Team STREAM: The Wetland Project–Team Bio
Dr. Amy Hansen, Liz Aguirre, Olivia Cacciatore
Team STREAM — Wetlands Group does work led by Dr. Amy Hanson. Dr. Hansen works across both civil engineering and ecology evolution and behavior. Our work this summer will focus on how fluid flow alters ecological processes and vice versa. Specifically, how to use biological processes to remove excess nutrients, especially nitrate pollution, and improve water quality. Dr. Hansen’s research will focus intently on the nitrogen cycle. We will be working in the Le Sueur River Basin, part of the Mississippi River Basin, which is especially affected by row crop agriculture. The Mississippi River is especially affected by nutrient pollution because it covers such a wide surface area and passes through so much agriculturally converted land that contributes to nitrate pollution because of fertilizers. Our field site will be in a restored wetland area and the results of the work we do this summer will tell us a lot about how much we can mitigate nitrate pollution in the Mississippi at one of the earliest points of pollution. Because wetlands provide so many ecosystem services, including carbon storage and nutrient uptake,, and prevent hypoxic zones in the Gulf of Mexico and other problems associated with nutrient pollution.