Biography

As a member of Riparia - formerly the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Institute- I'm part of a research group that focuses on science to inform policy and practice. My education, background, and current research projects all center around hydrology, but frequently branch off into other related topics. This spring and summer I'll be finishing up or continuing work on the following projects within Riparia and with other interdisciplinary groups at Penn State:

- Assessing Wetland Vulnerability to Climate Change for the USEPA Global Change Impacts and Adaptation Program
- Evaluating Wetland Ecosystems in the Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment Update (2015) for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Incorporating Rapid Ecological Assessment Techniques into the Center for Nutrient Solutions for the USEPA National Center for Environmental Research
- Assisting with the Riparia Wetland Database Summer Site Assessment Fieldwork

I received my undergraduate degree at Penn State in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering where I focused on stormwater management and interned with the State College Borough Engineering Department to assess the storm sewer system and downtown flooding problems. I returned to the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department at Penn State for my master's degree where I teamed with the Department of Plant Pathology and the USDA to measure agricultural compost emissions both on campus and on farms in eastern Pennsylvania. After working with an environmental risk assessment consulting firm for a few years, I joined the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech where I received my Ph.D. working with the University of Alaska Southeast on a National Science Foundation sponsored project researching landscape controls on glacial meltwater chemistry in Southeast Alaska.

Course Spotlight

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (METEO 469) - learn about the fundamentals of climate change and its impact on societal, environmental, and economic policies. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley has been with us since the beginning, with one of our first OPEN courses - Geology of the National Parks. See what he has to say about the OPEN.ED effort over ten years later.