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Eric Traub Thesis Defense!

You are invited to attend Eric Traub’s  public MS thesis defense in Geology.

“The Effects of Biogeochemical Sinks on the Mobility of Contaminants in an Area Affected By Acid Mine Drainage, Huff Run, Ohio.”

(Co-Advisors: David Singer and Anne Jefferson)

Monday, Feb. 22, 12:30 pm in McGilvrey Hall, room 339, Kent State University

Green infrastructure research featured on Kent Wired

Kent Wired, the electronic version of Kent State University’s student media, ran a story on Saturday about the work Kimm Jarden and I have been doing on the effectiveness of green infrastructure retrofits in a neighborhood in Parma, Ohio.  Hopefully I’ll have more to say about this in the next few days. In the meantime, if you want a glimpse of what we’ve been up to, you can check out the news article here.

Anne’s academic year-end update

Anne on a roof, covered with brown vegetation, dramatic sky

On the (dormant) green roof at Cleveland Metroparks’ Watershed Stewardship Center, April 2015

As I finish my third year at Kent State and prepare to go up for tenure, my work is taking me to exciting new heights. My newest project involves monitoring the hydrologic and water quality performance of different types of green infrastructure for Cleveland Metroparks. I never thought I’d be measuring soil moisture on a rooftop, but here I am. My work on green infrastructure brings with it enthusiastic students and stimulating collaborations with faculty in Biological Sciences, Geography, and Architecture. Kimberly Jarden defended her M.S. in April, and I have two graduate students beginning in the fall. Three more graduate students are close to defending, and I’ve had the pleasure to work with undergraduates Allison Reynolds, Sean Robertson, and Mitch Ladig as well. All of my students joined me at the Geological Society of America meeting in Vancouver in October, where we had a total of 7 presentations and a lot of fun. In the fall, I also taught an honors class of Environmental Earth Science, which was a good reminder of the big issues facing our planet and the urgent need for earth scientists to engage with these problems and their potential solutions. In the spring, I was mostly on leave following the birth of my baby boy, but I did manage to get a number of papers and proposals submitted, so it was a productive year in every sense.

[This blurb brought to you by needing to write something for the departmental newsletter.]

Post-doc Opportunity in Watershed Modeling at Kent State University

This position has been filled. Thanks for your interest.

Post-doctoral Associate in Watershed Modeling

A post-doctoral position focusing on hydrologic modeling of urban watersheds is available in the Department of Geology, Kent State University, in the lab of Anne Jefferson (http://all-geo.org/jefferson/research/). The successful candidate will have experience using RHESSys or another distributed watershed model and interest in applying their skills to questions about the effects of green infrastructure and climate change in urban areas. The post-doc will be expected to contribute to research design and undertaking, publication, and pursuit of external funding. There will also be the potential to develop additional projects building on the strengths, interests, and expertise of the successful candidate. The post-doc will have access to a wealth of data sets, field sites and instrumentation; an interdisciplinary, collaborative group of researchers and external partners focused on urban ecosystems; and a campus mentoring program for postdocs.

Kent State University (www.kent.edu), the second largest university in Ohio, is a state-supported, doctoral degree granting institution ranked as ‘high research’ by the Carnegie Foundation. The Department of Geology (www.kent.edu/geology/) has a strong graduate program (both MS and Ph.D. degrees) in both applied and basic areas of geologic research. The city of Kent combines the eclectic atmosphere of a small midwest college town with easy access to major metropolitan centers, including Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Pittsburgh.

Salary will be commensurate with experience and includes a competitive benefits package. Funding is initially available to support 1.5 years of work and opportunities will be sought to extend the support. If you are interested in learning more about the position, e mail Anne Jefferson (ajeffer9 at kent edu) with your CV, a description of your interests and experiences, and contact information for three people willing to serve as references. Review of applications will begin March 1st and continue until the position is filled. Kent State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages interest from candidates who would enhance the diversity of the University’s faculty.

MS student opportunity in urban hydrology and biogeochemistry at Kent State University

We seek a highly motivated masters student to start in June 2015 to study urban hydrology and biogeochemistry with Dr. Anne Jefferson (ajeffer9@kent.edu) in the Watershed Hydrology Lab (http://all-geo.org/jefferson) of the Geology Department at Kent State University. We have available funding for a student to study the hydrologic and biogeochemical functioning of green stormwater infrastructure and wetlands at the Cleveland Metroparks Watershed Stewardship Center. Two summers and one academic year research assistantship (15 months) and one academic year teaching assistantship (9 months) are guaranteed to a candidate deemed acceptable by the department. Assitantships include tuition and health insurance. The Department of Geology has over 30 active graduate students and a wide variety of analytical facilities. More information on the Department of Geology can be found at: http://www.kent.edu/geology/index.cfm. The student will be co-advised by Lauren Kinsman-Costello (lkinsman @ kent.edu, http://laurenkinsmancostello.weebly.com/) in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Interested students should have a background in geology, earth science, aquatic or wetland ecology, biogeochemistry, hydrology/water resources, or civil and environmental engineering. Strong applicants will have a solid academic record (>3.5/4.0 GPA, >70th percentile on GRE) and previous research experience. Applicants not meeting these criteria will also be considered based on a compelling letter of interest. To apply, please send a letter of interest (including your academic and research background and specific research interests), unofficial transcripts and GRE scores, and contact information for 3 references in a joint e-mail to lkinsman @ kent.edu and ajeffer9 @ kent.edu. Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2015 and will continue until the position is filled.

CUAHSI Cyberseminar Series on Sustainable Urban Streams – featuring Anne + 4 more outstanding hydrologists!

Not in northeast Ohio for tomorrow’s Water Symposium? Don’t worry! There’s lots of urban hydrology coming your way through CUAHSI’s next cyber-seminar series. It starts tomorrow afternoon and extends through December 5th. You’ll hear from four outstanding hydrologists, and then Anne will attempt to have something to add on December 5th.

Sustainable Urban Streams – Science to Support Evolving Management Objectives

The management of urban streams and rivers has historically emphasized two critical ecosystem services: stormwater conveyance (flood protection) and wastewater disposal. Maximizing these services has generally resulted in major alteration of aquatic ecosystem structure and function, and reduced provision of other ecosystem services, such as aesthetics, recreation, food and biodiversity. Recent decades have seen a renewed appreciation of the value of these other services, an improved understanding of the processes by which streams are altered, and the development of engineering and design practices to manage these processes in ways that can provide multiple services.

In this series, we will hear from five presenters:

On Oct. 31 Larry Band will present Green infrastructure, groundwater and the sustainable city, discussing the altered surface and subsurface hydrology of urban areas, and arguing that effective management needs to consider the full critical zone, from rooftop to bedrock. Band is the Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor of Geography and the Director of the Institute for the Environment at the University of North Carolina.

On Nov. 7 Derek Booth will present Watershed context and the evolution of urban streams, exploring the management implications of different regional and watershed settings on the development and restoration of urban channels. Booth has worked as a geologist and geomorphologist in academia, government agencies and the private sector, including a stint as the president of Stillwater Sciences, Inc., and is an adjunct professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.

On Nov. 14 Tim Fletcher will discuss The Little Stringybark Creek project—the world’s first full-catchment retrofit of stormwater infiltration and management practices, which has been in operation and under active study since 2008 under the co-leadership of Fletcher and Prof. Chris Walsh. Fletcher is Professor in Urban Ecohydrology at the University of Melbourne (Australia), and the author of over 300 publications on stormwater quality, treatment and impacts.

On Nov. 21 Emma Rosi-Marshall will present Contaminants of emerging concern as agents of ecological change in urban streams. She will discuss how contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products can have surprising and sometimes cascading effects on aquatic organisms. Rosi-Marshall is an Aquatic Ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and the Director-Designate of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, one of only two urban long-term ecological research sites in the U.S.

All seminars are at 3:30 Eastern time. For more info, and how to connect, see details here: https://www.cuahsi.org/cyberseminars

On Dec. 5th, Anne Jefferson will present Stormwater-Stream Connectivity: Process, Context, and Tradeoffs, discussing new insights into the downstream effects of conventional stormwater management and green infrastructure practices, how watershed context regulates these effects, and how stormwater-stream management strategies require tradeoffs in the ecosystem services provided by urban watersheds. Jefferson is on the faculty at Kent State University, has had her work funded by NSF, EPA, and USGS, and engages in interdisciplinary collaborations with ecologists, social scientists, and architects.
The series will be hosted by Seth Wenger, Director of Science of the River Basin Center at the University of Georgia.

Where we’ll be at GSA 2014

It’s crunch time before GSA in Vancouver next week. If you want to stop by and see what we’re up to, cheer us on, or ask difficult questions, here’s where to find us.

Tuesday
Kimm’s poster is #205-6 in a competition session for environmental and engineering geology (T98).
She’ll be at her poster from 9-11 am and 5-6:30 pm.

Friend of the lab, Chris Rowan has a poster, #231-5, in a session on the Cascadia subduction zone (T7).
He’ll be at his poster from from 9-11 am and 5-6:30 pm.

Aly’s *talk* is at 3:45 pm in VCC West 202/203. Her talk is in a session of undergraduate research talks (T107). We’ll all be there to cheer her on!

Tuesday night the students will be at the Hydrogeology student reception and later we’ll all be at the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology awards ceremony and reception.

Wednesday
Anne’s poster is #306-2, in an education session (T66).
Our isotope education collaborator, Liz Griffith, has a poster next to Anne’s at #306-3.
Anne and Liz will be at their posters from 9-11 am and 5-6:30 pm.

Krista’s poster is #309-9 in the session on groundwater-surface water interactions (T170).
Stuart’s poster is #309-10 in the same session.
They’ll be at their posters from 2-4 and 5:30-6:30 pm.

Eric’s poster is #298-8 in an acid mine drainage session (T114).
He’ll be at his poster from 2-4 and 5:30-6:30 pm.

Are you a friend of the lab? Do you have exciting science you want us to be sure to check out? Let us know in the comments!

Development of hyporheic exchange and nutrient uptake following stream restoration

Next week, the Watershed Hydrology Lab will be well represented at the CUAHSI 2014 Biennial Colloquium. We’ll be presenting four posters, so here come the abstracts…

Development of hyporheic exchange and nutrient uptake following stream restoration

Stuart Baker and Anne Jefferson

Stream restoration is a multi-million dollar industry in Ohio, with major goals of improving water quality and degraded habitat. Yet restoration often falls short of significant improvements in water quality and biodiversity. It is thus important to improve the theory and practice of stream restoration in order to achieve greater benefits per dollar spent, yet there are limited data and understanding of the physical and biogeochemical responses to restoration that constrain the potential for water quality and ecological improvements. Hyporheic exchange, the flow of water into and out of the streambed, is an important stream process that serves critical roles in naturally functioning streams, allowing for stream water to participate with the substrate in various processes. Hyporheic flowpaths can be altered by the transport of fine sediment through the stream bed and are thus susceptible to changes in sediment regime and hydraulics, as well as the changes wrought by construction of a restoration project. The goal of this research is to determine the effectiveness of restoration in enhancing hyporheic flow and associated biogeochemical processes to improve water quality. Preliminary results from Kelsey Creek, OH, a second-order stream restored in August 2013, show a decrease in average hydraulic conductivity but an increase in heterogeneity from pre-restoration (geometric mean 8.47×10-5 m/s, range 1.18×10-6-1.19×10-3) to post-restoration (geometric mean 4.41×10-5 m/s, range 2.67×10-5-3.05×10-4) in piezometer nests through large constructed riffle structures. These piezometers also indicate dominance of downwelling throughout riffle structures with only isolated locations of upwelling. Transient storage and hyporheic exchange will be measured with resazurin injections for comparison between pre-restoration and post-restoration, and nutrient injections of NH4Cl at time points following the restoration will compare the nitrogen uptake rates of the restored reach to an unrestored reach downstream. Additional sites are planned for study to include restoration projects of different ages to examine the development of hyporheic exchange and biogeochemistry after completion of restoration projects.

Stormwater control measures modify event-based stream temperature dynamics in urbanized headwaters

Next week, the Watershed Hydrology Lab will be well represented at the CUAHSI 2014 Biennial Colloquium. We’ll be presenting four posters, so here come the abstracts…

Stormwater control measures modify event-based stream temperature dynamics in urbanized headwaters

Grace Garner1, Anne Jefferson2*, Sara McMillan3, Colin Bell4 and David M. Hannah1
1School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.
2Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, 44240, USA
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 28223, USA
4Department of Infrastructure and Environmental System, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, 28223, USA

Urbanization is a widespread and growing cause of hydrological changes and ecological impairment in headwater streams. Stream temperature is an important control on physical, chemical and ecological processes, and is an often neglected water quality variable, such that the effects of urban land use and stormwater management on stream temperature are poorly constrained. Our work aims to identify the influence of stormwater control measures (SCMs) of differing design and location within the watershed on the event-based temperature response of urban streams to precipitation in the North Carolina Piedmont, in order to improve prediction and management of urban impacts. Stream temperature was measured within SCMs, and upstream and downstream of them in two streams between June and September 2012 and 2013. Approximately 60 precipitation events occurred during that period. To unambiguously identify temperature increases resulting from precipitation, surges were identified as a rise in water temperature of ?0.2°C between the hours of 15:30 and 5:30, when the diurnal temperature cycle is either decreasing or static on days without precipitation. Surges up to 5°C were identified in response to precipitation events, with surges occurring both upstream and downstream of the SCM under some conditions. Surges were also recorded within the SCMs, confirming that temperature surges are the result of heated urban runoff. Classification tree modeling was used to evaluate the influence of hydrometeorological drivers on the generation and magnitude of temperature surges. In both streams, event precipitation, antecedent precipitation, and air temperature range were identified as the drivers of whether or not a surge was observed and how large the surge was, though the order and thresholds of these variables differed between the two sites. In a stream with an off-line, pond SCM, the presence of the pond in the lower 10% of the watershed did not affect the magnitude of temperature surges within the stream, but the pond itself had a wider range of surge magnitudes than did the stream. In a watershed with a large in-line pond, and a downstream contributing wetland SCM receiving flow from 40% of the watershed, the wetland increased both the frequency and magnitude of temperature surges observed in the stream. Our results suggest dynamic hydrometeorological conditions, SCM design, and position within a watershed all influence whether stormwater management reduces or enhances temperature surges observed within urban headwater streams, and that these factors should be considered in the recommendations for urban stormwater management systems.

Assessing impacts of green infrastructure at the watershed scale for suburban streets in Parma, Ohio

Next week, the Watershed Hydrology Lab will be well represented at the CUAHSI 2014 Biennial Colloquium. We’ll be presenting four posters, so here come the abstracts…

Assessing impacts of green infrastructure at the watershed scale for suburban streets in Parma, Ohio

Kimberly Jarden, Anne Jefferson, Jennifer Grieser, and Derek Schaefer

High levels of impervious surfaces in urban environments can lead to greater levels of runoff from storm events and overwhelm storm sewer systems. Disconnecting impervious surfaces from storm water systems and redirecting the flow to decentralized green infrastructure treatments can help lessen the detrimental effects on watersheds. The West Creek Watershed is a 36 km2 subwatershed of the Cuyahoga River that contains ~35% impervious surface. We seek to evaluate the hydrologic impacts and pollution reduction of street scale investments using green infrastructure best management practices (BMPs), such as rain gardens, bioretention, and rain barrels. Before-after-control-impact design will pair two streets with 0.001-0.002 ha. lots and two streets with 0.005-0.0075 ha. lots. Flow meters have been installed to measure total discharge, velocity, and stage pre– and post-construction. Runoff data has been preliminarily analyzed to determine if peak discharge for large (> 10 mm) and small (<10 mm) storm events has been reduced after installation of BMPs on the street with 0.001-0.002 ha. lots. Initial results show that the peak flows have not been reduced for most storm events on the street with the green infrastructure. However, several larger events show that peak flows have been reduced on the treatment street and need to be further investigated to ensure no outside hydrological impacts are having an effect on the flow. Initial analysis of total flow volume for each event, pre- and post-construction, show that total volume has increased on the street with green infrastructure treatments. Possible explanation for the increase on flow volume could be attributed to under drains from bioretention creating a more connected flow path to the storm drain or an upstream leak in the control street storm drain. Each scenario will be investigated further to confirm results. Further research will include analysis of the total effect of street-scale BMPs on storm hydrograph characteristics including, hydrograph regression behavior and lag time. Analysis on the accumulation of metals in the bioswales and the reduction of metals in street runoff will also be conducted to determine if the BMP treatments are capturing pollutants associated with storm water. After studying the effect of each individual treatment, we will define the level of disconnected impervious surfaces needed in order to achieve a natural hydrologic regime in this watershed.