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Erin Ling

Water Quality Extension Associate
  • Research areas: Private water supply testing and outreach, community watershed management, development of water quality education and outreach materials, social marketing and behavior change, program management


M.S., Rural Sociology, Penn State University, 2005

M.EPC., Environmental Pollution Control, Penn State University, 2004

B.A., International Studies (Development), Virginia Tech, 2000


March 2008 - present – Extension Associate and Coordinator of Virginia Household Water Quality Program, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

June 2005 – March 2008 – Certification Director, Pennsylvania Certified Organic, Spring Mills, PA

August 2002 – May 2005 – Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Penn State University

Program Focus

Coordinate the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, which provides drinking water clinics for Virginians reliant on private water supplies (wells, springs, and cisterns) through extension offices in 12-16 counties annually, and the Virginia Master Well Owner Network, a group of trained extension educators and volunteers who educate other private water supply users across the state.

Mid-Atlantic Water Program:  Conducting a needs assessment across the Chesapeake Bay watershed to identify key partnerships, research and outreach priorities for land-based non-point source threats to water quality; create education and outreach materials addressing Bay states’ evolving response to the Chesapeake Bay TMDL; develop continuing education online modules for private water supply users across the mid-Atlantic region.

Development of social marketing and behavior change resources for community-based watershed organizations.

Current Projects

  • Virginia Household Water Quality Program
    • Rural Health focus – targeted, subsidized drinking water clinics in 3 rural Virginia areas
  • Virginia Master Well Owner Network
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Development of Social Marketing Tools and Metrics
  • Mid-Atlantic Water Program needs assessment
  • Development of education and outreach resources for Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions addressing Chesapeake Bay TMDL

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student)

  • VanDerwerker, T., L. Zhang, E. Ling, B. Benham, and M. Schreiber. (Submitted January 2017). Evaluating sources of arsenic in groundwater in Virginia (USA) using a logistic regression model. Hydrogeology Journal.
  • Benham, B., E. Ling, P. Ziegler, and L. Krometis. 2016. What's in your water?: development and evaluation of the Virginia household water quality program and Virginia master well owner network. Journal of Human Science and Extension. 4(1): 123-138.
  • Smith, T., L.A. Krometis, C. Hagedorn, A. Lawrence, B. Benham, E. Ling, P. Ziegler, S. Marmagas. 2014. Associations between fecal indicator bacteria prevalence and demographic data in private water supplies in Virginia. Journal of Water and Health. 12(4): 824-34.
  • Allevi, R. P., L. K. Krometis, C. Hagedorn, B. Benham, A. Lawrence, E. Ling, P. Ziegler. 2013. Quantitative analysis of microbial contamination in private drinking water supply systems. Journal of Water and Health. 11(2): 244-255.
  • Armstrong, A., E. Ling, R. Stedman and P. Kleinman. 2011. Adoption of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program in the New York City watershed: The role of farmer attitudes.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation.  Volume 66, Number 5, p 337-344 September/October 2011
  • James (Ling), E., P. Kleinman, T. Veith, R. Stedman, and A. Sharpley.  Phosphorus contributions from pastured dairy cattle to streams of the Cannonsville Watershed, NY.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Volume 62, Number 1, p. 40-47. January-February, 2007
  • Ling, E., B. Benham. Private Water Supply Protection in Virginia. December 2008.

Selected Recent Funding

  • "Building Capacity to Meet Virginia Produce Grower Needs for FSMA Water Testing Compliance" PI: Amber Vollotton. 2016 USDA Speciality Block Grant Program, $32,000. 11/16-10/19.
  • “What’s In Your Water? Linking Rural Health and Household Drinking Water Safety” PI: L. Krometis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, $196,000, 1/12-1/13.
  • “Creation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Master Well Owner Network and Development of Associated Continuing Education Resources”. PI: Brian Benham. $60,000. 9/10-9/12.
  • “National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants Monitoring and Assessment Program”.  PI: G. Yagow. $100,000.  6/08-present.