Title: Does a state park with a recreational reservoir provide meaningful water quality improvements within an agriculturally dominated watershed in SW Ohio?
Abstract: The proposed research will determine how stream and groundwater nutrient (TN, NO3-, NO2-, NH4+, TP, SRP, TN:TP) and sediment (TSS, NVSS, POM) concentrations, conductivity, and pH are influenced by undeveloped land and a small spillway reservoir in an agriculturally dominated watershed. Specifically, we will quantify how nutrient and sediment concentrations, conductivity, and pH change as water flows from agricultural tile drains, through streams draining agricultural land, then through Hueston Woods State Park, and lastly as water discharges from Acton Lake. We will also compare groundwater quality between agricultural and forested land cover. Utilizing mixed effects modeling and multiple regression, we will determine how observed changes in water quality parameters are influenced by vegetation cover (NDVI), stream discharge, and stream characteristics (e.g. geomorphology, flow length, landscape position). Findings will indicate potential impacts of protected lands on water quality and may also aid regional land use managers in identifying specific stream characteristics and watershed areas that may have the greatest water quality benefits if preserved.
-This interdisciplinary project will be completed with close collaboration with the Miami Conservancy District and the Biology and Geology Departments at Miami University.
– Students will work within the newly renovated Water Resources Lab (overseen by Dr. Grudzinski) and Center for Aquatic and Watershed Science at Miami University.
-The Water Resources Lab has interdisciplinary collaboration established with various departments at Miami University including ~30 faculty and staff affiliated with the Center for Aquatic and Watershed Science. See: http://miamioh.edu/cas/academics/centers/caws/ for additional details.
-The Geography Department at Miami University (OH) provides competitive prospective graduate students with two years of funding in the form of teaching assistantships and summer scholarships. Student travel funding is also provided to present research at local, regional, and national conferences.
Degree: Master of Arts in Geography
Application Deadline: February 1st 2019