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Sarah Kintner


M.S. in Environmental Science

B.S. in Geology, Hydrogeology & Water Chemistry emphasis, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire WI, 2016


Curriculum vitae


Research Interests:

I am interested in the biogeochemistry and hydrology of “green stormwater management.”

Traditional stormwater systems are a principle source of surface water contamination, cause flooding nationwide as larger rainfall events become more common, and are proving inadequate to handle climate changes and increasing urbanization. Untreated urban stormwater contains thermal, chemical, bacterial, viral, heavy metal, nutrient and sediment pollutants which cause a variety of ecologic and economic issues such as hypoxic zones, reduced biodiversity, decreased property values and decreased aquatic recreation when introduced to surface water; largely due to stormwater pollution, 44% of rivers and streams, and 65% of reservoirs and lakes are classified by the EPA as too impaired to support intended uses.

Green stormwater systems (GSWS) are a popular alternative to traditional methods that are designed to reduce peak flows and mitigate pollution through the use of biogeochemical and hydrologic process. Billions of dollars have been spent to date on GSWS such as rain gardens, green roofs, and bioretention swales, and even more is committed to future projects. Despite the design goals, little is known about the specific biogeochemical and hydrologic functions and efficiencies of GSWS, especially after installation, which leaves significant questions about the ability of green stormwater systems to meet design goals given climate changes and increasing urbanization.