Seminar: "Phosphorus & Nitrogen Biogeochemistry: An Ecohydrologist’s Perspective"

April 4, 2016

"Phosphorus & Nitrogen Biogeochemistry: An Ecohydrologist’s Perspective"

Presented by Dr. Todd Walter Todd Walter
Professor - Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University - Ithaca, New York

Tuesday, April 26 at 3pm
Cargill Building - Room 105


Presentation Abstract:
In upstate NY, little pools of water festoon the landscape every spring and fall and some persist deep into summer.  For the most part, people avoid these areas to keep from getting their shoes muddy.  However, my research group is drawn to these parts of the landscape for their surprisingly important roles in nonpoint source pollution and biogeochemistry.  This presentation will highlight the ecohydrological functioning of areas where soils are naturally prone to saturating and areas where human alterations to the landscape have created saturation prone features like road ditches and storm water detention basins.  We will explore the impacts of saturated soils on phosphorus and nitrogen biogeochemistry at scales ranging from watersheds to genes.

About the Presenter:
Todd Walter is a hydrologist and professor at Cornell University.  He considers his greatest achievement the survival of his own birth.  The arc of his life is a little pathetic.  He gave up a career as a musician after his father pointed out that the difference between a musician and a large pizza is that a large pizza can feed a family of four.  After earning a PhD at Washington State University, he dabbled with the idea of becoming a farmer but he was literally snatched out of an Illinois corn field to teach at the State University of NY at Brockport and Cornell University.  Shortly thereafter, he took a tenure-track position at Montana State Northern, which propelled him to the University of Alaska Southeast; his father refers to these as “directional” schools.  Having settled into an exciting life on the frontier with whales and bears and eagles, a complicated suite of personal coincidences returned him to upstate NY living 400 m from the house where he grew up.  Despite this, he is not a bitter person.

This seminar is free and open to the public.
Refreshments provided.
For additional information, contact