Graduate student in yellow life vest holds up net in red rubber raft on a lake.

All research projects supported by the Vermont Water Center are selected through a competitive process. The Water Center accepts proposals from both faculty and from graduate students with faculty sponsorship. Research projects, focused on water resources issues in Vermont, are supported for one or two years, and researchers are from institutes of higher education in Vermont. Projects listed are Vermont competitive grants, unless specified as a national competitive grant.

Learn more about applying for Water Center grants >>



  • Adair, C. Consequences of warming winters on nutrient export to Lake Champlain. Faculty project.
  • Eggleston, E. Lake Champlain interannual winter microbial dynamics. Faculty project
  • Morales-Williams, M. and Alfaro, M. Influence of artificial aeration on nitrogen fixation and nutrient limitation of phytoplankton in Lake Carmi, VT. Graduate student project.
  • Morales-Williams, M. and Warner, K. Identifying the environmental drivers of toxic vs. non-toxic cyanobacteria strain abundance in two eutrophic bays of Lake Champlain. Graduate student project.
  • Scarborough, M. Assessing mechanisms of phosphorous removal at a Champlain basin wastewater treatment plant. Graduate student project.


  • Eggleston, E. Lake Champlain winter microbial dynamics and long-term data trends. Faculty project.
  • Hurley, S. Potential impacts on drinking water from road salt storage facilities in vulnerable communities. Faculty project.
  • Schroth, A. and S. Vogel. Nutrient loading during winter and growing season high-flow events in different gauged watersheds of the Lake Champlain basin. Graduate student project.
  • Stockwell, J. Food web responses to round goby and quagga mussel invasions across the gradient of lake types within the Lake Champlain ecosystem. Faculty project.

2022 Project Descriptions (PDF)


  • Xia, T. Multimodal UAS Sensor System for Harmful Algal Bloom Mapping and Monitoring. Faculty project. Two-year, national competitive grant.
    This project will develop, design, and deploy a drone-based system for harmful algal bloom (HAB) water sampling and mapping to advance sensing the location and characteristics of HABs. The project will focus on areas of Lake Champlain with known HABs where information is currently lacking about spatial extent, temporal patterns, toxicity, and species of HABs.


  • Eggleston, E. and M. Morales-Williams. Vermont cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom ecology and toxin biosynthesis gene activity: a path to novel management strategies. Faculty project.
  • Morales-Williams, M. and I. Biberovic. Paleolimnological data synthesis to assess and predict long-term ecological change in Vermont inland lakes. Faculty project.
  • Ross, D., B. Wemple, and J. Bower. Quantifying mineral-bound phosphorus sources in rock and soil in forested headwater watersheds. Graduate student project.
  • Schroth, A. and A. Kirol. Quantifying the response of Lake Carmi legacy phosphorus to aeration. Graduate student project. 
  • Williams, C. and T. Xia. Feasibility of using open-source, custom designed cyanobacteria, algae, and turbidity sensor (CATS) systems to monitor water quality in real-time along Lake Champlain’s swimming beaches in Burlington, Vermont. Faculty project.

2021 Project Descriptions (PDF)


  • Marsden, E. How much carbon is in those mussels? The potential impact of a quagga mussel invasion on energy pathways in Lake Champlain. Faculty project.
  • Stockwell, J. and J. Brentrup. Impact of storms on lake phytoplankton community dynamics. Continuing faculty project. 
  • Stockwell, J. and N. Flores. Cyanobacteria bloom impacts on fish: ecological and human health considerations. Graduate student project.
  • Underwood, K. Hydraulic modeling to support Vermont's Functioning Floodplain. Faculty project.

2020 Project Descriptions (PDF)


  • Diamond S. and A. Morales-Williams. Response of phytoplankton communities to recovery from acidification in Vermont lakes. Graduate student project.
  • Lancellotti, B., E. Adair, and J. Perdiral. Identifying drivers of change in denitrification capacity of riparian soils during the spring snowmelt/runoff period. Graduate student project.
  • Stockwell, J.D. Impact of storms on lake phytoplankton community dynamics. Continuing faculty project.
  • Stockwell, J.D. Influence of changing lake temperatures on early life stages of freshwater whitefishes at local to global scales: modeling and experimental approaches. New faculty project.

2019 Project Descriptions (PDF)

For project abstracts from 2018 and earlier, visit the USGS State Water Resources webpage and filter for Vermont projects >>


  • Flores, N. and J. Stockwell. A field study to investigate potentially toxic cyanobacterial aerosols from Shelburne Pond and farm fields in Vermont. Graduate student project.
  • Giddings, L.A. Trails to remediation: the effects of seasonal variations on the acid mine drainage microbiome at Ely Copper Mine in Vershire, VT. Continuing faculty project.
  • Hackenburg, D. and R. Gould. A mental models approach to understanding public knowledge of harmful algal blooms in Lake Champlain. Graduate student project.
  • Hammond Wagner, C. and A. Zia. Governing water quality limits in agricultural watersheds: Farmer behavior and perceptions under Vermont’s Clean Water Act. Graduate student project.
  • Stockwell, J.D. Impact of storms on lake phytoplankton community dynamic. Faculty project.


  • Giddings, L.A. Trails to remediation: the effects of seasonal variations on the acid mine drainage microbiome at Ely Copper Mine in Vershire, VT. Faculty project.
  • Millar, A. and C. Vatovec. Pharm-free surface waters: identifying barriers and motivators that influence Vermonters’ participation in pharmaceutical take-back programs. Graduate student project.
  • Perillo, V. and D. Ross. Phosphorus export from forested watersheds in the Missisquoi Basin. Graduate student project.
  • Stockwell, J. Global to local assessment of cyanotoxins in fish. Faculty project.
  • Underwood, K. and D. Rizzo. Application of neural networks to classify erosional and depositional stream reaches in glacially-conditioned Vermont catchments. Graduate student project.


  • Euclide, P. and J. Marsden. Quantifying the extent and history of habitat fragmentation in the Lake Champlain basin. Graduate student project.
  • Hrycik, A. and J. Stockwell. Impacts of climate change on winter-spring transition in plankton communities. Graduate student project.
  • Kozel, C. and J. Marsden. Can early feeding ameliorate thiamine deficiency in wild lake trout fry? Graduate student project.
  • Vaughan, M. and A. Schroth. Developing high frequency in-situ methods to accurately quantify riverine phosphorus loading to Lake Champlain. Graduate student project.


  • Dewoolkar, M., J. O’Neil-Dunne, D. Rizzo, and J. Frolik. System-wide rapid quantification of streambank erosion. 2-year faculty project


  • Pinheiro, V., J. Marsden and J. Stockwell. An acoustic telemetry array for Lake Champlain: investigating effects of aquatic habitat fragmentation on lake whitefish. Graduate student project.
  • Ross, D. and B. Wemple. Organic phosphorus forms and transformations in Lake Champlain stream corridor soils. 2-year faculty project.


  • Morrissey, L. and B. Wemple. Automated mapping of effective impervious area (EIA) to assess stream health. Faculty project.


  • Stockwell, J. and W. B. Bowden. Development of monitoring buoy system for lake studies. Faculty project.
  • Wemple, B., and D. Ross. Evaluating effectiveness of BMP implementation on gravel roads to reduce sediment and phosphorus runoff. 2-year faculty project.


  • Bomblies, A. and J. Hill. Advanced and integrative model of phosphorus loading from high runoff events. 2-year faculty project.
  • Bowden, W. B. and J. Shanley. Use of acoustic Doppler current profiler data to estimate sediment and total phosphorus loads to Lake Champlain from the Rock River. 1-year faculty project.
  • Ross, D., L. Morrissey, and B. Wemple. Determining phosphorus release potential from eroding streambank sediments in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont. 1-year faculty project.


  • Margaret J. Eppstein. Advanced computational methods for designing stormwater management projects. 


  • Morrissey, L., D. Rizzo, D. Ross, and E. Young. 2009, 2010. Quantifying sediment loading due to stream bank erosion in impaired and attainment watersheds in Chittenden County, VT using advanced GIS and remote sensing technologies.
  • Ross, D., L. Morrissey, and E. Young. 2009, 2010. Estimating soil phosphorus concentrations along erodible stream corridors in Chittenden County, Vermont
  • Ross, D.S. and E. Young. 2009. A Soil-Landscape Modeling Approach to Estimate Riparian Phosphorus Concentrations along Erodible Stream Corridors in Chittenden County, Vermont.


  • Dewoolkar, M., and P. Bierman. 2008. Tracing Sources of Eroded Sediment with Atmospherically Produced 10-Be.
  • Hill, J. 2008, 2009. Improvement of Phosphorus Load Estimates through the Use of Enzyme-Hydrolysis Measures of Phosphorus Bioavailability.
  • Lovell, S. and A. McIntosh. 2008, 2009. Treatment Solutions to Reduce Nutrient and Bacterial Inputs to Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farm.
  • Ross, D. 2008. Soil Phosphorus Landscape Variability and Soil Mapping in a Stream.


  • Dewoolkar, M., and P. Bierman. 2006. Evaluating Quantitative Models of Riverbank Stability.
  • Dewoolkar, M., and P. Bierman. 2006. Riverbank Stability Evaluations: Comparing Quantitative Assessments to Qualitative RGA Scores.
  • Rizzo, D. and L. Morrissey. 2006, 2007. An Adaptive Management System using Hierarchical Artificial Neural Networks and Remote Sensing for Fluvial hazard Mitigation.
  • Ross, D. and J. Tilley. 2006. Phosphorus Availability from the Soils along Two Streams of the Lake Champlain Basin: Mapping, Characterization and Seasonal Mobility.


  • Lini, A. and S. Levine. 2005. Trophic Status of Lake Champlain over 400 Years of Changing Land Use: A Paleolomnological Study.
  • Petrucci, G. 2004. Substrate- and Size-dependent Measurement of Partical-phase Mercury in the Atmosphere by Aerosol Mass Spectrometry.


  • Levine, S. and A. Lini. Stable Isotope Analysis of the Contribution of N2 fixation to Phytoplankton Nutrition, Lake Nitrogen Budgets and Lake Eutrophication.
  • Manley, T. Lagrangian Drifters Within Lake Champlain - A Pilot Study.
  • Morrissey, L.A. Identification of Candidate Parcels for Riparian Buffers: Reducing Fecal Contamination of Vermont Surface Waters.


  • Abbott, M.D. and R.S. Stanley. 1999. Modeling Groundwater Recharge and Flow in an Upland.
  • Levine, A. and A. Lini. 1998. Stable Isotope Analysis of the Contribution of Atmospheric Nitrogen to Lake Nitrogen Budgets: Does Fixation Prevent Nitrogen Limitation?
  • Bierman, P. 1997. Characterizing Ground Water Flow in a Vermont Upland Basin -- Geologic, Geochemical and Hydrologic Approach to Aquifer Delineation and Protection.
  • Frymier, L., A.H. Gilbert, R.E. Manning, and C. Mitchell. 1997. River Valuation: A Workbook of Non-Market Resource Valuation.
  • Meals, D.W., E.A. Casell, and W.E. Jokela. 1996. Agricultural Water Quality Issues: A Bi-National Perspective.
  • Borchardt, M.A. 1994. Effects of Flowing Water on Nitrogen- and Phosphorus-Limited Photosynthesis and Optimum N:P Ratios by Spirogyra Fluviatilis (Charophyceae).
  • Borchardt, M.A. 1994. Phosphorus Uptake Kinetics of Spirogyra Fluviatilis (Charophyceae) in Flowing Water.