M.S. in Environmental Science, Washington State University
B.S. in Biology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
I am interested in the biogeochemistry of “green urban planning.” In Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA there are currently over 1500 “green streets” or structures that redirect runoff from city streets into garden like facilities, which through infiltration and plant uptake, act to treat nutrients and pollutants often found in urban environments. These types of developments, collectively known as low impact developments (LID), represent a significant change from previous conventional stormwater practices and construction is anticipated to continue for the foreseeable future. Conventional stormwater practices (including structures like detention and retention ponds) provide little treatment to urban runoff, contributing to what has been termed the “urban stream syndrome,” which is characterized in part by elevated nitrogen (N) concentrations. Unfortunately, little is known about the ability of LID to permanently remove N through denitrification and even less is known about the capacity of these systems to respond to climate change or their role in producing greenhouse gasses themselves. My research attempts to answer some of these questions during an important period of infrastructure planning and implementation.
I have also previously worked in coastal systems studying nutrient dynamics in estuaries and their consequences for phytoplankton growth and hypoxic zones.
I hope to continue to work in both urban and natural biogeochemical applications in the future.
- Norton, R.A. and Brown, C.A. 2012. Phytoplankton Limitation in Oregon Estuaries. Talk at the Oregon Sea Grant Scholars Research Symposium. Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, OR.