Environmental Resource Quality
The surroundings in which people live affect their health. The air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the food we eat are important to quality of life. Air, soil, and water quality all contribute to an individual's health status. In the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering we are seeking solutions to environmental health and engineering challenges through cutting-edge research and discover approaches to effective intervention/prevention.
A major area of interest is on the development and application of appropriate and sustainable technologies for developing nations, with focus on water resources, drinking water, and sanitation. Other research is aimed at providing better tools for understanding of the historical and spatial landscape of prior technical interventions and outcomes for water and sanitation provision within developing regions.
We are involved with two major projects that address emerging water quality concerns in the U.S. These include projects for the development of:
- Better cyber-enabled approaches for analyzing and understanding water quality observations in the Chesapeake Bay, as part of a multi-investigator NSF-funded effort to develop and apply a prototypical "Chesapeake Bay Environmental Observatory" (CBEO); and
- Better understanding of the potential environmental impact and fate of carbon-based nanomaterials in aquatic systems, with focus on multi-walled carbon nanotubes.
Ed Bouwer, PhD
Bouwer’s research interests encompass factors that influence biotransformation of contaminants, bioremediation for control of contaminated soils and groundwaters, biofilm kinetics, biological processes design in wastewater, industrial, and drinking water treatment, transport and fate of microorganisms in porous media, and the behavior of metal and organic contaminants in sediments and aquatic ecosystems.
Bill Ball, PhD
Ball has research interests and on-going projects in various areas of environmental engineering, with emphasis on physical and chemical processes affecting water quality, in both natural environments and engineered processes of treatment.
Meghan Davis, DVM, PhD
Davis's work applies the principles of one health and microbial ecology, evaluating target microbes and bacterial genes specifically and the larger microbial community (microbiome) broadly.
Kirsten Koehler, PhD
In the ambient environment, Koehler is interested in spatiotemporal exposure assessment by pairing direct-reading instruments with a GPS unit to apportion exposures to different microenvironments. She is an investigator on a study in which a Geographic Information System (GIS) is being used to determine whether commuters can reduce their exposure to traffic-related air pollution by changing their route or mode of transportation (driving vs. bicycling).
Sarah Preheim, PhD
Preheim researches the ecology of microorganisms impacting water quality in lakes, estuaries and coastal oceans to better inform remediation strategies. She uses a combination of field sampling, laboratory experiments and computational analysis to improve our understanding of the microbial processes that impact water quality.
Alan Stone, PhD
Stone explores natural biogeochemical phenomena and properties/transformations of synthetic chemicals in environmental media. He focuses on the impact of speciation.