Department of Environmental Science
The interdisciplinary composition of DES faculty, including physical and social scientists, results in a wide variety of research objectives and needs. Students are often a critical part of this research.
Examples of DES Research:
- Assessing current heavy metal, PCB and PAH levels in Long Creek and a reference stream as a precursor to a larger study involving up to five urban impaired streams (UISs) and three reference streams in southern Maine.
- Assessing the impact of convenience and knowledge on household recycling rates of compact fluorescent lights.
- Development of novel methods for fine particle analysis to establish the appropriate methodologies and assess the need/market for indoor air quality sampling from Residential Wood Combustion (RWC) in Maine.
- Continue to survey heavy metal contamination in residential urban soils in New England, and expand to include analyses of semi-volatile organics
- Examine the relationship between degree of soil contamination, historical land use, and socioeconomic factors such as demographics and economics
- Examining the efficacy of mandatory retail take back of household hazardous waste collection
- Examine the relationship between metals and semi-volatile organic composition of suspended particulates and irritation responses in human lung cells.
- Examine the relationship between environmental asthma triggers and the public school environment.
- Examine the relationship between environmental asthma triggers and public school construction.
- To identify and analyze model, innovative policies related to solid, electronic, and hazardous waste management. A sub-component of this area of research interest is examining the influence of risk, science, politics, and economics on environmental policy development, formulation, and implementation.
- To understand the relationship between site plans and growth management with special emphasis on the use of stream buffers for riparian protection.
- Studying the approach to shared responsibility for managing electronic waste and the municipal waste attributes’ effects on household recycling rates of e-waste.
- The impact of recycling containers on household participation and recycling rates in North America
- To examine the land use and historical archaeology of Malaga Island, a historical African-American community in Casco Bay originally comprised of freed slaves.
- Researching local environmental change as a result of cultural and environmental factors.
- Develop an Environmental Institute to house the research projects and serve as a teaching and service resource for the region.
- To examine the linkages between freshwater and marine systems through diadromous fishes.
- Facilitating the student-fueled restoration and monitoring of Sherman Marsh, Newcastle, Maine.