Jeffrey Fischer

Biography

Jeff Fischer is the Associate Director for the U.S. Geological Survey, New Jersey Water Science Center.  He has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for over 35 years and has many years of experience studying water use and water quality issues in river basins and aquifers, and stream ecosystem health.  His early work characterized the geology of the Bering Sea, and studies in Nevada quantified rates of infiltration in arid environments.  After moving to New Jersey he conducted research on biodegradation rates of organic compounds in the subsurface, and the transport and fate of contaminants in streams, aquifers, and water-treatment systems.  He received his B.S. in geology from the University of Delaware and his M.S. in hydrology from the University of Nevada – Reno.  

 

Jeffrey M. Fischer

Narrative of Professional Experience:

SUPERVISORY HYDROLOGIST, New Jersey Water Science Center  –  1997 to present

I am Associate Director for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) New Jersey Water Science Center, and have been a supervisor in the office since 1997.  Most recently I was the scientific lead for the USGS National Water Census focus area study in the Delaware River Basin (http://water.usgs.gov/watercensus/delaware.html).  This four-State multi-disciplinary study improved our understanding of water use in the basin and the conflicts between human and ecological needs, and helped identify future water use issues.   Areas of study included improved water use and supply information, and development of a stream-flow model to assess how population growth, changing land-use, and the effects of climate variability will change water needs in the future.  The study also developed a scientific approach for defining relations between streamflow processes and the responses of aquatic organisms in tributary streams.

 

I have also supervised and directed USGS National Water Quality Studies (NAWQA) in the Delaware River Basin (DELR) and Long Island – New Jersey (LINJ).  These multi-state multi-disciplinary studies describe the occurrence of contaminants in streams, aquifers, sediment, and fish; relate water quality conditions to urban and agricultural landscape development; and describe impacts of urbanization and forest fragmentation on ecological communities.  On a regional level I have been working with other scientists to describe how water quality in the many aquifers of the North Atlantic Coastal Plain changes in responses to extensive water supply withdrawals, and intensive urban and agricultural development at the land surface.  Nationally I have conducted studies on the interactions between geology, geochemistry, and the surface application of chemicals and their impact on the transport of natural and anthropogenic contaminants to public supply wells. 

 

PROJECT MANAGER, New Jersey Water Science Center –  1987 to 1997

As a research scientist I coordinated two research projects in New Jersey that facilitated the needs of research scientists across the Nation.  These studies looked at biotransformation of organic contaminants in the subsurface, and associated changes in geochemistry.  The first project was a USGS Toxic Program study of the fate of gasoline hydrocarbons in the subsurface in the NJ Coastal Plain.  I interpreted surface and borehole geophysical data to identify geologic and geochemical constraints on the distribution of hydrocarbons, and developed methods to quantify rates of biodegradation and removal during vapor extraction.  The second project involved the use of air sparging to induce cometabolic biodegradation of TCE in the subsurface at a contamination site in glacial outwash deposits.  Despite complex geology at the site I developed methods to quantify biodegradation and applied techniques to separate physical removal from cometabolic degradation during air sparging. 

 

PROJECT CHIEF, Nevada Water Science Center –  1982 to 1987

In Nevada I conducted research on water infiltration and ran a Low-Level Radioactive Waste Program study of water movement through the unsaturated zone in extremely arid environments.  I developed techniques for measuring hydraulic gradients and hydraulic conductivities in a 100 meter thick unsaturated zone with large variations in geologic conditions.  I used analytical and modeling techniques to calculate water and vapor fluxes. I also conducted a study of artificial recharge through unsaturated alluvium near Carson City while completing graduate school.

 

Technician  –  1979 to 1982

I started my USGS career working in Marine Geology in Menlo Park, CA.   This work involved collecting and interpreting seismic profiles and sediment data in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.  In 1982 I returned to college to earn my Master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno.  During and after graduate school I worked at the USGS Water Resources office in Carson City, NV. 

 

Publications:

Williamson, T.N., Lant, J.G., Claggett, P.R., Nystrom, E.A., Milly, P.C.D., Hoffman, S.A., Fischer, J.M., Colarullo, S.J., and Nelson, H.L., 2015, Summary of hydrologic modeling for the Delaware River Basin using the Water Availability Tool for Environmental Resources (WATER): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5143, 68 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155143.

Judith M. Denver, Scott W. Ator, Jeffrey M. Fischer, Douglas C. Harned, Christopher E. Schubert, Zoltan Szabo; 2015, The quality of our Nation's waters: water quality in the Northern Atlantic Coastal Plain surficial aquifer system, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia, 1988-2009, Circular 1353 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/cir1353

Jeffrey M. Fischer, Patrick J. Phillips, Timothy J. Reilly, Michael J. Focazio, Keith A. Loftin, William M. Benzel, Daniel K. Jones, Kelly L. Smalling, Shawn C. Fisher, Irene J. Fisher, Luke R. Iwanowicz, Kristin Romanok, Darkus E. Jenkins, Luke Bowers, Adam Boehlke, William T. Foreman, Anna C. Deetz, Lisa G. Carper, Thomas E. Imbrigiotta, Justin E. Birdwell, 2015, Estuarine bed-sediment-quality data collected in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy, 2013Data Series 905 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ds905

William M. Alley, Eric J. Evenson, Nancy L. Barber, Breton W. Bruce, Kevin F. Dennehy, Mary C. Freeman, Ward O. Freeman, Jeffrey M. Fischer, William B. Hughes, Jonathan G. Kennen, Julie E. Kiang, Kelly O. Maloney, MaryLynn Musgrove, Barbara Ralston, Steven Tessler, James P. Verdin; 2013, Progress toward establishing a national assessment of water availability and use, Circular 1384http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/cir1384

Z. Szabo, V.T. dePaul, J.M. Fischer, T.F. Kraemer, E. Jacobsen, 2012, Occurrence and geochemistry of radium in water from principal drinking-water aquifer systems of the United States, Applied Geochemistry (27) 729-752 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70032665

Zoltan Szabo, Jeffrey M. Fischer, Tracy Connell Hancock, 2012, Principal aquifers can contribute radium to sources of drinking water under certain geochemical conditions, Fact Sheet 2010-3113http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20103113

Timothy J. Reilly, Kristin M. Romanok, Steven Tessler, Jeffrey M. Fischer, 2010, Assessment of Physical, Chemical, and Hydrologic Factors Affecting the Infiltration of Treated Wastewater in the New Jersey Coastal Plain, with Emphasis on the Hammonton Land Application Facility, Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5006  http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20105006

K. Riva-Murray, R. Riemann, P. Murdoch, J.M. Fischer, R. Brightbill, 2010, Landscape characteristics affecting streams in urbanizing regions of the Delaware River Basin (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, U.S.), Landscape Ecology (25) 1489-1503 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70037639

J.L. Barringer, T.P. Wilson, Z. Szabo, J.L. Bonin, J.M. Fischer, N.P. Smith, 2008, Diurnal variations in, and influences on, concentrations of particulate and dissolved arsenic and metals in the mildly alkaline Wallkill River, New Jersey, USA, Environmental Geology (53) 1183-1199 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70033358

R. Edward Hickman, Jeffrey M. Fischer, 2008, Water Quality of Streams in and near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 2002-04, Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5290  http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20075290

Kristin Romanok, Jeffrey M. Fischer, Karen Riva-Murray, Robin Brightbill, Michael Bilger, 2006, Organic Compounds and Trace Elements in Fish Tissue and Bed Sediment in the Delaware River Basin, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware, 1998-2000, Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5150 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sir20065150

Jeffrey M. Fischer, Karen Riva-Murray, R. Edward Hickman, Douglas C. Chichester, Robin A. Brightbill, Kristin M. Romanok, Michael D. Bilger, 2004, Water Quality in the Delaware River Basin, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware, 1998-2001, Circular 1227 http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/cir1227

Cozzarelli, I.M., Herman, J.S., Baedecker, M.J., and Fischer, J.M., 1999, Geochemical heterogeneity of a gasoline-contaminated aquifer: Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 40, p. 261-284.

Fischer, J.M., Wilson, T.P., and Kane, A.C., 1996, Use of a gaseous tracer to determine air-flow pathways in low-permeability aquifers during air-sparging tests, in Proceedings of the 1996 Petroleum Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemicals in Ground Water: Prevention, Detection, and Remediation Conference, November 13-16, 1996, Houston Texas.  pp 601-617.

Cozzarelli, I. M., Baedecker, M. J., Fischer, J., and Phinney, C. S., 1994, Ground-water contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons:  Natural biodegradation in a dynamic hydrologic and geochemical system, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, Proceedings of the 208th ACS National Meeting, August 21-26, 1994, v. 34, p. 588-592.

Baehr, A.L., and Fischer, J.M., 1994, Overview of research on the transport, microbial degradation, and remediation of hydrocarbons at a subsurface gasoline-spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Morganwalp, D.W., and Aronson, D.A., eds., 1994, U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015.

Fischer, J.M., Smith, N.P., and Baehr, A.L., 1994, Hydrogeology, contaminant distribution, and biodegradation processes at a gasoline-spill research site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Morganwalp, D.W., and Aronson, D.A., eds., 1994, U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015.

Fischer, J.M., Baker, R.J., Lahvis, M.A., and Baehr, A.L., 1994, Determination of vapor-phase diffusion coefficients for unsaturated-zone sediments at a gasoline-spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Morganwalp, D.W., and Aronson, D.A., eds., 1994, U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015.

Lahvis, M.A., Baehr, A.L., and Fischer, J.M., 1994, Method for estimating the rate of microbial degradation of hydrocarbons associated with bioventing at a gasoline-spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Morganwalp, D.W., and Aronson, D.A., eds., 1994, U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 20-24, 1993: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4015.

Cozzarelli, I. M., Baedecker, M. J., Fischer, J., and Phinney, C. S., 1994, Ground-water contamination by petroleum hydrocarbons:  Natural biodegradation in a dynamic hydrologic and geochemical system, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, Proceedings of the 208th ACS National Meeting, August 21-26, 1994, v. 34, p. 588-592.

Fischer, J.M., 1992, Sediment properties and water movement through shallow unsaturated alluvium at an arid site for disposal of low-level radioactive waste near Beatty, Nye County, Nevada, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4032, 48 p.  http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri924032

Baehr, A.L., Fischer, J.M., Lahvis, M.A., Baker, R.J., and Smith, N.P., 1991, Method for estimating rates of microbial degradation of hydrocarbons based on gas transport in the unsaturated zone at a gasoline-spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Mallard, G.E., and Aronson, D.A., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the technical meeting, Monterey, California, March 11-15, 1991: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4034, p. 250-255.

Baker, R.J., Fischer, J.M., Smith, N.P., Koehnlein, S.A., and Baehr, A.L., 1991, Gas-chromatographic methods for determining the composition of the vapor phase in gasoline-contaminated soils in Mallard, G.E., and Aronson, D.A., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the technical meeting, Monterey, California, March 11-15, 1991: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4034, p. 280-286.

Fischer, J.M., Baehr, A.L., and Smith, N.P., 1991, An investigation of the transport and microbial degradation of hydrocarbons in the subsurface at a gasoline-spill site in Galloway Township, New Jersey in Mallard, G.E., and Aronson, D.A., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the technical meeting, Monterey, California, March 11-15, 1991: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4034, p. 243-249.

Maurer, D. K. and Fischer, J. M., 1988, Recharge to the Eagle Valley ground- water basin by streamflow in Vicee Canyon, West-Central Nevada, U. S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 88-4158, 66 p. http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri884158

Fischer, J. M., Carlson, P. R., Karl, H. A., 1982, Bathymetric Map of Navarin Basin Provence, northern Bering Sea: U. S. Geological Survey Open File Report 82-1038, 11p, 1 map, Scale 1:1,000,000http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr821038

Carlson, P. R., Fischer, J. M., and Karl, H. A., 1981, Morphology of the Navarin Basin Provence, in: Carlson, P. R., and Karl, H. A. (eds.), Seafloor Geologic Hazards, Sedimentology, and Bathymetry: Navarin Basin Provence, Northwestern Bering Sea, U. S. Geological Survey Open File Report 81-1217, p 10-14

Carlson, P. R., Karl, H. A., Fischer, J. M., Johnson, K. A., and Lamb, B., 1981, Texturalvariations and composition of bottom sediments, in: Carlson, P. R., and Karl, H. A. (eds.), Seafloor Geologic Hazards, Sedimentology, and Bathymetry: Navarin Basin Provence, Northwestern Bering Sea, U. S. Geological Survey Open File Report 81-1217, p 28-34

Fischer, J. M., 1981, Carbon contents of Navarin Basin sediments, in: Carlson, P. R., and Karl, H. A. (eds.), Seafloor Geologic Hazards, Sedimentology, and Bathymetry: Navarin Basin Provence, Northwestern Bering Sea, U. S. Geological Survey Open File Report 81-1217, p 44-57