We are excited to introduce you to four new members of our science staff in Boise.
Austin Baldwin comes to us from the USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center. His research there focused on urban contaminants, including microplastics. Austin was a lead researcher on one of the largest studies of water-quality in Great Lakes tributarires. He will lead our studies of mercury in the Hells Canyon Complex and water quality in the Stibnite mining district.
Prior to joining USGS, Stephen Hundt worked as a consultant in the Bay Area developing computer models to support groundwater management. He also has a background in environmental economics. Stephen will be involved in a variety of groundwater and surface-water studies throughout Idaho and other western states.
Mark Morehead is our new surface-water specialist, coming to us from Idaho Power Company. Mark's research focuses on the temporal and spatial variability of sediment and water in river basins of all sizes and from time scales of minutes to thousands of years. Mark will continue to advance our expertise in using acoustics for real-time sediment monitoring.
Lauren Perreault comes to us from HDR, Inc. and will be involved with field-based studies of surface-water quality throughout Idaho. Her primary focus areas include the occurrence and transport of metals, nutrients, and sediment in surface water. She will lead our water-quality studies in the Coeur d'Alene and lower Boise River basins.
Our monthly Idaho Hydrologic Update helps you stay informed about Idaho's water resources. Each month, we summarize significant findings from our hydrologic data networks; announce new studies; and let you know how we support our local, state, Federal, and tribal partners with reliable, unbiased science.
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Elevated concentrations of mercury and methylmercury have been found in the water, sediments, and fish of the Snake River as it flows through the three-reservoir Hells Canyon Complex along the Idaho-Oregon border. Scientists from the USGS and Idaho Power Company are intensively studying the processes of mercury cycling in the Hells Canyon Complex to inform decision-making about reservoir operations.
USGS and Idaho Department of Water Resources hydrologists collaboratively developed a new groundwater-flow model for the Wood River Valley aquifer system. With the model, resource managers can simulate how increased or decreased pumping from the aquifer system or changes in precipitation and climate would affect groundwater levels and area streams.