Current Research

My research involves a mixture of field measurements and applied computer modeling. My current research activities involve:

  • peatland hydrology with a focus on the role of hydrology on carbon-dynamics in peatlands and using groundwater modeling to integrate and interpret field data.
  • applying borehole geophysics to the hydrogeologic characterization of bedrock aquifers, coupling this information to stream stage and groundwater interaction with rivers, and using temperature to assess groundwater influx variability.
  • collecting stream flow data and developing a computer model that integrates river discharge with lake level fluctuation, with a focus on the Sebago Lake Watershed in southern Maine.

Previous research has included assessing the source and fate of arsenic in ground water, the evaluation the impact of road deicing salt on ground water, and the physical/chemical hydrology of Maine springs.

Because hydrogeologic data is usually sparse, I utilize computer models to help interpret this data and create reasonable interpretations that honor basic hydrogeologic principles. While computer modeling software is commonly used to predict how a hydrogeologic system will change over time, I typically focus on using models to improving the conceptual understanding of a hydrogeologic system, and constructing numerical experiments to evaluates hydrogeologic processes. In the past I have used MODFLOW and the related family of software developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for computer modeling activities. Recently, I have sought alternatives to this package and I am now exploring the use of FiPy to create hydrogeologic computer models. More information on using FiPy to simulate ground-water flow and transport can be found under the classes (link in page header).

Peatlands research is currently conducted in Caribou Bog (a peatland near UMaine) and in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Peatlands of northern Minnesota. Ongoing work in Caribou Bog focuses on the role of subsurface stratigraphy (both in the peat and in the underlying sediments) on ground-water flow and peatland development and hydrogeologic controls on biogenic gas found in peatlands. Work in northern Minnesota includes assisting with GPS processing to evaluate surface dynamics in this large peatland, conducting pumping tests to assess the hydrogeologic properties of peat, and simulating peat accumulation.

Borehole geophysics research is being pursued to evaluate groundwater discharge to streams and assess the role of pumping on groundwater interaction with surface water.