Our History

ASSIST was conceived in May 1995 in response to the need to support a graduate research effort at Humboldt State University (Arcata, California). Tapley Jordanwood and his colleagues developed a computer program to facilitate bringing sustainable technologies for water and sanitation to people in developing regions. The only problem was the need for financial support to test the program in the field – which led to a visit to Microsoft in Seattle, after which the idea to create an organization to support research of sustainable international community development technologies was born.

ASSIST incorporated in 1996 and received tax-exempt status in 1997. Over the past 17 years, our projects have included development of sustainable water and wastewater systems in the United States and around the world, implementation of alternative energy and transportation systems, and working with high school, college. and university students to experience and learn strategies to enable individuals and communities to improve their quality of life. In 2011, ASSIST moved its home office to Nashua, New Hampshire and opened its first international office in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

  • Arcata, California

  • Bob Gearheart, an inspiration for ASSIST

  • Mike Minitas & the Compost Mountain Boys

  • ASSIST's First Office in Arcata

  • ASSIST's First Project: Solar Dehydrator

  • Greywater Treatment System

  • Arcata's Green Bike Program

  • Camoapa - ASSIST's first international program