Water Quality & Biogeochemistry

Bridge over a water reservoir

Water is essential for plant growth, and runoff from agricultural fields and forests becomes streamflow used by humans and a wide range of aquatic organisms in freshwater and coastal zones. This runoff—as well as other water utilized by humans and released as sewage effluent—can carry nutrients and toxic elements, causing poor water quality. NRES faculty study how nutrients and chemicals are transported from agricultural fields to surface waters; their fate and impacts on streams; and ways to minimize this transport, both in-field and at the edge of fields. This includes studies on biofuels, bioreactors, wetlands, and agricultural production systems, with a focus on nitrogen and phosphorus biogeochemistry.

Faculty researching this area: