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Alexander Soroka

Alex is fascinated in how little decisions we make in our day-to-day lives can add up to big changes in our water supply and its quality.   His research broadly focuses on interactions between land use and water quality in Maryland and Delaware.   Currently Alex is summarizing groundwater quality changes from 1980-present and agronomic practices in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Alex Soroka is a physical scientist at the USGS Maryland-Delaware-DC Water Science Center in Baltimore, Maryland, where his work primarily focuses on the interactions between agricultural practices and water quality.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at the State University of New York at Oneonta in 2012 and a Master’s degree in Water Science and Policy at the University of Delaware in 2015.  His thesis work investigated fertilization rates and nutrient uptake for high yielding irrigated grain corn and involved a combination of agronomy and hydrology.

Alex found a home in soil fertility research as a Master’s student advised by Dr. Amy Shober. He contributed to multiple projects involving phosphorous (P) amendments, P transport, cover crop implementation, nutrient uptake by row crops, and irrigation management. In working with extension specialists, Alex learned firsthand of the difficulty that producers face trying to maintain profitability while meeting water quality goals.

Alex began an internship with the USGS in 2014 after his presentation at a field day for local producers caught the eye of USGS scientist Judy Denver. Working out of the Dover, Delaware office, Alex studied the impact of irrigation on nitrogen movement under two corn and soybean fields. In March of 2018, Alex transitioned to a permanent position in the USGS Baltimore office, where he continues to focus on agricultural research. He is also leading a project to develop innovative methods of estimating nitrogen flux into wetlands from grain fields and is coordinating a group of students digitizing agricultural features on the Delmarva peninsula. Alex is also working on linking remote sensing data, such as NDVI, with water quality.