I am the Branch Chief for the Hydrologic Networks Branch, Observing Systems Division. Our Branch supports USGS in situ observations in surface water and groundwater.
2004 Ph.D., Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, University of New Hampshire, Durham. Dissertation: The influence of urbanization on runoff generation and stream chemistry in Massachusetts watersheds. Advisors: William McDowell and Charles Vörösmarty.
2000 M.S., Plant, Soil and Environmental Science, University of Maine, Orono. Thesis: Inferences from soil chemical properties on linkages between soil and surface water in Maine forested watersheds. Advisor: Ivan Fernandez.
1998 B.S., Environmental Science (Soil Science minor), University of New Hampshire, Durham.
RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
2017- Branch Chief, Hydrologic Networks Branch, USGS, Observing Systems Division, Reston, Virginia.
2016-2017 Research Physical Scientist (RGE), USGS, Office of Water Quality, Reston, Virginia.
2009-2016 Research Soil Scientist (RGE), USGS, California Water Science Center, Sacramento.
2007-2009 Soil Scientist, USGS, California Water Science Center, Sacramento.
2004-2007 National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associate, USGS, California Water Science Center, Sacramento.
2000-2004 Graduate Research Assistant, University of New Hampshire.
1998-2000 Graduate Research Assistant, University of Maine.
1996-1998 Technician Assistant, USDA-Forest Service, Durham, New Hampshire.
Science and Products
Assessing the role of winter flooding on baseline greenhouse gas fluxes from corn fields in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Bay Delta
Understanding the magnitude and variability of baseline greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Sacramento – San Joaquin Bay Delta is critical for current and future land management. For example, strategies that maximize carbon sequestration in soils and plants while minimizing unintended consequences such as GHG emissions are likely to produce both economic and environmental benefits for the...
Improved Monitoring of Water Quality and Pelagic Organism Decline in the Delta with Continuous In Situ Sensor Measurements
Newly-developed, commercially-available sensors permit real-time collection of water quality data that may help identify ecosystem processes that affect the health of pelagic food webs in the Sacramento – San Joaquin Delta. In particular, the simultaneous measurement of nutrients, organic matter and algal abundance along with the basic water quality variables such as temperature and salinity...
Transport of dissolved organic matter by river networks from mountains to the sea: a re-examination of the role of flow across temporal and spatial scales
The transport of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by rivers is an important component of the global carbon cycle, affects ecosystems and water quality, and reflects biogeochemical and hydrological processes in watersheds. Understanding the fundamental relationships between discharge and DOM concentration and composition reveals important information about watershed flow paths, soil flushing,...
U.S. Geological Survey continuous monitoring workshop—Workshop summary report
Executive SummaryThe collection of high-frequency (in other words, “continuous”) water data has been made easier over the years because of advances in technologies to measure, transmit, store, and query large, temporally dense datasets. Commercially available, in-situ sensors and data-collection platforms—together with new techniques for data...Sullivan, Daniel J.; Joiner, John K.; Caslow, Kerry A.; Landers, Mark N.; Pellerin, Brian A.; Rasmussen, Patrick P.; Sheets, Rodney A.
Irrigation as a fuel pump to freshwater ecosystems
We generated a detailed time series of total dissolved hydrolyzable amino acids (DHAA) in a watershed dominated by irrigated agriculture in northern California, USA to investigate the roles of hydrologic and seasonal changes on the composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM). DHAA are sensitive indicators of the degradation state and reactivity...Matiasek, Sandrine; Pellerin, Brian A.; Spencer, Robert G.M.; Bergamaschi, Brian; Hernes, Peter J.
Clearing the waters: Evaluating the need for site-specific field fluorescence corrections based on turbidity measurements
In situ fluorescent dissolved organic matter (fDOM) measurements have gained increasing popularity as a proxy for dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in streams. One challenge to accurate fDOM measurements in many streams is light attenuation due to suspended particles. Downing et al. (2012) evaluated the need for corrections to...Saraceno, John F.; Shanley, James B.; Downing, Bryan D.; Pellerin, Brian A.
Spatial and temporal patterns of dissolved organic matter quantity and quality in the Mississippi River Basin, 1997–2013
Recent studies have found insignificant or decreasing trends in time-series dissolved organic carbon (DOC) datasets, questioning the assumption that long-term DOC concentrations in surface waters are increasing in response to anthropogenic forcing, including climate change, land use, and atmospheric acid deposition. We used the weighted...Stackpoole, Sarah M.; Stets, Edward G.; Clow, David W.; Burns, Douglas A.; Aiken, George R.; Aulenbach, Brent T.; Creed, Irena F.; Hirsch, Robert M.; Laudon, Hjalmar; Pellerin, Brian; Striegl, Robert G.
Patterns of diel variation in nitrate concentrations in the Potomac River
The Potomac River is a large source of N to Chesapeake Bay, where reducing nutrient loads is a focus of efforts to improve trophic status. Better understanding of NO3– loss, reflected in part by diel variation in NO3– concentrations, may refine model predictions of N loads to the Bay. We analyzed 2 y of high-frequency NO3– sensor data in the...Burns, Douglas A.; Miller, Matthew P.; Pellerin, Brian; Capel, Paul D.
Emerging tools for continuous nutrient monitoring networks: Sensors advancing science and water resources protection
Sensors and enabling technologies are becoming increasingly important tools for water quality monitoring and associated water resource management decisions. In particular, nutrient sensors are of interest because of the well-known adverse effects of nutrient enrichment on coastal hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and impacts to human health....Pellerin, Brian; Stauffer, Beth A; Young, Dwane A; Sullivan, Daniel J.; Bricker, Suzanne B.; Walbridge, Mark R; Clyde, Gerard A; Shaw, Denice M
The new Landsat 8 potential for remote sensing of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM)
Due to a combination of factors, such as a new coastal/aerosol band and improved radiometric sensitivity of the Operational Land Imager aboard Landsat 8, the atmospherically-corrected Surface Reflectance product for Landsat data, and the growing availability of corrected fDOM data from U.S. Geological Survey gaging stations, moderate-resolution...Slonecker, Terrance; Jones, Daniel K.; Pellerin, Brian A.
Optical properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM): Effects of biological and photolytic degradation
Advances in spectroscopic techniques have led to an increase in the use of optical properties (absorbance and fluorescence) to assess dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and infer sources and processing. However, little information is available to assess the impact of biological and photolytic processing on the optical properties of...Hansen, Angela; Kraus, Tamara E. C.; Pellerin, Brian; Fleck, Jacob; Downing, Bryan D.; Bergamaschi, Brian
Quantifying watershed-scale groundwater loading and in-stream fate of nitrate using high-frequency water quality data
We describe a new approach that couples hydrograph separation with high-frequency nitrate data to quantify time-variable groundwater and runoff loading of nitrate to streams, and the net in-stream fate of nitrate at the watershed-scale. The approach was applied at three sites spanning gradients in watershed size and land use in the Chesapeake Bay...Miller, Matthew P.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Capel, Paul D.; Pellerin, Brian A.; Hyer, Kenneth E.; Burns, Douglas A.
Applications of optical sensors for high-frequency water-quality monitoring and research
The recent commercial availability of in-situ optical sensors, together with new techniques for data collection and analysis, provides the opportunity to monitor a wide range of water-quality constituents over time scales during which environmental conditions actually change. Traditional approaches for data collection (daily to monthly discrete...Pellerin, Brian
The river as a chemostat: fresh perspectives on dissolved organic matter flowing down the river continuum
A better understanding is needed of how hydrological and biogeochemical processes control dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition from headwaters downstream to large rivers. We examined a large DOM dataset from the National Water Information System of the US Geological Survey, which represents...Creed, Irena F.; McKnight, Diane M.; Pellerin, Brian; Green, Mark B.; Bergamaschi, Brian; Aiken, George R.; Burns, Douglas A.; Findlay, Stuart E G; Shanley, James B.; Striegl, Robert G.; Aulenbach, Brent T.; Clow, David W.; Laudon, Hjalmar; McGlynn, Brian L.; McGuire, Kevin J.; Smith, Richard A.; Stackpoole, Sarah M.
Causes and consequences of ecosystem service regionalization in a coastal suburban watershed
The demand for ecosystem services and the ability of natural ecosystems to provide those services evolve over time as population, land use, and management practices change. Regionalization of ecosystem service activity, or the expansion of the area providing ecosystem services to a population, is a common response in densely populated coastal...Wollheim, Wilfred M.; Mark B. Green; Pellerin, Brian A.; Morse, Nathaniel B.; Hopkinson, Charles S.