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Whether the focus is on hydrology, geomorphology, sociology, anthropology, etc., research on the environment has turned more recently to meticulous, interdisciplinary, cross-validating forms of observations and inquiry on the various systems that affect and are affected by soil and water. 



Watersheds are systems within which the hydrological cycle accumulates, stores, and discharges of rainwater that falls in its topographical boundaries. Mountainous watersheds can have a variety of slopes and diversity of flow patterns and runoff mechanisms. Land use can reflect a local populations' dependence on soil and water resources for livelihood and can also demonstrate the local climatic limitations and benefits. 


Researchers gain new knowledge and make strides through the advancement of experimental and observational networks that can reveal the dynamics of soil and the hydrological cycle. These networks must extend into the hard-to-reach and overlooked landscapes supplying water to local and downstream communities.

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December 2023

American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco


Amanda, Tim, Cielo, and Christian traveled to San Francisco, CA for the AGU fall meeting. Above Amanda presents her work on "Salinity patterns in surface water and groundwater across Massachusetts, Northeast US"

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December 2023

Field sampling of stable water isotopes and phosphorus


Brooke, Tess, Raul, and Tim have been collecting monthly water samples from 13 sites across the Mill River Watershed

October 2023


Ninth Annual HBCU Climate Change Conference!

Cielo traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for the HBCU Climate Change conference. Above she is with a colleague and Beverly Wright an American environmental justice scholar and the founder of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University.

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July 2023


Eureka! at UMass Amherst: Wonky Water Quality

Tim, Amanda, and Cielo led a team of high school scholars in a water quality awareness workshop as a part of the Eureka summer program at UMass Amherst, in partnership with Girls Inc of the Valley. The team helped the scholars learn about pond water quality and how that compares with other waters, such as tap and bottled water. Here, Tim and Amanda help students sample water using field equipment.

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June 2023


2023 American Water Works Scholarship Awardee!

Congratulations to Cielo! She was named an AWWA Scholarship Awardee. The awards recognize undergraduates and graduate students who are top scholars and who will be future leaders in water related studies. Cielo received the Raftelis Leadership Scholarship. 

June 2023


2023 American Water Works Association Invited Speaker!

Cielo was an invited speaker, presenting “Diverse Knowledge Systems Drive Dynamic Adaptation to Watershed Hazards” at the AWWA conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

May 2023


Energy Transition Symposium!

Cielo presented her work on Diverse Knowledge Systems at the Energy Transition Symposium at UMass Amherst.

April 2023

European Geosciences Union Conference in Vienna, Austria


Amanda traveled to Vienna Austria for the EGU general assembly meeting. Above Amanda presents her work on "Characterizing landscape influences on hydrological flow pathways in a peri-urban Mediterranean catchment"


June 2021


2021 American Water Works Scholarship Awardee!

Congratulations to Cielo! She was named one of 24 recipients across the USA as an AWWA Scholarship Awardee. The awards recognize undergraduates and graduate students who are top scholars and who will be future leaders in water related studies. Recipients will be celebrated later this month at a virtual event.   

May 2021


Field Sampling and Visits!

This summer has kicked off collaborations and sampling in local streams. How do you keep yourself protected in the Northeast? 

Dr. Knighton gave us some tips and insights based on research at the UConn Ecohydrology Lab. 

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April 2021


New Lab Team Members!

Our research team is pleased to welcome Amira Spikes (BS, Penn State) and Tim Nsubuga (BS, College of the Holy Cross) to UMass! They will conduct research related to water quality and stable water isotopes starting this coming Fall 2021.

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December 2020


AGU Fall Meeting 2020: Assessment of Nutrients in the Wachusett Reservoir Watershed: An Investigation of Land Use Contributions and Trends.

Amanda presented her work on nutrient trends in the Wachusett Reservoir watershed as a part of the Hydrology Section Session: H084-0004
Assessment of Nutrients in the Wachusett Reservoir Watershed: An Investigation of Land Use Contributions and Trends

October 2020


Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) invites Cielo to be the keynote speaker for the Louis-Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation honorary induction ceremony.

Cielo shared her experiences during the 2020 LSAMP induction ceremony at the WPI campus. She was also recently highlighted as a notable alumni in this story here describing her experiences serving and leading the local chapter  of the National Society of Black Engineers .

Congratulations to Cielo for joining the Agents of Change Fellows Program!

Agents of Change is an ongoing series featuring the stories, analyses and perspectives of next generation environmental health leaders who come from historically under-represented backgrounds in science and academia. The goal of Cielo's work during this fellows program will be to develop skills for writing compelling articles on stories related to environmental health, environmental justice, and climate change. There is also an interview component on Dr. Zota's podcast! 

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September 2020

Cielo is awarded the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center proposal grant for proposed work entitled: "Engineering Justice: Social and Hazard Resilience in a Changing Climate”!

The grants funded were selected according to the Center's  "... recognition that communities of color are disproportionately impacted by climate change and that the success of climate adaptation depends upon the dismantling of systemic racism. [NE CASC is] therefore seeking applicants with a dual commitment to climate adaptation/resilience and the pursuit of a more just society through combating racist oppression in its many forms. Students with demonstrable interest and experience in both areas are strongly encouraged to apply, especially those belonging to historically underrepresented groups. ".

Amanda is selected as a Edwin V. Sisson Doctoral Fellow for 2020/2021!

The fund will supports incoming first-year PhD candidates whose research focuses on renewable and alternative energy, climate change, and other environmental topics. Amanda will be focusing on Water Quality Analysis of the Wachusett Reservoir in coordination with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. 


August 2020

Cielo presents her work at the Technical Research Exhibition (TRE) of the National Society of Black Engineers 46th Annual Convention!

The Technical Research Exhibition (TRE) is a competition designed to showcase the NSBE members' skills in technical writing, theoretical research, and poster presentation and incorporates two tracks: Preliminary and Showcase. TRE is held during National Convention and is judged by technical professionals. Only select abstracts are invited for oral and poster presentations.

March 2020

Amanda Carneiro Marques joins UMass EWRE research program!

Amanda will be coadvised by Drs. Emily Kumpel and Christian Guzman and will further advance research conducted on water quality in the Wachusett and Quabbin reservoirs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

February 2020

Cielo wins First Place at LSAMP Conference!

The Northeast Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (NE LSAMP) receives funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen the preparation, representation, and success of historically under-represented minority students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.The program is designed to implement and enhance programs that encourage and support students in the STEM fields. Cielo has participated in research, conferences, and mentorship within NE LSAMP since her freshman year at WPI. The yearly symposium highlights excellence in research.

January 2020

Jacob Cowley starts independent research on the Mill River !

We are pleased to welcome Jacob to the research team for the Spring semester as he conducts independent research on water quality in the Mill River, a tributary of the Connecticut River Basin, MA. 



Christian visits Ethiopia !

As research plans begin to formulate for the 2020 year and beyond, UMass made connections to Bahir Dar University (Bahir Dar) and the International Water Management Institute (Addis Ababa) through this visit. Further events included providing a seminar for students of the Integrated Water Management PhD program of the Civil and Water Resources Engineering Department at Bahir Dar University and visiting the Debre Mawi Hydrological Research Station.

December 2019

Cielo and Christian present research at the American Geophysical Union !

Cielo Sharkus presented her preliminary findings on Social Vulnerability and Hydrological Risk in Massachusetts in San Francisco. Christian presented work on decadal stable water isotope trends in the Inland Pacific Northwest in addition to an invited talk on the Integration of socio-cultural-environmental data in the Columbia River Basin. 











September 2019

Dr. Christian Guzman and Cielo Sharkus  inaugurate the Watershed Hydrology Research Team at UMass

Dr. Guzman is pleased to join the EWRE faculty in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at UMass and is excited to welcome Cielo Sharkus to the research lab. Please visit the research page for more information on our planned and ongoing research.

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