Jeni Keisman, Ph.D.



Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University.

M.S. in Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology, University of Maryland.

B.A. in History, St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


Professional Objectives

  • To apply my expertise in the areas of ecosystem ecology and analytical research to advance our understanding of the effect of human activities on water quality and availability;
  • To leverage my skills and experience in project planning and management, workgroup coordination, technical writing, and public speaking to further the synthesis and communication of ecosystem science;
  • To facilitate the use of sound science to inform decision-making in the field of natural resource management.


Current and Recent Projects

In my current position at the USGS, I collaborate with researchers and managers in federal, state, regional, and local government agencies, academia, and related organizations, to advance the science underpinning the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort. We are working to quantify and explain regional water-quality patterns, factors that affect those patterns (natural as well as anthropogenic), and the implications of our findings for the ecological health and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and estuary.

Prior to joining the USGS, I spent 2 years as a Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the US Department of Energy. While at the DOE, I conducted a Well-To-Wheels analysis to quantify water consumed in the domestic production of fossil and renewable transportation fuels. I also served on the coordinating committee of the DOE’s Water-Energy Technology Team (WETT), and as co-Chair of the WETT Thermoelectric Water Management Workgroup.

Prior to my time at the DOE, I spent 5 years as a water quality analyst at the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program Office. While at the CBP, I worked on the development of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL and was responsible for the analysis of tidal water quality indicators (dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll a). I conducted analysis and research to assess attainment of Clean Water Act section 303(d) water quality standards in the tidally influenced waters of Chesapeake Bay, and I served as Coordinator of the CBP’s Tidal Monitoring and Analysis Workgroup.


Professional Experience

2014 – Present 
Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Baltimore, Maryland

2011 – 2013 
AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, DC

2006 – 2011 
Assistant Research Scientist/Water Quality Analyst, University of Maryland at the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), Annapolis, MD

1999 – 2001 
Graduate Research Assistant, University of Maryland at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD

1996 - 1998 
Software Applications Developer, Primark Inc., Bethesda, MD

1995 – 1996 
Technical Writer, Primark Inc., Bethesda, MD


Associations and Memberships

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • American Water Resources Association (AWRA)


Selected Bibliography

Keisman J., K. Johnson, T. Nguyen, J. Ward., in review. “Water Consumption for Transportation Fuels.” Program Record, Fuel Cell Technologies Office, Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. 20585.

Keisman, Jeni and Gary Shenk, 2013. Total Maximum Daily Load Criteria Assessment Using Monitoring and Modeling Data. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 49(5): 1134-1149. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12111

Keisman, J., G. Shenk, P. Wang, R. Batiuk, L. Linker. 2010. Resolution of Segments Failing to Attain the Dissolved Oxygen Criteria. Appendix N-1 in USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3, Docket Number EPA-R03-OW-2010-0736.

Keisman, J. 2009. “Species effects on nutrient cycling in forests: Leaf litter’s role in shaping soil microbial communities and nutrient cycling.” Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 2009.