All events are in Central time unless specified.


10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Virtual Seminar Series
Great Plains Water Quality Observations and Research – 10 am – 11 am

Presenter: Dr. Daniel D. Snow, Nebraska Water Center

Water quality is defined by physical, chemical and biological components affecting intended use. Our ability to measure substances has evolved as is the demand for freshwater has steadily increased over the past several decades. Freshwater suitable for multiple uses is unevenly distributed and depends on annual precipitation and aquifers, such as the High Plains Aquifer system providing abundant groundwater which supports an agriculture-based economy.

Agricultural activities have both depended on these freshwater sources and also led to widespread contamination both in surface and groundwater. Shallow groundwater underlying intensively irrigated regions is particularly vulnerable to increasing concentrations of dissolved solids, nitrate and pesticide residues.

Overapplication of nitrogen fertilizers, together with inefficient irrigation practices likely has led to an accumulation of nitrate and other contaminants in groundwater across the Great Plains. Ongoing research is leading to a better understanding of what is needed to control agrichemical leaching and minimize impacts to water quality.

Dr. Dan Snow BIO

Daniel D. Snow is a Research Professor, and Director of the Water Sciences Laboratory, a part of the Nebraska Water Center and Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska. He holds degrees in geology and geochemistry, including a PhD from the University of Nebraska (1996), a M.S. from Louisiana State University (1988), and a B.S. degree from Missouri State (1982).

Over the past 30 years, his research interests and experience has focused on the studying the environmental fate of emerging contaminants and agrichemicals in ground and surface water. He directs staff and students in the development of analytical methods using advanced mass spectrometry technologies to better understand and protect water resources. Funding supporting this research comes from a variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Geological Survey, US Department of Agriculture, US Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as numerous state and local agencies.

The results of this research have been published in over 200 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. He holds an academic appointment in the University of Nebraska School of Natural Resources.

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