Amy Noel-Smith

SL 018

B.S.  Biology, University of Notre Dame, 2002
Second Year, PhD Student

Research Interests: 

“The Effect of Hydraulic Retention Time and Flow Path on Nitrate and Atrazine Attenuation in a Bioretention Swale”

Previous studies have shown that intensive agricultural practices in the Midwest contribute significant levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and herbicides, such as atrazine, to downstream waters.  My research involves testing a bioretention swale for its effectiveness as a best management practice for reducing nitrate and atrazine export from agricultural tile drains in the US Midwest.  The system includes a combination of subsurface (anaerobic) and surface (aerobic) cells with the expectation that these different flow paths will allow for effective transformations of the various contaminants that are normally present in tile discharge. The goal of this study is to identify the biogeochemical processes (sorption, microbial degradation, vegetative uptake) controlling nitrate and atrazine removal, and to experimentally create conditions conducive to the attenuation of these water pollutants by changing the hydraulic retention time.

I am a National Science Foundation GK-12 Graduate Fellow in which I am involved in science outreach programs with Indianapolis area middle and high school students as part of the Discovering the Science of the Environment program with the IUPUI Center for Earth and Environmental Science.  I have brought my research into the K-12 classroom by designing an educational program on nutrients and plant health.

Faculty Advisor: