Institute for Environmental Studies

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Surficial Processes and Environmental Geology

Research in this area is focused on mechanistic and process-level studies designed to provide a fundamental understanding of theoretical and applied problems in earth science. The research typically involves Quaternary geology, geomorphology, hydrology, and ecosystem ecology and is closely linked to research programs in marine and terrestrial biogeochemistry. Many of our programs have a tropical component and all research products are useful for management, restoration and remediation of ecosystems.

Students seeking a PhD in this area should contact individual faculty members and apply to the Graduate Group in Earth and Environmental Science. Students seeking professional Masters degrees should apply to the Masters of Environmental Studies or the Masters of Science in Applied Geoscience.

Current Research

Ongoing research involves instream flow and water-allocation problems and studies on the impacts on and recovery of ecosystems after natural and anthropogenic disturbances including, whole-tree harvests, landslides, hurricanes, and chronic air-pollution and coral bleaching events. Much of the research is done in collaboration with the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research site in Northeastern Puerto Rico and the Luquillo Biocomplexity Project. Other on-going projects include assessments of relationships between river and road networks on aquatic resources, assesments of the effects of reservoir building on Mayan archeological sites in Central America, instream-flow and water allocation issues on Caribbean islands, water quality trading in Pennsylvania, wetland reconstruction in Iraq, developing geophysical techniques to locate buried drums of toxic materials, detailed aquifer studies of EPA Superfund Sites in southeastern Pennsylvania and geoarcheology of prehistoric sites in eastern North Africa.

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Edward Doheny

Engineering and Environmental Geology, Clay Mineralogy , Investigative Geophysics, Groundwater Hydrology, Rock Mechanics and Tunnel Geology

Robert Giegengack

Environmental Geology, Neotectonics, Ground- and Surface-water Hydrology, Late-Cenozoic Geochronology, Paleoclimatology, Environmental Planning, Geoarchaeology

Benjamin P. Horton

Relative sea-level change and paleoenvironmental reconstruction

Arthur H.Johnson

Soil Science, Ground- and Surface-Water Hydrology, Aqueous Geochemistry, Nutrient Cycling, Atmospheric Deposition, Aquatic Ecosystems, Environmental Planning

Frederick N. Scatena

Geomorphology, Disturbance ecology, Hydrology, Tropical Ecosystems

David R. Vann

Forest Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Nutrient Cycling, Bioremediation

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Department of Earth and Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania, 254-b Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316