Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is the 13th National Monitoring Conference?

This conference will take place at the Virginia Beach Conference Center in and Virginia Beach, Virginia and on the Whova Virtual Platform.


2. What is the National Water Quality Monitoring Council and what is their role in the National Monitoring Conference?

The Council (NWQMC) was created in 1997 as a forum for bringing together diverse expertise needed to develop collaborative, comparable, and cost-effective approaches for monitoring and assessing our Nation’s water quality. The approaches are fundamental to the successful management and sustainability of our waters and are increasingly important because water issues are becoming more complex, resources are tighter, and the demand for high-quality water continues to grow to support a complex web of human activities and aquatic ecosystem needs.

The NWQMC launched the first National Monitoring Conference in 1998. In 2000, the NWQMC joined with the volunteer monitoring community and the two have collaborated ever since.  In 2021, the NWQMC added a focus on expanding justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) and created a JEDI workgroup to support Council-sponsored activities including the conference. The conference is hosted by the NWQMC, with leadership and administrative support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS).

For more information on the conference, the NWQMC, and their products visit the NWQMC website.


3. Who can attend?

All are welcome! We hope to draw people interested in sharing practical solutions to the challenges facing water monitoring programs and the newest advances and research in the water quality monitoring field. The conference attracts presentations and attendees from municipal, state and Tribal governments, federal agencies, international attendees, business and industry, academia, agriculture, environmental groups and community members.

Furthermore, the NWQMC is committed to promoting justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) within all aspects of water quality monitoring and assessment and to continuously improve how we amplify underrepresented voices and support opportunities for the broader water quality monitoring community. Our success in achieving water quality goals depends on learning from people of all backgrounds. We are committed to fostering an inclusive and respectful culture for all participants and actively improving JEDI throughout Council activities by working aggressively to remove systemic and institutional barriers that add layers of disadvantage and environmental injustice to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+ communities, persons with disabilities, and other minoritized groups.


4. What does a “limited virtual format” mean?

This is the first time the National Monitoring Conference will be conducted fully in-person as well as offer in-person and virtual attendees’ access to the Whova virtual platform. This platform will include asynchronous recorded presentations and access to the poster session materials. All attendees will be able to view any pre-recorded conference materials during the conference and for up to six months after the conference ends and may utilize networking opportunities via the chat and other social networking functions, and access to view the plenary speeches via a livestream video. The price to attend the conference in solely a virtual manner will be provided at a reduced rate as compared to attending in-person (See Question 6). All in-person attendees will have access to the virtual components of the conference included in their registration. Note: All in-person presenters will be encouraged to provide a prerecorded version of their presentation and we will also offer a staffed room for on-site for presentation recording. However, some presenters may opt to not record their presentations due to agency clearance restrictions, proprietary concerns or their personal preference. At a minimum, we will at least try to secure pdf versions of presentation materials for the latter case.


5. What is the difference between In-Person and limited virtual attendance?

In-Person Attendees Receive Virtual-Only Attendees Receive
  • Access to all In-Person events
  • Whova access to uploaded presentations and pre-recorded virtual program materials via Whova
  • Access to all In-Person presenters
  • In-Person and Whova networking opportunities
  • In-Person opportunities to engage with event sponsors and exhibitors
  • Meals and refreshments
  • Access to uploaded presentations and pre-recorded virtual program materials via Whova
  • Interaction with other In-Person and virtual attendees, sponsors and exhibitors via the chat and social networking functions in Whova

The registration fees for the virtual-only attendance option will be reduced as compared to the In-Person registration fees. This is mainly due to the increased cost of provided food and amenities of attending the conference In-Person. Registration for both In-Person and virtual attendance will be available by Winter 2022.


6. What does it cost to attend the National Monitoring Conference?

Attendance Type Early Bird Registration
(Until February 24)
Regular Registration
(February 25 – April 14)
Week Proceeding and Week of Conference Registration
(April 15 – April 28)
(includes Virtual component)
$495 $560 $650
In-Person (one day rate) $295 $345 $415*
Virtual- Only $245
Extra Exhibitor $395 $460 $550
Student – In-Person** $275 $295 $395
Student – Virtual** $95

* On-site registrations may be limited in number and no special dietary restrictions can be accommodated given the lack of notice.

** Student registrations must be full-time degree seeking students during conference. Students may be asked to show a validated student ID, a letter on college/university letterhead signed by their department chair or major advisor to indicate that they are a full-time student or some other proof of matriculation.


7. Are there opportunities for reimbursement or help for registration fees?

There are several limited opportunities for registration discounts and scholarships (travel and or registration) for members of the Volunteer Monitoring and JEDI communities. Information about these scholarships can be found on the Conference website Fall 2022.


8. How long can I view the virtual sessions?

All conference participants will have access to the virtual sessions for six months after the end of the conference through the Whova platform.


9. What hotels should I stay in?

The anchor hotel will be the DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach. It has the largest block of rooms available for the entire week of the conference and a limited number of rooms reserved for pre and post conference stays. It is the closest hotel to the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

A limited number of rooms at beachfront hotels located within a 15- to 30-minute walk from the conference center will be available. Limited bus transportation will be available between all hotels and the conference center (schedule to be provided at a later date). Please note, some of these hotels are only offering government room rates for Monday through Thursday nights of the conference. A few options will offering a small number of reservations for Sunday and Friday nights as well.

Detailed hotel information is posted at, we recommend reservations be made as early as possible given Virginia Beach’s popularity. While we may be able to increase our room blocks, we cannot guarantee that the prevailing government rate will be offered on the additional rooms. The next closest overflow hotel that will offer government rates is a significant distance from the Convention Center.


10. What airports are closest to the conference center?

Norfolk International Airport, Norfolk, Virginia – 20 miles from Virginia Beach, 23-minute drive from airport

  • Travelers may take a taxi or use a ride share app to get to their hotel. Transportation will not be arranged from airport to conference location.

Newport News/Williamsburg International, Newport News, Virginia – 44 miles from Virginia Beach, 52-minute drive from airport

  • Travelers may take a taxi or use a ride share app to get to their hotel. Transportation will not be arranged from airport to conference location.


11. Are students welcome at this conference?

Yes! We welcome high school (with a designated chaperone), college, and graduate students to participate in-person and/or virtually in the National Monitoring Conference. We encourage them to present, network, and learn from this conference. Any full-time, degree program matriculated student can qualify for the discounted student rate.


12. Are international attendees welcome?

Yes, we encourage attendance from our colleagues and friends from around the world.