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Student Spotlight

Nathaniel MorsePh.D. Student Profile: Nathaniel Morse

Degree: Earth and Environmental Science
Natural Resources and the Environment
Water Systems Analysis Group, Earth Systems Research Center,
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space

Research Topic: Quantifying the impact of urbanization on N and P inputs, transformations, removal and fluxes in watersheds draining to the Plum Island Estuary

Advisors: Dr. Wilfred Wollheim and Dr. William McDowell

Description of Research

I am interested in understanding the role that river networks play in mitigating nutrient inputs from suburban areas. Previous research has established that higher nutrient inputs impact downstream rivers, lakes and coastal zones by causing eutrophication and harmful algal blooms.  My research is focused on watersheds that drain to the Plum Island Estuary and are part of the Plum Island Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site. I am specifically looking at how in-stream nutrient dynamics in small, headwater streams in suburban neighborhoods compare with similar streams in forested watersheds.  Furthermore, by using the long-term data record for the Ipswich and Parker Rivers, I am exploring how these changes are affecting long term changes in nutrient inputs to the Plum Island Estuary.

Previous Awards and Activities
Selected Presentations and Publications

Morse, N., W. B. Bowden, A. Hackman, C. Pruden, E. Steiner, E. Berger.  2007.  Using sound pressure to estimate reaeration in streams.  Journal of the North American Benthological Society.  26: 28-37.

Dodds, W. K., C. T. Robinson, E. E. Gaiser, G. J. A. Hansen, H. Powell, J. M. Smith, N. B. Morse, S. L. Johnson, S. V. Gregory, T. Bell, T. K. Kratz, W. H. McDowell. 2012. Surprises and Insights from Long-Term Aquatic Datasets and Experiments BioScience 62:709-721.


M.S., Natural Resources (Water Resources), University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, 2010
B.S., Environmental Sciences, Summa cum Laude, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 2005

Related Links

Plum Island LTER:
Water Systems Analysis Group:
LTER Newtork: