Professor and Chair, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Townes 119D

  • Current disciplinary research interests

      The response of nitrogen and carbon cycling in streams, ponds, groundwater to urbanization of the landscape
      Biogeochemistry of agricultural soil water
      Effect of intensive grazing practices on soil health in the Upstate of South Carolina using organic C and N concentrations as an indicator

  • Interest in connecting sustainability to research

      I’m interested in understanding how water quality and water supply constrain population and economic growth in the upstate region. Also, as a whole, I’m interested in thinking about how resilient the Upstate region will be if faced with energy price spikes or energy limitations. Could the Upstate feed itself? Do we have enough water to allow for growth? What would happen in the case of severe oil shortages (thinking of the unavailability of fuel after Hurricane Katrina)? Is a combination of solar and wind power enough to power the upstate?  Can we develop and use sustainability indicators to determine the current level of sustainability in the Upstate region and whether we are moving towards or away from a sustainable standard of living? I'm also interested in the issue of degrowth, the concept that the wealthiest 20% of the global population should significantly decrease consumption of resources so the other 80% of the global population can consume enough to have a dignified standard of living.

  • Center-funded research projects

      2012: Organic matter sequestration in intensively grazed pastures: A source of fertility and sink for atmospheric CO2?  Student Research Assistant: Claire Campbell '13

  • Sustainability courses taught
      • Environmental Science
      • Environmental Systems
      • Environment and Society
      • Dynamic Systems Modeling

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