David L Naftz


I am currently a research hydrologist in the Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center under the administrative supervision of the Center Director. From 1992 thru early 2013, I was a research hydrologist and water-quality specialist in the Utah Water Science Center. Ongoing (2017) and recent (last 10 years) projects that I have served as the project chief/ principal investigator include: (1) biogeochemical cycling of selenium and nutrients in Great Salt Lake; (2) diurnal mercury cycling in wetlands; (3) using thermocline manipulation to remediate mercury-contaminated reservoirs; (4) biogeochemical assessment of contaminant migration from an active uranium mill; (5) using geophysical and geochemical tools to identify submarine groundwater discharge; (6) environmental hazard assessment of abandoned mine lands; (7) mapping and hydrodynamic modeling of selenium plumes along near shore areas of Great Salt Lake; (8) mercury cycling in Lake Powell; (9) ecosystem modeling of transboundary selenium inputs to Lake Koocanusa; (10) biogeochemical cycling and selenium/mercury interactions in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area; (11) assessing impacts from current and legacy uranium mining in areas surrounding Grand Canyon National Park; and (12) using fiber optic DTS, environmental tracers, and tube seepage meters to investigate the mixing of a legacy uranium plume with the Little Wind River. I have also facilitated and promoted collaborative research with scientists from the USGS National Research Program, other USGS Water Science Centers, and universities to extend the scope and scientific impact of these projects.

During my career with the USGS I have produced significant scientific results in a wide range of water-quality and geochemical disciplines that include: (1) impacts of coal mining on ground-water geochemistry; (2) geochemistry of selenium in irrigated areas; (3) geochemistry of oil-field brines; (4) field demonstration of passive water-quality remediation methods for disturbed lands; (5) nutrient and trace-element loading and cycling in freshwater and hypersaline lakes; (6) using ice- and lake-core records for paleoenvironmental reconstruction; (7) water-quality impacts from avalanche control; (8) classification modeling of selenium-producing landscapes; and (9) technology development for uranium removal from ground water. I have given well over 100 oral and poster presentations at regional, national, and international meetings and conferences.

As of 2017, I have authored or co-authored 100 scientific papers and reports. The majority of these publications have been in the peer-reviewed literature. I have also been involved in international activities and academic service. International activities have included: (1) invited seminar at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology in Dübendorf; (2) invited session speaker at the annual meeting of the European Geophysical Union in Vienna; (3) invited seminar at the Geological Survey of Israel in Jerusalem; (4) invited speaker at the Deserts and Desertification Conference/Dead Sea Symposium, Negev University, Israel; (5) attendance and presentation at the Water-Rock Interaction 12 Conference in China; (6) co-chair of the 10th International Conference on Salt Lake Research; (7) attendance and presentation at the 6th and 7th International Symposiums on Ecosystem Behavior in Finland; (8) host scientist supervising the U.S. visit by the Director of the Geological Survey of Israel; (9) serving as the U.S. federal representative on the joint United States/Canadian technical advisory committee to address transboundary water-quality impacts from coal mining in British Columbia; and (10) invited speaker at a environmental uranium session during the 2015 American Geophysical Union annual meeting. With respect to academic service, I have served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah and Utah State University and a post doc supervisor for a student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology. I have also taught a graduate class in aquatic geochemistry at the University of Utah and served as a thesis committee member for seven graduate students. I served on the editorial board of Chemical Geology from 2006-16 and was lead editor of the book entitled “Handbook of Groundwater Remediation Using Permeable Reactive Barriers” and co-editor of the publication “Saline Lakes Around the World: Unique Systems with Unique Values.” I hold two U.S. patents resulting from my USGS research activities.