A) Recently abandoned well in Doddridge Co., WV and B) Historic abandoned well in Wood Co., WV
My research focuses on policy-relevant conservation science and in particular the formation, transport and environmental effects of reactive nitrogen and greenhouse gases from natural and anthropogenic sources (including methane emissions from historic and recently abandoned oil and gas wells, as shown above). Increased reactive nitrogen application, as synthetic fertilizer, has resulted in larger emissions in ammonia and nitrous oxide, while livestock and landfill have increased the emissions of methane. Ammonia can decrease near-source biodiversity and reduce the water and air qualities, while fugitive greenhouse gas emissions are warming the atmosphere and the oceans. I am interested in estimating the size, location and effects of trace gas emissions so that the largest emission sources can be identified and mitigation strategies can be developed. My ultimate aim is to balance the environmental costs of food and energy supply to the potentially catastrophic environmental effects of trace gas emissions.