Geology Department-SUNY Cortland, 2002-2005
607-753-2924 (-2927 fax)
website: http://web.cortland/edu/cirmoc/index.htm

Current efforts center on the characterization of wetlands and streams in the landscape, and their relation to water quality and the transport of nutrients and potential pollutants to drinking water supplies and recreational waters. Products include the establishment of the only experimental watershed in the Adirondack region of New York, evaluation of a classification and functional assessment system for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and water supply system in the Catskills, and evaluation of the transport of acid rain pollutants in and through watersheds in the Adirondacks.

1) Hydrologic Controls on Nitrogen Transport at Hydrogeomorphic Interfaces in a Forested Wetland. Program Sponsor: USDA. Undergraduate Students (2), MS Students (1). $100K
Work is currently focused on a full three-dimensional description of the role which various types of wetlands play in affecting the transport of water and pollutants through a typical Adirondack watershed, with the goal of learning about the processes which affect the water quality of the Upper Hudson River. This project employs two students and one graduate student in fieldwork and work involving wetland cores, sediments and soils, as well as groundwater characterization.

2) Topographical Linkages Between Nitrogen and Organic Carbon Solutes Within a Forested Watershed. Program Sponsor: NSF. Undergraduate Students (1), MS Students (1), $56K
This project was developed to ascertain the role of landscape position in relation to stream flow, of watershed processes affecting nitrogen and organic carbon transport in a typical pristine watershed in the forested Northeast. Work involves the use of stable isotope tracing of water sources and the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the transport of nitrogen chemical species originating from acid rain. Project employs an undergraduate and a graduate student working together with SUNY ESF in a large-scale project.

3) Assessing an HGM-Based Wetland Classification and Assessment Scheme Along a 1000Km Gradient of the Appalachian Mountains: Hydrology, Soils and Wetland Function. Program Sponsor: EPA. Undergraduate Students (3), MS students (1) $128K.
In this joint Penn State University-SUNY Cortland project, we plan on expanding and testing a recently developed functional assessment protocol, created in PA, to regions north and south within the Appalachian Mountains. Our goal is to determine if similar wetland types occur along a broad latitudinal gradient, and if wetland structure and function are similar. SUNY Cortland is responsible for the selection and evaluation of wetland sites in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountain regions of New York State.

4) Wetland Water Quality Functional Assessment in the Catskill/Delaware Watersheds of the NYC Water Supply. Program Sponsor: NYC Department of Environmental Protection.
Scheduled to begin in summer of 2002. $150K. The goal of this study is to characterize and assess the functions of wetlands located throughout the Catskill and Delaware watersheds in NY through a reference wetland-monitoring program, and to select representative wetlands in the drainage basins to determine the effects of storms and baseflow conditions on the water quality of streams entering the NYC Water Supply reservoirs.

5) Collaborative Research at Undergraduate Institutions: Forever Wild, the Adirondack Uplands, and Watershed Integrity. Pending. Program Sponsor: NSF. Cooperating Institutions: SUNY Plattsburgh, SUNY Cortland and Paul Smiths College. $30K.

This project is under consideration by the NSF Office of Undergraduate Education and involves a collaboration between SUNY Schools and a private institution to determine the true effects of the "Forever Wild" Clause of Article 14 of the NYS Constitution declaring the Adirondack Public Lands as off limits to disturbance. The assumption of the benefits of forever-wild status will be evaluated at both pristine and managed watershed areas throughout the Adirondack region. We hope to use the project to employ and train undergraduate students and determine the overall effects of over 100 years of Adirondack protection, on ecosystem function, stream water quality and watershed integrity.


STUDENTS: All the research performed through my labs involves active participation by undergraduate students at SUNY Cortland, graduate students through Cornell University and SUNY ESF, and collaborators from many other institutions. Active fieldwork and data collection is followed by extensive laboratory analysis followed by computer evaluation of data and presentation of results at area meetings, national conferences and the SUNY Cortland Scholar’s Day. Research is an integral part of a "full-experience" undergraduate education and enhances the employment opportunities and graduate school entrance capacity of our graduates. Students from Geology, Biology and Geography are involved in projects.