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Faculty Experts

Anthropology and Sociology

Nancy Servatius
Part-time Lecturer, Sociology
From a sociological perspective, Lecturer Servatius focuses on environmental health issues and the Chesapeake Bay, PEAS and Harmful Algae Blooms.

Biology and Chemistry

Bradley Arnold
Associate Professor, Physical Chemistry
Professor Arnold’s research group has extensive expertise in the application of ultra-fast laser techniques to explore photochemical reaction mechanisms.

Brian Bradley
Professor Emeritus, Biological Sciences
Professor Bradley has studied proteomics as an environmental indicator.

Tom Cronin
Professor, Biological Sciences
Professor Cronin studies neurobiological adaptations of animals that allow them to see and perform their required functions in the habitats they encounter. This field is generally called, “visual ecology.”

Brian Cullum
Assistant Professor, Analytical Chemistry
Professor Cullum’s research involves the development of novel sensing tools and strategies for the monitoring of biological and environmental systems at both the nano- and macro-scales. His current research is focused on intracellular nanosensors for real-time cellular signaling monitoring. These sensors employ surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to perform fundamental biological studies of how various cellular pathways are affected by environmental pollutants as well as the real-time monitoring of physiological exposure of individuals to environmental factors.

James Fishbein
Professor, Organic Chemistry
Professor Fishbein studies nitrosamine carcinogens. The long-term goal of his research is to understand fundamental and applied aspects of the chemistry of carcinogenic nitrosamines, which are a large class of compounds of varied structure to which there is human exposure through endogenous formation and environmental sources. Most of the nitrosamines investigated are carcinogenic or mutagenic in the Ames test when activated by liver microsomes. Nitrosamines are found in groundwater, foods, personal care products, and tobacco products and are encountered in a number of industrial environs, in particular in rubber manufacturing and curing facilities, metal and leather working concerns.

Frank Hanson
Professor, Biological Sciences
Professor Hanson studies the physiological basis of behavior of simple animals such as insects.

Lisa Kelly
Associate Professor, Physical Chemistry
Professor Kelly is studying photochemical strategies for green remediation. Photosensitized oxidation of environmental of environmental contaminants is a viable way to use sunlight to remediate polluted regions. Kelly’s laboratory is working on strategies to use organic and inorganic photosensitizers, coupled with a 2-electron oxidative “shuttle” to photochemically initiate 2, 4, and possibly 6-electron oxidation reactions, with the ultimate goal of transforming harmful organic pollutants into CO2 and H2O.

William LaCourse
Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Professor LaCourse’s research interests include basic and applied research on hydrodynamic electroanalytical techniques in liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis, absorption phenomena at noble metal electrodes and advanced sample preparation techniques (e.g., microdialysis and pressurized-fluid extraction). A major thrust of his efforts is to further understand and expand the limits of pulsed electrochemical detection (PED) techniques for the determination of polar aliphatic compounds. Professor LaCourse applies PED to (bio)analytical problems of critical significance in the areas of pharmaceutical, toxicological, forensic, environmental, pharmaceutical and life science arenas.

Jeff W. Leips
Associate Professor, Biological Science 
Professor Leips focuses on molecular/organismal ecology, molecular biology/genetics and ecology/environmental biology.

Weihong Lin
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Professor Lin studies chemical sensations mediated by olfactory and trigeminal systems in the nose cavity using methods of electrophysiology, Ca2 + imaging, immunocytochemistry and molecular biology in mice.

Hua Lu
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Professor Lu uses Arabidopsis, a powerful model system, to study plant-pathogen interactions.

Tamra Mendelson
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Professor Mendelson studies molecular phylogenetic systems and the phylogenetic reconstruction of gene families.

Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Urban Environment

Ken Belt
Senior Research Scientist, College of Engineering and Information Technology
Belt is a forest service hydrologist who focuses on the integration of urban water infrastructure with natural hydrologic systems and the implications for stream ecosystems. His interests include carbon and particulate organic matter transport and processing, nutrients, pathogens, stream and runoff temperatures, and urban water budgets.

Sari Bennett
Director of Geographic Education and Clinical Associate Professor 
Professor Bennett’s research relates to K-12 curriculum development on environmental issues including impacts on the Chesapeake Bay. She also focuses on urban sprawl and environmental modification curriculum plans.

Andy Miller
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Miller is an expert on flooding, rainfall and the urban hydrology of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Over his nearly 25 years of experience, he has partnered with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, the U.S. Forest Service and other federal and state environmental science organizations.

Stuart S. Schwartz
Senior Scientist, CUERE
Schwartz focuses on water resource systems analysis, urban hydrology and water policy.

Claire Welty
Director, Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education
Professor Welty is an expert on urban hydrology in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. CUERE partners with the U.S. Forest Service, the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, U.S. Geological Survey and other federal and state environmental groups on labs and field research. She is chair of the National Research Council’s Water Science and Technology Board for 2007-2010.

Cleanup of Polluted/Contaminated Waterways

Upal Ghosh
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor Ghosh’s research centers on toxic contaminants in the environment and the risk they pose to people and ecosystems. He has developed technology to remove pollutants from the San Francisco Bay and is working to apply similar systems for the Chesapeake Bay.

Brian Reed
Professor and Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor Reed investigates the fate of heavy metals in the urban environment. He has developed a low-cost, effective method of detecting, preventing and cleaning up a possible biological, chemical or radiological terror attack on the U.S. water supply.

Economic

Scott Farrow
Professor and Chair of Economics
Professor Farrow conducts research that integrates risk and economics and the economic evaluation of environmental and natural resource policies such as emissions trading and offshore oil and gas leasing. He maintains academic affiliations with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is a faculty fellow at UMBC’s Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education. More information about his work can be found on his resume athttp://www.umbc.edu/economics/faculty_cv/SFumbcCV.pdf.

Virginia McConnell
Professor of Economics
An environmental economist who focuses on transportation issues, Professor McConnell is an authority on the impact of politics to reduce air pollution through vehicle emissions regulations, inspection and maintenance programs, fuel regulations, emission taxes and land-use changes.

Education

Mary Rivkin
Associate Professor and Chair of Education
In addition to being co-author of the best-selling early childhood education text The Great Outdoors: Restoring Children’s Right to Play Outside, Professor Rivkin makes numerous presentations on children and the natural environment. Her research interests include outdoor play, environmental education and community organization.

Emergency Health Services

Rick Bissell
Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director and Director for the Center for Emergency Education and Disaster Research (CEEDR)
Professor Bissell has most recently been studying potential health and human well-being impacts due to climate change including increased storm intensity, increased drought, sea water rise, changes in food production capacity, loss of arable land and potable water where needed and others. His research interests include emergency public health, disaster epidemiology, emergency management and EMS research.

Environment and Ecology

Joel Baker
Adjunct Professor, College of Engineering and Information Technology Professor,
Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Professor Baker’s interests include simulation models of exposure and bioaccumulation, exchange rate of agrichemicals and aromatic hydrocarbons in aquatic systems.

Alan Berkowitz
Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Berkowitz’s research interests include physiological ecology of plant-plant interactions, schoolyard ecology, ecology of urban and suburban ecosystems and the long tern growth of students, teachers and schools through ecology education. He is the education team leader for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a long-term ecological research project studying human settlements as ecosystems in Baltimore.

Dawn Biehler
Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Biehler studies urban environmental history, health geography and environmental justice.

Brian Bradley
Professor, Biological Science 
Professor Bradley studies diagnostic and environmental proteomics with particular focus on the expression of specific sets of proteins in response to environmental conditions.

Tim Brennan
Professor of Public Policy
Professor Brennan is a nationally known advocate for market-based solutions to global warming.

Erle Ellis
Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Ellis is an expert on the ecology of human-managed landscapes and their changes at local, regional and global scales. He has been investigating long-term environmental changes in rural China since 1992 and in urban and suburban Baltimore since 2000. His recent work characterizes global patterns of human-altered ecosystems (anthropogenic biomes).

Jeff Halverson
Research Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Halverson is associate director of academics for the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) (UMBC/NASA Goddard). He works with researchers from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on how tropical weather systems develop into hurricanes and whether climate change is a factor. His research includes piloting planes into hurricane systems.

Ray Hoff
Professor of Physics
Professor Hoff directs two NASA Goddard collaborative research centers at UMBC – the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology (JCET) and Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center (GEST). He has advised NASA on space shuttle experiments and has over 30 years of experience in research on atmospheric pollution and its impact on climate. Hoff’s research group publishes the “Smog Blog,” a daily online analysis of U.S. air quality.

Sujay Kaushal
Assistant Professor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory
Professor Kaushal studies ecosystem ecology, land use/climate change, restoration ecology, low impact development, environmental applications of isotopic tracers, organic matter dynamics, aquatic ecosystems and paleoecology.

Virginia McConnell
Professor of Economics
An environmental economist who focuses on transportation issues, Professor McConnell is an authority on the impact of politics to reduce air pollution through vehicle emissions regulations, inspection and maintenance programs, fuel regulations, emission taxes and land-use changes.

Kevin Omland
Research Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Omland’s research interests include evolution, molecular systematics and avian behavior/ecology.

Sandy Parker
Chair and Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Parker’s research is focused on the evolution of public lands (state forests and state parks) in Maryland and the policy surrounding those lands.

Richard Pouyat
Team Leader and Research Forester, United States Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, Baltimore Long-Term Ecological Research Team;
Adjunct Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems

Professor Pouyat studies forest ecology and restoration; nutrient dynamics; influences of urbanization on ecosystem structure and function; classification, mapping and the interpretation of anthropogenic soils; the integration of ecological, soil and social sciences; and the integration of science and public policy.

Tom Rabenhorst
Senior Lecturer of Geography and Environmental Systems 
Lecturer Rabenhorst maps environmental change, specifically focusing on the impacts of climate change in Maryland. He also researches global warming, the mapping of Maryland state parks and the visualization of anthropogenic biomes.

Geography and Environmental Systems

Mark Bulmer
Research Assistant Professor, JCET and Affiliate Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems 
Professor Bulmer studies volcanology and performs landslide research.

Peter Groffman
Senior Scientist, Institute for Ecosystem Studies and Adjunct Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems
Groffman’s work focuses on terrestrial microbial ecology, dynamics of microbial processes at the landscape level, nutrient cycling and transformation of environmental pollutants in wetlands, forests and agroecosystems and groundwater.

Quintaniay Holifield
Research Soil Scientist, USDA Forest Service
Holifield’s research interests include forest soil chemistry, nutrient cycling and soil microbiology.

Laura Lewis
Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Lewis studies how farms can produce food indefinitely without causing irreversible damage to ecosystem health. Her research has focused on the factors that determine where ecosystems are situated.

Robert Neff
Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Neff’s interest lies in the human dimensions of global change, urban geography and environmental and social justice.

Steward Pickett 
Senior Scientist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Adjunct Professor,
Geography and Environmental Systems

Picket studies the role of spatial heterogeneity in community and landscape structure and dynamics, urban ecosystems, function of landscape boundaries and plant community succession.

Chris Swan
Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Swan is a community and ecosystem ecologist interested in patterns of biodiversity in aquatic ecosystems and the role of species loss on ecosystem processes and services (e.g., water quality). Some of his current projects and those of his graduate students include how loading of nitrogen and road-salt deicers alters food webs and water quality in streams, rivers and storm water detention ponds. Details of his work can be found on his website athttp://userpages.umbc.edu/~cmswan.

Junmei Tang
Assistant Professor, Geography and Environmental Systems
Professor Tang’s interests include geographic information systems, remote sensing, urban landscape ecology, resource management and environmental modeling.

History and Political Science

Jeffrey Davis
Professor, Political Science
Professor Davis concentrates his research efforts on U.S. and comparative judicial politics by examining judicial behavior and the interaction between courts and other political actors in the struggle to enforce human rights standards. In two chapters of his book, Justice across Borders: the Struggle for Human Rights in U.S. Courts, he covers human rights violations arising out of environmental destruction.

John Rennie Short
Professor, Public Policy
Professor Short studies globalization, urban issues, environmental concerns and the history of cartography.

Information Systems

Jeffrey Campbell
Assistant Research Scientist, CUERE
Campbell is a computer and information systems research professional with an expertise in designing computer systems that help people work together more effectively. He has drawn on his undergraduate science majors to design systems to support ecological research. In particular, he combines his database design skills with solid user interface design and effective information visualization techniques to address science-based needs.

Aryya Gangopadhyay
Professor of Information Systems 
Professor Gangopadhyay’s research deals with the exploration and mining of spatial data. His research has been applied to areas such as biological streams, climatology and traffic monitoring. He is an affiliated faculty for the NSF-sponsored Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at CUERE that supports establishment of a multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in “Water in the Urban Environment.”

Laura Hungerford
Professor, University of Maryland Medical School, Department of Epidemiology
Professor Hungerford’s research interests include infectious diseases epidemiology and the application of techniques for geographic information systems, spatial statistical analysis and dynamic modeling in the study of zoonoses and other diseases.

Mathematics and Statistics

Taeryon Choi
Assistant Professor, Statistics
Professor Choi’s research has mainly focused on the use of Bayesian hierarchical modeling, Bayesian testing and model selection, multiple comparisons for solving complex scientific problems. He has participated in cross-disciplinary studies in toxicology, and environmental health assessment and pharmacokinetic modeling from Bayesian perspectives.

Susan Minkoff
Associate Professor, Mathematics 
Professor Minkoff’s work is focused on large-scale scientific computing and numerical analysis of seismic inverse problems, fluid flow and geomechanical deformation modeling and photonics. develops partial differential equation models and algorithms for solving these models to non-invasively image the subsurface and to understand the migration of underground fluids such as oil, natural gas, and carbon dioxide. Applications of her work include carbon sequestration and oil and gas recovery

Nagaraj Neerchal
Chair and Professor, Statistics and Mathematics
Professor Neerchal studies time series analysis, overdispersion models, environmental statistics and data analysis.

Bimal K. Sinha
Professor, Statistics
Professor Sinha studies multivariate analysis, statistical inference, linear models, decision theory, robustness and asymptotic theory.

NASA Satellite Monitoring of Global Change

Larrabee Strow
Professor of Physics
Professor Strow helped to design and calibrate the Atmospheric Infared Sounder, a highly precise instrument in AQUA, a $2-billion satellite that monitors long-term global change in the Earth’s atmosphere and climate. He is a fellow with UMBC’s Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology.

Photonics, Fiber Optics and Lasers

Anthony Johnson
Professor of Physics and Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Professor Johnson is an expert on photonics (the science of light), fiber optics and lasers. He studies future applications for environmental and other markets. He is deputy director of  the NSF Engineering Research Center on Mid-Infared Technologies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) and director of UMBC’s Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR). He holds four U.S. patents and is a fellow of the Optical Society of Americ, IEEE, American Association for the Advancement of Science and a charter fellow of the National Society of Black Physicists.

Recycling and Computer Engineering

Gregory Payne
Professor of Chemical/Biochemical Engineering
Professor Payne’s lab studies how renewable resources and natural systems can be more fully integrated into chemical manufacturing. He is working with private companies and state officials to convert wastes generated from Maryland’s crab-packing industry into the value-added, environmentally friendly polymer known as chitosan, which researchers hope can replace less environmentally friendly synthetic polymers.

Supercomputing for Modeling Weather/Climate

Milt Halem
Research Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Professor Halem is director of the Multicore Computing Center, a collaborative effort between IBM and UMBC to use networks of the super-computer-on-a-chip technology found in Sony Playstation 3 for research related to weather/climate change prediction, among other uses. The former chief information officer for NASA Goddard, his numerous career awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the agency’s highest honor.