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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.
|Ph.D.||2012||Utah State University||Watershed Science|
|M.S.||2002||Columbus State University||Environmental Science|
|B.S.||1986||University of California, Santa Barbara||Geography|
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.
Keywordswater chemistry, hydrogeology, and freshwater ecology