Category Archives: Project 4 (Fate & Transport)

PROTECT Study shows widespread presence of phthalates from multiple sources in karst aquifers in Puerto Rico

Phthalates are widely used in many consumer products; DEHP is the most frequently used plasticizer in the market. Their extensive use results in spatially-widespread sources that are difficult to identify. Their presence in groundwater is related to land use patterns and is influenced by hydrogeologic characteristics. Phthalate contamination is important to evaluate in eogenetic karst […]

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How important are subsurface sediments to the overall function of karst aquifers?

All aquifers contain a “matrix” – the solid component through which the water flows – but karst aquifers also contain sediments that can move dynamically between mobile (readily transported) and stationary (stored) pools. Both pools of sediments can influence contaminant mobility and storage as well as hinder or enhance remediation efforts. PROTECT Researchers & Trainees […]

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PROTECT Project 4 Leader Ingrid Padilla to Participate in International Karst Research Project

PROTECT Project 4 leader Dr. Ingrid Padilla is collaborating in a new international research project, financed by the German Science Foundation, to assess the effect of climate change and extreme events on infiltration, recharge, and availability of water resources in karst regions. The project “Global Assessment of Water Stress in Karst Regions in a Changing […]

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PROTECT Trainee Norma Torres Featured in SRP Newsletter

The July Edition of the SRP Newsletter “Trainee Spotlight” features PROTECT Project 4 trainee Norma Torres, highlighting her work with Dr. Ingrid Padilla on contaminant distribution in karst aquifers. Norma has been with PROTECT since 2011, during which time she has received two Individual Development Plan Awards from PROTECT as well as the prestigious Ford […]

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Cave Sediments & Hurricanes: Digging into the Past

Puerto Rico is finally starting to recover from Hurricane Maria, but the huge storm may continue to influence the cave and karst systems for generations. A group of PROTECT researchers met in Puerto Rico in July to collect sediment samples from a cave and spring to start addressing this question. Caves can trap and store […]

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PROTECT Researcher Dorothy Vesper Elected as GSA Fellow

In May 2018, PROTECT Project 4 researcher Dorothy Vesper was elected as a Geological Society of America Fellow. New GSA Fellows are nominated by existing Fellows in recognition of their contributions to the field of geoscience, and are elected during the spring GSA Council meeting. Dr. Vesper was nominated by Madeline Schreiber of Virginia Tech […]

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PROTECT Team Members Attend the 15th “Sinkholes Meeting”

Current and past members of PROTECT attended the 15th “Sinkholes Meeting” (15th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst) in Shephardstown, WV, during April 2018. The Sinkholes Meeting is one of the oldest interdisciplinary conferences focused on karst and the associated issues. The conference proceedings includes blind, peer-reviewed manuscripts for publication. […]

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Spatiotemporal assessment of CVOC contamination in karst groundwater sources and exposure at tap water point of use in Puerto Rico

The “Trainee Publication Spotlight Series” aims to provide PROTECT trainees with opportunities to practice translating their research in a manner that would be understandable to non-scientific laypeople. Today’s trainee spotlight was written by Norma I. Torres on the publication “Spatiotemporal assessment of CVOC contamination in karst groundwater sources and exposure at tap water point of […]

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PROTECT Trainee Norma Torres Awarded Ford Fellowship

Norma I. Torres, PROTECT trainee at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, has been selected to receive the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, which aims to increase diversity in U.S. higher education faculty. The year-long fellowship is administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Chosen out of over […]

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Trainee Opportunity: Apply to be a Karst Hydrology Intern with the Geological Society of America

Position Title: Karst Hydrology Intern Position Type: GIP Intern Primary natural resource discipline: Water resources Location: Harrison, Arkansas PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND WORK PRODUCTS Position Description: Buffalo National River is searching for a well-rounded individual who is interested in being part of an interdisciplinary team of natural resource scientists working to solve real-world water quality issues in a […]

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PROTECT Project 4 Team Members Present at AGU Conference in New Orleans

PROTECT Project 4 Leader Dr. Ingrid Padilla and several of her student trainees attended and presented at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Conference that was held in New Orleans, Louisiana from December 11th-15th, 2017. The AGU works to bring together “a community of Earth and space scientists that collaboratively advances and communicates science and […]

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Padilla Presents PROTECT Research at International Society of Exposure Science Conference

From October 17-20, 2017, Dr. Ingrid Padilla, PROTECT Project 4 Leader, attended the 27th Annual Conference of the International Society of Exposure Science (ISES), where she presented on the “Influence of Hydrogeological Factors on Exposure to Emerging Contaminant in Karst Environments.” The 3-day long conference was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, and featured approximately 600 […]

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Padilla, Project 4 Leader, Presents at the University of Rouen, France

From May 14th-27th, 2017, Dr. Ingrid Padilla, leader of PROTECT’s Project 4, was a visiting scholar at the University of Rouen located in Normandy, France. The objective of the visit was to establish collaborative work with leading hydrologists and microbiologists on karst and public health issues. Team members of the University of Rouen were particularly […]

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PROTECT Team Improves Modeling of Regional Groundwater Flow in Puerto Rico Using Drainage Features

A recent publication by the PROTECT Team revealed interesting findings on how drainage features impact groundwater flow in karst aquifers in Northern Puerto Rico. In karst terrains, subsurface conduit networks with unknown characteristics, and surface features (such as springs, rivers, lagoons and wetlands) act as drains for the karst aquifers, thus impacting regional groundwater flow […]

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2017 Check-In: PROTECT Develops Deeper Understanding of Contaminant Transport in Karst Aquifers

PROTECT Project 4 has continued working to understand the ways in which contaminants move in karst aquifers, an effort that has taken the form of laboratory and field experiments as well as historical record evaluations. This year, laboratory models have shown that the transport of dissolved Trichloroethylene (TCE), a harmful chemical compound commonly used as […]

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PROTECT Trainees Vilda Rivera and Norma Torres Present at IAH Conference in Montpellier, France

On September 27th, 2016, PROTECT Project 4 trainees Vilda Rivera and Norma Torres presented at the 43rd International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Congress in Montpellier, France. The talk by Rivera and Torres, “Monitoring and Assessment of Anthropogenic Contaminant Distributions in Karst Systems” was a part of the Karst Aquifers Session being held at the conference. […]

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Karst Conference Mentioned in September Issue of Eos

Featured in the September 1st issue of Eos: Earth and Space Science News was the PROTECT-sponsored conference “Karst, Groundwater Contamination, & Public Health: Moving Beyond Case Studies,” an event held in late January in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In addition to being sponsored by PROTECT, the conference was supported by the non-profit organization Karst Waters […]

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Winners Selected for PROTECT Trainee Individual Development Plan Awards

Congratulations to our 2016 PROTECT Trainee Individual Development Plan (IDP) Award winners for their successful efforts in enhancing their extracurricular experiences and increasing their professional skills. Winners will be provided with a $1,500 stipend to be used towards attending a conference of their choice from a list of pre-approved options. The winners are:   Nerida […]

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PROTECT Trainee Arshley Rey To Intern with EPA Region 2

PROTECT Project 4 Trainee Arshley Rey has been selected for a summer internship with the U.S. EPA Region 2 lab at the Edison Environmental Center, located in Edison, NJ. Under the supervision of John Bourbon, she will work primarily in the Metals lab to analyze samples for the presence of zinc, magnesium, lead, and other […]

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Trainee Nerida de Jesus Presents at 10th National Monitoring Conference

Project 4 Trainee Nerida de Jesus presented research at the 10th National Monitoring Conference in Tampa, FL, on May 2-6, 2016. The conference, sponsored by the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, brought together over 700 attendees from academia, federal and local government, and industry for discussions and panels focusing around the theme of “Working Together […]

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Dr. Ingrid Padilla Appointed Member of Navy Research Advisory Committee

Dr. Ingrid Padilla, Project 4 Leader, has been appointed a member of the Navy Research Advisory Committee (NRAC), a civilian scientific advisory group that provides objective scientific analyses to the U.S. Navy. The NRAC advises and provides recommendations to the Secretary of the Navy, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, […]

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Padilla Receives Distinguished Professor Award in Civil Engineering at UPRM

Dr. Ingrid Padilla, PROTECT Project 4 Leader, has received the 2014 Distinguished Professor Award in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. The award honors her outstanding teaching, research, and service contribution to the institution. At PROTECT, Dr. Padilla investigates the fate and transport processes that control the temporal and spatial distribution of contaminants in […]

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Trainee Carmona de Jesus Receives K.C. Donnelly Externship

PROTECT is proud to announce that Marvic Carmona de Jesus has been awarded a K.C. Donnelly externship!  Mr. Carmona is a graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, working towards his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering.  His adviser, Prof. Ingrid Padilla, leads PROTECT’s […]

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Over 60 attend 5th annual PROTECT retreat in Dorado, Puerto Rico

On January 16th and 17th, PROTECT researchers, trainees, administrators, advisers, colleagues and guests gathered at the Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar in Dorado, Puerto Rico for the 5th annual PROTECT retreat to discuss research progress. This year’s theme focused on celebrating trainee achievements; over 20 trainees from across the five participating universities were in attendance. […]

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PROTECT at the 2014 SACNAS Conference in Los Angeles

PROTECT Project 4‘s Professor Ingrid Padilla and trainees recently participated in the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) in Los Angeles, California on October 15-18. Professor Padilla was actively involved in the conference, chairing a session entitled “Conversations with Scientists in Engineering” and serving as […]

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PROTECT researcher Vesper presents to Pittsburgh Geological Society

PROTECT researcher Dorothy Vesper of West Virginia University presented to 88 scientists at a dinner hosted by the Pittsburgh Geological Society on October 15, 2014. Her talk, entitled “Contaminant Movement in Karst: What We Think We Know,” highlighted the PROTECT Center, specifically regarding fate and transport of contaminants within karst aquifers, the focus of Project […]

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PROTECT Trainee de Jesus Receives EPA GRO Undergraduate Fellowship

PROTECT trainee Nerida de Jesus (Project 4) recently received an EPA GRO Undergraduate Fellowship. Her proposal, “Identifying Sanitation Systems Ramifications on Water Quality for Rural Non-PRASA Communities in Puerto Rico,” stems from PROTECT and integrates EPA Region 2 priorities for Puerto Rico. She will work with a Non-PRASA community looking at general water quality parameters […]

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PROTECT Center well-represented at the EPA Region 2 Caribbean Science Workshop

The PROTECT Center was well-represented at the recent EPA Region 2 Caribbean Science Consortium/Non-PRASA Systems Workshop that was held in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 11th and 12th, 2014. Afterwards, many people, including from EPA and local agencies, expressed how impressed they were with the programs. The first day of the conference focused on […]

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PROTECT Trainee Cotto Receives Outstanding Poster Award

Irmarie Cotto Ramos, PROTECT Trainee at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez (Project 4), recently attended the “Fourth International Conference on Emerging Contaminants in the Environment (EmCon2014)”  held in Iowa City on August 19-22, 2014. She received an outstanding poster award for her presentation on “Detection and Monitoring of Phthalates in Source Groundwater”. We are […]

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June 2014 Spotlight: PROTECT awarded five-year renewal grant

PROTECT has received a five-year, $13.5 million renewal award from the National Institutes of Health to continue its interdisciplinary investigation into the complex relationship between contamination and preterm birth. Click here to access the full article.

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PROTECT researchers present EPA CLU-IN Webinar

PROTECT researchers Ingrid Padilla, PhD, Project 4 Leader, and David Kaeli, PhD, Core D Leader, presented a CLU-IN Webinar, hosted by the EPA and sponsored by the NIEHS Superfund Research Program. Their presentation, titled, “Application of the PROTECT Data Management System to Assess Relationships Between Environmental Chemical Exposure and Population Birth Outcomes in Northern Puerto Rico,” focused on the use of […]

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PROTECT Trainees and Researchers Presented at the SETAC Annual Meeting in November, 2013

PROTECT Trainees and Researchers presented at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America 34th Annual Meeting, on November 17th – 21st in Nashville, TN. The SETAC Annual Meeting is a 5-day event with training and learning opportunities for over 2,000 scientists, assessors, regulators and managers to gain knowledge and skills in the latest […]

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PROTECT Trainee Norma Torres wins Scholarship from Puerto Rico Society of Engineers

PROTECT trainee Norma Torres (UPRM, Project 4) has won a scholarship from the Puerto Rico Society of Engineers, the first ever of its kind for an environmental engineer. She will formally receive the award during a ceremony on November 24, 2013. Congratulations Norma!

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PROTECT attends the SRP annual meeting

21 members of PROTECT (trainees, administrators and faculty) attended this year’s SRP meeting in Baton Rouge. In addition to presenting posters, PROTECT director Akram Alshawabkeh and trainee postdoc Kelly Hogan co-moderated the session on “Risks of Pollutants during Early Life Exposures”. Check out the pictures below from the meeting.

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PROTECT at SACNAS

The PROTECT team is at SACNAS 2013 in San Antonio TX! In addition to Training Core Executive Director Kristin Hicks, UPRM students Angel Anaya, Irmarie Cotto and Norma Torres are also attending (pictures of Norma and Irmarie are below.)

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PROTECT UPRM Trainee wins NSF Fellowship

Norma Torres Torres, a Masters student working on PROTECT Project 4, has won a prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year.  Congratulations Norma!!

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Dorothy Vesper gives poster presentation at IAH Congress

PROTECT Researcher, Professor Dorothy Vesper of the Dept. of Geology at West Virginia University presented a poster on the “Development of Hydrogel Tracer Beads as Proxies for NAPL Contamination in Karst Aquifers” at the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Congress on September 16 – 21, 2012. Her poster can be found here.

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PROTECT Trainee wins Karst Scholarship

Amanda Laskoskie, a PROTECT Trainee pursuing her Master’s at West Virginia University, was recently awarded with the 2012 Karst Waters Institute’s William L. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science Award.  The award was presented to her advisor, Dr. Dorothy Vesper, on Amanda’s behalf at a public ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at the […]

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PROTECT Graduate Student wins the KC Donnelly Externship award

PROTECT graduate student Celys Irizarry was awarded with the KC Donnelly Externship. This award is given by the National Institutes of Health Sciences Superfund Research Program to promote transdisciplinary and translational research among early investigators and improve the quality of the educational and training environment. Celys is currently working on her master’s degree in Environmental […]

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PROTECT WVU Researchers at Buckeye Cave Again!

PROTECT researchers Prof. Dorothy Vesper and graduate student Amanda Laskoskie (West Virginia University) recently took another trip to Buckeye Cave (Amanda’s local research site that she uses to develop the models that will be used to understand how pollutants may travel through Puerto Rico’s aquifers.) At this trip, John and Amanda got the ISCO automated […]

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PROTECT Researchers Highlighted at Puerto Rico Water & Env’t Association Conference

UPRM Professor and Project 4 leader Ingrid Padilla recently spoke at the Puerto Rico Water & Environment Association 2011 Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition, held on May 16-20, 2011.  Her talk, entitled “Relating Source-Water Outcomes and Adverse Birth Effects” was one of the invited talks of the conference, which was sponsored by the Puerto Rico Health Department, the EPA, […]

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WVU researchers visit local research site, Buckeye Cave

PROTECT researchers Prof. Dorothy Vesper and graduate student Amanda Laskoskie (West Virginia University) recently took a trip to Buckeye Cave in West Virginia. Buckeye Cave, formed from the same geological processes as the karst (limestone) aquifers in Puerto Rico, is Amanda’s local research site that she uses to develop the models that will be used […]

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Dorothy Vesper and student highlighted in WVU Magazine

PROTECT Researcher Dorothy Vesper (Projects 4 and 5) was highlighted in a recent article in the WVU College of Arts and Sciences Magazine.  The magazine cover features John Tudek, Dorothy’s student working on the PROTECT project.  Click here to download a PDF of the article or here to look at the entire publication.

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