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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment


Water Resources

Water is critical to all of life. Faculty research interests in this area include hydrologic flows, determinants of soil moisture, groundwater contamination and remediation, wetland remediation, aqueous biogeochemistry, and the social, biological and geological aspects of water management.

Water Resources Faculty

Jessica Barnes

Jessica Barnes

Dr. Barnes received her Ph.D. in sustainable development from Columbia University in 2010 and held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Yale Climate & Energy Institute and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies from 2011 to 2013. She joined the University of South Carolina in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography with a joint appointment in the School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment .

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Claudia Benitez-Nelson

Biogeochemical cycling and export fluxes of nutrients. Global climate change in past and present day environments. Utilization of cosmogenic and uranium series radioisotopes to study ecological processes. Development of new analytical techniques.

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

John A. Kupfer

John A. Kupfer

Biogeography, landscape ecology, public land and water management, spatial analysis

Venkat Lakshmi

Venkat Lakshmi

Global Water Resources and Monitoring of Hydrological Extremes; Improving spatial resolution of radiometer derived soil moisture; Optimal integration of models, point observations and satellite remote sensing data; Feedbacks: Land-Atmosphere Relationships using Satellite Remote Sensing

Susan Lang

Susan Lang

Aqueous biogeochemistry; water-rock-microbe interactions, particularly in hydrothermal and subsurface systems; stable (13C, 15N, 34S) and radiocarbon (14C) isotopes of organic molecules; serpentinization as a source of energy for microbes and the abiotic synthesis of organic molecules; past, present, and future cycling of carbon and nitrogen through the environment.

Rudy Mancke

Rudy Mancke

Naturalist Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene which began it's long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. The National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America have honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards.

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.

Jennifer R. Pournelle

Jennifer R. Pournelle

Millennial-scale urban sustainability and complex societies, studied through: landscape archaeology, anthropological archaeology, archaeology of the Middle East, cultural ecology, historical ecology, as they relate to wetland environments. Interpreting and relating air photography and satellite imagery to other paleoenvironmental data, toward reconstructing past landscapes.

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.

Dan Tufford

Dan Tufford

Dan Tufford's research interests focus on watershed ecology and water resources management. His work ranges from field studies to simulation modeling and includes water quality, hydrology, and landscape interactions. He is also interested in ecological dynamics across space and time, particularly the role of wetlands in watershed dynamics, the potential implications of climate and climate change on land use and water resources, and the integration of ecological and environmental sciences into public policy and resource management. His recent projects include integrating climate science and water management with CISA, and watershed modelling for the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Columbia Audubon Society and on the state Advisory Board for Audubon South Carolina.

Alicia Wilson

Alicia Wilson

My research is in the field of hydrogeology, from the role of groundwater in coastal ecohydrology to the origin and evolution of porewaters in large sedimentary basins. A particular focus right now is submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), which discharges nutrients and other solutes to coastal systems ranging from tidal creeks to the continental shelf.