Dr. Alison W. Watts

 Dr. Alison Watts


Dr. Alison W. Watts

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

248 Gregg Hall
Durham, NH 03824

T: 603 862 0585
F: 603 862 3957







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Full Resume (pdf)





Related Departments


UNH Stormwater Center


Environmental Research Group


Civil Engineering







Dr. Watts is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, Environmental Research Group, working on research projects at the UNH Stormwater Center, contaminant transport, and integrated watershed management.  Dr. Watts’s main research interest include working with municipal and watershed organizations to develop adaptive management strategies for water resources threatened by land use and climate change, stormwater treatment and characteristics, nutrient loading in water bodies, and PAH transport in wetland and aquatic systems. Specific current research areas are:

Collaborative Integrated Watershed Planning.  Dr. Watts is currently involved in several projects that engage local decision makers in aspects of watershed planning and implementation of stormwater management.  Projects include; 1) building capacity for implementation of green infrastructure in local municipalities through demonstrations, outreach and training, and 2) collaborative watershed planning which brings municipalities, watershed groups and regulators together to develop effective and practicable nutrient reductions plans.

Climate Change Impacts to Water Resources Infrastructure. The US Army Corps of Engineers commissioned this study to a) identify potential mitigation of climate impacts to dams in New England and b) evaluate the impact of climate change on the function and stability of water resource infrastructure.

Coal tar based sealcoat as a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the environment. Stormwater runoff, surface dust, adjacent surface soil and air concentrations were sampled to determine if the use of coal tar based sealant, a common pavement treatment, leads to elevated PAH concentrations. This study found a significant increase in PAH concentration in all media associated with a coal tar sealed parking lot. Results from this work have been incorporated into outreach materials for homeowner education, and legislative action.

Multivariate Exploration of Removal Efficiencies and Storm Characteristics.  The UNHSC collects stormwater samples for chemical analyses, and water quality parameters. Detailed multivariate statistics are used to examine relationships between variables, including storm characteristics, site parameters, co-occurring contaminants, and stormwater system performance.



New Hampshire Lives on Water.  Final report of the New Hampshire Water Sustainability Commission.  http://www.nh.gov/water-sustainability/publications/index.htm. December, 2012.

Subsurface Gravel Wetlands for Stormwater Management. Gunderson, J., Roseen R.M., Ballestero, T.P., Watts, A.W., Houle, J., and Farah K., Stormwater, 13:  8-17. 2012.

Coal-Tar-Based Pavement Sealcoat and PAHs: Implications for the Environment, Human Health, and Stormwater Management. Mahler, B.J., P.C. Van Metre, J. Crane, A.W. Watts, M.  Scoggins, E.S. Williams. Environmental Science and Technology. 46: 3039–3045. 2012.

Examination of Thermal Impacts From Stormwater Best Management Practices. Roseen, R.M., DiGennaro, N., Watts A.W., Ballestero, T.P., Houle, J., and T. Puls.  Final Project report US EPA Region 1, TMDL Program, UNHSC, Durham, NH. 2011

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in stormwater runoff from sealcoated pavements. Watts A. W., T. P. Ballestero, R.R. Roseen, J.H. Houle. Environmental Science and Technology. 44: 8849–8854. 2010.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Released From Sealcoated Parking Lots – A Controlled Field Experiment to Determine if Sealcoat is a Significant Source of PAHs In The Environment. Final Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency GLNPO-4-17.  The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center, Watts, A., Ballestero, T., Houle, J., Puls, T., and S. Mitchell. December 2010.

Final Report of the Commission to Study the Causes, Effects, and Remediation of Siltation in the Great Bay Estuary  (HB 216, Chapter 31:1, Laws of 2007). May 2010.

Uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in salt marsh plants Spartina alterniflora grown in contaminated sediments.  Watts A. W., T. P. Ballestero, and K. H. Gardner.  Chemosphere 62; 1253-1260. 2006.

Soil and Atmospheric Inputs to PAH Concentrations in Salt Marsh Plants. Watts A. W., T. P. Ballestero, K. H. Gardner.  Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 189:253-263. 2008.



Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, University of New Hampshire, 2006               

M.S. in Geology, Arizona State University, 1992               

B.A. in Planetary Science, Mount Holyoke College, 1984                  



Research Assistant Professor, University of New Hampshire, Department of Civil Engineering, Fall 2009-present 

Affiliate Faculty, University of New Hampshire, Environmental Engineering Group, 2006-2009

Post Doctoral Scholar, University of New Hampshire, Environmental Engineering Group, 2006-2007

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, PhD program, University of New Hampshire, 2004-2006

Project Geologist, Weiss Associates, Emeryville, California, 1992–2000

Geologist, Alton Geoscience, Pleasanton, California, 1990–1992


New Hampshire Professional Geologist

California Registered Geologist

California Certified Hydrogeologist