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Project Work

Below are a few selected projects from my professional portfolio. If you are interested in learning more I am happy to discuss these with you.



Investigating the Impact of Climate Change on Suspended SedimentTransport in the Connecticut River

Climate projections indicate a 20 to 30% increase in daily precipitation intensity by 2100, resulting in heightened sediment transport and erosion during extreme storm events. The Connecticut River, which supports three hydropower facilities and several fish species highly sensitive to suspended sediment, is at significant risk. Extreme sedimentation could have severe financial and personal impacts on the river communities. In this project, I employ the HEC-HMS hydrologic model, integrated with climate change scenarios from the NOAA distributed hydrologic model, to analyze trends in suspended sediment concentration for the near-term (2021-2060) and long-term (2061-2099). The findings reveal that even under the most optimistic scenario (RCP 4.5, assuming stabilization of emissions), sedimentation is projected to rise under both median and extreme streamflow conditions. By the end of the century, this could lead to a 30% increase in the annual mass of suspended sediment transported in the river. These results underscore the pressing need for proactive management strategies to mitigate sediment-related impacts on the Connecticut River ecosystem and its surrounding communities.


Understanding Perception of Risk and Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change Through Participatory Research

Community members and stakeholders in the Middle Connecticut River Valley face unique challenges adapting to extreme weather and groundwater contamination. The goal of this project is to understand how the perception of risk influences the uses and consumption of groundwater by local users and assess personal/financial risks from extreme weather to farmers and stakeholders. I served as principal investigator on this project, being the primary solicitor and manager of grant funding and personnel. I conducted a series of stakeholder interviews, focus group discussions, and science communication workshops over 16 months with 101 participants. The results of this study demonstrate environmental concerns of climate, weather, crop loss, and financial loss, in addition to adaptation strategies for water management. I document 6 dominant knowledge systems that drive the perception of risk and adaptation. 

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Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Flood Risk in Massachusetts Environmental Justice Communities

This project examined trends in flood exposure and distribution of hydrological risk in every census block group and municipality in Massachusetts from 2010 to 2020. I created a geospatial analysis tool using ArcPro ModelBuilder to assess the extent of land area flooded compared to publically available demographic information. I then conducted statistical analysis to examine the probability of occupying heavily flooded areas over time. The results demonstrated that environmental justice communities, as defined by Massachusetts DEP, are increasingly likely to reside in heavily flooded areas. This study demonstrates trends in the occupation of flood zones over time and gives insight into the equity of exposure. Following this study, I collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation through a series of discussions on "Flood Hazard Impacts and Mitigation in Massachusetts".


Environmental Stewardship and Stormwater Education

The project involved collaborating with educators, engineers, and local stakeholders to develop an interdisciplinary framework for hydrologic and environmental education. The focus was on instilling stewardship in elementary school students through hands-on outdoor activities. The project also involved organizing compliance with NPDES and MassDEP MS4, by creating an educational solution to mitigate stormwater pollution in Fitchburg. The resulting product was a student workbook, educator handbook, and stormwater curriculum that meets state educational frameworks. The project was successful in meeting compliance requirements while also addressing user needs and incorporating stakeholder input.

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