Shawn C Fisher
Shawn began working at the USGS as a student in May, 2002, collecting and interpreting groundwater and surface water quality data. Studies include contaminants of emerging concern in public supply wells, groundwater contamination in nearshore waters, assessing sediment and water for insecticide contamination in untargeted wetlands, and evaluating real-time water quality data. He has worked in a variety of land use settings, from urban to agricultural, and helped organize and develop environmental health studies following Hurricane Sandy. Shawn is the network coordinator for the Sediment-bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) study and leads the Northeast Region Urban Landscapes Capability Team.
- PhD in Chemistry--Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.) from 2004-2012
- BS in Natural Science and Math--Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.) from 2000-2004
USGS data release products in support of related publications:
Fisher, S.C., Armstrong, D.S., Beaulieu, K.M., Bjorklund, B.W., Blake, L.J., Bowen, P.W., Brightbill, R.A., Campo, K.W., Chalmers, A.T., Cohl, J.A., Colella, K.M., Delsack, C.N., Eicholtz, L.W., Fisher, I.J., Grieve, P.L., King-Souchek, C.T., Lewis, C.R., Lotspeich, R.R., Matt, Serena, Melberg, A.K., Nealen, C.W., Peters, Jill, Savoie, J.G., Schreiner, M.L., Sorenson, J.R., Welk, R.J., Wicklein, S.M., Zoida, K.M., Benzel, W.M., Griffin, D.W., Iwanowicz, L.R., Jones, D.K., Loftin, K.A. and Reilly, T.J., 2016, Location, sampling methods and field conditions of resiliency-mode soil and sediment sampling stations sampled, Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response Strategy pilot study, northeastern United States, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7VT1Q5Z.
Fisher, S.C., Bjorklund, B.W., Campo, K.W., Carper, L.G., Cohl, J.A., Colella, K.M., Delsack, C.N., Fisher, I.J., King-Souchek, C.T., Lewis, C.R., Melberg, A.K., Nealen, C.W., Peters, Jill, Savoie, J.G., Schreiner, M.L., Taylor, Kelsey, Benzel, W.M., Griffin,D.W., Iwanowicz, L.R., Jones, D.K., Loftin, K.A., and Reilly, T.J., 2016, Location, sampling methods and field conditions of response-mode soil and sediment sampling stations sampled, Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response Strategy pilot study, northeastern United States, 2015: U.S. Geological Survey data release, http://dx.doi.org/10.5066/F7R20ZG0
Science and Products
Background In order to help identify sources of high Enterococci concentrations identified by the Village of East Hampton and the Surfrider Foundation’s water-quality sampling upstream of Hook Pond, surface water and groundwater samples will be collected and analyzed for F+-specific coliphage, bacteroides, Enterococci and fecal coliform, and nitrogen isotopes. Potential sources of pathogens...
PROBLEM Hook Pond, an 83-acre freshwater pond in East Hampton, N.Y., has historically shown indications of impaired water quality. Impairments in this shallow pond include elevated nutrient concentrations and low dissolved oxygen concentrations in bottom waters as a result of current and historical land-use practices (Lombardo, 2015). Recent (2016) harmful algal blooms in Hook Pond and other...
Using Microbial Source Tracking to Identify Pollution Sources in Pathogen Impaired Embayments in Long Island, New York
Problem The presence of pathogens in Long Island marine embayments and the hazards they pose to marine resources and human health is of increasing concern. Many waterbodies on the New York State Section 303(d) List of Impaired Waters have pathogens listed as the primary pollutant that are suspected to originate from urban/storm runoff. There is neither a clear understanding of the relative...
The USGS Northeast Region (NER) began a process of integrating its scientific expertise and technical staff around issues of societal concern. These Regional Capability Teams (CTs) are intended to encourage interdisciplinary scientist-to- scientist collaboration and communication across the NER’s 11 Science Centers and promote the use of best methods on specific science focus areas to produce...
Problem The shallow groundwater of Nassau and Suffolk Counties is prone to contamination from current land-use, including agricultural, residential, and recreational. The aquifer system of Long Island is highly susceptible to human-derived contamination, in particular, because the soils and underlying sediments are generally composed of sandy, permeable materials that allow contaminants to...
Problem : Occurrence and persistence of emerging contaminants in groundwater flow in Suffolk County, New York Objectives: This project will monitor groundwater from selected SCWA supply wells for compounds indicative of anthropogenic sources, which are of increasing public concern. Approach: Groundwater-flow information, well-construction details, and distance from treated wastewater (...
Problem Over the past century, the Harlem River watershed has become highly urbanized with 90 percent of the waterway constrained by infrastructure, which has limited access for recreational use. Bound by New York (Manhattan) and Bronx Counties, the Harlem River is a tidal strait between urbanized estuaries to the north (Hudson River) and south (East River). Direct inputs include the...
The U.S. Geological Survey's Strategy to Evaluate Persistent Contaminant Hazards Resulting from Sea Level Rise and Storm-derived Disturbances SCORR Mapper SCoRR: Sediment-bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response Strategy Project Page Natural and anthropogenic contaminants, pathogens, and viruses are found in soils and sediments throughout the United States. Enhanced dispersion and...
Development of a Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy for the South Shore Estuary Reserve, Long Island NY
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is collaborating with the New York Department of State (NYDOS) Office of Planning and Development to prepare a new Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve (SSER) Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy (CWRMS). Since 2000, when the last CWRMS was published, numerous research projects and studies are demonstrating several new threats to the ecologic...
Detection and Quantification of Oxygenated Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (oxy-PAHs) in Groundwater Near the Former Manufactured Gas Plant in Bay Shore, N.Y.
Introduction As a result of storage and disposal practices at a former Manufactured Gas Plant, or MGP, in Bay Shore, NY, a variety of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been detected at high concentrations in the surficial, upper glacial aquifer of Long Island. Levels of PAHs initially detected over 10 years ago were in the parts-per-thousand range within a groundwater contaminant...
Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy
Executive SummaryThe Long Island South Shore Estuary Reserve Coordinated Water Resources Monitoring Strategy (CWRMS) provides an overview of the water-quality and ecological monitoring within the Reserve and presents suggestions from stakeholders for future data collection, data management, and coordination among monitoring programs. The South...Fisher, Shawn C.; Welk, Robert J.; Finkelstein, Jason S.
Matrix inhibition PCR and Microtox® 81.9% screening assay analytical results for samples collected for the Sediment-Bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response Strategy pilot study, northeastern United States, 2015
Coastal communities are uniquely vulnerable to sea-level rise (SLR) and severe storms such as hurricanes. These events enhance the dispersion and concentration of natural and anthropogenic chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms that could adversely affect the health and resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems in coming years. The U.S....Schill, William B.; Benzel, William M.; Fisher, Shawn C.; Griffin, Dale W.; Jones, Daniel K.; Loftin, Keith A.; Iwanowicz, Luke R. ; Reilly, Timothy J.
Exposure potential of salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to environmental health stressors
Natural and anthropogenic contaminants, pathogens, and viruses are found in soils and sediments throughout the United States. Enhanced dispersion and concentration of these environmental health stressors in coastal regions can result from sea level rise and storm-derived disturbances. The combination of existing environmental health stressors and...Defne, Zafer; Ganju, Neil K.; Jones, Daniel K.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Aquino, Kimberly C.; Carbo, Chelsea L.; Kaufhold, Erika E.; Benzel, William M.; Fisher, Shawn C.; Griffin, Dale W.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.
The impact of onsite wastewater disposal systems on groundwater in areas inundated by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey
Coastal onsite wastewater disposal systems (OWDS) were inundated by Hurricane Sandy's storm tide. This study compares the shallow groundwater quality (nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and hormones) downgradient of OWDS before and after Hurricane Sandy, where available, and establishes a baseline for wastewater influence on groundwater in coastal...Fisher, Irene; Phillips, Patrick J.; Colella, Kaitlyn; Fisher, Shawn C.; Tagliaferri, Tristen N.; Foreman, William T. ; Furlong, Edward T.
Comparison of wastewater-associated contaminants in the bed sediment of Hempstead Bay, New York, before and after Hurricane Sandy
Changes in bed sediment chemistry of Hempstead Bay (HB) have been evaluated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which resulted in the release of billions of liters of poorly-treated sewage into tributaries and channels throughout the bay. Surficial grab samples (top 5 cm) collected before and (or) after Hurricane Sandy from sixteen sites in HB...Fisher, Shawn C.; Phillips, Patrick J.; Brownawell, Bruce J.; Browne, James
Regional variability in bed-sediment concentrations of wastewater compounds, hormones and PAHs for portions of coastal New York and New Jersey impacted by hurricane Sandy
Bed sediment samples from 79 coastal New York and New Jersey, USA sites were analyzed for 75 compounds including wastewater associated contaminants, PAHs, and other organic compounds to assess the post-Hurricane Sandy distribution of organic contaminants among six regions. These results provide the first assessment of wastewater compounds,...Phillips, Patrick J.; Gibson, Cathy A; Fisher, Shawn C.; Fisher, Irene; Reilly, Timothy J.; Smalling, Kelly L. ; Romanok, Kristin M. ; Foreman, William T. ; ReVello, Rhiannon C.; Focazio, Michael J.; Jones, Daniel K.
Urban infrastructure and water management—Science capabilities of the U.S. Geological Survey
Managing the urban-water cycle has increasingly become a challenge for water-resources planners and regulators faced with the problem of providing clean drinking water to urban residents. Sanitary and combined sanitary and storm sewer networks convey wastewater to centralized treatment plants. Impervious surfaces, which include roads, parking lots...Fisher, Shawn C.; Fanelli, Rosemary M.; Selbig, William R.
Historical water-quality data from the Harlem River, New York
Data specific to the Harlem River, New York, have been summarized and are presented in this report. The data illustrate improvements in the quality of water for the past 65 years and emphasize the importance of a continuous water-quality record for establishing trends in environmental conditions. Although there is a paucity of sediment-quality...Fisher, Shawn C.
Standard operating procedures for collection of soil and sediment samples for the Sediment-bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) strategy pilot study
An understanding of the effects on human and ecological health brought by major coastal storms or flooding events is typically limited because of a lack of regionally consistent baseline and trends data in locations proximal to potential contaminant sources and mitigation activities, sensitive ecosystems, and recreational facilities where...Fisher, Shawn C.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Jones, Daniel K.; Benzel, William M.; Griffin, Dale W.; Loftin, Keith A.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Cohl, Jonathan A.
Strategy to evaluate persistent contaminant hazards resulting from sea-level rise and storm-derived disturbances—Study design and methodology for station prioritization
Coastal communities are uniquely vulnerable to sea-level rise (SLR) and severe storms such as hurricanes. These events enhance the dispersion and concentration of natural and anthropogenic chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms that could adversely affect the health and resilience of coastal communities and ecosystems in coming years. The U.S....Reilly, Timothy J.; Jones, Daniel K.; Focazio, Michael J.; Aquino, Kimberly C.; Carbo, Chelsea L.; Kaufhold, Erika E.; Zinecker, Elizabeth K.; Benzel, William M.; Fisher, Shawn C.; Griffin, Dale W.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Loftin, Keith A.; Schill, William B.
Estuarine bed-sediment-quality data collected in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy, 2013
This report describes a reconnaissance study of estuarine bed-sediment quality conducted June–October 2013 in New Jersey and New York after Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 to assess the extent of contamination and the potential long-term human and ecological impacts of the storm. The study, funded through the Disaster Relief Appropriations...Fischer, Jeffrey M.; Phillips, Patrick J.; Reilly, Timothy J.; Focazio, Michael J.; Loftin, Keith A.; Benzel, William M.; Jones, Daniel K.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Fisher, Shawn C.; Fisher, Irene J.; Iwanowicz, Luke R.; Romanok, Kristin M.; Jenkins, Darkus E.; Bowers, Luke; Boehlke, Adam; Foreman, William T.; Deetz, Anna C.; Carper, Lisa G.; Imbrigiotta, Thomas E.; Birdwell, Justin E.
Occurrence of Pharmaceuticals in Shallow Ground-Water of Suffolk County, New York, 2002-05
Seventy (70) water samples were collected from 61 wells in the upper glacial and Magothy aquifers (9 wells were sampled twice) during 2002-05 and analyzed for 24 pharmaceuticals. Wells were selected for their proximity to known wastewater-treatment facilities that discharge to the shallow upper glacial aquifer. Pharmaceuticals were detected in 28...Benotti, Mark J.; Fisher, Shawn; Terracciano, Stephen
Water quality in the Harlem River in New York has improved greatly since passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, though there are still instances where it doesn’t meet state and federal standards according to first time analysis of the river data by the U.S. Geological Survey.