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Scenes from the Watershed Hydrology Laboratory

Our Research

What We Study:

  • Understanding the role of nitrogen "sinks", including riparian areas, streams and reservoirs, on the landscape reducing the export of nitrate from coastal watersheds.
  • Understanding the role of watershed features and human activities on streamflow regimes.

intermittent streamOur recent and ongoing projects:

Why do we study nitrate processing?

•  Nitrate leaching to groundwater is greatly increased by human inputs, such as fertilizer use and leaking septic systems.
•  There is evidence of high nitrate concentrations in groundwater all over the North East US.
•  Excessive nitrogen (N) can cause unsightly algae blooms in coastal ponds and estuaries which consume available oxygen and cause other organisms to die.
•  Great uncertainty surrounds N cycling within coastal watersheds. Not all N entering the watershed can be traced, leaving unidentified N sinks. The fate of the remainder N is a major challenge to coastal managers.