EGS Hosts National Science Foundation Student Research Program This Summer
This summer the EGS faculty are hosting a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience For Undergraduates (REU). SUNY New Paltz EGS Faculty members Shafiul Chowdhury and John Rayburn were awarded a three year NSF-REU grant to study a "Comprehensive Approach to Watershed Characterization Focusing on the Source of New York City Water". During the spring semester we had more than 70 qualified sophomores and juniors from universities around the country apply to take part in the program.
We selected 10 students with diversified Earth Science, Chemistry, and Biology backgrounds. They along with New Paltz EGS majors Colin Carey and Emily Davis have been hard at work investigating factors effecting the quality of water that feeds the Ashoken Reservoir, one of New York City's primary water supplies. The students are working with EGS professors John Rayburn (Geology), Megan Ferguson (Chemistry), Lawrence McGlinn (Geography), David Richardson (Biology), Frederick Vollmer (Geology), as well as Daniel Davis from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Cory Ritz from Ulster Country Soil and Water, Andrew Kozlowski from the New York State Museum, and David DeSimone who is a consulting geologist/geoarcheologist.
The research projects this summer include aspects of steam dynamics such as bank stability, vegetation along the bank, transport of sediments during different flow rates, historical and pre-historic channel changes, longer term geological history of the valley, the invasive aquatic Didymo geminata (rock snot), and a chemical investigation of disinfection byproduct formation. This year's REU program will run through the end of July, but we will be looking for more students to take part in our research experience during the summers of 2011 and 2012.
(All photos by John Rayburn except those indicated.)