Melissa Riskin


Melissa Riskin is a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey where she has worked since 1998.


M.S. in Hydrology, University of New Hampshire, 2002

B.S. in Earth Science (Minor in Geology), Pennsylvania State University, 1997

Professional Experience

2014-present-Member of the National Water-Quality Assessment Project (NAWQA) Surface-Water Status and Trends Team. Project lead for the 2017 National Water Quality Trends Update.

2013-2014-Member of the NAWQA Data Aggregation Team. Duties included data compilation, validation and formatting large data sets for inclusion in a National database. Worked to harmonize and  conform this data into standard templates.

2005-2013- Worked on a project to develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL) using streamflow alteration resulting from anthropogenic change as a stressor on aquatic life. Used the Hydroecological Integrity Assessment Process and associated software (HIT,HAT) using streamflow data to generate hydrologic indices.

2002-2005- Returned to New Jersey and continued water quality sampling and ecological sampling. Became the NAWQA SW sampling lead and have continued coordinating and participating in all of the NAWQA sampling. Worked on the Pinelands project to evaluate effects of potential changes in streamflow regime on fish and aquatic-invertebrate assemblages in the New Jersey Pinelands

2000-2002- Left to pursue a masters degree in NH and worked at the New Hampshire Water Science Center. Collected surface water quality samples for NAWQA and also performed ecological sampling including fish, algae, macroinvertebrate, and habitat assessments. While there I also spent time looking at nutrient and chlorophyll relations as well as in-situ chlorophyll a technology using a YSI continuous multi-parameter meter.

1998-2000- Began work with the USGS in the New Jersey Water Science Center. Responsible for collecting and processing surface and groundwater samples as part of the NJ ambient monitoring network. Programed, calibrated, and maintained continuous multi-parameter meters and made stream flow measurements.