Dr. Nigel W.T. Quinn


Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering Cornell University

M.S. , Agricultural and Civil Engineering, Iowa State University

B.Sc (Hons) Agricultural Engineering, Cranfield University 

Current Position: 
Group Research Leader - HydroEcological Engineering Advanced Decision Support, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Previous Position: 
Associate Scientist, Department of Civil Engineering, University of California, Merced
Visiting Scientist, Energy Biosciences Institute, University of California, Berkeley
Research Interests: 
  • Application of systems analysis techniques to solving complex water resources problems.
  • Development of decision support systems and simulation models to improve understanding and facilitate negotiation of solutions to current water resource and water quality management issues.
  • Design and installation of telemetered environmental monitoring systems and sensor networks
  • Management of salinity from agriculture and seasonal wetland in the San Joaquin Basin of California
  • Application of algae-based biological treatment for remediation of selenium contaminated agricultural drainage
  • Regional conjunctive use groundwater modeling in the San Joaquin Basin
  • Development of micro-geophysical groundwater logging techniques for mapping groundwater salinity profiles
  • Development and assessment of algae biofuel technologies

A primary research focus during past decade has been on developing decision making tools for assessing the impacts of drainage water quality projects on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley with an emphasis on salinity and selenium drainage. Field research has included investigations of natural selenium in-transit losses in wetland channels used for drainage discharge and application of the concept of real-time water quality management in the San Joaquin Basin of California as a means of improving the scheduling of both agricultural and wetland drainage return flows to coincide with San Joaquin River assimilative capacity. Other agro-ecology projects include the operation and performance testing of an algal-bacterial bioremediation plant for removing selenium from agricultural drain water in a major west-side irrgation district. Groundwater and surface water quality modeling projects have been largely focused on developing a better quantitative understanding of the relationship between irrigation water management and drainage salt and selenium loading to the San Joaquin River. More recent collaborative projects are dealing with water and land resource issues connected with a future potential algae biofuel industry.

1.     Parrott L. and N.W.T. Quinn. 2015. A complex systems approach for multi-objective water quality regulation on     wetland landscapes. Accepted by Ecosphere Journal.
2.     SathreR., H. Breunig, J. Greenblatt1, P. Larsen, E. Masanet, T.McKone, N. Quinn1, C. Scown. 2016.Spatially-explicit water balance implications of carbon capture and sequestration.  Environmental Modelling & Software. 75: 153-162.
3.     Reis S., E. Seto, A. Northcross, N.W.T. Quinn, M. Convertino, R.L. Jones, H.R. Maierg, U. Schlink, S. Steinle, M. Vieno, M.C. Wimberly. 2015. Integrating modelling and smart sensors for environmental and human health. Journal of Environmental Modeling and Software. 74, 238-46. doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2015.06.003
4.     Quinn N.W.T. and J.R. Burns. 2015. Use of a hybrid optical remote sensing classification technique for seasonal wetland habitat degradation assessment resulting from adoption of real-time salinity management practices. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing. 03/2015; 9(1):1-25.
5.     Quinn N.W.T, R. Tassey and J. Wang. 2014. Use of online data and computational resources to implement real-time salinity management - an efficient regulatory alternative to TMDL-mandated waste discharge requirements.  DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7336-6.ch004 In: Handbook of Research on Advancements in Environmental Engineering, Edition: Advances in Environmental Engineering and Green Technologies (AEEGT) Book Series, Chapter: Basin-Scale, Real-Time Salinity Management Using Telemetered Sensor Networks, Publisher: IGI Global, Editors: Nediljka Gaurina-Medjimurec, pp.89-117
6.     Quinn N.W.T. and Olga Epshtein. 2014. Seasonally-Managed Wetland Footprint Delineation and Evapotranspiration Estimation using Landsat ETM and Satellite Imagery. Journal of Environmental Modeling and Software. 04/2014; 54(April):9-23.
7.     Gerard F. LaniakG.F., G. Olchin, J. Goodall, A. Voinov, M. Hill, P. Glynn, G. Whelan, G. Geller, N.W.T. Quinn, M. Blind, S. Peckham,, S. Reaney,N. Gaber, R. Kennedy and  A. Hughes. 2013. Integrated Environmental Modeling: A Vision and Roadmap for the Future. Journal of Environmental Modeling and Software. Environmental Modelling and Software 01/2013; 39:3-23
8.      Hua P., S. Borglin, N.A. Kamennaya, L. Chen, H. Park, L. Mahoney, A. Kijac, G. Shan, L. Krystle, L. ChavarrĂ­a, C. Zhang, N.W.T. Quinn, D. Wemmerc, H. Holman , C. Jansson . 2012. Metabolic phenotyping of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803 engineered for production of alkanes and free fatty acids.  Applied Energy. 01/2012; 102: DOI:10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.08.047.
9.     Rahilly P.J.A., D. Li, Q. Guo, J. Zhu1, R. Ortega, N.W.T. Quinn, and T.C. Harmon.  2012.  Mapping swamp timothy (Cripsis schenoides) seed productivity using spectral values and vegetation indices in managed wetlands.  International Journal of Remote Sensing. 33(16), 4902–4918.
10.   Gardner J. C., N.W.T. Quinn, J. Van Gerpen, and J. Simonpietri.2011.Oilseed and algal oils as biofuel feedstocks. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Position Paper. http://www.swcs.org.  Soil and Water Conservation Society, Sept 30, 2011.
11.   B.S. McIntosh, J.C. Ascough II, M. Twery, J. Chew, A. Elmahdi, D. Haase, J. Harou, D. Hepting, S. Cuddy, A.J. Jakeman, S. Chen, A. Kassahun, S. Lautenbach, K. Matthews, W. Merritt, N.W.T. Quinn, I. Rodriguez-Roda, S. Sieber, M. Stavenga, A. Sulis, J. Ticehurst, M. Volk, M. Wrobel, H. van Delden ,S. El-Sawah. 2011. Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDSS) Development – Challenges and Best Practices. Special Issue, Environmental Modelling and Software.
12.   Quinn N.W.T. 2011.  Contrasts in the use of  information technology for real-time salinity management in the San Joaquin Basin, California, USA and Hunter River Basin,  New South Wales, Australia. Agricultural Water Management.  Vol. 98 (6), p.930-940, Apr 2011.
13.   Quinn N.W.T., R. Ortega and  L. Holm. 2011. Environmental sensor networks and continuous data quality assurance to manage salinity within a highly regulated river basin. Decision Support Systems in Agriculture, Food and the Environment: Trends, Applications and Advances. Nediljka Gaurina-Medjimurec, Editor. IGI Global, ISBN 978-1-4666-7336-6.
14.   QuinnN.W.T., G. Lee and D. Cozad.  2010. Information technology and decision support tools for stakeholder-driven river basin salinity management.  IEEE Proceedings, 43rd Annual  HICSS Conference, Kawaii, Hawaii, Feb 5-9, 2010.
15.   QuinnN.W.T., R. Ortega, P.J.A, Rahilly and C.W. Royer.  2010. Use of environmental sensors and sensor networks to develop water and salinity budgets for seasonal wetland real-time water quality management.  Environmental Modelling and Software. Vol 25, 1045-1058.
16.   Quinn N.W.T, 2009. Information technology and innovative drainage management practices for selenium load reduction from irrigated agriculture to provide stakeholder assurances and meet contaminant mass loading policy objectives.  Agricultural Water Management, 96 (3), p.484-492, Mar 2009.
17.   Quinn N.W.T, 2009.  Environmental decision support system development for seasonal wetland salt management in a river basin subjected to water quality regulation. Agricultural Water Management, 96 (2), p.247-254, Feb 2009.
18.   Stringfellow W.T, Herr J., Litton G., Brunell M., Borglin S., Hanlon J., Chen C., Graham J., Burks R., Dahlgren R., Kendall C., Brown R. and  Quinn N.W.T.  2009.  Investigation of river eutrophication as part of a low dissolved oxygen total maximum daily load implementation. Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 59 No 1 pp 9–14 © IWA Publishing.
19.   Stringfellow W.T., J.S. Hanlon, S. E. Borglin, and N.W.T. Quinn. 2008.  Sources of Biochemical Oxygen Demand in Western Tributaries of the San Joaquin River, California.  Agricultural Water Management, 95. pp 527-538.
20.   Su, G.W., N.W.T. Quinn, P.J. Cook, and W. Shipp. 2006. Miniaturization of the flowing fluid electrical conductivity logging technique, Ground Water, Vol. 44, No.5 pp. 754-757, Sept-Oct, 2006. LBNL-59032. 
21.   Quinn N.W.T. and K.C. Jacobs   2006. An Emergency Environmental Response System to Protect Migrating  Salmon  in the Lower  San Joaquin River..  Environmental Modelling and Software. Vol.  22, pp 416-422. Elsevier Science Ltd.  Online.doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2003.10.071. April 17, 2006.LBNL-60622.
22.   Quinn N.W.T., K.C. Jacobs, C.W. Chen and W.T Stringfellow. 2005. Elements of a Decision Support System for Real-Time Management of Dissolved Oxygen in the San Joaquin River Deep Water Ship Channel.  Environmental Modelling and Software. Elsevier Science Ltd. June 2005. LBNL Report-55929.
23.   Brekke, L.D., N.L. Miller, N.W.T. Quinn, J.A. Dracup, and D. Hilts.  2004.  Climate Change Impacts on San Joaquin River Basin water allocation.  Paper No. 02103RR.  Journal of American Water Resources Association, Vol 40, No. 1, pp. 149-164. 
24.   Quinn N.W.T.,  L.D. Brekke, N.L. Miller, T. Heinzer, H. Hidalgo and J.A. Dracup. 2004. Model Integration For Assessing Future Hydroclimate Impacts On Water Resources, Agricultural Production And Environmental Quality in the San Joaquin Basin, California. Environmental Modelling and Software. Elsevier Science Ltd. Vol. 19. pp 305-316.  (LBNL-51708)
25.   Quinn N.W.T. and W.M. Hanna. 2003.  A Decision Support System for Adaptive Real-Time Management of Seasonal Wetlands in California. 2003.  Environmental Modelling and Software. Vol. 18, Issue 6, pp 503-511. Elsevier Science Ltd. (LBNL-50238)
26.   Green, F.B., Lundquist, T.J., Quinn, M.W.T., Zarate, M.A., Zubieta, I.X. and W.J. Oswald. 2003.  Selenium and nitrate removal from agricultural drainage using the AIWPS® technology.  Water Science & Technology,  48 (2):  299-305, 2003.
27.   Quinn N.W.T. and W.M. Hanna. 2002. Real-Time Adaptive Management of Seasonal Wetlands to Improve Water Quality in the San Joaquin River.  Advances in Environmental Research. Vol. 5, pp 309-317. Elsevier Science Ltd.
28.   Quinn N.W.T, N.L. Miller, J.A. Dracup, L. Brekke and L.F. Grober.  2001. An Integrated Modeling System for Environmental Impact Analysis of Climate Variability and Extreme Weather Events in the San Joaquin Basin, California. Advances in Environmental Research. Elsevier Science Ltd. Vol 5 (2001) 309-317.
29.   Swayne, D., Denzer, R., Lilburne, L., Purvis, M., Quinn, N.W.T. and Storey, A., 2000. Environmental decision support systems: exactly what are they?. In: Denzer, R., Swayne, D.A., Purvis, M. and Schimak, G., Editors, 2000. Environmental software Systems.  Environmental Information and Decision Support. IFIP TC5 WG5.11. International Federation for Information Processing, Part IV, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, Mass, pp. 259–268.
30.   Quinn, N.W.T., T.J. Lundquist, F.B. Green, W.J. Oswald, T Leighton and M.A. Zarate. 2000. An algal-bacterial treatment system to reduce selenium loads in agricultural drainage. California Agriculture. November-December, Vol 54 No. 6.
31.   Quinn N.W.T. and J. Karkoski. 1998.  Potential for real time management of water quality in the San Joaquin Basin, California. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Vol. 36, No. 6, December.
32.   Quinn N.W.T. and P. Vorster. 1998. The comparative role of science in in resolving environmental problems at Kesterson Reservoir and Mono Lake, California. Lakes and Reservoirs : Research and Management, Vol. 3, 187-191.
33.   Quinn, N.W.T., J. McGahan and M. Delamore. 1998.  Innovative drainage management techniques to meet monthly and annual selenium load targets. California Agriculture, Vol. 52, No. 5, September-October. 1998.
34.   Quinn N.W.T. and J. Clyde.  1998. A bed sediment sampler for precise depth profiling of contaminant concentrations in aquatic environments.  Journal of Environmental Quality, Vol.27: pp. 64-67
35.   Quinn, N.W.T., L.F. Grober, J. Kipps, C.W. Chen and E. Cummings. 1997.  Computer model improves real-time management of water quality. California Agriculture, Vol. 51, No. 5, September-October. 1997
36.   Quinn N.W.T, Richard B. Smith, Charles M. Burt, Tracy Slavin, and Stuart Styles.  1989. Evaluation of unlined ditch and reservoir seepage losses in Westlands Water District. California Agriculture, Nov-Dec.
37.   Quinn N.W.T and J.M. Laflen.  1983.  Characteristics of raindrop throughfall under corn canopy. Transactions of the ASAE. Vol 26, no 5, pp 1445-1450.
38.   Quinn N.W.T. and J.M. Laflen.  1981. Properties of transformed rainfall under corn canopy. American Society of Agricultural Engineering , ASAE. paper no 81-2059..
39.   Quinn N.W.T, R.P.C. Morgan and A.J. Smith. 1980. Simulation of soil erosion induced by human trampling. Journal of Environmental Management, Vol 10, no. 1, pp 155-165.
40.   Elwell H.A. and N.W.T. Quinn. 1975. A rapid method for estimating the dry mass of soil from erosion research plots. Rhodesian Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol 13, pp 149-154.
Distinguished Life Membership Award, 2014
Hugo B.Fischer Award - California Water and Environmental Modeling Forum, 2013
Fellow Award ; International Environmental Modeling and Software Society, 2010