Hongqing Wang, Ph.D.
Hongqing Wang's expertise is ecosystem modeling coupled with field observation, application of remote sensing, GIS, GPS and spatial statistics. His current research areas include integrated modeling, monitoring and detecting changes in hydrodynamics, sediment transport, morphology, water quality, landscape, surface elevation, vegetation (composition/distribution and productivity), biological population dynamics (e.g., oysters), and soil biogeochemistry (C, N, P, S) in wetland ecosystems due to natural disturbances (e.g., climate change, land subsidence, storms) and human activities (e.g., land use, water management, ecosystem restoration). Wang is one of the developers of Wetland Morphology Model for Louisiana's 2012 Coastal Master Plan (http://www.coastalmasterplan.louisiana.gov/) for coastal Louisiana ecosystem restoration, sponsored by State of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. He has also been involved in monitoring programs such as Coastwide Reference Monitoring System and Louisiana Coastal Area program for adaptive management. He is currently an Associate Editor for Wetlands.
Previous Professional Positions
Microcomputer Systems Specialist, April – October 2011: Five Rivers Services, LLC/National Wetlands Research Center / USGS, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Microcomputer Systems Specialist, July 2009 – March 2011: IAP World Services/National Wetlands Research Center / USGS, Lafayette & Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Assistant Professor Research, February 2007 – June 2009: Center for Louisiana Water Studies, Institute of Coastal Ecology and Engineering, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana.
Research Scientist, February 2004 – January 2007: Environmental Cooperative Science Center (ECSC), NOAA, and Environmental Sciences Institute (ESI), Florida A&M University, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, November 2002 – January 2004: Department of Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).
Professional Association Memberships
Ecological Society of America (ESA) Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) American Geophysical Union (AGU) International Society for Ecological Modeling (ISEM) ASPRS: The Imaging & Geospatial Information Society International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE)
Science and Products
Developing effective living shoreline restoration projects that can withstand hurricanes and storms requires a better understanding of how restoration structures reduce the impact of wave and current energy on marsh edges in estuaries and bays. Without this knowledge, existing living shoreline projects and adaptive management measures are more likely to fail, decreasing the possibility for...
Dauphin Island, Alabama, is the only barrier island providing protection to much of Alabama's coastal natural resources. Severely impacted by repeated extreme events, like Hurricane Katrina and Deepwater Horizon oil spill, USGS and partners are conducting a joint study to evaluate the feasibility of certain alternatives to increase resiliency and sustainability of the island.
As tidal freshwater forested wetlands - TFFWs - are influenced by salinty due to salt water intrusion, they may experience changes in plant community composition, growth, and productivity. Models are needed to predict vegetation community change or dieback, as well as changes in carbon sequestration and storage due to changing climate, drought, changes in freshwater discharge, elevated carbon...
Predicting the Long-Term Impact of Hurricane Sandy on Spatial Patterns of Wetland Morphology in Salt Marshes of Jamaica Bay, New York
USGS scientists are working with collaborators to understand how Hurricane Sandy impacted wetlands in Jamaica Bay, New York.
Coastal wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as wave attenuation, surge reduction, carbon sequestration, wastewater treatment, and critical habitats for endangered fish and wildlife species. However, wetland loss threatens the capacity of coastal wetlands to provide these ecosystem services.
Influence of Sea-Level Rise on Wetland Vegetation Community Structure, Primary Productivity, Organic Matter Decomposition and Carbon Storage
This study will employ a space for time substitution to show long-term effects of rising sea-level and increasing salinity on vegetation community structure, primary production and decomposition. Productivity and decomposition rates will be estimated for four wetland plant community types defined by salinity zones and dominant plant species.
Forecasting Biological Vulnerabilities: Modeling Jamaica Bay Wetland Morphology under Future Hurricanes
In light of the increase in hurricane frequency and intensity, there is concern about the resilience and sustainability of coastal wetlands. Models can be used to investigatethe impacts of future hurricanes on wetland morphology along the northeast coasts in areas like Jamaica Bay, New York, an area impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico coast play an important role in the global carbon cycle, but as they rapidly convert to open water, their potential for carbon storage is declining. USGS is working to provide accurate, long-term marsh soil carbon sequestration rates.
Numerical modeling of salt marsh morphological change induced by Hurricane Sandy
The salt marshes of Jamaica Bay serve as a recreational outlet for New York City residents, mitigate wave impacts during coastal storms, and provide habitat for critical wildlife species. Hurricanes have been recognized as one of the critical drivers of coastal wetland morphology due to their effects on hydrodynamics and sediment transport,...Hu, Kelin; Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Hartig, Ellen K.; Orton, Philip M.
Barrier island habitat map and vegetation survey—Dauphin Island, Alabama, 2015
Barrier islands are dynamic environments due to their position at the land-sea interface. Storms, waves, tides, currents, and relative sea-level rise are powerful forces that shape barrier island geomorphology and habitats (for example, beach, dune, marsh, and forest). Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010 are two...Enwright, Nicholas M.; Borchert, Sinéad M.; Day, Richard H.; Feher, Laura C.; Osland, Michael J.; Wang, Lei; Wang, Hongqing
Numerical modeling of the effects of Hurricane Sandy and potential future hurricanes on spatial patterns of salt marsh morphology in Jamaica Bay, New York City
The salt marshes of Jamaica Bay, managed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Gateway National Recreation Area of the National Park Service, serve as a recreational outlet for New York City residents, mitigate flooding, and provide habitat for critical wildlife species. Hurricanes and extra-tropical storms have been...Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; Snedden, Gregg A.; Hartig, Ellen K.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Johnson, Cody L.; Orton, Philip M.
Predicting the impacts of Mississippi River diversions and sea-level rise on spatial patterns of eastern oyster growth rate and production
There remains much debate regarding the perceived tradeoffs of using freshwater and sediment diversions for coastal restoration in terms of balancing the need for wetland restoration versus preserving eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) production. Further complicating the issue, climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and land subsidence...Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; La Peyre, Megan K.; Hu, Kelin; La Peyre, Jerome F.
A modeling study of the impacts of Mississippi River diversion and sea-level rise on water quality of a deltaic estuary
Freshwater and sediment management in estuaries affects water quality, particularly in deltaic estuaries. Furthermore, climate change-induced sea-level rise (SLR) and land subsidence also affect estuarine water quality by changing salinity, circulation, stratification, sedimentation, erosion, residence time, and other physical and ecological...Wang, Hongqing; Chen, Qin; Hu, Kelin; LaPeyre, Megan K.
Determining the spatial variability of wetland soil bulk density, organic matter, and the conversion factor between organic matter and organic carbon across coastal Louisiana, U.S.A.
Soil bulk density (BD), soil organic matter (SOM) content, and a conversion factor between SOM and soil organic carbon (SOC) are often used in estimating SOC sequestration and storage. Spatial variability in BD, SOM, and the SOM–SOC conversion factor affects the ability to accurately estimate SOC sequestration, storage, and the benefits (e.g.,...Wang, Hongqing; Piazza, Sarai C.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Stagg, Camille L.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Steyer, Gregory D.; McGinnis, Thomas E.
Defining the next generation modeling of coastal ecotone dynamics in response to global change
Coastal ecosystems are especially vulnerable to global change; e.g., sea level rise (SLR) and extreme events. Over the past century, global change has resulted in salt-tolerant (halophytic) plant species migrating into upland salt-intolerant (glycophytic) dominated habitats along major rivers and large wetland expanses along the coast. While...Jiang, Jiang; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Teh, Su-Y; Krauss, Ken W.; Wang, Hongqing; Haidong, Li; Smith, Thomas; Koh, Hock L.
Approximations of stand water use versus evapotranspiration from three mangrove forests in southwest Florida, USA
Leaves from mangrove forests are often considered efficient in the use of water during photosynthesis, but less is known about whole-tree and stand-level water use strategies. Are mangrove forests as conservative in water use as experimental studies on seedlings imply? Here, we apply a simple model to estimate stand water use (S), determine the...Krauss, Ken W.; Barr, Jordan G.; Engel, Victor C.; Fuentes, Jose D.; Wang, Hongqing
A numerical study of vegetation impact on reducing storm surge by wetlands in a semi-enclosed estuary
Coastal wetlands play a unique role in extreme hurricane events. The impact of wetlands on storm surge depends on multiple factors including vegetation, landscape, and storm characteristics. The Delft3D model, in which vegetation effects on flow and turbulence are explicitly incorporated, was applied to the semi-enclosed Breton Sound (BS) estuary...Kelin, Hu; Qin, Chen; Wang, Hongqing
Forecasting landscape effects of Mississippi River diversions on elevation and accretion in Louisiana deltaic wetlands under future environmental uncertainty scenarios
Large sediment diversions are proposed and expected to build new wetlands to alleviate the extensive wetland loss (5,000 km2) affecting coastal Louisiana during the last 78 years. Current assessment and prediction of the impacts of sediment diversions have focused on the capture and dispersal of both water and sediment on the adjacent river side...Wang, Hongqing; Steyer, Gregory D.; Couvillion, Brady R.; John M. Rybczyk; Beck, Holly J.; William J. Sleavin; Ehab A. Meselhe; Mead A. Allison; Ronald G. Boustany; Craig J. Fischenich; Victor H. Rivera-Monroy
Predicting Impacts of tropical cyclones and sea-Level rise on beach mouse habitat
Alabama beach mouse (ABM) (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) is an important component of the coastal dune ecosystem along the Gulf of Mexico. Due to habitat loss and degradation, ABM is federally listed as an endangered species. In this study, we examined the impacts of storm surge and wind waves, which are induced by hurricanes and sea-level rise...Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Wang, Lixia; Tawes, Robert; Rollman, Drew
Landscape-level estimation of nitrogen removal in coastal Louisiana wetlands: potential sinks under different restoration scenarios
Coastal eutrophication in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) is the primary anthropogenic contributor to the largest zone of hypoxic bottom waters in North America. Although biologically mediated processes such as denitrification (Dn) are known to act as sinks for inorganic nitrogen, it is unknown what contribution denitrification makes to...Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.; Branoff, Benjamin; Meselhe, Ehab; McCorquodale, Alex; Dortch, Mark; Steyer, Gregory D.; Visser, Jenneke; Wang, Hongqing
New research shows how river diversions may change water quality in estuaries.