• Project Title: Modeling Runoff Flows into the Potomac River at the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge

  • BASIS Advisor: Robert Biemesderfer

  • Internship Location: Center for Computational Fluid Dynamics, George Mason University

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Rainald Lohner

Pollution greatly impacts waterways and the health of the ecosystems they support. In the Potomac River specifically, development is increasingly polluting urban runoff and storm water entering the river. Water quality is important not only to the aquatic wildlife and surrounding environment but also to the five million people who rely on the Potomac for drinking water. My research will evaluate the land features at the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge in order to determine significant factors for runoff flow in that particular riverbank along the Potomac. My research will provide information to local conservation agencies on methods to reduce the runoff that reaches the river at the Featherstone Refuges. Slowing the rate at which storm water reaches the river allows it to be diverted and filtered or absorbed into the soil so that fewer pollutants enter the water. Though I will investigate only a small region along the Potomac, every small change is progress toward cleaner water, and my findings may apply to nearby regions with similar characteristics.