Stimulating and facilitating new interdisciplinary, watershed-based scholarship for faculty and students is at the very core of the Watershed Sciences and Engineering program. Some examples of both theoretical and applied research projects underway by WSE faculty and students are shown below.



Macroinvertebrate communities

River health and ecology

Aquatic ecologists Matt McTammany and Sean Reese are studying insect, crayfish, and mussel communities in the Susquehanna River to gain new insight into the river's ecology and overall health.

Read more ...


Forests and Meadows

Native and Invasive Plant Communities

Botanist Chris Martine and students are exploring the forests and meadows throughout the Susquehanna region, including several studies assessing the impact of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed on native riparian plant communities.

Read more ...


Environmental Engineering

Slurry Wall Technology

NSF-sponsored field station underway

Remediating groundwater contamination requires innovative geotechnical engineering solutions. Mike Malusis, Jeff Evans, and Rob Jacob are designing and installing our own instrumented slurry wall that can be used for teaching and research for decades to come.

Read More ...

Catchment Hydrology

The Hydrologic Cycle

Land Surface-Atmosphere Boundary Layer

Richard Crago and students explore the complex dynamics of watershed hydrology and river hydraulics, looking especially at evapotranspiration processes and water budgets in a nonstationary climate

Read more


Stream-landscape connections

Geomorphic controls on stream habitat

Jessica Newlin, Ben Hayes, and Sean Reese are studying Pennsylvania watersheds that have been dammed and logged for two centuries and assessing their impact on native brook trout habitats today.

Read more ...


Watershed Mapping and Modeling

Geospatial Terrain Analyses

Complex geospatial models are being developed to analyze geologic, soils,and hydroclimatic processes on a landscape scale. The models help interpret historic records and predict possible future outcomes."

Read More ...

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Wireless sensor networks

Alan Marchiori is leading teams of computer science and electrical engineering students design and build multi-parameter hydroclimatic sensor networks that use low-cost microprocessors and wireless communication devices to measure and transmit weather, flow, and water quality.

Read more ...

Natural Disasters

Catastrophic Flooding

Climate and fluvial systems in disequilbrium

The September 2011 floods from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee caused catastrophic flood in north-central Pennsylvania. Craig Kochel, Ben Hayes, and Jessica Newlin are studying the impact of such extreme weather events on streams, bridges, and communities.

Read more ...


Abandoned Mine Discharge

Carl Kirby has been studying the geochemistry of the acidic discharge of metal-laden waters from abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania. He is using these findings to design and build limestone wetlands that passively treat the contaminated discharges and improve water quality downstream.

Read more ...


Amphibians in the river

Hellbender biology and conservation

Mizuki Takahashi and students are using aquatic mesocosms and eDNA molecular analyses to study the ecology and evolution of hellbenders and other amphibians. Their work extends from the Susquehanna watershed to other regions around the world.

Read more ...

project profile

Miller Run Stream Restoration

Daylighting streams and creating off-channel wetlands on Bucknell's campus.

"The stream was once diverted underground through a culvert, but now flows through a natural channel shaded by native plants, with wetlands to capture and filter stormwater runoff."

Read More ...



Karst Aquifers and Springs

Ellen Herman is studying the flow of water and sediment from sinkholes and streams, through underground caves, fractures, and aquifer conduits, and back to the surface as springs. A significant portion of the land's surface is underlain by karst aquifers, which are especially vulnerable to pollution.

Read more ...


Water Quality and River Health

Temporal and Spatial Variations

Since 2009 we have been monitoring water quality and flow conditions in the Susquehanna River to assess temporal and spatial variability in the river's metabolism and productivity.

Read more ...

Click on the top menus to view current conditions in the river at Milton or Danville, PA.


Real-Time Water Quality Monitoring

We are monitoring water quality at several locations in the Susquehanna River and developing software and hardware solutions that stream the data back to campus, store it in archival databases, and display it visually in dashboards and websites such as above.

Read More ...


Passive Treatment Systems

Treating agricultural runoff

Matthew Higgins has partnered with the Union County Conservation District to design and construct wetlands that capture runoff from two different farms.

Read more

Restoration Science and Engineering

Gravel Mine Reclamation

Much of the Susquehanna River valley is pock-marked by old gravel pits, used to mine the sand and gravel deposited by the glacio-fluvial outwash deposits. Most are ecologically barren and remain as deep isolated pools. Ben Hayes and Richard Crago are working with a local mining company to actively create wetland habitat in the gravel pit as mining commences.

Read more ...

Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program

Watershed Tools

The Watershed Sciences and Engineering Program at Bucknell University seeks to achieve national distinction for excellence in education and scholarship in science and engineering by incorporating the Susquehanna River watershed as a teaching and research laboratory.

Since 2006, it has been integrating water and the river into the curriculum and across academic disciplines in ways that enrich Bucknell's intellectual environment, promote sustainability and watershed stewardship, and enable the university to act as a catalyst for environmental and cultural progress in the mid-Atlantic region and beyond.

For more information, please contact

Celebrating 10 Years of River Symposiums

2015 River Symposium

10th Annual River Symposium

The River, Its Landscapes
and Our Lives

Ongoing Projects and Research in the Susquehanna Watershed

November 13 -14, 2015

Read More
2014 River Symposium

9th Annual River Symposium

Science and the River

Ongoing Projects and Research in the Susquehanna Watershed

November 21 -22, 2014

Read More
2013 River Symposium

8th Annual River Symposium

A Fragmented System

Dams on the Susquehanna River

October 18-19, 2013

Read More
2012 River Symposium

7th Annual River Symposium

Wasn't That A Mighty Storm!

Flooding in the Susquehanna Watershed

October 12-13, 2012

Read More
2011 River Symposium

6th Annual River Symposium

River Towns in the 21st Century

Supporting local development in the Susquehanna Valley by recognizing regional community assets

October 14-15, 2011

Read More
2010 River Symposium

5th Annual River Symposium

Exploring Our Vital Resource

River Ecological Health
and the Chesapeake Bay

October 22-23, 2010

Read More
2009 River Symposium

4th Annual River Symposium

Cultures at the Confluence

Native Americans, Ecology, and the Susquehanna Valley

September 26, 2009

Read More
2008 River Symposium

3rd Annual River Symposium

The Susquehanna and Agriculture

Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce sediment and nutrient loading to the Chesapeake Bay

September 12 & 13, 2008

Read More
2007 River Symposium

2nd Annual River Symposium

Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Drainage Remediation

Seeking Common Ground Along the Susquehanna

September 28, 2007

Read More
2006 River Symposium

1st Annual River Symposium

From the Branches to the Confluence

The Upper Susquehanna River Basin and its Communities

September 23, 2006

Read More

Places I've Been

The following links are virtual breadcrumbs marking the 27 most recent pages you have visited in If you want to remember a specific page forever click the pin in the top right corner and we will be sure not to replace it. Close this message.