Nitrate Contamination Research

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Students in the Environmental Technology (ETG) program at Onondaga Community College  have begun working on a long-term research project in the upper Onondaga Creek watershed.  This project is designed as a multi-year research program looking into the sources of nitrate contamination of Onondaga Creek.  Preliminary student sampling (both as part of course work and as part of an internship program here at Onondaga) have found elevated concentrations of nitrates in surface water flow in Onondaga Creek. 

This research is based in the Environmental Technology (ETG) program, with support from the Biology Department and Chemistry & Physical Sciences Department.  Lead advisors in this work, are Brian McAninch (Geology) and Doug Hagrman (Chemistry)..

Future work on this project will involve;

  • Mapping of the watershed (utilizing GIS/GPS skill sets)
  • Soil mapping of this area
  • Delineation of possible source areas for nitrate loading
  • Groundwater sampling
  • Installation and sampling of seepage meters in the creek
Below are the sample locations, View a .PDF of the complete USGS topo map:
Sample locations

If you have interest in working on these types of research contact Brian McAninch (ETG program coordinator) or Doug Hagrman; or go to the ETG program website for more information.