Wetland and groundwater hydrology study at Tifft Nature Preserve

Advisor: Dr. Chris Lowry (UB Department of Geology)
Other Mentors: David Spiering (UB Department of Geography, Tifft Nature Preserve) , Dr.Alan Rabideau (UB Civil. Structural, and Environmental Engineering)
Primary Activities:Field work, GIS work, data analysis

Project Summary:Tifft Nature Preserve is a former brownfield site that was turned into a nature preserve in the 1970s.  Despite the industrial history of the site, a 30 hectare remnant wetland remains that provides excellent habitat for native plants and wildlife.  Management of the wetland is a priority for the preserve and current management goals are to maintain existing habitat, control non-native invasive species, and assess the possibility of restoring wetland hydrology and vegetation to areas adjacent to the wetland.  To achieve these goals a quantification of the water budget for the wetland is needed.  The REU student will test hypotheses about the role of groundwater on wetland hydrology by collecting and analyzing groundwater data using several methods from monitoring wells on site in the summer of 2014.  These data will be combined with wetland water level data, precipitation data (either collected on site or locally), as well as existing data on topography, bathymetry, surface water flows.  Environmental remediation reports and documents from the preserve and surrounding properties may also be researched for information to better understand the site hydrology.  Field work will be up to half of the project, along with other work consisting of ArcGIS mapping, data analysis, and document research.  The REU student will be responsible for transportation to Tifft Nature Preserve located in South Buffalo for field work.

Skills/Courses Recommended: Understanding of wetland and groundwater hydrologic processes, ArcGIS experience
Anticipated Conference Presentation(s): Great Lake Research Consortium

University at Buffalo