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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


Environmental Risks and Hazards

Environmental risks and hazards come in multiple forms, from climate perturbations to floods to pollutants and so on. Both the determination of the actual risk of a particular hazard and development of means to mitigate the risk or hazard are crucial. Faculty are involved in research in areas including mine reclamation, flood hydrology, coastal zone management, drought mitigation, radioactive and other contaminants. Approaches range from geophysical through biological to cultural and social analyses.

Environmental Risks & Hazards Faculty

Phillip E. Barnes

Phillip E. Barnes

Dr. Barnes' research focus is environmental management systems and sustainable development through management systems integration. Barnes has held the positions of Director of the Center for Manufacturing and Technology and the Director of the Industrial Ecology Program with USC. His funded research programs have included Industrial Ecology, Sustainability, Environmental Management Systems Integration, and Brownfield Redevelopment.

Kirstin Dow

Kirstin Dow

I am interested in the co-production of science to inform decision-making climate change, impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation. I work primarily with a large interdisciplinary research team, the Carolina Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), one of the 11 NOAA-supported Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments projects. CISA addresses climate modelling, drought, human health, watershed modelling, coastal hazards, and adaptation. My current research projects focus on understanding limits to adaptation, the role of social networks increasing adaptive capacity, analytical-deliberative processes for adaptation, and drought impacts and early warning systems.

Madilyn Fletcher

Madilyn Fletcher

Marine Science, Environment and Sustainability, and Biological Sciences; Director, School of the Earth, Ocean, & Environment - Coastal Ocean Observing Systems, Microbial Ecology, Bacterial Community Ecology, Bacterial Colonization of Surfaces and Biofilms.

Gwendelyn Geidel

Gwendelyn Geidel

Prediction, prevention and remediation of ground and surface water contamination caused by mining and other anthropogenic disturbances of the earth’s surface. Examples include investigations of rock-water interactions from mining activities (including both coal and metal mining in the US and Canada), the degradation of water quality from the oxidation of sulfide minerals, laboratory evaluation of acid and alkaline potentials from rock strata, field investigations of the long term effects of mining, and the implementation at field sites of constructed wetlands, anoxic limestone drains, alkaline trenches and other remediation and reclamation technologies.

L. Allan James

L. Allan James

Fluvial geomorphology, Erosion and sedimentation, Water resources, Flood hydrology and Quaternary science

David Kneas

David Kneas

David’s research examines the history and contemporary articulations of Andean landscapes, in particular, how past discursive landscapes shape the material geographies of the present, and vice-versa. His current book project is a historical ethnography of an ongoing conflict over a proposed copper mining in northwestern Ecuador. This project draws on his doctoral dissertation, research that combined two years of two ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Ecuador with David’s own experience of working in the country since 2000, as well as archival research in the US and the UK.

Timothy Mousseau

Timothy Mousseau

Mousseau  and his students have worked on a wide diversity of organisms, from bacteria to beetles to birds, and his primary areas of research interest include the genetic basis of adaptive variation, and the evolution of maternal effects. Since 1999, Professor Mousseau and his collaborators have explored the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the radioactive contaminants affecting populations of birds, insects and people inhabiting the Chernobyl region of Ukraine, and more recently, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. 

Dwayne Porter

Dwayne Porter

Dr. Porter’s research interests include exploring and expanding the increasingly important roles that technology and technological innovations play in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our coastal environmental resources and associated environmental and public health issues. Dr. Porter focuses on the use of the tools of Geographic Information Sciences (GISciences) to develop and apply spatial models to study the impacts of anthropogenic and physiographic influences to coastal resources. Dr. Porter has directed /directs several federally-funded multi-disciplinary projects focusing on land use and land cover patterns and how changes in land-use activities impact estuarine health and associated human health concerns.    

David Shelley

David Shelley

Dr. David Shelley, is the supervising Education Officer for Congaree National Park. His own specialties include Fluvial Geomorphology, Southeastern Geology, Watershed Studies, Science Communication, and non-professional science educator training.

Scott White

Scott White

Most of the Earth's surface is hidden underwater, from the deep seafloor to wetland environments. Revealing the patterns and processes in these marine environments is the overarching theme of Scott's research group in marine geology and geophysics.