Three East Carolina University faculty members are part of the 12-member Science Advisory Council of the state’s Nutrient Criteria Development Plan.
Marcelo Ardón, a biologist; Michael O’Driscoll, a geologist; and David Kimmel, a biologist, are among the seven university scientists on the council. Experts in environmental engineering, nutrient abatement and related fields make up the rest of the council.
Last year, the N.C. Division of Water Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed upon the plan that will develop nutrient criteria for reservoirs and lakes, rivers and streams, and estuaries based primarily on scientifically defensible links between nutrient concentrations and protection of designated uses. The plan establishes a Scientific Advisory Council that will assist the DWR and stakeholders with nutrient criteria development.
The Scientific Advisory Council is composed of experts in the fields of water quality, water quality engineering, nutrient biogeochemistry, nutrient response variables, nutrient management and point and non-point source nutrient abatement.
At ECU, Kimmel studies the impact of human activities on estuarine organisms with particular focus on the effects of chemical nutrient enrichment of ecosystems and climate change on plankton communities.
O’Driscoll’s research focuses on human impacts on water resources with an emphasis on the interactions of groundwater on the physical hydrology, chemistry and ecology of lake, river and wetland systems.
Ardón’s research focuses on how local land use and global climate change are altering the capacity of wetlands and streams to process nutrients. He is also interested in how management practices can restore the lost functions of aquatic ecosystems.
More information about the project and the council members is online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/nutrientcriteria.