Research: Sustainable Environmental and Water Resources Systems

Water, soil, and air are under threat from pollution sources. Research in environmental and water resources engineering includes investigations of pollutant behavior and development of pollutant controls. Principles of sustainability are used to consider benefits to society and the economy while cleaning the environment.
Experimental studies at the National Sedimentation Laboratory's artificial streams at the UM Biological Field Station. Student Casey Wilson collecting water samples in the Lower Sardis Lake.
Below are some recent projects
  • Modeling of Nutrient Pollution in Water Bodies
  • Rating and Assessing Sustainable Civil Infrastructure through ISI Envision and the Integrated Network for Social Sustainability
  • Using Acoustics to Measure Suspended Pollutants in Water
  • Return on Investment of Public-Private Partnerships in Water Infrastructure Projects
  • Water Quality in Lakes and Reservoirs
  • Bacterial and Sediment Transport in Streams
Projects have been supported by:

Projects at the University of California, Irvine (September 2003 to June 2007)
  • Microbial and Particle Pollution in Urban Stormwater.
  • Evaluation of Relationships between Microbial Populations and Suspended Particles in Urban Stormwater Runoff.
  • Microcosm Studies of Bacteria Growth in Treated Wastewater.
  • Modeling Studies on Stream Water Quality during Dry Weather.
  • Coastal Water Quality Studies.
A laboratory worker processing a water sample
for total coliform and E.coli bacteria.

Publications
* denotes Cris Surbeck’s student
  • Surbeck, C.Q., F.D. Shields, and A. M. Cooper*. (2016). “Entrainment of fecal indicator bacteria from the streambed to the water column: transport by unsteady flow over a sand bed.” Journal of Environmental Quality. doi:10.2134/jeq2015.08.0441
  • McMahon, G., H. Hilger, and C. Q. Surbeck. (2015). “Special Issue on Sustainability.” J. Water Resour. Plann. Manage., doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000608, A2015001.
  • Minsker, B., Baldwin, L., Crittenden, J., Kabbes, K., Karamouz, M., Lansey, K., Malinowski, T., Nzewi, E. Pandit, A., Parker, J. Rivera, S., Surbeck, C.Q., Wallace, W., Williams, W. (2015). “Progress and Recommendations for Advancing Performance-Based Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Design.” Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 141(12), doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000521, A4015006.
  • Kendricks*, M. R., Sisco*, T. E., David*, J. L., and Surbeck, C. Q. (2013). "Solar Disinfection Water Treatment for a Community-Scale System: An Analysis of Design Parameters for Humanitarian Engineering Projects." International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, 8(1), 88-101.
  • Crawford*, R., Surbeck, C.Q., Worley*, S.B., Capps*, H.Q.P. (2012). “Multi-phase extraction radius of influence: evaluation of design and operational parameters.” Remediation Journal, 22(4), 37-48.
  • Kinnaman*, A.R., Surbeck, C.Q, Usner*, D.C. (2013). “Coliform bacteria: The effect of sediments on decay rates and detention times in stormwater BMPs.” Journal of Environmental Protection, 3(28A), 787-797.
  • Saito, L., Surbeck, C.Q., Langsdale, S., Bourget, L., Wride, D. (2013). "Engaging International Perspectives through EWRI for a Global Profession." ASCE Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 138(6), 588-589.
  • Lim, K. Y.*, and Surbeck, C. Q. (2011). "A multi-variable methodology for analyzing pre-existing lake water quality data." J. Environ. Monit., 13(9), 2477-2487.
  • Lim, K. Y.*, Wilson, S. E.*, Woolsey, E. E.*, and Surbeck, C. Q. (2010). "Evaluation of a community-scale drinking water treatment system." International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering, 5(2), 17-31.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Jiang, S. C., and Grant, S. B. (2010). "Ecological control of fecal indicator bacteria in an urban stream." Environ. Sci. Technol., 44(2), 631-637.
  • Surbeck, C. Q. (2009). "Factors influencing the challenges of modelling and treating fecal indicator bacteria in surface waters." Ecohydrol., 2(4), 399-403.
  • McCuen, R. H., and Surbeck, C. Q. (2008). "An alternative to specious linearization of environmental models." Water Research, 42(15), 4033-4040.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Jiang, S. C., Ahn, J. H., and Grant, S. B. (2006). "Flow fingerprinting fecal pollution and suspended solids in stormwater runoff from an urban coastal watershed." Environ. Sci. Technol., 40(14), 4435-4441.
  • Ahn, J. H., Grant, S. B., Surbeck, C. Q., DiGiacomo, P., Nezlin, N., and Jiang, S. (2005). "Coastal water quality impact of stormwater runoff from an urban watershed in southern California." Environ. Sci. Technol., 39(16), 5940-5953.
Conference Proceedings and Abstracts
* denotes Cris Surbeck’s student
  • Surbeck, C.Q., Peterson, N., Hilger, H. (2013) "Integrated Network for Social Sustainability." 3rd International Congress on Sustainability Science & Engineering. American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Cincinnati, OH.
  • Werner*, R.A., Surbeck, C.Q. (2013). “Financial sustainability of water infrastructure: using public-private partnerships.” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. American Society of Civil Engineers. Cincinnati, OH.
  • Kajdan*, T.A., Carpenter, W.O., Chambers, J.P., Goodwiller, B.T., Surbeck, C.Q. (2013). “Monitoring fine suspended sediment in streams using high frequency acoustic signal attenuation measurements.” Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Jackson, MS.
  • David*, J.L., Kendricks*, M.C., Sisco*, T.E., Surbeck, C.Q. (2012). “Analysis and design of a community-scale, electricity-free water treatment system using solar disinfection.” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. American Society of Civil Engineers, Albuquerque, NM.
  • McCaskill*, M.A., Surbeck, C.Q., Shields Jr., F.D., Rigby, J.R., Knight, S.S. (2012). “Bacterial and sediment transport in an artificial stream bed during unsteady flow.” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Elmore, A.C., Elmore, C., Collins, E.R., Conroy, J., Surbeck, C.Q., Cawlfield, J.D. (2012). “Girls Go Green, Girls Go Global!” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. American Society of Civil Engineers, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Werner*, R.A., Surbeck, C.Q. (2012). “Financial sustainability of water treatment and distribution: using a Public Private Partnership toolkit to evaluate project viability. Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Jackson, MS.
  • Surbeck, C. Q. (2012). “A multi-variate method for analyzing water quality in Sardis Lake.” Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Jackson, MS.
  • Surbeck, C. Q. (2011)."An evaluation of group work formats in a service-learning course on water treatment." Proc., Global Sustainability and Environmental Engineering Science: Implications for Research, Education, & Practice, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP).
  • McCaskill, M. A.*, Surbeck, C. Q., Shields Jr., F. D., and Knight, S. S. (2011) "Bacterial transport in an artificial sand bed stream during unsteady flow." Proc., Mid-South Annual Engineering and Sciences Conference.
  • Howie, W., Young, R., Plouffe, G., Surbeck, C.Q. (2010). “Providing clean water to communities in need: Living Waters for the World’s sustainable clean water systems.” World Water and Environmental Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers, Providence, RI.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Jiang, S. C., Ahn, J. H., and Grant, S. B. (2010). "Fecal pollutants and suspended particles in wet weather discharges in a large urban river." World Water and Environmental Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers, Providence, RI.
  • Surbeck, C. Q. (2009). "Monitoring and statistical analysis of fecal indicator bacteria in Lower Sardis Lake, Mississippi." Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Tunica, MS.
  • Kinnaman, A.*, and Surbeck, C. Q. (2009). "The use of microcosm studies to determine the effect of sediments and nutrients on bacteria in lake water." Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Tunica, MS.
  • Surbeck, C. Q. (2008). "Occurrence of fecal indicators in surface waters and what they mean for water quality management." 50 Years of Soil and Water Research in a Changing Agricultural Environment, USDA ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory, Oxford, Mississippi.
  • Gordji, L.*, and Surbeck, C. Q. (2008). "Movement of Water Pollutants in Sardis Lake." 38th Annual Mississippi Water Resources Conference, Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, Jackson, Mississippi, 88-96.
  • Surbeck, C.Q., Grant, S.B. (2007). “Regrowth of microbial pollution in an urban stream.” Environmental and Water Resources Institute, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Tampa, Florida.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Grant, S. B., Jiang, S., Ahn, J. H. (2006). “Fecal pollution and suspended particles in stormwater runoff from an urban coastal watershed.” American Chemical Society 40th Western Regional Meeting, Orange, California.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Grant, S. B., Ahn, J. H., Jiang, S. (2005). Storm water runoff from an urban watershed in southern California: top-down approach for characterizing and modeling pollutant loading rates.” Environmental and Water Resources Institute, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress, Anchorage, Alaska.
  • Surbeck, C. Q., Bianchi-Mosquera, G. (2004). “Practical considerations for successful implementation of environmental engineering projects in South America.” ASCE 2nd International Engineering and Construction Conference, Fullerton, California.
  • Queiroz Surbeck, C., Kent, R., Hardcastle, C.H. (1999). Performance of the PADRE® A3100 Unit to Control Vapor Emissions from a Soil Vapor Extraction System.” Air & Waste Management Association Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri.
Invited Presentations
  • Surbeck, C.Q. (2012). “2050 visions for water and the environment: a younger perspective.” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. American Society of Civil Engineers, Albuquerque, NM.
  • Surbeck, C.Q. (2012). “Finding solutions: implementation realities for pathogen TMDLs.” World Environmental & Water Resources Congress. American Society of Civil Engineers, Albuquerque, NM.
  • “Águas Pluviais e Meio Ambiente: Controlando a Poluição Difusa” (“Stormwater and the Environment: Controlling Non-Point Source Pollution”). Seminário Saneamento e Meio Ambiente, Juiz de Fora, Brazil, June 30, 2011.
  • "Pathogen Pollution in Surface Waters: An Update on Research and Mitigation Practices." Mississippi State University, course ABE4990/6990 on Watershed Modeling by Dr. Prem Parajuli. Starkville, MS, March 25, 2011.
  • “Monitoring and Statistical Analysis of Fecal Indicator Bacteria in Lower Sardis Lake, Mississippi.” Adopt-A-Stream Workshop, John W. Kyle State Park, MS, June 15, 2010.
  • “Engineering for Disadvantaged Communities: An Update on Service Learning and Engineers Without Borders.” With Wei-Yin Chen. North Mississippi ASCE Branch, Southaven, MS, June 1, 2010.
  • “Fecal Pollution and Particles in the Santa Ana River: What Do They Mean to Water Quality?” Women’s Environmental Council Meeting, Irvine, CA, March 23, 2005.
  • “Environmental Regulations in Brazil” ABS Group Inc., Latin America: Environmental Regulations and Compliance Course, Washington, D.C. and Miami, FL, 2000, 2001, and 2002.
Funding
  • National Science Foundation (NSF). “Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS): Concepts, Language, and Assessment.” Program on Research Coordination Networks (RCN), Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES). 2012-2017.
  • Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute. “Acoustic Measurements for Monitoring Fine Suspended Sediment in Streams.” 2012-2013.
  • University of Mississippi Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Teaching mini-grant. “Supplies for water quality analysis for the course Service Learning in Water Treatment.” 2011.
  • Department of Education. “U.S.-Brazil Consortium for Sustainable Drinking Water Studies.” 2010-2014.
  • Council on International Educational Exchange and University of Mississippi Office of the Provost. Faculty Development Seminar “Peru -- A Fusion of Identities: Examining Peru’s Complex Past, Present, and Future.” 2009.
  • Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute. “Monitoring and Modeling Water Pollution in Mississippi Lakes.” 2008-2009.
  • University of Mississippi, Faculty Research Program. “Monitoring and Modeling Fecal Pollution in Sardis Lake.” 2008-2009.
  • EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship. 2005-2007.
Projects in Industry and Government
  • Project Engineer, March 1996 to September 2003
    Geomatrix Consultants, Inc. (now AMEC), Irvine, California
    • Soil and Groundwater Remediation.
    • Designed pilot and full-scale soil and groundwater remediation systems, provided construction oversight, and managed operations and maintenance activities at numerous sites.
    • Calculated short- and long-term budgets, wrote feasibility studies, advised clients on decision-making.
    • Managed data and operations and maintenance of remediation systems, including compliance sampling.
    • Stormwater Characterization Study for California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
    • Environmental Due Diligence, several industrial facilities in Brazil (São Paulo, Salvador, Porto Alegre) and Mexico (Guadalajara, Queretaro, Veracruz).
  • Engineering Intern, July to September 1995
    Bonnard et Gardel Consulting Engineers, Lausanne, Switzerland, through the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
  • Engineering Intern, May to August 1994
    Vista Chemical Company, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Engineering Intern, May to August 1993
    Maryland State Highway Administration, Greenbelt, Maryland