Nancy Baker

Nancy is part of the NAWQA Cycle 3 National Monitoring Status and Assessment Team and is currently working on estimating county-level agricultural pesticide use for the United States.

Biography

Nancy Baker holds a B.S. degree in Biology and M.S. degree in Geography from Western Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. degree in Geography from Louisiana State University. She joined the USGS in 1984 at the Louisiana Water Science Center where she worked on rainfall runoff modeling projects.

She transferred to the Arkansas Water Science Center in 1987 and worked on several projects including Water Use and GIS applications.

In 1991, Nancy relocated to the Indiana Water Science as part of the National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Cycle I, White River Study team. She provided GIS support as well as participated in data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and documentation of results.

In 2001 the NAWQA Cycle 2 study focused on topical studies and Nancy became Lead Scientist for the White River -- Miami River Agricultural Chemical Transport (ACT) team. She also became involved in several national NAWQA endeavors including compilation of NAWQA data for inclusion in the Heinz Center State of the Nation's Ecosystems 2008 report and the EPAs Report on the Environment.  

In 2013 Nancy became part of the NAWQA Cycle 3 National Monitoring Status and Assessment Team and is currently working on estimating county-level agricultural pesticide use for the United States.

 

2013-Present: Hydrologist/Geographic Information Specialist, Indiana Water Science Center, National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA), National Monitoring and Status Assesment Team for Surface Water.

  • Provides annual county-level agricultural pesticide use estimates for the conterminous United States and provides GIS analysis relating pesticide use to concentrations in the hydrologic environment.

2001-2012: Hydrologist/Geographic Information Specialist, Indiana Water Science Center, National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Team and Lead Scientist for White River Study Unit Agricultural Chemical Transport (ACT) topical team.

  • Used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analyses to provide hydrologic and land use setting, and assess the availability of historical water-quality and streamflow data for selecting potential study watersheds for the NAWQA Integrated Watershed Studies Cycle 3 planning and design team.
  • Lead Scientist for the NAWQA White River – Miami River Agricultural Chemical Transport (ACT) topical study. In charge of coordinating team members to design the study, select sites, install instrumentation, collect data, prepare models, interpret results, and reporting findings.
  • Member of national NAWQA ACT team charged with combining and interpreting results from individual ACT topical studies to increase understanding of how landscape characteristics and hydrologic setting affect transport processes and pathways of agricultural chemicals. Provided GIS analyses and co-authored USGS Circular.
  • Senior Technical Contributor and GIS expert for the Field to Market Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production in the United States report: “Water Quality Impacts of On-Farm Agricultural Production in the United States.” Provided tillage practice aggregations for NAWQA and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wadable stream watersheds.
  • Senior Technical Contributor and water-quality expert for NAWQA contribution to the H. John Heinz Center State of the Nation’s Ecosystems 2008 report and for the EPA’s 2007 Report on the Environment.
  • Provide high-quality timely GIS analyses and support to NAWQA national leadership team for a variety of applications.
  • Compiled and published national geospatial datasets for use in NAWQA investigations. Converted Conservation Technology Information Center proprietary county-level tillage practice data into a nationally accessible watershed-level dataset. Compiled drainage basin boundaries for National Stream Quality Accounting Network (NASQAN) watersheds.

1991-2001: Hydrologist / Geographic Information Systems Specialist, Indiana Water Science Center, National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Team

  • Built the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program for the Indiana Water Science Center (WSC). Compiled an Indiana geospatial library, provided expertise on projects and proposals with GIS components, maintained data, and trained project personnel to utilize GIS as an analysis tool.
  • Member on NAWQA Cycle 2 National Synthesis planning team. Used GIS approach to compiling data and run rainfall-runoff models in order to test the appropriateness of the selected models for predicting pesticide concentrations in potential NAWQA ACT watersheds.
  • Provided support to the Source Water Assessment program by developing automated GIS and Geographic Positioning System (GPS) data collection techniques.
  • Served as project team member and provided GIS expertise to both the White River NAWQA and the MIAMI NAWQA study units. Collected and analyzed hydrologic, water-quality, and ecology data and contributed to interpretive reports documenting the studies.
  • Developed methods for integrating GIS and GPS with an Acoustic Doppler Profiler to conduct a bathymetric survey of Geist and Morse Reservoirs.

1988-1991: Hydrologist/Water Use Specialist, Arkansas Water Science Center.

  • Water Use Specialist and Water Use data base administrator.
  • Independently managed the water use program.
  • Expanded the existing Cooperator based program by developing interpretive products and helping the Cooperator find more effective water-use survey and data entry methods.
  • Improved methods for estimating water use by standardizing and documenting procedures for conducting and interpreting water-use surveys.

1986-1988: Hydrologist, Louisiana Water Science Center.

  • Project Chief for intensive survey of the hydrologic features and processes of the Vermilion River.
  • Independently managed and led interpretive investigations, collected data, and applied understanding of hydrologic interactions with environmental conditions to interpret data and report findings.   

1984-1986: Hydrologic Technician, Louisiana Water Science Center. (Student Appointment)

  • Designed study, collected and interpreted data, and reported findings of an urban rainfall and runoff modeling study to simulate the effects of altering the amount of impervious surface on flow regime.
  • One of the first to use a Geographic Information Systems approach to develop modeling scenarios by using computer programs to automate quantification of impervious area.
  • Used the Distributed Rainfall Runoff and Routing Model (DR3M) to simulated flow regimes.
  • Results were presented in my Ph.D. dissertation