Susquehanna River Initiative

Bucknell University Environmental Center

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Jessica T. Newlin, Ph.D., P.E.
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Jessica T. Newlin, Ph.D., P.E.
Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jessica has an excellent background in civil and environmental engineering and is passionate about studying fluvial systems, numerical modeling of hydrologic and hydraulic systems, and the connections between groundwater and surface water bodies, especially wetlands and streams. She is a core faculty member of the Susquehanna River Initiative, helping shape the vision and mission of the team and creating new teaching and research opportunities for faculty and students.

Jessica has been overseeing the development of a mobile river instrumentation unit, complete with a suite of flow velocity and suspended sediment and bed load sediment sampling gear. Her research is shedding light on the natural history of the Susquehanna River as well as the fingerprint of humans on its tributary watershed and the legacy of logging, canals and railroads, coal, and natural gas industries.

Jessica teaches a variety of watershed-based engineering courses, including river mechanics, sedimentation engineering, and groundwater mechanics class. She is a devoted teacher and scholar who takes her classes into the field for hands-on field-based learning. Her students have installed instruments on campus drainages to monitor flow of water and sediment.

Jessica frequently presents her research at regional and national meeting of scientific and engineering organizations, including the American Water Resources Association (AWRA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). She collaborates with engineers and researchers in a number of agencies including the U.S. Geological Survey, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and Susquehanna River Heartland Coalition for Environmental Studies.

research interests
  • Hydraulics and geomorphology of rivers and streams
  • Effects of hydraulic structures on stream channel response
  • Management and maintenance of stream channels near bridge crossings
  • Groundwater and surface water interactions in rivers, streams, and wetlands
selected publications
NEWLIN, Jessica T., and Patil, G.P. 2010. Application of partial order to bridge engineering, stream channel assessment, and infrastructure management, Environmental and Ecological Statistics, v. 17, pp. 437-454, doi: 10.1007/s10651-010-0162-8.

Johnson, P.A., Sheeder, S., and
NEWLIN, Jessica T., 2010. Waterway transitions an US bridges, Water and Environment Journal, v. 24, pp. 274-281.

NEWLIN, Jessica T., and Johnson, P.A., 2009. Adaptive management of stream channel maintenance at bridge crossings in the Northern Tier region, Pennsylvania, Journal of American Water Resources Association, v. 45, no. 5, pp.1197-1208.

NEWLIN, Jessica T., and Bhat, K. Sham, 2007. Identification and prioritization of stream channel maintenance needs at bridge crossings, International Bridge Conference, Pittsburgh, PA. (James D. Cooper Student Paper Award)

Harvey, J.W.,
NEWLIN, Jessica T., and Krupa, S.L., 2006. Modeling decadal timescale interactions between surface water and ground water in the central Everglades, Florida, USA, Journal of Hydrology, v. 320, p. 400-420.

NEWLIN, Jessica T. and others, 2006. Penn State cross-disciplinary classroom in statistical ecology and environmental statistics, Environmental and Ecological Statistics, v. 13, p. 353-363. (invited contribution)

Harvey, J.W., Saiers, J.E., and
NEWLIN, Jessica T., 2005. Solute Transport and storage mechanisms in wetlands of the Everglades, south Florida, Water Resources Research, 41, W05009, doi: 10.1029/2004WR003507.
professional presentations
NEWLIN, Jessica T., HAYES, Benjamin R., an YEE, Kayla*, 2013. Morphologic Investigation of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in North-Central Pennsylvania, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Cincinnati, OH, May 19-23, 2013.

HAYES, Benjamin R.; NEWLIN, Jessica T.; MCTAMMANY, Matthew; LANGDON, Kevin; and REESE, Sean P., 2012. Monitoring of Water Quality and Flow Hydraulics on the Susquehanna River in Central Pennsylvania, American Society of Civil Engineers Hydraulic Measurement and Experimental Methods Conference, Snowbird, UT, August 12-15.

HAYES, Benjamin R. and NEWLIN, Jessica T., 2012. Use of Hydro-Acoustics in Undergraduate Teaching and Research: Measuring Flow Hydraulics, River Bedforms, and Sediment Discharge in the Susquehanna Watershed, North-Central Pennsylvania, Joint U.S. Geological Survey and Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences Workshop on Sediment-Hydroacoustics, National ConservationTraining Center, Shepherdstown, WV, March 5-7.

SCHULTZ, Brian P.* and NEWLIN, J.T. 2010.  White Deer Creek, PA:  Implications for Understanding Bedload Transport at Bridge Crossings.  American Water Resources Association Annual Conference Proceedings, Philadelphia, PA, November 1-4, 2010.

NEWLIN, J.T., and PATIL, G.P. 2010.  Application of partial order to stream channel assessment and bridge infrastructure management.  In JSM Proceedings, Statistical Computing Section.  Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association.

NEWLIN, J.T., Meyers, W.L., Patil, G.P., and Joshi, S.W. 2010.  Improving transparency of bridge condition for decision -making and analysis in bridge management.  In Bridge Maintenance, Safety, Management, and Life-Cycle Optimization,  Frangopol, d.M., Sause, R, and Kusko, C.S. (eds).  Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management, Philadelphia, PA, July 11-15, 2010.

STODART, B.B.*, and
NEWLIN, J.T. 2010.  Use of bendway weirs in gravel-bed streams to reduce sediment deposition near bridge crossings.  Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010, American Society of Civil Engineers, Providence, RI, May 16-20, 2010.

NEWLIN, J.T., JOHNSON, P.A., MILLER, A.C., and FECKO, K.R., 2008.  Sediment transport characterization for bridge crossing design or maintenance.  American Water Resources Association 2008 Annual Water Resources Conference, New Orleans, LA, Nov. 17-20, 2008. 

* Bucknell student
professional memberships
  • American Society of Civil Engineers
  • American Water Resources Association
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • Society of Women Engineers. 
educational background
BS Civil Engineering
Bucknell University, 1998

MS Civil Engineering
University of California - Davis, 2001

PhD Civil Engineering
Penn State University, 2007

teaching experience
Bucknell University

Penn State University

University of California, Davis

courses taught
Water Resources Engineering
CENG 320

Engineering Computations
ENGR 212

The Global Engineer (Water Focus)
ENGR 291

River Mechanics
CENG 422

Groundwater Mechanics
CENG 425

Sedimentation Engineering
CENG 429

Understanding the hydraulics of water and sediment flow in rivers and streams - is critical to understanding the aquatic habitat and management of these resources. I am fascinated by the inter-related complexities of sediment dynamics, flow, habitat, and infrastructure.

The Susquehanna River provides a great opportunity and motivation for continuing to investigate these complex environments.

Jessica Newlin
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