Affiliate Assistant Research Professor
Dr. John Olsons research focuses on regional water chemistry, hydrogeology, and freshwater ecology. His work includes creating nationwide maps of geologic characteristics and empirically modeling natural water chemistry to establish water chemistry baselines and nutrient criteria, as well as exploring the linkages between geology, water chemistry, and stream biota.
||Utah State University
||Columbus State University
||University of California, Santa Barbara
Stream and lake chemical and physical properties are the result of upstream and upslope properties and processes. Therefore, differences in watershed geology or atmospheric deposition create differences in the amount and type of solids dissolved in streams. Other watershed attributes, such as vegetation type, can act as a sink for some elements, which reduces their concentrations. The watershed environment can be measured, but the complicated relationships between the environment and water chemistry make mechanistic models infeasible. Instead, the watershed environment is related to stream and lake chemistry using empirical models, and then these models are used to predict the natural conditions of a freshwater system. The amount a system has been altered can then be determined by comparing the predictions to the current conditions.
water chemistry, hydrogeology, and freshwater ecology
Gleeson, T., Ingebritsen, S. (Eds.) Fan, Y., Richard, S. M., Bristol, S., Peters, S. E., Ingebritsen, S. E., Moosdorf, N., Packman, A., Gleeson, T., Zaslavsky, I., Peckham, S. D., Murdoch, L., Fienen, M. N., Cardiff, M., Tarboton, D. G., Jones, N. L., Hooper, R. P., Arrigo, J. S., Gochis, D., Olson, J. R., Wolock, D. (2017). DigitalCrust–a 4D data system of material properties for transforming research on crustal fluid flow, In Crustal Permeability, 6-12, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.: Chichester, UK
Hawkins, C., Kefford, B., Dyack, B., Brucet, S., Buchwalter, D., Dunlop, J., Lazorchak, J., Olson, J. R. (2016). Saving freshwater from salts, Science, 351 (6276), 914-916, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Fan, Y., Richard, S., Bristol, R., Peters, S., Ingebritsen, S., Moosdorf, N., Packman, A., Gleeson, T., Zaslavsky, I., Peckham, S., Olson, J. R. (2015). DigitalCrust-a 4D data system of material properties for transforming research on crustal fluid flow, Geofluids, 15 (1-2), 372-379, Wiley Online Library
Olson, J. R., Hawkins, C. P., Mock, K. E., Huntington, J. L., Susfalk, R. B. (2014). System for Mapping And Predicting Species Of Concern (SMAP-SOC), NASA Earth Science Division/Applied Sciences Program
Vander Laan, J., Olson, J. R., Hawkins, C. P. (2015). Response of stream biodiversity to increasing salinization, Utah State Spring Runoff Conference: Logan, UT
Olson, J. R., Hawkins, C. P. (2015). Assessing human alterations of stream water chemistry from modeled reference conditions, Society for Freshwater Science annual meeting: Milwaukee, WI
Olson, J. R. (2015). System for mapping and predicting species of concern, NASA Biodiversity and Ecological Forecasting Team Meeting: Washington, D.C.
Olson, J. R., Hawkins, C. P. (2014). An empirical approach to predicting effects of climate change on stream water chemistry, AGU annual meeting: San Francisco CA