James S Kuwabara, Ph.D.

Serves as Scientist emeritus within the USGS Water Mission Area's National Research Program.  Access project Web site at: http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/solutetransport/index.htm


Studies quantitatively describe processes that regulate the transport of trace inorganic contaminants in surface-water systems.  For example, in many aquatic systems facing a long (decadal to century) history of anthropogenic inputs, solute accumulation in bottom sediments and biologically mediated chemical gradients at the sediment-water interface can generate a benthic source that may rival or even dramatically exceed regulated point sources.  Therefore, the importance of this benthic flux relative to regulated or monitored sources is a focus of the project.  To aid in the evaluation of remediation and load-allocation strategies, factors contributing to the temporal and spatial variability of the benthic flux of contaminants are also being examined.

Recent Accomplishments


  • California Institute of Technology: Ph.D. Environmental Engineering Science, June 1980; Ph.D. minor – Economics;
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering Science, June 1976
  •  University of Hawaii at Manoa: B.S. with academic honors in Civil Engineering, June 1975

Professional Studies/Experience

  • U. S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, National Research Program, Hydrologist (1982 – present)
  • City College of San Francisco, Adjunct faculty in Earth Sciences Department (2005 – present)
  • Cañada College, Adjunct faculty in Division of Science and Technology (2003-2006)


  • Thesis committees for 4 graduate students and advisor for 2 post-doctoral fellows (1992-2008)
  • Research Advisor, NRP Ecology Discipline, USGS (2009-present)
  • City College of San Francisco, Earth Sciences Department, Oceanography (January 2005 – present)
  • Cañada College, Department of Science and Technology, Oceanography (August 2003- May 2006)
  • National Water Quality Assessment Program, U.S. Geological Survey, Importance of sediment-water interactions on contaminant transport in mine-drainage systems, September, 2002.
  • Presentations at USGS Western Region Open Houses  
  •  Project Web site: http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/solute_transport/index.html

Professional societies/affiliations/committees/editorial boards

  • CALFED Technical Review Panel, Contaminants Proposals (August 2000)
  • Special Session Chairman, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Albuquerque, NM (February 2001)
  • Associate Editor, Water Resources Research (2000 to 2002)
  • Deputy Editor , Water Resources Research (January, 2002 to 2004)
  • Associate Editor, Water Resources Research (2004 to 2006)
  • Assistant Research Advisor, NRP Ecology Discipline, USGS (2006-2009)
  •  Editorial Board Member, Estuaries Newsletter, San Francisco Estuary Institute (1997 to present)
  •  Coordinator, Benthic-flux study of contaminants into the water column of Lake Coeur d'Alene, ID, USEPA-funded (1998 to 2001)

Honors, awards, recognition, elected offices

  • Excellence in Review Award, American Chemical Society, Environmental Science and Technology (November 2003)