Ph.D. University of Minnesota, Environmental Engineering, 1996
B.S. University of Minnesota, Geotechnical Engineering, 1989
Phone: (651) 433-5953 ext. 18
My principal research studies the impacts of land use on sediment erosion and water quality in agricultural watersheds. I also coordinate and facilitate upland restoration projects conducted on SCWRS lands.
Suspended sediment is a major threat to Midwestern agricultural rivers. Determining sediment sources is critical to allocating management resources. In many rivers it is unclear how much sediment is eroded directly from fields and how much is sloughed from the streambank itself. At SCWRS we are testing a new technique using radionuclides as tracers to determine where suspended sediment comes from by measuring tracer concentrations found in stream-suspended sediment and comparing it to concentrations measured in each of the potential erosion sources. We hope to be able to determine which land use practices create the least amount of sediment erosion.
The lower St. Croix forms the transition zone between several major Midwestern habitats. A wide variety of floristic and ecological uplands exist within this area; woodlands, prairie, savanna, and brushlands. Degraded remnants of each of these communities are less than 3% of their presettlement area. Local restoration programs are hampered by size, cost, non-local genetics, lack of plant diversity, and technical training. The SCWRS has initiated the Upland Restoration Alliance (URA) to address these restoration obstacles. Programs include local ecotype seed production, native plantings on SCWRS lands, equipment lending and technical assistance for landowners, restoration techniques, demonstration plots, and research on restoration engineering.