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Ruth Anne Hanahan

Senior Research Associate
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center

Ms. Hanahan coordinates education and outreach activities for the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center. Her primary focus over the past six years has been to build and manage the Knox County Adopt-A-Watershed (AAW) Program. Ms. Hanahan conducts the program on behalf of the Water Quality Forum, a local consortium of agencies and organizations dedicated to protecting and improving regional water quality. The Knox County program is one of the largest and most active AAW programs in the Southeastern United States.

Some 14 Knox County middle and high schools, 25 teachers, and more than 2,000 students participate in this hands-on environmental education program annually. As part of her program oversight responsibilities, Ms. Hanahan organizes annual teacher-training workshops, supervises the AmeriCorps Team that helps implement the program, and facilitates community partnerships that provide in-kind and direct programmatic support.

In addition to coordinating the AAW program, Ms. Hanahan has been instrumental in developing the Water Quality Forum's Web site ( She also has helped organize and implement other educational/community outreach and technical projects, such as the Forum's Adopt-A-Stream Program, stream soil biorestoration demonstration projects, and grassroots watershed initiatives (the Beaver Creek Watershed Association, for example).

During this past year, Ms. Hanahan joined the Tennessee Growth Readiness (TGR) Delivery Team. TGR, a statewide training program designed to build awareness about water quality issues related to land use, is a collaboration among the Water Resources Research Center, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and local, state, and federal agencies. TGR training specifically targets community planners and engineers who must respond to new Clean Water Act requirements in the face of rapid community growth.

Ms. Hanahan also has a special interest in volunteer monitoring and is currently examining state volunteer monitoring programs in the Southeast. The overarching goal of this study is to provide a set of recommendations to Tennessee policy decision makers and other stakeholders regarding the viability of initiating a statewide volunteer monitoring program and identifying actions necessary to implement such a program.

Ms. Hanahan has recently been recognized for "Outstanding Support for Water Quality and Conservation Measures" by the Knox County Soil Conservation District, "Outstanding Work with the Water Quality Forum" by the CAC AmeriCorps Program, and "Special Recognition for Support of the Water Quality Forum, 2003" by the Water Quality Forum.


  • M.S., Ecology, University of Tennessee
  • M.S., Nutrition (Public Health Minor), University of Tennessee
  • B.S., Biology, Belmont Abbey College

Selected Publications:

  • Robert Jones, Brent Marshall, Ruth Anne Hanahan, Tim Gangaware, et al, Knoxville-Area Residents? Views on Water Quality: Results of a Survey Conducted in the First and Beaver Creek Watersheds, University of Tennessee, April 2000.
  • David L. Feldman & Ruth Anne Hanahan, Report of the Southeast Water Supply Roundtable, University of Tennessee, November 1999.
  • David L. Feldman & Ruth Anne Hanahan. Southeast Water Resources: Management and Supply Issues Symposium Report, University of Tennessee, 1998.
  • David L. Feldman and Ruth Anne Hanahan, ?Public Perceptions of a Radioactively Contaminated Site; Concerns, Remediation Preferences and Desired Involvement,? Environmental Health Perspectives (Vol. 104, No. 12), December 1996.
  • David L. Feldman, Ralph Perhac and Ruth Anne Hanahan, Environmental Priority-Setting in U.S. States and Communities: A Comparative Analysis, University of Tennessee, September 1996.