CLU-IN Website and Internet Seminars

The CLU-IN web site provides information about innovative treatment and site characterization technologies to the hazardous waste remediation community. It describes programs, organizations, publications, and other tools for federal and state personnel, consulting engineers, technology developers and vendors, remediation contractors, researchers, community groups, and individual citizens. CLU-IN has been serving its user community since EMS developed the CLU-IN Bulletin Board System (BBS) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1987. This precursor to the modern CLU-IN web site offered electronic messaging, bulletins that could be read online, descriptions and listings of EPA documents, a calendar of EPA training courses, notices of upcoming meetings, the text of EPA newsletters, files for download, and special interest group areas (SIGs) limited to particular groups or subject areas. The CLU-IN web site was developed by EMS in 1996, and has evolved to offer new information, features, and services to its user community over the past 10 years.

In 1998, EPA's Technology Innovation Office requested EMS' expertise to expand the services offered through CLU-IN by developing and producing OSRTI's new series of internet seminars. These live, two-hour events cover various technical topics that are relevant to CLU-IN's audience. Since their inception, EMS has produced over 350 internet seminars, delivering over 120,000 broadcast hours to over 50,000 participants from 54 U.S. states and territories and 62 countries on six continents.

During each live event, seminar materials are viewed within the participant's browser, while the audio portion is delivered by the participant's choice of streaming internet audio or conventional telephone conference call. Topics often are presented by a panel of public- and private-sector experts. Interaction with the audience takes place during the question and answer breaks interspersed throughout the program. At the conclusion of each seminar, participants are guided through supporting documents and links to additional resources so that they may pursue topics in greater detail or become involved in relevant interest groups.

Some of the feedback provided by past seminar participants includes:

  "This is an inexpensive, powerful way to gain valuable knowledge."
  "Internet simulcast training: best thing since sliced bread. Thanks for offering an easy way to receive training without leaving the office or spending money. Good content, practical advice. I will do this again!"
  "By consensus, we all found the presentation extremely well done, useful and want more of the same. All join me in thanks!"
  "I'm an avid fan of these seminars. Keep them coming."
  "The seminar media is fantastic. I can get the latest information from qualified people without having to travel. It's convenient and economical."

In 2000, EMS began producing complete public archives of these seminars, providing CLU-IN users with around-the-clock access to seminar materials, including audio from the live event. In 2005, EMS began producing and distributing the first EPA podcasts using these archived seminar materials. In the first ten months these podcasts were available, CLU-IN users downloaded over 24,000 podcast episodes.

EMS is currently evaluating technological enhancements for future seminars, including live streaming video of presenters, real-time participant polling, and parallel chat sessions. These improvements are expected to be offered with CLU-IN internet seminars beginning in late 2006.