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Regents honor DRI’s Casey Schmidt with Rising Researcher Award

Casey S. Headshot

Reno, Nev. (March 3, 2017): The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents this week awarded Casey Schmidt, Ph.D., an assistant research professor of biogeochemistry at DRI, with its annual Rising Researcher Award.

Schmidt’s interdisciplinary research program at DRI is focused in theoretical and applied soil science. Most recently Schmidt led a project in Florida that was funded by the state legislature to help improve water quality in North America’s most diverse estuary, the Indian River Lagoon.

“The Indian River Lagoon is an important asset, ecologically, commercially and recreationally, which has seen a significant decline in ecosystem health. It was great to work with a team of Florida colleagues to evaluate an ongoing large-scale oyster reef restoration project that can turn the tide of water quality degradation," said Schmidt.  "It is an honor to be recognized for my work.”

Since joining DRI only three years ago, Schmidt has attracted more than $1 million in research funds from the federal and local research sponsors, including the US Forest Service, Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida State Legislature.

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He has published a model on fire ecohydrology in subtropical humid peat wetlands, and worked with Nevada foresters to couple fuels reduction projects in southwestern forests with the development of biochar (charcoal) as a marketable soil amendment and water quality filtration media within the Lake Tahoe basin.

Through other water quality remediation projects, he is developing groundwater bioremediation methods to remediate excess fertilizer runoff from farms, and improving on the design of urban storm-water treatment systems to prevent eutrophication.

Schmidt received his BS in biology and fisheries and aquatic sciences from the University of Washington and MS, and Ph.D. degrees in soil and water sciences from the University of Florida.

For more information about DRI and Schmidt’s work visit www.dri.edu.

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DRI, the nonprofit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people’s lives throughout Nevada and the world. For more information about DRI please visit www.dri.edu

The Nevada System of Higher Education -- comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute -- serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 107,400 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.