Kevin D Kroeger, PhD

Kevin Kroeger has studied coastal ecosystems since 1990, with focus on a range of topics including fluxes and biogeochemistry of nitrogen in groundwater discharge to estuaries and wetlands, estuarine water quality, and carbon and greenhouse gas cycling and fluxes in coastal wetlands.

Biography

Kroeger is lead of the Biogeochemical Processes group at Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, and lead of a new project titled: Biogeochemical Drivers of Wetland Persistence and Feedbacks on Coastal Hazards The objectives of this Project are to provide guidance to federal (National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife Service, Army Corp of Engineers), state, local and private land owners and managers regarding stability and persistence of coastal wetlands under a range of hydrological management conditions and changing environmental conditions. Tidal wetlands provide critical services to society, including protection of infrastructure from coastal hazards, and habitat provision for economically important species. A large fraction of U.S. tidal wetlands, however, has been lost or degraded during recent centuries due to human actions, largely related to development and utilization of coastal lands. Feedbacks and interactions among natural and anthropogenic drivers have altered the stability and persistence of coastal wetlands. Decisions regarding hydrological management can alter the balance of organic matter production, retention and preservation, and thus management actions can either promote wetland persistence and resilience, or cause catastrophic loss of elevation, putting coastal infrastructure at increased risk of flooding or storm damage. This project impacts wetland management decisions. The contiguous U.S. has close to 2 million hectares of estuarine and marine wetlands. Nearly all of that area is under some level of management, with the federal government being the largest single manager. Land managers at FWS and NPS, and flood managers at ACOE, must make decisions regarding whether to spend substantial funds to maintain, repair and enhance water control structures under increasing rates of sea level change, or alternatively whether to reduce or remove hydrological management, to restore managed wetlands to more natural hydrology and enhance the capability of wetlands to build elevation over time, and to migrate landward. Society needs guidance and predictions regarding the result of those decisions for continued elevation gain, migration, and ongoing persistence of the wetlands.

Curriculum Vitae