People

Faculty

Janet S. Herman

Professor and Director, PIRCH · Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1982.

Contact Information

My general field of interest is low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, encompassing problems in water-rock interactions, kinetics of geochemical reactions, and evolution of groundwater chemistry in various hydrogeological environments. My research includes elements of field studies, laboratory experimentation, and theoretical modeling. One research project is focused on the fate and transport of bacteria and organic contaminants in groundwater and is a collaborative effort with Messrs. Mills and Hornberger. We are currently investigating the effects of geological heterogeneity in a Coastal Plain deposit on the transport of reactive solutes and bacteria. Another project underway is focused on the fundamental geochemical, hydrological, and microbiological processes influencing the environmental fate of agricultural chemicals in a watershed in Virginia underlain by deeply weathered, fractured limestone. In this project, the colloid-facilitated transport of nutrients and herbicides is being investigated in the unsaturated soil zone. A new project in Florida will use hydrogeological and geochemical models to gain insight into groundwater flow paths and residence times.

Recent Publications

Teaching

Fundamentals of Geology (EVSC 2800)
Studies the composition, structure, and internal processes of earth; the classification, origin, and distribution of earth materials; earth's interior; and the interpretation of geological data for the solution of problems of the natural environment.

Watersheds of Lewis and Clark (EVSC 3880)
Explores geological and hydrological processes that form and modify the landscape of the American West. Following the route of Lewis and Clark, the processes of mountain building, glaciation, flooding, and erosion are studied. Also considered are the human impact on this landscape, particularly through exploitation of mineral and water resources.

Aqueous Geochemistry (EVSC 5870)
Studies the principals of thermodynamics as applied to mineral-water systems. Treatment includes mineral stability, phase diagrams, solution thermodynamics, electrolyte theory, aqueous complex and hydrolysis equilibria, and electrochemical equilibria.

Water-Rock Interactions Seminar (EVSC 7832)
Reading and discussion of the research literature linking hydrological and geochemical processes in the environment.

Graduate Students

Rowan Johnson (Ph.D.) (co-advised with Aaron Mills)

Nathan Rose (M.S.) (co-advised with Aaron Mills)