Ralph Haefner


Ralph was born and raised on the south shore of Long Island, NY and has lived in Columbus, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1982 majoring in Geology at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta and went on to get his Master's degree in geology at Bowling Green State University in 1986. He started his career with the USGS Long Island Subdistrict in 1986 where he worked on a variety of groundwater-resources issues. Ralph transferred to Columbus, Ohio in 1990 to work on a research project focusing on abandoned coal-mine reclamation and beneficial use of coal-combustion by-products. In 1998, he received his Ph.D. in geology from the Ohio State University. While in Ohio, he worked on many different groundwater and water-quality projects. In 2014, he transferred to Lansing, Michigan where he currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center.


Ralph's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science degree granted by the State University of New York, College at Oneonta and a Master of Science degree from Bowling Green State University where he studied Mississippi Valley-type (lead-zinc) deposits in the Trenton Limestone of Ohio. After graduating with his Master's degree in 1986, he started his career with the USGS on Long Island where he served as a field technician sampling groundwater for a project with the goal of relating shallow groundwater chemistry to land use. During this time, he developed skills in groundwater investigations, computer applications, and geographic information systems. In 1990, Ralph transferred to Columbus, Ohio where he worked on groundwater quality and quantity problems throughout the state. His work focused on acid-mine drainage problems and trace-element composition of groundwater. He started work towards his Ph.D. at the Ohio State University in 1993 while working full time at the USGS. His dissertation work (and 11-year project at the USGS) investigated groundwater chemistry at an abandoned coal mine reclaimed with flue-gas desulfurization by-products. In 2006, Ralph became the Groundwater Specialist of the Ohio Water Science Center and supervised eight scientists until 2014 when he accepted a position as Deputy Director of the Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center in Lansing, Michigan. There are three areas that currently hold interest in Ralph's professional career: water-resources impacts related to oil and gas development in shale formations; hydrologic influences of stormwater control measures in urban settings; and monitoring nutrient inputs to Great Lakes tributaries towards developing an understanding of factors that may lead to harmful algal blooms. Additionally, Ralph is currently focusing on developing his leadership and management skills as Deputy Director within the newly merged Michigan-Ohio Water Science Center.



Haefner, R.J., Runkle, D.L., and Mailot, B.E., 2014, Groundwater levels and water quality during a 96-hour aquifer test in Pickaway County, Ohio, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5040, 16 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20145040.

Haefner, R.J., and Simonson, L.A., 2010, Hydrologic data assessment of the Tuscarawas River Basin with an annotated bibliography: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Information Report 2010-5010, 115 p.

Haefner, R.J., Sheets, R.A., and Andrews, R.E., 2010, Evaluation of the Horizontal-to-Vertical Spectral Ratio (HVSR) Seismic Method to Determine Sediment Thickness in the Vicinity of the South Well Field, Franklin County, OH: The Ohio Journal of Science, v110, n4 (September, 2010), 77-85. http://hdl.handle.net/1811/52793

Darner, R.A., Tertuliani, J.S., and Haefner, R.J., 2005, Chemical and biological characterization of the headwaters of the Rush Creek watershed, Perry County, Ohio: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5196.

Haefner, R.J., 2002, Water quality and geochemical modeling of water at an abandoned coal mine reclaimed with coal-combustion by-products: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4216, 28 p.

Haefner, R.J., 2001, Evolution of ground-water-flow modeling at the South Well Field, Columbus, Ohio [abstract]: 46th Midwest Ground Water Conference Program & Abstracts, Madison, WI, p. 18.

Haefner, R.J., 2001, Effects of PFBC byproducts on water quality: Ashlines (a newsletter of the Combustion Byproducts Recycling Consortium sponsored by the Department of Energy), Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 1-4, on: http://wvwri.nrcce.wvu.edu/programs/cbrc/publications/2001/Spring_01.pdf

Haefner, R.J., 2001, A sulfur-isotope mixing model to trace leachate from pressurized fluidized bed combustion byproducts in an abandoned-coal-mine setting: FUEL, vol. 80, pp. 829-836.

Haefner, R.J., 2000, Characterization methods for fractured glacial tills: The Ohio Journal of Science, vol. 100, no. 3/4, pp. 73-87.

Haefner, R.J., 1999, Hydrologic assessment of the Upper Dorr Run Watershed, Hocking County, Ohio, 1998: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 99-4137, 13 p., 1 plate.

Nalley, G.M. and Haefner R.J., 1999, Simulation of the effects of nearby quarrying operations on ground-water flow at the South Well Field, Franklin County, Ohio: U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Report 99-4136, 23 p.

Haefner, R.J., 1998, Geochemistry and ground-water flow beneath an abandoned coal mine reclaimed with pressurized fluidized bed combustion by-products: unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 238 p.

Stehouwer, R., Dick, W., Bigham, J., Forster, L., Hitzhusen, F., McCoy, E., Traina, S., Wolfe, W., Haefner, R., and Rowe, G., 1998, Land Application Uses for Dry FGD By-Products, Phase 2: Electric Power Research Institute TR-109652, 302 p.

Haefner, R.J., and Rowe, G.L. Jr., 1997, Water quality at an abandoned Ohio coal mine reclaimed with dry flue-gas desulfurization by-products: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-051-97, 4 p.

Haefner, R.J., 1996, GIS analysis of LANDSAT thematic mapper data for estimating sediment concentrations in two Ohio rivers: in Proceedings of the Water Management Association of Ohio Spring Meeting, Akron, Ohio, May 16, 1996, p. 10.

Stehouwer, R., Dick, W., Bigham, J., Forster, L., Hitzhusen, F., McCoy, E., Traina, S., Wolfe, W., and Haefner, R., 1995, Land Application Uses for Dry FGD By-Products, Phase 1: Electric Power Research Institute TR-105264, 254 p.

Haefner, R.J., Jackson, K.S., and Sherwood, J.M., 1994, Expedition of water-surface-profile computations by use of a geographic information system: Proceedings of the EPA National Conference on Environmental Problem Solving with GIS, EPA/625/R-95/004, p. 295-298.

Haefner, R.J., and Rowe, G.L. Jr., 1992, Geochemical and geophysical analysis of shallow aquifer materials in Pennsylvanian coal-bearing strata in east-central Ohio: in Geological Society of America 1992 Annual Meeting, Program with Abstracts, v. 24, no. 7, p. A283.

Franke, O.L., Reilly, T.E., Haefner, R.J., and Simmons, D.L., 1990, Study guide for a beginning course in ground-water hydrology: Part I-course participants: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 90-183, 180 p.

Haefner, R.J., 1990, Use of a geographic information system to evaluate potential sites of public-water-supply wells on Long Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 91-182, 33 p.

Haefner, R.J., Mancuso, J.J., Frizado, J.P., Shelton, K.L., and Gregg, J.M., 1988, Crystallization temperatures and stable isotope compositions of Mississippi Valley-type carbonates and sulfides of the Trenton Limestone, Wyandot County, Ohio: Economic Geology, v. 83, p. 1061-1069.