAND was able to take note of those willing to volunteer samples.
At the meetings, Georgia WAND staff was able make new connections with residents and strengthen exiting ones.   Many who attended the meeting had not been present at previous meetings; Georgia WAND was glad to see that the word is spreading across the community that testing is coming to Burke County and that community voices are needed for it to be successful.
The month of August’s Community Talk theme is Contaminants In Our Lives.  Attendees will hear information about types of contaminants, pathways in Shell Bluff and Burke County, exposure pathways, gender and age differences in exposure effects, contaminants in industry, and an overview of how industry uses natural resources in maintenance/clean-up of effluents.
For more information, contact Lindsay Harper at
Published Article about the meeting:
August Community Talk
What: Contaminants In Our Lives
When: Monday August 21, 9:00 – 10:00 am; 10:00-11:00am, and 7:00-8:00pm EST – choose the time that is best for your schedule!
RSVP: Contact Janie Scott at or Natalie Herrington at