Mission & History

ALLARM's mission statement is to:

  1. Enhance local action for the protection and restoration of Pennsylvania watersheds by empowering communities with scientific knowledge and tools to carry out watershed assessments;
  2. Provide Dickinson college students with opportunities to participate in community-based participatory research thereby enhancing the quality of their undergraduate education;
  3. Continue to be a leader in volunteer monitoring in Pennsylvania and a national model for college-community partnerships.

ALLARM was founded in 1986 by Dickinson College Professor Candie Wilderman, as the Alliance for Acid Rain Monitoring. The original focus of ALLARM's mission was to study the impact of acid deposition on Pennsylvania 's waterways and the effectiveness of Clean Air Act amendments, which we did with the help of community volunteers. With over 500 monitoring sites statewide, this initiative eventually resulted in one of the most comprehensive databases on pH and alkalinity of Pennsylvania streams.

In 1996 ALLARM expanded its focus and changed its mission. We moved from the single issue of acid deposition to broader watershed concerns, and shifted from working with individuals to working with communities. Furthermore, we took on a service provider role by offering programmatic and scientific technical assistance to watershed groups to help build their ability to address their local water quality concerns.