My Research Interests

Basically I'm interested in water - especially water that has flowed through big holes underground.  Those holes can be natural karst settings or coal mines. I'm particularly interested in the water chemistry as it flows from the subsurface to the surface at springs and from mine portals. 

My research is interdisciplinary and spans from very small to very large scales. On the "small" side, I look at metal speciation and water-rock interactions. On the "large" side I look at how structure and stratigraphy control water chemistry in watersheds of the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province. 

I've summarized a few projects here but if you want to see the bigger picture, I suggest you search the GSA abstracts for "Vesper". Most of my students present there regularly and it will give you a nice overall view of the group.

Peters Mountain Aquifer, Monroe County, WV.

In this project we've been looking at the chemistry and sustainability of spring water resources in the Valley & Ridge. Side projects include sandstone springs and spring ecosystem assessments. We've been pleased to work with the Indian Creek Watershed Association for this process. Current funding from NSF-EPSCOR Appalachian Freshwater Initiative.  

PROTECT (Puerto Rico Testsite for Exploring Contamination Threats).  This is a large multidisciplinary project led by Northeastern Univ. The focus is how ground water contamination in the karst impacts human health. Funded by NIEHS-SRP Program. 

Photo is the Rio Camuy from Cueva Ventana

High CO2 Systems.  In this ongoing - and continuously evolving - project we look at the flux of carbon from coal mines and other natural systems. We've determined fluxes and done a lot of associated method development. Current funding is from the NSF-EPSCOR Appalachian Freshwater Initiative.