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Nigel Quinn

Earth Staff Scientist
(510) 486-7152

Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering Cornell University

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

B.Sc (Hons) Agricultural Engineering, Cranfield University

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
  • 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.