KU Water Research Workshop Registered Participants (Sept.13, 2013) and General Area of Research Interest

Debra Sue Baker
Assistant Director, Central Plains Center for BioAssessment
Kansas Biological Survey

Informatics and aquatic ecology; CPCB data manager for aquatic collections, aquatic nutrient and chemistry data, and bioassessments of waterbodies.

Reza Barati
Assistant Professor
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Effect of produced water on fracturing fluid properties, this includes the effect of produced water on: 1) the rheological properties of the fracturing fluids, 2) fluid loss behavior of fracturing fluids, and 3) fracture conductivity. In addition, the re-injection of produced water to improve oil recovery which includes 1) experimental measurement of incremental oil recovery using water with modified composition and modeling of incremental oil recovery due to modification of water composition.

Lee Ann Bennett
Research Assistant, Central Plains/ Center for BioAssessment
Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic entomology and invertebrate taxonomy; algal identification; curation; student training in insect identification.

Andy Bentley
Ichthyology Collection Manager
Biodiversity Institute
785 864-3863

Biodiversity Institute Collection Manager of Midwestern freshwater fishes from mainly Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Physical preserved specimen and data usage for assessment of water and stream quality. eDNA of indicator and endangered species.

Ted Bergman
Chair and Charles E. and Mary Jane / Spahr Professor
Mechanical Engineering

Heat and mass transfer; GW-scale power generation; cooling towers.

Sharon Billings
Associate Professor / Scientist
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Global change biology.

Adam Blackwood
Research Assistant, Central Plains Center for BioAssessment
Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic organism identification and taxonomy; extensive experience in aquatic fieldwork.

Geoffrey C. Bohling
Associate Scientist, Geohydrology
Kansas Geological Survey

Aquifer characterization at the field and regional scales; geostatistical data analysis and modeling; inverse problems; statistical classification techniques; scientific programming.

Andrea Brookfield
Assistant Scientist, Hydrology
Kansas Geological Survey

Research interests include studying multi-scale groundwater/surface water interactions through field investigations and integrated surface/subsurface flow and solute/energy transport models. Currently working with other KU researchers to develop tools to better understand how changing climate conditions and human activities affect watersheds in Kansas.

J. Christopher Brown
Associate Professor

I am broadly interested in working with hydrology experts and atmospheric scientists to use our understanding of land use change in regions of intensive agriculture and assess together the impacts of land use governance systems on water availability, water quality, and precipitation.

Nate Brunsell
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Geography - Atmospheric Sciences

Investigate biosphere-atmosphere interactions of water and carbon using a variety of remote sensing, surface measurements (eddy covariance flux tower observations), and modeling approaches. Interested in the role of surface heterogeneity of vegetation and soil moisture on these exchange processes as well as the response of vegetation to water limitation and coupled interactions of meteorology and phenology.

Rex Buchanan
Interim Director
Kansas Geological Survey

Research Interests: Kansas groundwater; water policy.

Jim Butler
Senior Scientist and Section Chief, Geohydrology Section
Kansas Geological Survey

Senior Scientist and Chief of the Geohydrology Section of the Kansas Geological Survey. Current research interests include high-resolution subsurface characterization, well responses to natural stimuli, impact of groundwater development on the High Plains aquifer, and the role of phreatophytes in stream-aquifer systems.

Scott Campbell
Associate Director for Outreach and Public Service
Kansas Biological Survey
Caroline Chaboo
Assistant Professor and Curator of Systematic Entomology
Ecology and Environmental Biology

She is an expert in the diversity and evolutionary biology of Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles) with a research focus on insect defenses, subsociality, immature insects, and species interactions. Within Chrysomelidae, several groups have become aquatic or sub-aquatic, spending part of the life cycle in aquatic habitats. Chaboo's primary fieldwork sites are in Namibia and in Peru's Amazon which present extremes of water availability.

Haiyang Chao
Assistant Professor
Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Chao's research interest is in the areas of estimation, control, and dynamics of unmanned aerial vehicles. Dr. Chao is one of the key developers of AggieAir UAS, a small low-cost UAV platform for remote sensing applications. AggieAir UAS has been used by Utah Water Research Lab (UWRL) for multiple research projects on agriculture and riparian applications such as invasive habitat monitoring. Dr. Chao's current research is focused on small/micro UAV development for remote sensing and atmospheric researches, vision-aided navigation, wind/gust estimation, and cooperative control of unmanned systems.

Dorothy Daley
Associate Professor
Political Science and Environmental Studies

Research interests center on examining the determinants and implications of environmental decision making. Recently she has been exploring what factors drive state and local investment in the nation’s clean water and drinking water infrastructure. She is also interested in understanding enforcement patterns underlying water quality regulation.

Del Bryon Darby
Assistant Professor
Photo Media, School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Creative research that investigates the perception of place as mediated through technology and personal experience. Recent projects include a multi-year public art photography commission from the City of Phoenix on the subject of water and Phoenix.

Jennifer Delisle
Information Manager, Kansas Natural Heritage Inventory
Kansas Biological Survey

Coordinates a statewide database on the rare species and natural communities of Kansas. Information from this database is available to assist in research, conservation planning and environmental review.

Frank DeNoyelles
Professor and Deputy Director
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic ecology including lake and reservoir ecosystems; the effects of stressors on aquatic ecosystems; vertical distribution of water quality conditions in thermally stratified water bodies; in situ methods to determine cause and effect in aquatic ecosystems; reservoir condition and assessment.

Christopher Depcik
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering

As part of the Feedstock-to-Tailpipe program, efforts focus largely on the combustion analysis of biofuels. As less water intensive methodologies are employed in the production of these biofuels, we will investigate how the end product changes with respect to performance and emissions. Undergraduate students in the EcoHawks capstone design class have investigated low-energy biomass drying efforts (for co-combustion with coal) to prevent the excessive use of energy and associated water in thermoelectric power plants.

Kevin Dobbs
Project Coordinator, Kansas Urban Water Quality Restoration and Protection Initiative
Kansas Biological Survey

Interpreting high-resolution satellite imagery to investigate the impacts of urban development on aquatic ecosystems, and hydrologic modeling; development of real-time, integrated remote sensing, GIS, and GPS systems to complement emergency management and disaster relief operations. Project Coordinator for the Kansas Biological Survey’s Kansas Urban Water Quality Restoration and Protection Initiative.

Dennis Domer
Project Director
New Cities, School of Architecture, Design and Plannin

My interest in the American landscape led me to write about the cultural expressions of water in "Water in Willow Springs Township," published in Kansas History (Spring 1996), in "Water Witching: Germans and the Magical Tradition on the Prairie Plains," published in Water, Culture, and Politics in Germany and the American West (2001), and in "Homeplace in Art and Life," published in Remembering the Family Farm (2001), in which I discussed waterways and terraces that controlled the run-off and prevented water erosion on my Dad's farm.

Ron Dougherty
Mechanical Engineering

Dougherty is interested in water as it relates to thermofluid applications to pumps and heat exchangers. In addition, he is interested in energy production/management using water.

Phillip Drake
Assistant Professor of English

Water is both a political and theoretical concern in my work on environmental literature and rhetoric. While conducting field research on discourse in disaster politics in Southeast Asia, focusing especially on an industrial disaster in East Java that has displaced nearly 50,000 people and polluted local land and water systems, Drake has become interested in several political issues related to water. These interests orbit around general questions about water rights, technical expertise in water management, and the influence of political and economic dynamics on the production and circulation of water. This work is informed by a host of disciplinary perspectives, including political ecology, disaster studies, science and technology studies, and the green humanities. Theoretically, water also provides a productive trope to imagine socio-natural circulations (e.g., capital, commodities, waste, and much more) across not only geographical and cultural scales but also disciplinary boundaries. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected in this era of globalization, it is crucial to understand both material and figurative flows of nature and power in order to best combat the myriad ecological crises facing the world today.

Anne Dunning
Associate Professor
Urban Planning

Researched and taught transportation for several years, including public transit by ferry, inland waterways, and maritime shipping. She has organized educational activities with port managers and worked to expand awareness of the potential for maritime modes in the overall transportation system.

Steven Duval
ARC Postdoctoral Researcher
Spencer Museum of Art

As the ARC (Art, Research, Collaboration) researcher my interests lie in how different disciplines collaborate to create research and what types of knowledge are produced in that research. I am also interested in the mechanisms that facilitate collaboration and how different disciplines can inform each other’s working methods.

Dietrich Earnhart
Professor, Director
Economics, Center for Environmental Policy (IPSR)

Research interests include compliance with effluent limits imposed on wastewater point sources permitted within the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, monitoring and enforcement efforts to assure this compliance, implementation of Best Management Practices by nonpoint wastewater sources, and agricultural irrigation from ground and surface water.

Stephen Egbert
Associate Professor

My interests in water lie in two areas: Irrigated cropland mapping and monitoring and flood inundation modeling for disaster management.

Johannes J. Feddema
Chair and Professor

As a climate scientist investigates the interactions between human activities at the Earth’s surface and climate. Working to create models and databases to assess the impacts of anthropogenic land cover change, urbanization and soil degradation on climate in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Global Climate Models.

David Fowle
Associate Professor

Dr. Fowle is a biogeochemist whose water related research focuses on water quality in lakes and wetlands. Specifically he has actively investigated nutrient dynamics (e.g. N and P) and toxic metal cycling in lakes. He also has expertise in the production and cycling of methylmercury in wetlands and reservoirs.

Craig C. Freeman
Senior Scientist and Senior Curator
R.L. McGregor Herbarium, Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic and terrestrial plant systematics; floristics; collection-based informatics.

Philip Gao
Protein Production Core Laboratory, Higuchi Biosciences Center

As Director of the KU Protein Production Group Dr. Gao has been working full time in research in the areas of molecular biology, production and biophysical characterization of proteins in the last 18 years. He has an excellent background in protein purification, cell culture, molecular biology and fermentation and extensive experience in sample preparation of challenging proteins for enzymatic studies, NMR, X-ray crystallography, and mass spectrometry. Dr. Gao oversees the operation of the COBRE protein production core laboratory, operates and maintains related laboratory equipment and participates in cloning, expression and protein purification experiments.

Jane Gibson
Chairperson and Professor

Research interests lie at the intersection of cultural and ecological systems. Most recently my work has focused on Kansas farmers' land and water use decisions as these relate to climate change, Kansas’ growing biofuels industry, farmers’ perceptions of these, and other variables.

Sara Gregg
Assistant Professor

Gregg examines the intersections between agricultural production and environmental change. Her first book, Managing the Mountains, examined the evolution of land use planning in the Appalachian region. Her current research focuses on the unanticipated consequences of the 1862 Homestead Act, particularly the impact of “free land” on homesteaders and its role in precipitating the development of federally-funded infrastructure for the American West.

David Guth
Associate Professor

Studying the role journalists play in maintaining community cohesion in areas of declining population, such as Western Kansas. The depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer poses a threat to the region and is one of the issues community-based media must address and report.

Art Hall
Lecturer and Director
Center for Applied Economics, Business

He is interested in the economics/political economy of water: property rights, allocation among uses, water markets, water as a factor in economic development.

Andrea Herstowski
Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Design
Architecture, Design and Planning

School of Architecture, Design and Planning has identified water as their topic for spring 2014. She is attending to understand what is going on at KU in this area and identifying ways to get faculty and students engaged in the process.

Hill, Mary C.
Professor, Geology

Dr. Hill's research focus is hydrogeology; computer simulation of natural systems; inverse modeling, uncertainty, and risk associated with environmental systems; and how science and public policy inform one another. She is working with the KU interdisciplinary Energy and Water Initiatives.

Mike Houts
Research Assistant, Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program
Kansas Biological Survey

Geographic information systems and remote sensing for ecological monitoring and wildlife habitat assessment; develops and coordinates the Kansas Natural Resources Planner.

Donald Huggins
Senior Scientist and Director, Central Plains Center for BioAssessment Program
Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic ecology and entomology; quantification of human disturbances on aquatic ecosystems.

Mark Jakubauskas
Associate Research Professor, Manager of Applied Science and Technology for Reservoir Assessment Program
Kansas Biological Survey

Remote sensing; bathymetric mapping; sediment thickness classification and type classification; submerged aquatic vegetation surveys.

Stephen Johnson
Research Associate
Tertiary Oil Recovery Program

Research background in environmental engineering and bioremediation of hydrocarbons in soil and groundwater. As part of TORP he has conducted research into fluid flow in porous media. His interests include characterization and treatment of oilfield produced waters, and reduction of water volume required for hydraulic fracturing.

William Johnson

Quaternary geology (~ last 2 m yrs), geomorphology (esp. aeolian (wind) and fluvial/alluvial (water) processes); landscape response to climate change.

Jude Kastens
Assistant Research Professor, Kansas Applied Remote Sensing
Kansas Biological Survey
785-864 1519

Statistics and numerical analysis; floodplain and flood inundation modeling and mapping.

Dean Kettle
Associate Director, KU Field Station
Kansas Biological Survey

Natural resources management, planning and conservation.

Kelly Kindscher
Senior Scientist and Professor
Environmental Studies Program

Plant community ecology and botany; riparian and wetland restoration; ethnobotany.

Leonard Krishtalka
Director, Professor
Biodiversity Institute, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

As director of the Biodiversity Institute since 1995, Krishtalka has fostered international research on the life of the planet, on using biodiversity informatics to bring global biodiversity information into currency for science and society, and on science and public policy for understanding and forecasting environmental phenomena for sustainable solutions.

Xingong Li
Associate Professor

Primary research interest is in mapping water resources and understanding hydrological processes and the interactions between human and environment through the use of water resources. Current research involves developing computational methods and tools for event analysis in spatiotemporal hydro-meteorological datasets, remote sensing of snow/glaciers, snow/glacier-melt runoff modeling in mountain watersheds, spatial optimization, and parallelization of spatial analysis algorithms.

Paul Liechti
Assistant Director
Kansas Biological Survey
785- 864-1527

Aquatic ecology; human induced effects on aquatic ecosystem health utilizing changes in macroinvertebrate species occurrence and aquatic community structure as indicators.

Gaisheng Liu
Associate Scientist
Kansas Geological Survey

Research focused on water resources development and management in Kansas. Specific topics include: 1) development of new methods for more effective site characterizations, 2) modeling investigations of groundwater resources availability and sustainability in Kansas, and 3) field and modeling assessments of aquifer storage and recovery in near-surface aquifers.

Greg A. Ludvigson
Senior Scientist, Stratigraphic Research
Kansas Geological Survey

Senior Scientist at the Kansas Geological Survey, and a Courtesy Associate Professor of Geology. Sedimentary geologist specializing in stable isotope geochemistry and paleoclimatology, and directs research programs on scientific drilling in the High Plains aquifer of western Kansas.

Susan Lunte
Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Directo
Adams Institute for Bioanalytical Chemistry

Research interests of the Lunte group include: (1) microanalytical methods for the investigation of the transport and metabolism of peptides across the blood-brain barrier (2) separation-based sensors employing on-line microdialysis coupled to microchip electrophoresis (3) cell-based assays on chips, and (4) microchip-based diagnostics for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Ward Lyles
Assistant Professor
Urban Planning
785-864 3178

My research centers on how communities can work cooperatively to become more sustainable and resilient. I use concepts and tools from social network analysis, collaborative policy making, and plan evaluation to study land use approaches for reducing long-term risks from natural hazard and climate change, including flooding and drought.

Christopher Lyon
Assistant Director
Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysts

Nearly everyone has sat on, worn, washed with, or driven in something manufactured using man-made chemicals. Producing these chemicals requires water, either used directly, or indirectly to heat/cool the system or clean up undesirable byproducts. CEBC researchers are designing chemical processes that eliminate byproducts and reduce energy demands, resulting in lower water consumption.

Marie L’Heureux
Associate Professor
Architecture, Design and Planning

While working at LBNL her environmental interests were channeled into eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union through the lab and the Stockholm energy institute. Although interested in environmental issues, the political and ideological impact on the built environment in Estonia trumped my research on wood burning and shale oil consumption…consequently, I became focused on the politics/political ideology of the built environment. She however is also very concerned about global climate change and human-behavior impacts and has continued research on energy and energy – water issues.

Gwen Macpherson
Associate Professor

Research interests are in water-rock reactions affecting groundwater chemistry; dynamics of CO2 in shallow groundwater, origins of trace elements in oil- and gas-field brines; use of unconventional light stable isotopes as tracers of brines and water-rock reactions; and water security in water-scarce regions, both in terms of quantity (the functioning of ancient water-supply systems called qanats or karezes) and vulnerability to contamination.

Edward Martinko
Director, Professor
Kansas Biological Survey, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
785-864 1505

Remote sensing and entomology

Bruce McEnroe
Professor, Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies
Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

General areas of expertise: hydrology, hydraulics and water resources engineering
Water research expertise and interests: watershed hydrology; flood frequency; precipitation frequency; urban hydrology; storm water management; stream restoration; reservoir sedimentation and sediment management; pipelines and pumping systems; design of hydraulic structures.

David Mechem
Associate Professor

Clouds are a crucial component of the global radiation balance and constitute a fundamental part of the hydrological cycle by transforming water vapor into precipitation. Our research focuses on understanding cloud dynamic and microphysical processes, precipitation mechanisms, and regional climate.

Kate Meyer
Assistant Curator, Works on Paper
Spencer Museum of Art

Meyer’s primary research focus is the intersection of regional art and agriculture. I also strive to explore teaching and research opportunities connected to the topics of water and the environment that are possible through use of the Spencer Museum of Art’s collection.

Gerald Mikkelson
Russia, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Russian prose writer Valentin Rasputin has persuaded his government to preserve Siberia's vast water reserves in Lake Baikal, 20% of the earth's fresh surface water, and in Siberia's majestic rivers (e.g., Ob, Irtysh, Yenisei, Angara, Lena, Amur, and others). I am Rasputin's principal translator and interpreter in the United States.

Dale Nimz
Urban Planning

Interested in further developing research on flood control and building the dam and reservoir system in the Kansas River basin.

Kathleen Nuckolls
Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies

Mammalogy, population biology, and Geographic Information Systems

Steven Obenhaus
Master Teacher
UKan Teach

I have worked in rural southern Haiti with a birthing center, Maison de Naissance, on water testing and new well locating using GIS. My interest is in the spatial aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene programs in developing countries.

Paul Outka
Associate Professor

His work examines the ways representations of environment and natural experience have historically influenced environmental politics and the constructions of race and gender.

Uma Outka
Associate Professor

Environmental law, energy law, climate law and policy, administrative law, sustainable development, environmental justice, land use and natural resources law

Shannon O’Lear
Associate Professor and Associate Professor
Environmental Studies and Associate Professor

Research interests include: political environmental issues in the Caucuses and Caspian Sea area; environmental security and vulnerability; environmental conflict.

Rosemary O’Leary
Public Affairs

Her research interests include collaboration among states and counties concerning water governance for the High Plains Aquifer.

Steve Padget
Associate Professor
Architecture, Design and Planning

Research interests that include the relationships amongst water, energy and carbon (aka the “Water/Energy/Carbon Nexus”). Professional interests include the techniques (e.g. Living Machines) by which the built environment can be designed to: reduce the use of water, reuse the water we can, recycle water back to nature in order to restore healthy hydrological processes.

A. David Parr
Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Parr does research in the areas of flood plain hydraulics, sediment transport, bridge scour, stream stability and hydraulic modeling. Recently he has concentrated on 1- and 2-dimensional modeling of steady and unsteady flow in streams due to dam break and to natural design storm events. His dam break research has been in collaboration with scientists at the Kansas Biological Survey.

John Peck

He teaches, conducts research, publishes, and consults in water allocation law. Most of his work has been Kansas-based—articles on special water districts, transfers and changes in water rights, movement of water, property rights in water, and condemnation of water rights. Some has been in international comparative law (India and China).

Edward Peltier
Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Peltier’s primary research focus is the study of persistent contaminants (particularly metals and organic pollutants) in environmental systems. His research group looks at the chemical reactivity, long-term fate and removal of these compounds in natural waters and engineered systems such as wastewater treatment plants. His team also investigates the use of ecologically-based treatment processes to improve the quality of storm water and other nonpoint source runoff.

Karen Peltier
Director of Laboratories
Tertiary Oil Recovery Program
785-864 2912

Characterize the produced water while simultaneously developing new methods for the remediation of produced water, initially focusing on the removal of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs). Analytical Chemistry research background.

Dana Peterson
Research Assistant
Kansas Biological Survey

Research interests include developing geospatial products and research methods for water use and water quality research. Previously used remotely sensed and geospatial data to assess regional watershed condition and to produce crop and irrigation status maps. Currently creating a database of potential wetlands and playas in Kansas.

Ray Pierotti
Associate Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Pierotti is developing a Natural Resource Inventory and Assessment for watershed management in Kansas, which will provide a GIS-based tool to inform planning and development strategies to protect natural resources and improve water quality. We employ a framework that embraces sustainability through day-to-day decision-making concerning resource management.

Stephen Randtke
Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

Research interests include: 1) control of naturally occurring and synthetic chemical contaminants in public water supplies through source control, conventional treatment, and advanced treatment technologies, 2) trace organic contaminants in drinking water, including disinfection byproducts, pesticides, taste- and odor- causing compounds, and algal toxins, 3) physical/chemical water treatment processes, including coagulation, lime softening, activated carbon adsorption, disinfection, oxidation, and various membrane processes, especially with respect to their use in removing trace contaminants from drinking water, 4) water treatment plant design, 5) lake and reservoir management as it pertains to water supply & quality, 6) water recycling and reuse for potable and non-potable purposes, and 7) sanitation and other environmental concerns in developing countries.

D. Christopher Rogers
Research Invertebrate Zoologist
Kansas Biological Survey

Invertebrate zoology; freshwater crustacean systematics and ecology; playa wetland ecology and conservation; mosquito and arbovirus surveillance and monitoring; rare and endangered aquatic invertebrates; aquatic bioassessment.

Edmund Russell
Hall Distinguished Professor

Russell's research synthesizes environmental history, American history, global history, history of technology, and science.

Paola Sanguinetti
Chairperson and Associate Professor
Architecture, Design and Planning

In the field of design computation, her research focuses on building retrofits and architecture performance modeling, including parametric modeling and energy simulation. Her courses promote student investigation of sustainable strategies in architecture.

Jeremy Shellhorn
Associate Professor
Graphic Design

Besides his applied design practice, his current research is in the areas of cognition & culture as they relate to design artifacts. Shellhorn is particularly interested in exploring strategies for designing experiences that facilitate engagement, understanding and learning in the public space, using information design and motion design.

Andrew Short
Assistant Professor and Assistant Curator
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Diversity, taxonomy, and distribution of aquatic insects, particularly beetles. Development of bioinformatics tools and resources from museum specimen data.

Jon Smith
Research Scientist, Stratigraphic Research Section
Kansas Geological Survey

Expertise in terrestrial depositional systems, paleopedology, and ichnology at the Kansas Geological Survey. Currently the PI on a NSF funded research project examining the stratigraphy and depositional history of the High Plains aquifer system in western Kansas.

Val Smith
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Research focuses on the structure and function of biological systems. He has worked for more than 30 years on the effects of excess nitrogen and phosphorus loading on water quality, with an emphasis on nuisance blooms of blue-green algae in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and estuaries.

William Leo Smith
Assistant Professor and Assistant Curator,Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Biodiversity Institute

Biodiversity Curator of Fishes; evolution of freshwater and marine fishes; conducted biotic inventories of freshwater habitats and helped develop conservation strategies for threatened freshwater environments in developing countries.

Jorge Soberon
Professor and Senior Scientist
Ecology and Evolutionary Biolog, Biodiversity Institute

He studies macroecology. His research focuses on describing and understanding the areas of distribution of species. One of the major driving forces of a species distribution is climate, and specifically precipitation. So, his interest in water is essentially from the perspective of a causal factor in biodiversity at planetary scales.

Paul Stock
Assistant Professor
Sociology, and Environmental Studies Program

Stock is an environmental and rural sociologist with a primary focus on farmers' values and practices and alternative agriculture. More specifically, those interests revolve around agriculture, food, the environment and morality, and their intersections. He is an editor on the recent volume Food Systems Failure (Routledge, 2011) that uses the most recent international food crisis as an entry to exploring the rhetoric of how to feed the world compared with the reality of global hunger and large scale agriculture. His current research falls under the umbrella of Food Utopias as a trans disciplinary project at KU and internationally to examine the trajectories of global food.

Randy Stotler
Assistant Professor

I am an isotope hydrogeologist interested in defining and understanding the complex relationships between chemical, physical, and biological processes that determine a fluid's origin and evolution through the water cycle at a variety of time and spatial scales. Recently, I have focused on cold, arid and semi-arid regions

Celka Straughn
Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs
Spencer Museum of Art

Her research interests include modern European art (in particular German and Jewish art) and artist networks, as well as exhibition and collecting histories and practices. She is also currently exploring issues in the digital, environmental, and medical humanities.

Belinda Sturm
Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Research centers around microbiological processes involved in wastewater treatment, water quality impacts, public health, and recently sustainable biofuel resources. This work has taken two forms: (1) coupling nutrient removal from municipal wastewater with the production of an algal feedstock for biofuel production; and (2) modeling how agricultural land-use change with increased production of biofuel crops (corn, soybean, sorghum, etc...) will impact the availability and quality of water in Kansas

Pamela Sullivan
Assistant Professor, Geography

As an ecohydrologist, I am interested in investigating the interactions between climate, vegetation and geology on freshwater resources over different temporal and spatial scales. My research focuses on understanding how biological and physical feedback mechanisms influence hydrogeochemical conditions across ecosystems. Research questions revolve around: (1) understanding the influence of plant-groundwater-vadose zone interactions on groundwater solute transport and weathering, (2) utilizing long-term hydrologic and meteorological data to quantify the affects of human modifications and climate on water budgets, and (3) determining the influence of critical zone hydrodynamics on weathering processes. I rely on tracers (e.g. stable isotopes and major ions), examination of physical parameters (e.g. groundwater and surface water levels, sap flow and soil moisture), characterization of hydrologic properties, as well as geochemical and hydrologic modeling and spatial analysis to identify these interactions.

James Thorp
Professor and Senior Scientist
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Kansas Biological Survey

Aquatic community through macrosystem ecology of rivers and wetlands; applied and fundamental research.

Georgios Tsoflias
Associate Professor

Research interests are in applied geophysics (exploration geophysics; hydrogeophysics; biogeophysics) and the development of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and high-resolution seismic imaging methods. Recent research has focused on the geophysical characterization of the fluid-flow properties of fractured rocks, monitoring microbial processes in contaminated aquifers, and imaging of heterogeneous carbonate reservoirs in Kansas such as the Mississippian and Arbuckle.

May Tveit
Associate Professor
Industrial Design

As a visual artist and professor of design I am interested in water as a subject of creative inquiry. I am interested in utilizing design thinking methods and strategies to understand the subject of water visually, physically, emotionally, philosophically, socially, politically, culturally in local and global contexts.

Masato Ueshima
Research Associate and Analytical Chemist
Geology and Kansas Geological Survey

Research interests in the area of water; Geomicrobiology/Biogeochemistry; Low temperature geochemistry/ solution chemistry; Bioremediation for contaminated water; Fixation of toxic materials on/in bacterial cells or clay minerals; Interaction between minerals and microbes in aquifers; Biological weathering; Microbial biomineralization; Phylogeny of microbial communities in specific environment; Cesium desorption from soil; Uranium fixation
Cations/Anions analyses; Wastewater management

Cornelis van der Veen

Vanderveen is a glaciologist interested in the dynamics of fast-moving glaciers and ice streams. His research focuses on using measurements of ice velocity and geometry to identify mechanical controls on glaciers and how changes in these controls affect glacier flow and stability. More recently, his research has expanded to studying snow and ice melt in the Himalayas and how climate change may impact discharge of rivers originating in glacierized mountain regions.

Laurence Weatherley
Chair and Professor
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
785-864 3553

Ion-exchange kinetics and equilibria in synthetic and natural ion- exchangers and on simultaneous ion-exchange and bioregeneration in zeolitic ion exchangers; Intensification of the supply of oxygen to aerobic microorganism; adsorption and bioadsorption processes for waste water treatment and potable water pre-treatment, development of combined physical and biological separation processes, and the development of new adsorbents and exchangers based on natural materials.

Stacey Swearingen White
Chair and Associate Professor
Urban Planning

Research interests that examine the conditions that impel or constrain innovative sustainability practices, especially at the local government level. Recent studies related to water include analyses of storm water management planning, and farmer perceptions of water quality in Kansas.

Donald Whittemore
Kansas Geological Survey
Kansas Geological Survey

Conducts research in water resources geochemistry and hydrogeology. Studies include water quality of regional aquifers and stream-aquifer systems, geochemical identification of salinity sources, and participation in a team at the Kansas Geological Survey that models Kansas aquifers.

Brownie Wilson
GIS/Support Services Manager. Geohydrology Section
Kansas Geological Survey

Research interest includes GIS application development and data assessment, analysis of Kansas water rights, and water resource management at the state and local levels.

Bryan Young
Associate Professor
Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering

Hydrology, Watershed Modeling, Frequency and Trend Analysis in Hydrologic Records, Radar-Rainfall Estimation, Stream Erosion, Reservoir Sedimentation, Storm water Treatment Systems (Bioretention, Constructed Wetlands), LiDAR, and GIS.

Chi Zhang
Assistant Professor
Department of Geology

A geophysicist using mainly geoelectrical techniques and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study biogeochemical transformations in different porous media/rocks at various scales, characterize petrophysical properties of porous media/rocks, and investigate fluid-mineral interfacial processes. Interested in understanding and describing the complex relationships between hydrogeological/biogeochemical parameters and geophysical signatures.

Zhongquan Charlie Zheng
Aerospace Engineering

Water resources and circulation: hydrodynamic simulation of circulation; water processing: water/bubble interaction device; flow in porous media and water filters.

Current and Upcoming Events

The 65th Annual KU Environmental Engineering Conference
The Kansas Union
Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

NovCare 2015: Novel Methods for Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring: From Theory to Practice
The Oread Hotel
May 19-21, 2015
More info

Past Events

Big 12 Universities Water Workshop
The Kansas Union
Tuesday, November 18th,
7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Confronting The Continuing Depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in Western Kansas
The Oread
Monday, November 17th,
5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

59th Annual Midwest Groundwater Conference
Lawrence, KS Holiday Inn
October 1 and 2, 2014 
More Info

6th Annual Joint Conference of the Kansas Water Environment Federation (KWEA) 
Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka
August 26th, 27th and 28th, 2014
More info

Future of Water in Kansas
Kansas Room at the KU Union
Thursday, April 24, 2014
4-6 p.m.

Chi Zhang from Rutgers University​ seminar​
103 Lindley Hall
Friday, April 18th, 2014
11:00 am

The 64th Annual KU Environmental Engineering Conference
The Kansas Union ($30)
April 16, 2014
More information

Advances in Solute Transport from Electrical Geophysics
103 Lindley
Monday, April 14th, 2014
4:00 pm

Sedimentation Research Workshop
Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka ($25 fee)
Monday, April 14th, 2014
9:00 am to 4:10 pm

Geologic CO2 Sequestration in Low-Volume Basalt Reservoirs
Lindley 103
Thursday, April 10, 2014
4 p.m.

Characterizing the subglacial hydrology of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica Using Airborne Radar Sounding
Lindley 103
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
4 p.m.



If you are interested in joining the water research community or you have information that you would like to make available to the this community please contact either individual listed below:

Bob Rummer,
Director of Research Development,
Tricia Bergman,
Director of Strategic Partnerships,

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