Wetland Research Boosted by Two TTU Faculty Awards

Local research on restoring and improving wetlands received a recent boost as Tennessee Technological University faculty members Vincent Neary and Lenly Weathers accepted awards to fund their research efforts.

Neary and Weathers, both assistant professors in civil and environmental engineering, accepted Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards from Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the 1999-2000 academic year. The $5,000 grants provide "seed money" to allow faculty members to enhance their research during the early stages of their careers.

Neary's research focuses on developing 3-D computer models to assist in the restoration and management of wetlands that have been disturbed by man. He is specifically looking at the effects of flow resistance caused by plants in wetlands or floodplains. Neary plans to use his skills in hydraulics and numerical modeling to create hydrodynamic models that accurately simulate the effects of plants on water flow.

Weathers is working with other Tennessee Tech researchers to remove certain pesticides, those commonly used by nurseries, out of the environment before they reach river, lakes or other bodies of water. Weathers is studying bacteria in constructed wetlands at Baxter, Tenn., to see what can be done to enhance the bacteria's ability to break down these pesticides.

The faculty members will use their grant funds for the continuation of current research, purchase of equipment, research in new areas and travel to professional meetings and conferences.

A private, not-for-profit corporation, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy. ORAU is a consortium of 87 doctoral-granting colleges and universities and serves the government, academia and the private sector in important areas of science and technology.