A project proposal submitted by IGC graduate student, Tony Timpano, to the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining has been successful! This funding will support one full-time research associate for 12 months and one graduate student for two semesters to continue research on salt pollution (salinization) and selenium in headwater streams affected by coal mining in VA and WVA. Congratulations, Tony!

Stream Ecosystem Response to Mining-Induced Salinization in Appalachia

  • Assess long-term temporal patterns of chemical and biological changes in salinized Appalachian headwater streams.
  • Determine influences of mining-induced salinity on leaf breakdown, a key carbon-processing function in Appalachian headwater streams.
  • Investigate trophic transfer and bioaccumulation of selenium and other trace elements as a potential mechanism for aquatic- life effects that are commonly observed in headwater streams salinized by coal mining.