Laurie S Balistrieri

Laurie is a Research Chemist at Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center. She received a M.S. in Oceanography from the Univ. of Washington School of Oceanography. Since joining the USGS in 1986, her career is devoted to studying environmental geochemistry. She specializes in metal cycling in aquatic environments with a current focus on the toxicity of metal mixtures to aquatic life


Laurie worked as a chemical oceanographer in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington early in her career, and did various coastal and open-ocean cruises. Her research at that time examined the adsorption of metals onto synthetic metal oxide phases and natural particles, and she helped with porewater work on organic matter diagenesis. When she joined the USGS, Laurie continued her adsorption research and got involved in field studies that examined the behavior of metals in terrestrial ecosystems. She studied carbon cycling in wetlands in Louisiana, metal cycling in numerous natural and pit lakes in the Northern United States, the composition of hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake and their effect on lake chemistry, and the behavior of contaminants resulting from historical mining activities in numerous river basins in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Washington, and Vermont. 

Professional Experience:

  • Presently Research Chemist, Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center, Grafton, Wisconsin.

Non-USGS Partners:

  • Technical Advisory Group to Department of Interior on issues related to the Upper Columbia River Basin