Faculty Experts

Charles T. Driscoll

University Professor of Environmental Systems and Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Professor Driscoll’s research largely involves characterization and quantifying the impacts of air pollution, such as acid rain, mercury, elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide and associated effects of changing climate and land and water disturbances on the structure and function of ecosystems. Much of his work has focused on forest and associated aquatic resources, including studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH and the Huntington Forest in the Adirondacks, NY. Recently he has been part of a team quantifying health and ecosystem co-benefits associated with a national carbon standard for power plant emissions.

He also examine effects on wetlands, the Great Lakes, urban ecosystems, coastal waters and the open ocean. Over the past 35 years, he has advanced new analytical techniques, established and maintained long-term measurements and experiments, and developed a series of research and predictive models that simulate transformations of major chemical elements in forest vegetation, soil and surface waters in response to air pollution, climate and land disturbance. Beyond theory, he is interested in testing ‘in situ’ strategies to reverse the damaging effects of acid rain and mercury contamination and eutrophication. Current research includes using models, field experiments and measurements to examine: ecosystem effects of changing climate and acidic, nitrogen and mercury deposition; the effectiveness of “green” water infrastructure in storm water management; and ecosystem restoration.