Center for Sustainable Development Start-Up or GLEON Water Quality Project
Instructor: David Johnson, Ph.D.
Up to two students interested in sustainability (particularly in organization start-up
and/or water quality and construction and deployment of a sensor-equipped buoy).
The CSD Research Assistant will help complete the establishment of the Ferrum College
Center for Sustainable Development (CSD). The center has been under discussion for
several years and the Coordinator of the CSD, Dr. David Johnson, worked part-time
on the center this past year. The college intends to formally announce the center’s
establishment during the coming school year as part the college’s programming theme
for the year, "Sustainability: More for Less for All." The RA selected to work on
the CSD will be involved with multiple aspects of the CSD start-up: communication
with advisory board members, establishing contacts with other colleges and NGOs, program
planning for both the center and theme, outreach, budget development, and fundraising.
The Ferrum Water Quality Program (WQP) has received continuous funding since 1985,
and the water quality lab is certified by the Virginia DEQ. Dr. Johnson has been working
for the past 2 years to align the Ferrum College WQP more closely with an international
organization, the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON: http://www.gleon.org/). The GLEON mission is to view lakes as "canaries in a mine" by using high frequency
sampling to investigate changes in water quality associated with changes in land-use
and/or climate. The water quality research will involve building and deploying a sensor-equipped
buoy to provide high frequency sampling of certain water quality parameters at Smith
Mountain Lake. To begin the long-term project, a Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) will
be constructed, similar to those designed by Dr. Doug Levine of NOAA (http://secoora.org/classroom/BOB_educational_water_quality).
Dave Johnson, Ph.D.
Dr. Johnson is Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science and Coordinator for
the Ferrum College Center for Sustainable Development. He received his bachelors in
chemistry and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Health Sciences, all from The University
of Michigan. He has served twice as Chair of the Virginia Blue Ridge Section of the
American Chemical Society and is currently serving on the executive board of the Virginia
Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. Dr. Johnson has over 35 years
of experience in water quality research and helped develop long-term water quality
monitoring programs on Smith Mountain Lake and Claytor Lake. He has traveled to China
annually since 2004 and spent the 2010-11 academic year at China Three Gorges University
in Yichang, China. Dr. Johnson also designed and built a passive solar home where
he has lived for 28 years.
If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Dr. Johnson directly