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Kenneth Foreman

Degradation of water quality in coastal waters due to nutrient pollution from wastewater and fertilizers is a huge problem on Cape Cod and worldwide, resulting in hypoxia and so called “dead zones.”  Possible projects include study of groundwater biogeochemistry, nutrient cycling and nutrient contamination from wastewater on estuaries and coastal ponds.  Although we know very well how nitrogen limited coastal ecosystems respond to over-enrichment with nutrients, we know less about how they recover once the sources of nutrients are removed or remediated.  I’m interested in responses to innovative remediation strategies (e.g. use of carbon based reactors or permeable reactive barriers to convert nitrates to harmless nitrogen gas through the process of denitrification).  Several projects are possible including study of effects of recent sewer construction and diversion of wastewater on groundwater quality in Little Pond and/or West Falmouth Harbor,  long term effects of permeable reactive barriers on nutrient contamination in groundwater at Waquoit Bay and the Childs River, and use of carbon-based reactors to polish and improve the quality of wastewater effluent at the Wareham Wastewater Pollution Control Facility.  Students will be involved in a mix of field (e.g. installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells, collection of surface water samples) and lab work (analysis of nutrients such as ammonium, nitrate and phosphate, or dissolved organic matter in water samples using wet chemical techniques).  Lab work requires knowledge of basic chemistry.