Meet EGSC's Mendenhall Fellow: John V. Loperfido
"JV" has come to us by way of the Mendenhall Program, which provides opportunities for new PhD graduates to conduct research in association with selected members of the USGS professional staff. He earned a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa and is working with EGSC's Dr. Dianna Hogan who is serving as his research advisor. His broad interests include water quality modeling, sustainable watershed management, water quality sensors, and sediment and nutrient pollution.
A growing threat to Chesapeake Bay restoration and health is the increase in urban and suburban development in the Bay watershed. When stormwater falls on these areas, it picks up excess nutrients and sediment that are then washed down into streams that lead to the Bay. Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are structures that are designed to detain and/or treat stormwater runoff before it carries pollutants into area streams. We hypothesized that the locations, types, and connections between BMPs in a watershed would make a difference in how well they work in improving water quality by retaining nutrients and sediment. Therefore, we are using field-based studies of different groups of stormwater management systems to get a better understanding of what BMPs work well together in a landscape. To do this, we mapped the location, type, and connectivity of BMPs in an area, and are monitoring nutrients and sediment washing off of the suburban areas into the streams during rainstorms. Our goal is to help improve suburban stormwater management to minimize the effects of urbanization on the ecological health of the Chesapeake Bay and other at risk aquatic systems. More information...
Detecting Evidence of Climate Change in the Forests of the Eastern United States
Can evidence of climate change impacts on vegetation phenology be found in moderate-resolution satellite imagery?
Phenology is the the study of the influence of climate
change on the timing of biological events, such as annual plant flowering and seasonal bird migration.
These events are partially driven by changes in
temperature and precipitation; therefore, phenology
studies how these events may reflect changes in
climate. To study climate-change relations over broad
areas (at landscape scale), the timing and amount of
annual tree leaf emergence, maximum foliage, and
leaf fall for forested areas are of interest. More....
Best Scientific Paper by a New USGS Scientist Award
Dr. Dianna Hogan, a research physical scientist in the Eastern Geographic Science Center, is the first recipient of the Geography Discipline's Best Scientific Paper by a New USGS Scientist Award for 2007.
This is one of two annual awards that Geography has instituted to acknowledge individual scientists for their contribution to geographic science through published, peer-reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Hogan shares the award with her co-author Dr. Mark Walbridge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Their paper entitled “Best Management Practices for Nutrient and Sediment Retention in Urban Stormwater Runoff” was published in the Journal of Environmental Quality (Vol 36: 386-395, 2007) and contributes substantially to our knowledge of the effectiveness of Best Management Practices (BMPs) structures in urban environmental settings.
EGSC Provides Great Opportunities for Students
The 10 week internship for our summer students was a rousing
success for both the USGS and the interns.
The interns had the opportunity to attend
USGS seminars and work on various EGSC projects in the Chesapeake
Bay watershed, South Florida, and other areas.
They were able to interact with experts and scientists and to
take field trips in Washington D.C. and the surrounding area. More information...
Are the Fish Safe to Eat???
An online model for mercury in fish-tissue, which
standardizes the concentrations of mercury in fish to enable comparisons
among different species, individuals of different lengths and samples
of different types. The model is applied to a comprehensive national
compilation of fish-tissue data to detect spatial and temporal trends
in mercury concentrations that would otherwise be obscured.
Dr. De Cola
Lee De Cola has worked as a research physical scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey for 20 years and describes himself as “smart, humorous, and skeptical.” He has degrees in Mathematics, Urban Planning, and earned his Ph.D. in Geography while living in Africa.
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