***WE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING STUDENTS (GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE) TO PARTICIPATE IN A RECENTLY-FUNDED, 4-YEAR NSF DYNAMICS OF INTEGRATED SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS (DISES) PROJECT FOCUSED ON RECIPROCAL INTERACTIONS BETWEEN RESERVOIR MANAGEMENT AND AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS, AND OTHER PROJECTS ***
The project website is here.
Interested students may also want to view the recently funded NSF National Research Traineeship Program at WSU, focused on Rivers, Watersheds, and Communities, which has a priority application deadline of December 15.
If you are interested, please get in touch!
Our group has recently published a few exciting papers characterizing methane emissions from reservoirs, at scales ranging from meters to the globe. Here are the papers:
D’Ambrosio*, S.L., S.M. Henderson, J.R. Nielson, and J.A. Harrison, (2022) In situ flux estimates reveal large variations in methane flux across the bottom boundary layer of a eutrophic lake, Limnology and Oceanography. doi: 10.1002/lno.12193
Soued, C., J.A. Harrison, S. Mercier-Blais, Y.T. Prairie (2022) Reservoir greenhouse gas emissions and their climate impact through time (1900-2060), Nature Geoscience. 10.1038/s41561-022-01004-2
Delwiche, K.B., J.A. Harrison, J.D. Maasakkers, M.P. Sulprizo, D.J. Jacob, E.M. Sunderland, and J. Worden (2022) ResME – A global mechanistic model for methane emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. 10.1029/2022JG006908
The first paper, led by former GCWB Lab PhD student Sofia D’Ambrosio, shows the first ever results of a non-invasive “flux gradient” method for characterizing benthic fluxes in lakes and reservoirs. It shows a surprisingly large amount of hourly variation in benthic methane fluxes, driven largely by an oscillating seiche-related current. The second paper, with UQAM-based colleagues, presents the first-ever long-term record of reservoir CH4 and CO2 emissions and compares those emissions with other GHG sources through time. The final paper, led by Kyle Delwiche, introduces a new, global model for predicting methane emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs.
We have recently started a new, interdisciplinary, NSF-funded, 4-year, $1.6M project aimed at achieving an integrated understanding of the dynamic, reciprocal relationship between environmental and social (institutions and values) systems by examining dam and reservoir operations, the decision-making process governing those operations, and feedbacks between this decision-making process and the environment. We are looking for students to participate in this research, focused on greenhouse gas and nutrient responses to management actions, including manipulations of water level and water residence time. Please send CV and a letter of inquiry to John Harrison if interested in participating in this project.
Sarah Kintner (co-advised by Harrison and Moffett) and Phil Steenstra (co-advised by Harrison and Strigul) both successfully defended their MS theses last Friday (4/5; Big Day!) and were celebrated with now customary “thesis cakes.” A hearty congratulations, thanks, and best wishes to both Sarah and Phil as they move on to new challenges and adventures!!!
In the past few months, our group has published several papers, including:
- a novel demonstration of how redox dynamics and reservoir water level management can interact to affect water quality (See: Deemer and Harrison, 2019, Ecosystems)
- a letter to the editor at Nature, written with IPCC colleagues, responding to a Nature Commentary suggesting that dams should be considered a net benefit to greenhouse gas budgets (See: Harrison et al., 2019, Nature)
- a review of recent efforts to model phosphorus transport through rivers at the global scale (See: Harrison et al., 2019, COSUST)
- an effort to define a roadmap for the development of global lake eutrophication and HAB models (See: Janssen et al., 2019, COSUST)
- a paper laying out the argument for systematic intercomparisons of global nutrient transport models (See: van Vliet et al., 2019, COSUST); for a list of all articles appearing in this COSUST special issue on global modeling of water quality, click here
- and a paper led by graduate students in Harrison’s Watershed Biogeochemistry course, characterizing the geographic distribution and controls of harmful algae blooms in Pacific Northwest Lakes (See: Rose et al., 2019, Lake and Reservoir Management)
Congratulations to Sofia, who has been awarded a Nancy Weller Scholarship from the Washington State Lake Protection Association (WALPA)! The funds will help support Sofia’s planned work on methane dynamics in lakes and reservoirs.
Methane is an important greenhouse gas, and lakes and reservoirs account for roughly 10% of methane flux to the atmosphere globally. The contribution of aquatic sediments to atmospheric methane would be much greater if it were not for methane oxidation, the microbial process whereby methane is converted to CO2, a much more soluble, less potent greenhouse gas. A paper just out in Biogeochemistry by Dan Reed, Bridget Deemer, Sigrid Van Grinsven, and John Harrison, titled Are elusive anaerobic pathways key methane sinks in eutrophic lakes and reservoirs? provides new insight into this critical biogeochemical process. In the paper, Reed et al. show that concentrations of typical inorganic electron acceptors (compounds like oxygen, nitrate, and sulfate) are often insufficient to support observed rates of methane oxidation. To resolve this issue, we postulate that organic matter can serve as an important, though often-ignored, alternative electron acceptor in lakes and reservoirs, fueling high rates of methane oxidation, and urge the broader community to directly test this hypothesis.
PhD student Sofia D’Ambrosio won an award for her poster on methane emissions from reservoirs at the WSU Vancouver Research Showcase. Congratulations Sofia!