DRI / DIRECTORY / RICK SUSFALK
Rick Susfalk Profile Photo
Dr. Rick Susfalk
Associate Research Scientist, Hydrology

Professional Interests

Dr. Susfalk’s interests are in surface water quality, watershed hydrology, water conservation, soil chemistry, and forest soils. He has worked extensively on soils and water quality issues of the semi-arid forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains for the past fourteen years. Many of Dr. Susfalk’s projects relate to understanding and estimating the transport of nutrients and suspended sediments in streams, rivers, and lakes. In the Lake Tahoe Basin, he is interested in the impact of on-shore pollutants on near shore water quality. Finally, he is also interested in the use of flocculanting agents, such as polyacrylamide (PAM), as a cost-effective method to reduce unwanted seepage from water delivery canals.

Research Areas

Near shore water quality and the linkage with on-shore pollutant sources, watershed hydrology, impact of fire on soil processes and water quality and quantity, hyporheic exchange and the use of temperature as tracer in determining surface and ground water relationships, water conservation, use of polyacrylamide (PAM) as a canal sealant to reduce unwanted seepage, suspended sediment and turbidity relationships, use of turbidity as a real-time surrogate for suspended sediment, forest soils, and biogeochemical cycling.

Selected Current Research Projects

Education

DegreeYearInstitutionArea
Ph.D.2000University of Nevada, Reno, NVHydrology
M.S.1994University of California, Santa Barbara, CAChemistry
B.A.1992Occidental College, Los Angeles, CAChemistry

Academic Affiliations

Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences – University of Nevada Reno

Publications
2016
Heyvaert, A. C., Fitzgerald, B. C., Morton, C. G., McGwire, K. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2016). Pilot Implementation of the Lake Tahoe Nearshore Monitoring Framework for Clarity Metrics, DRI Report No. 41267
Brock, J. T., Hire, D., Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2016). Hydrologic Monitoring for the S-356 Pump Station Test (Miami-Dade County, Florida) 2015 – 2016, Annual Report USACE Contract No. W912EP-15-R-0024, August 2016.
Walker, R. F., Susfalk, R. B., Johnson, D. (2016). Root System Development of Juvenile Ponderosa Pine as Influenced by Soil Type and Nutritional Augmentation, Forest Research, 5 (4), 187-205, 10.4172/2168-9776.1000187
2015
Heyvaert, A. C., Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C., Buxton, A. (2015). Performance Evaluation of Two Stormwater Filtration Treatment Devices Installed by the Nevada Department of Transportation, DRI Report No. 41264
2014
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
2013
Heyvaert, A. C., Reuter, J. E., Chandra, S., Susfalk, R. B., Schladow, S. G., Hackley, S. G. (2013). Lake Tahoe Nearshore Evaluation and Monitoring Framework. Final report prepared for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station
2012
Shanafield, M., Niswonger, R. G., Prudic, D. E., Pohll, G. M., Susfalk, R. B., Panday, S. (2012). A method for estimating spatially variable seepage and hydraulic conductivity in channels with very mild slopes, Hydrological Processes, 28 (1), 51-61, 10.1002/hyp.9545
2011
Bisiaux, M. M., Edwards, R., Heyvaert, A. C., Thomas, J. M., Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B., Schladow, S. G., Thaw, M. N. (2011). Stormwater and Fire as Sources of Black Carbon Nanoparticles to Lake Tahoe, Environmental Science and Technology, 45 (6), 2065-2071, 10.1021/es103819v
Heyvaert, A. C., Reuter, J. E., Susfalk, R. B. (2011). Sampling and Analysis Plan – Tahoe Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV and UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Incline Village, NV. Prepared for USFS-Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, South Lake Tahoeh
2010
Shanafield, M., Pohll, G. M., Susfalk, R. B. (2010). Use of heat-based vertical fluxes to approximate total flux in simple channels, Water Resources Research, 46, W03508
Reuter, J. E., Heyvaert, A. C., Oliver, C., Parra, A., Susfalk, R. B. (2010). Water Quality Conditions Following the 2007 Angora Wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin, UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center and Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV. Prepared for California, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Bd., South Lake Tahoe, CA, Accepted.
Chen, L.-W.A., Verburg, P.S.J., Shackelford, A., Zhu, D., Susfalk, R. B., Chow, J. C., Watson, J. G. (2010). Moisture effects on carbon and nitrogen emission from burning of wildland biomass, Atmos Chem Phys, 10 (1-9), 6617-6625, 10.5194/acp-10-6617-2010
2009
Johnson, D. W., Miller, W. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A., Murphy, J. D., Glass, D. W. (2009). Biogeochemical Cycling in Forest Soils of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA, Forest Ecology and Management, 258 (10), 2249-2260, 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.01.018
Chen, L., Young, M. H., Zhu, J., Susfalk, R. B. (2009). An integrated approach to modeling solute transport in streams and canals with applications, Journal of Hydrology, 378, 128-136, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.09.012
Susfalk, R. B. (2009). Proceedings of the Polyacrylamide (PAM) and PAM Alternatives Workshop. Albany, CA. February 26-27, 2008
Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2009). Lower Rosewood Creek Restoration Project: Suspended Sediment Loads and Particle Size, 2002-2007
Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C. (2009). Lower Rosewood Creek Restoration Project: Suspended Sediment Loads and Particle Size, 2002-2007, DRI Report No. 41248
2008
Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B., Knust, A. M. (2008). Characterization of turbidity and total suspended solids in the Upper Carson River, Nevada
Susfalk, R. B., Sada, D. W., Martin, C., Young, M. H., Gates, T., Rosamond, C. L., Mihevc, T. M., Arrowood, T., Shanafield, M., Epstein, B., Lutz, A. D., Woodrow, J., Miller, G., Smith, D. (2008). Evaluation of Linear Anionic Polyacrylamide (LA-PAM) Application to Water Delivery Canals for Seepage Reduction
Cobourn, J., Saito, L., Brock, J. T., Naranjo, R. C., Susfalk, R. B., Chandra, S. (2008). Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Along the Truckee and Carson Rivers, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Publication
2007
Young, M. H., Tappen, J. J., Susfalk, R. B., Miller, G. C. (2007). Characterizing the risk of using linear anionic polyacrylamide (LA-PAM) to reduce seepage from unlined water delivery canals, J. Soc. Risk Assessment, Submitted.
Susfalk, R. B., Young, M. H., Smith, D. M. (2007). Application Guidelines: Use of Granular, Linear Anionic Polyacrylamide (LA-PAM) in Water Delivery Canals for Seepage Control
Young, M. H., Tappen, J. J., Miller, G. C., Carroll, S., Susfalk, R. B. (2007). Initial Risk Characterization: Using Linear Anionic Polyacrylamide (LA-PAM) to Reduce Water Seepage from Unlined Water Delivery Canal Systems
Young, M. H., Woodrow, J., Moser, D. P., Zhu, J., Chen, L., Susfalk, R. B., Miller, G. C., Labahn, S. K., Moran, E. A., Arrowood, T. (2007). Results of Laboratory Experiments in Support of PAM-Related Research (with nine authors)
Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C., Knust, A. M. (2007). Characterization of Turbidity and Total Suspended Solids in the Upper Carson River, Nevada, DRI Report No. 41242
2006
Dana, G. L., Panorska, A. K., Susfalk, R. B. (2006). Suspended sediment loading in the middle reach of the Truckee River, California, 2002-03., Journal of the Nevada Water Resources Association, 3, 65-80
2005
Cheng, W., Fu, S., Susfalk, R. B., Mitchell, R. J. (2005). Measuring tree root respiration using 13C natural abundance: rooting medium matters, New Phytologist, 167, 297-307
Johnson, D. W., Murphy, J. F., Susfalk, R. B., Caldwell, T. G., Miller, W. W., Walker, R. F., Powers, R. F. (2005). The effects of wildfire, salvage logging, and post-fire N-fixation on the nutrient budgets of a Sierran forest, Forest Ecology and Management, 220, 155-165
Shanafield, M., Johnson, J., Sawyer, F., Green, J., Assam, J., Becket, H., Brown, S., Carlos, W., Fosbury, D., Meadows, D. G., Mienert, M., Rasmussen, B., Royce, G., Stein, C., Unger, K., Wright, M., Hunkup, D., Wolf, D., Susfalk, R. B., Tyler, S. W. (2005). Analysis of Hungry Valley groundwater pumping and management, Washoe County, Nevada, Journal of the Nevada Water Resources Association, 2, 1-12
Dana, G. L., Panorska, A. K., Susfalk, R. B. (2005). Suspended Sediment and Turbidity Patterns in the Middle Truckee River, California for the Period 2002-2003
2004
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Caldwell, T. G., Murphy, J. D., Walker, R. F., Miller, W. W. (2004). Fire Effects on Carbon and Nitrogen Budgets in Forests, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 4 (2), 263-275
Dana, G. L., Panorska, A., Susfalk, R. B., McGraw, D. S., McKay, W. A., Dornoo, M. (2004). Suspended Sediment and Turbidity Patterns in the Middle Truckee River, CA, DRI Report No. 41196
Susfalk, R. B. (2004). Effectiveness of the Rosewood Creek Restoration Project at Reducing Suspended Sediment Loading to Lake Tahoe 2002 to 2004, DRI Report No. 41202
2003
Taylor, K. C., Susfalk, R. B., Shanafield, M., Schladow, G. (2003). Near Shore Clarity at Lake Tahoe: Status and Causes of Reduction, DRI Report No. 41193
2002
Fu, S., Cheng, W., Susfalk, R. B. (2002). Rhizosphere respiration varies with plant species and phenology: A greenhouse pot experiment, Plant and Soil, 239, 133-140
Susfalk, R. B., Johnson, D. W. (2002). Ion exchange resin based soil solution lysimeters and snowmelt collectors, Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 33, 1261-1275
Susfalk, R. B., Cheng, W. X., Johnson, D. W., Walker, R. F., Verburg, P.S.J., Fu, S. (2002). Lateral diffusion and atmospheric CO2 mixing compromise estimates of rhizophere respiration in a forest soil, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 32, 1005-1015
2001
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Gholz, H. L., Hanson, P. J. (2001). Simulated effects of temperature and precipitation change in several forest ecosystems, Journal of Hydrology, 235, 183-204
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A., Caldwell, T. G., Miller, W. W. (2001). Nutrient fluxes in a snow-dominated, semi-arid forest: spatial and temporal patterns, Biogeochemistry, 55 (3), 219-246, 10.1023/A:1011863216017
1999
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Brewer, P. F., Swank, W. T. (1999). Simulated effects of reduced sulfur, nitrogen and base cation deposition on soils and solutions in southern Appalachian forests, J Environ Qual, 28 (4), 1336-1346
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A., Klopatek, J. M. (1999). Fire is more important than water for nitrogen fluxes in semi-arid forests, Environmental Science and Policy, 1, 79-86
1998
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A., Klopatek, J. M. (1998). Fire is more important than water for nitrogen fluxes in semi-arid forests, Environmental Science and Policy, 1, 79-86
Mickler, R. A., Fox, S. (Eds.) Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Swank, W. T. (1998). Simulated effects of atmospheric deposition and species change on nutrient cycling in loblolly pine and mixed deciduous forests, Chapter 27Simulated effects of atmospheric deposition and species change on nutrient cycling in loblolly pine and mixed deciduous forests, In The productivity and sustainability of southern forest ecosystems in a changing environment. Ecological Studies No. 128, Springer-Verlag: New York, NY
1997
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A. (1997). Nutrient fluxes in forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains, United States of America, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 11, 673-681
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Dahlgren, R. A. (1997). Nutrient fluxes in forests of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, USA, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 11, 673-681
1996
Johnson, D. W., Susfalk, R. B., Brewer, P. F. (1996). Simulated responses of red spruce forest soils to reduced sulfur and nitrogen deposition, Environ. Qual., 25, 1300-1309
Conference Proceedings
2017
Heyvaert, A. C., Leisenring, M., Susfalk, R. B., Dan, P., Buxton, A. (2017). Advances in Real-Time Stormwater Data Acquisition, Management and Analysis for the Lake Tahoe Basin, California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA): Sacramento, CA, September 26, 2017-September 27, 2017
2016
Heyvaert, A. C., Fitzgerald, B. C., Morton, C. G., McGwire, K. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2016). Evaluating Nearshore Clarity Conditions and Linkages to Watershed Management Objectives at Lake Tahoe, California-Nevada, North American Lake Management Society (NALMS): Banff, Canada, November 1, 2016-November 4, 2016
2015
Stevens, A. D., Heyvaert, A. C., Chandra, S., Susfalk, R. B. (2015). Evaluation of Nearshore Water Clarity Conditions at Lake Tahoe, Nevada Water Resources Association Conference: Reno, NV, January 26, 2015-January 29, 2015
Fitzgerald, B. C., Kelly, M., Fellers, D., Susfalk, R. B. (2015). Rosewood Creek Restoration, Area A, 2015 Tahoe Science Conference, September 21, 2015-September 23, 2015
Stevens, A. D., Fitzgerald, B. C., Heyvaert, A. C., McGwire, K. C., Chandra, S., Susfalk, R. B. (2015). Evaluation of Nearshore Water Clarity Conditions at Lake Tahoe, 2015 Tahoe Science Conference, September 21, 2015-September 23, 2015
2014
Heyvaert, A. C., Reuter, J. E., Chandra, S., Schladow, S. G., Susfalk, R. B. (2014). Developing an Approach for Integrated Evaluation of Water Quality and Ecological Conditions at Lake Tahoe, CA-NV, American Water Resources Association IWRM Conference: Reno, NV, June 30, 2014-July 2, 2014
2013
Heyvaert, A. C., Susfalk, R. B., Schladow, S. G., Reuter, J. E. (2013). Assessing turbidity, clarity, and suspended fine particle concentrations in Lake Tahoe, Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR): South Lake Tahoe, CA, June 11, 2013-June 13, 2013
Heyvaert, A. C., Susfalk, R. B., Schladow, S. G., Reuter, J. E. (2013). Using data for management and monitoring decisions at Lake Tahoe, California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA): Squaw Valley, CA, September 9, 2013-September 11, 2013
2012
Heyvaert, A. C., Susfalk, R. B., Chandra, S., Reuter, J. E., Schladow, S. G. (2012). Evaluation of Nearshore Ecology and Aesthetics: A Science-Based Monitoring Evaluation to Guide Informed Management, 2012 Tahoe Science Conference: Incline Village, NV, May 22, 2012-May 24, 2012
Heyvaert, A. C., Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2012). From Rosewood to Bijou: Nearshore Water Quality Monitoring, 2012 Tahoe Science Conference: Incline Village, NV
Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C., Mihevc, T. M. (2012). Nearshore Water Quality Monitoring Buoy at Marla Bay, Lake Tahoe, 2012 Tahoe Science Conference: Incline Village, NV, Submitted.
2010
Shackleford, A. J., Verburg, P.S.J., Chen, L.-W.A., Susfalk, R. B. (2010). Nutrient Emissions from Prescribed Fire in the Lake Tahoe Basin: Implications From Field & Laboratory Observations, 5th Biennial Lake Tahoe Basin Science Conference March 16 & 17, 2010
Brown, S., Susfalk, R. B. (2010). Preliminary Results of the Pilot Sweeper Study, 5th Biennial Lake Tahoe Basin Science Conference March 16 & 17, 2010
Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C., Mihevc, T. M. (2010). Linking On-Shore & Near-Shore Processes: Near-Shore Water Quality Monitoring Buoy at Lake Tahoe, 5th Biennial Lake Tahoe Basin Science Conference March 16 & 17, 2010
Heyvaert, A. C., Fitzgerald, B. C., Susfalk, R. B. (2010). Impact of Terrestrial Sediment Sources on Nearshore Water Quality, 5th Biennial Lake Tahoe Basin Science Conference March 16 & 17, 2010
Chen, L.-W.A., Verburg, P.S.J., Shackelford, A., Zhu, D., Susfalk, R. B., Chow, J. C., Watson, J. G. (2010). Particle and Air Toxics Emissions from Prescribed Burning: Effects of Fuel Type and Moisture Content, 5th Biennial Lake Tahoe Basin Science Conference March 16 & 17, 2010
Susfalk, R. B., Fitzgerald, B. C., Heyvaert, A. C., Mihevc, T. M., Taylor, K. C. (2010). Nearshore Buoy Project for Monitoring Lake Tahoe Water Clarity
2008
Susfalk, R. B., Martin, C., Sada, D. W., Young, M. H., Gates, T., Shanafield, M., Fitzgerald, B. C., Smith, D. L. (2008). Benefits and Risks of Using Linear Anionic Polyacrylamide (LA-PAM) for Seepage Reduction in Unlined Water Delivery Canals, GC43C-0747, AGU: San Francisco
Shanafield, M., Pohll, G. M., Susfalk, R. B. (2008). Comparison of Numerical Models to Predict Vertical Water Flux, H13G-1000, AGU: San Francisco
Chen, L. W., Ozgen Senem, A., Shackelford, P., Verburg, R., Susfalk, R. B., Chow, J. C., Watson, J. G. (2008). Nitrogen Emission From Forest Prescribed Burning, AAAR 27th Annual Conference: Orlando, FL
Naranjo, R. C., Brock, J. T., Susfalk, R. B., Mckay, A., Stone, M. C., Saito, L., Tyler, S. W. (2008). Nutrient and Hyporheic flow Dynamics Through a Riffle-Pool Sequence, Truckee River at Fleish, CA, Nevada Water Resources Association 2008 Annual Conference.
2006
Susfalk, R. B., Young, M. H., Goreham, J., Epstein, B., Smith, D. L., Schmidt, M., Swihart, J. (2006). Use of Polyacrylamide to Reduce Seepage From Unlined Irrigation Canals: Philadelphia, PA
Susfalk, R. B., Young, M. H., Goreham, J., Epstein, B., Schmidt, M., Smith, D. L., Swihart, J. (2006). Use of Polyacrylamide to Reduce Seepage From Unlined Irrigation Canals: Keystone, CO
Susfalk, R. B., Epstein, B., Goreham, J., Young, M. H., Moran, E. A., Martain, C., Gates, T., Swihart, J., Smith, D. L., Fitzgerald, B. C. (2006). Use of Polyacrylamide to Reduce Seepage from Unlined Water Delivery Canals: San Francisco, CA
Susfalk, R. B., Epstein, B. J., Schmidt, M., Goreham, J., Fitzgerald, B. C., Young, M. H., Martin, C., Swihart, J., Smith, D. L. (2006). Seepage Reduction from Unlined Irrigation Canals: Water Quality and Seepage Reduction Effectiveness.: San Francisco, CA
Chen, L., Young, M. H., Zhu, J., Susfalk, R. B. (2006). Modeling Polyacrylamide Transport in Water Delivery Canals: Indianapolis, IN
Susfalk, R. B. (2006). Impact Of The Rosewood Creek Restoration Project On Suspended Sediment Loading To Lake Tahoe: Pre-Monitoring And Year 1.: Reno, NV
2005
Dana, G. L., Panorska, A. K., Susfalk, R. B. (2005). Sediment loading in the Middle Truckee River: Nevada
Shanafield, M., Johnson, J. H., Sawyer, F., Green, J., Assam, J., Becket, H., Brown, S., Carlos, W., Fosbury, D., Meadows, D. G., Mienert, M., Rasmussen, B., Royce, G., Stein, C., Unger, K., Wright, M., Hunkup, D., Wolf, D., Susfalk, R. B., Tyler, S. W. (2005). Analysis of Hungry Valley groundwater pumping and management, Washoe County, Nevada: Nevada
Susfalk, R. B., Young, M. H., Schmidt, M., Epstein, B. J., Goreham, J., Swihart, J., Smith, D. L. (2005). Use of polyacrylamide to reduce seepage from unlined irrigation canals: initial results from small scale test troughs: San Francisco, CA
2004
Cheng, W., Fu, S., Susfalk, R. B., Mitchell, R. J. (2004). Assessing tree rhizosphere carbon dioxide efflux using a natural 13C tracer method.: Portland, OR