uvm logo    
UVM Constructed Wetland Research Center
500 Spear St.
South Burlington, VT

Constructed Wetland Research Center
at the Paul Miller Dairy Farm

Dr. Aleksandra Drizo - Research Director

Bio Sketch  (MS Word file)

University of Vermont
Plant and Soil Science Department
100 Hills Building
Burlington, VT 05405
Office:  802.656.2717
Fax:  802.656.4656


IRWE logo

Integrated Research on Water in Environment (IRWE)

Faculty and Staff

Dr. Aleksandra Drizo
Research  Professor
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Dr. Don Ross
Research Associate Professor
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Dr. Greg Druschel
Assistant Professor
Department of Geology

Dr. Heather Darby
Adjunct Extension Assistant Professor 
Department of Plant and Soil Science
Link to:  UVM Extension and Outreach Program
Link to:  UVM Nutrient and Manure Management

Colleen Armstrong
Greenhouse Manager
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Eamon Twohig
Senior Research Technician
Department of Plant and Soil Science
135 Hills Bldg.
Burlington, VT 05405
Office:  802.656.1005
Lab:  802.656.0488

  Current Graduate Student Projects

Evaluating the efficiency and temporal variation of pilot-scale hybrid and integrated constructed wetlands for treating high BOD and P concentrated dairy effluent
(project started Summer 2007 - ongoing)

Martin Lee
Masters Student
Civil & Environmental Engineering


Nitrogen Transformations and Removal in Constructed Wetlands

(project started Summer 2005 - ongoing)

Mathew Cunningham
Masters Student
Plant and Soil Science

matt sampling


Greenhouse Gas Emissions from
Constructed Wetlands

(project started Spring 2005 - ongoing)

Eamon Twohig
Masters Student
Plant and Soil Science



Past Graduate Student

Phosphorus Removal from Milk Parlor Waste Water Using EAF Slag Filters
(project started Spring 2005 - ongoing)

Simon Bird
Masters Student (Feb 2009)
Plant and Soil Science



Alternative Phosphorus Filter Technology for Wastewater Treatment on
Vermont Dairy Farms

Dave Weber
Masters Student (Feb 2006)
Plant and Soil Science



Flow Patterns of Dairy Farm Wastewater
Constructed Wetlands in a Cold Climate

Pete Munoz
Masters Student (2006)
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Current  Employment:


Effects of Subsurface Constructed Wetland Environments on Emergent Wetland Plant Root Architecture, Biomass Accumulation, and Microbial Diversity

Tom DiPietro
Masters Student (Feb 2005)
Plant and Soil Science
hit link to view pdf of academic poster

Current Employment: 

Stormwater Superintendent



The Effects of Aeration on the Treatment of Organic and Nitrogen Compounds in Lab-Scale Constructed Wetland Systems  

David Whitney
Masters Student (2003)
Civil & Environmental Engineering

Current Employment:

EcoSolutions LLC

Constructed Wetlands Research


wetland landscape

Panoramic view of UVM constructed wetlands taken in August 2004. See more photos...

See Photos of Wetland Repairs in Sep/Oct 2005


CWRC Objectives:
  • Develop research, education, and outreach projects at the Constructed Wetlands Research Center (CWRC) established at the UVM Dairy Farm.
  • Assess treatment efficiency (nitrogen, phosphorus, organic matter and suspended solids removal, temperature, pH and redox potential) of the CW system and evaluate changes in seasonal performance. 
  • Investigate nitrogen (N) transformations within the CW, and the ways N removal can be improved.
  • Evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (N2O, CH4 and CO2) from the CW system.  
  • Determine the microbial populations at the root/plants and gravel interfaces.
  • Promote collaboration among various departments within UVM, University of Vermont Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station, as well as cooperative activities with State and Federal Agencies, private businesses, local schools, and researchers from other Universities.

Phosphorus Filters

Alternative Technology for Phosphorus Reduction of Dairy Effluent


  • To reduce Phoshorus (P) concentration of the dairy farm effluent to environmentally acceptable levels.
  • Assess treatment efficiency of the filter systems (both as a stand alone unit and as an upgrade of constructed wetland system) in organic matter and P removal and evaluate changes in their seasonal performance.
  • Determine optimal filters design to achieve maximum treatment efficiency.

Phosphorus Removal from High Strength
Milk Parlor Effluent


   Phosphorus filter media

  • Assess treatment efficiency of the filter systems in organic matter removal and evaluate changes in their seasonal performance.

  • Assess filters potential for on-site farm applications.

  • Determine engineering requirements for the optimal filter design to achieve maximum treatment efficiency.

  • Assess the potential of re-using filters material as a fertilizer for on-farm applications.


See more photos...


For more information please contact us by email.

Undergraduate Research

Phosphorus Removal from Dairy Effluents Using Steel Slag Mechanisms

John 'Garth' Cummings
Undergraduate Honors Thesis Project
College of Agriculture and Life Science
Department of Animal Science

UVM Courses Utilizing
the CWRC

Chemistry of Soil and Water (PSS 264)   D. Ross
Soil Water Movement (PSS 266)   D. Ross
Pollutant Transport in Soil, Water and Air (ENSC 101)
D.  Ross

Pollutant Transport in Soil, Water and Air (CE 295)
N. Hayden
Field Methods in Water Resources (NR 255)
A. McIntosh
Wetland Ecology & Mgmnt (NR 260)   S. Levine
Fundamentals of Soil Science (PSS 161)   W. Harper

Research Previously
Supported by

Senator Jeffords Office
USDA CSREES Special Research Grant

Senator Pat Leahy

Earmark for VT Natural Resources Conservation Service to Promote Alternative Manure Management.
more information

- Grant for Use of UVM Facilities for UVM Facility