Doctorate in Environmental Sciences

Seminar Series

The Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program hosts a weekly seminar series during the academic year featuring presentations by individuals (students, faculty and invited guests) discussing their research within the environmental sciences. These presentations are free and open to the public.

Click here to view previous semester's seminar schedules.

Our Next Seminar:


Monday, 27 October 2014 - 4:00 pm - Room CP 350

Rates of Inorganic Carbon Flux and Landscape evolution in the Karst Aquifers of the Appalachian Lowland Plateaus

Dr. Lee Florea,
Ball State University

Monitoring data and water samples collected from a karst aquifer developed within Paleozoic carbonates of the North American midcontinent are combined with GIS data on carbonate rock exposure to evaluate the variation and magnitude of flux of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) within karst landscapes in the Cumberland River watershed of southeast Kentucky and the global scale, to estimate the potential role of sulfur in the production of DIC, and to model the landscape evolution along the Appalachian Lowland Plateaus of North America.

Geochemical modeling using the ionic species and the modeled discharge reveal a variable rate of DIC flux driven by large by fluctuations in calcite saturation and discharge. Upwards of 9% of the bedrock dissolution in the Cumberland Escarpment may be driven by the oxidation of reduced sulfur derived from brines entrained into the karst aquifers. Over the 3.73x105 ha of carbonate exposure within the Cumberland River of southeast Kentucky, 438 Gg/yr of CO2 are captured from the atmosphere through the dissolution of carbonate. At the global scale, this translates to 207 Tg/yr of CO2 sequestered by karst processes into the aqueous system.

The lithospheric portion of DIC equates to a flux of 29.2 m3 of bedrock during the 32-week study of which 11.5% was dolomite. This translates to a denudation rate of 11.9 mm/ka within the 432 ha of carbonate exposure in studied watershed. Based upon 15+ km of cave survey data spanning a vertical range of 72 m above base level, this denudation rate suggests that cave development in the watershed spans 6.1 Ma. Using this incision rate, the modeled ages of the five levels of cave passage, 6.1, 4.8, 2.5, 1.6, and 0.85 Ma, are in good agreement with other regional studies of Plio-Pleistocene incision of rivers in the Appalachian Lowland Plateaus.

Download a flyer (PDF) for this presentation.

This Semester's Seminar Schedule:

Perdue Monday, 18 August, 2014
Dr. Michael Perdue,
Director Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program

"Introduction to the Seminar Series"

Monday, 25 August, 2014
Dr. Andrew Hunt,
US Geological Survey

"Application of Noble Gas Geochemistry to USGS Scientific Investigations"

Monday, 1 September, 2014

Labor Day - No Seminar


Monday, 8 September, 2014
Dr. William Richardson,
US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

“Quantitative Analysis of Fatty Acids: A Biochemical Tool to Evaluate Food Quality, Source and Animal Health”


Monday, 15 September, 2014
Dr. Randy Bernot,
Ball State University

“Body Snatching Parasites: What Are They and What Are They Doing to Our Aquatic Ecosystems?”

Monday, 22 September, 2014
Dr. Emil Khisamutdinov,
Ball State University

"Enhancing Immunomodulation Effect by Shape Transition Among RNA Triangle, Square, and Pentagon Nanovehicles."


Monday, 29 September, 2014
Dr. Zhihai Li,
Ball State University

“Atomic and Molecular Point of View on Environmental Protection and Surface Corrosion”


Monday, 6 October, 2014
Dr. Thomas Lauer,
Ball State University 

“Exotic Critters of our Great Lakes (and other places): Biological Pollution in Action”


Monday, 13 October, 2014
Dr. Michael Sukop,
Florida International University

"The Enigmatic Biscayne Aquifer"


Monday, 20 October, 2014

Fall Break - No Seminar


Monday, 27 October, 2014
Dr. Lee Florea,
Ball State University

“Rates of Inorganic Carbon Flux and Landscape evolution in the Karst Aquifers of the Appalachian Lowland Plateaus”

Monday, 3 November, 2014
Jason Doll,
Candidate, Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program

"History and Management of Walleye (Sander vitreus) in Indiana Reservoirs"


*TUESDAY*, 11 November, 2014

Dr. Eric Roden,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Iron Isotope Fractionation by Microbial Iron Reduction in Modern and Ancient Sediments"


Monday, 17 November, 2014
Lee Moores,
Candidate, Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program 

Seminar title pending.


Monday, 24 November, 2014
Nicole Chodkowski,
Candidate, Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program 

Seminar title pending.


Monday, 1 December, 2014
Dr. Richard Fluegeman,
Ball State University

Seminar title pending.

  Monday, 8 December, 2014

Ball State University Career Services - Speaker to be determined.

"Resume Creation for the Beginning Scientist"