Water, Hydrogeology and Soils
Research covers a range of topics related to water, water quality, and the environments surrounding water. Research areas include: environmental hydrogeology, aquatic geochemistry, water resources, interaction with the subsurface, soil science, effects of land use change, water quality, restoration, land management, water treatment, estuaries, river flow regimes and watersheds.
Hydrogeology: Faculty are interested in the flow of water within the soil, subsurface, and underlying bedrock. Specific research areas include Fate and Transport of Organic and Inorganic Contaminants, Innovative Remediation Technologies, Water Treatment by Bank Filtration, Aqueous Geochemistry, Isotope Hydrology, and numerical modeling of Groundwater Flow. Projects are varied from local resources to international partnerships to improve water quality and habitability.
Solis: Research interests in the application of soil science address environmental issues and problems. Research topics include the effects of land use change on the terrestrial and subtidal environments; relationships between tidal and riparian soils and water quality, restoration, and land management; the role of soils in the treatment of domestic wastewater; and the processes operating in hydric soils, subaqueous soils, and soils with aquic conditions. Soil research has focused on micro and macro-morphology of carbon forms in riparian soils, variability in carbon storage among soil types varying by drainage classes, fate and transport of N and P in shallow-narrow drainfields, distribution of subaqueous soils in estuaries, and soil morphology-aquic condition relationships.
Water Quality: Research addresses the effects of land use and natural features on water quality and river flow regimes, with particular focus on sources and sinks of nitrogen in mixed-use watersheds. Outreach and extension activities targeted at local efforts to restore and protect watershed quality are a strong component of research in water quality at URI.
Subsurface Properties: See Geosciences
URI water students receive a broad background in earth sciences, soil science, land use planning and engineering. Our students pursue research that combines fieldwork with laboratory work. Our field projects have taken students to field sites within the USA as well as abroad, i.e. Jordan, Kenya, and India. The faculty maintains strong collaborative links with the College of Engineering and the Graduate School of Oceanography.