Environmental Chemistry and Geophysics

Aline Cotel

Fluid Dynamics

Associate Professor Aline Cotel researches fluid dynamics, studying everything from the impact of biofuel spills on aquatic environments to the impact of turbulence on fish swimming and aquaculture systems.

Terese Olson

Contaminant Removal in Drinking Water

Associate Professor Terese Olson became interested in studying water quality in college as she followed the news of numerous environmental disasters, such as the Love Canal, Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. 

“Water and air quality problems of a very chemical nature were everywhere and seemed to urgently require answers. I was moved by these challenges and hoped that I could align my career to address them.”

Avery Demond & Aline Cotel

Ethanol Biofuel Pollution

In the late 1970's the additive, methyl tert butyl ether (MTBE), was used to oxygenate gasoline mixtures. The comparatively economical solution allowed gasoline to burn more completely, reducing vehicle emissions. However, it was later discovered that MTBE easily polluted groundwater sources when spilled or leaked. Associate Professor Avery Demond ponders, "It seems that... we're heading in the same direction with ethanol. We're all jumping on the band-wagon saying 'This is great' without looking at the long term consequences on water quality."

Terese Olson

Associate Professor Terese Olson and PhD student Monica Higgins have determined the environmental impact of two ground water remediation technologies: a traditional technology and a newer method currently being studied by several professors within the Department.

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