Contaminant Hydrogeology: My research program is focused on evaluation of processes controlling the fate and transport of microbial and organic chemical pollutants in groundwater and development of remediation methods to address contaminated sites.
Determination of the distribution organic chemical between environmental phases (e.g. air, water, soil, etc.) and remedial phases (e.g. solubilization agents, sorbents, etc.).
Fate and transport of viruses and parasites in groundwater systems.
Evaluation of the fate and transport of pathogens and organic pollutants in stream/aquifer systems.
Development of treatment systems for hazardous waste sites and river water.
Research Philosophy: My research program is directed toward preserving and protecting the quality and quantity of water resources. This is one of the most important and exciting research areas of geosciences today. To contribute to that effort, my students and I evaluate the factors that govern the circulation of water and the transport, fate, and remediation of waterborne microbial pathogens and chemicals in subsurface and surface environments. In this pursuit, we integrate elements of hydrology, geology, microbiology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and environmental engineering. Within the past couple of years my research has primarily focused on improving the efficacy of cyclodextrin, a cyclic sugar, as an agent for remediation hazardous waste sites. That has involved development of innovative theoretical models and collection of data on the phase distribution of organic chemicals as a function of environmental and engineering variables for cyclodextrin remediation systems. Due to the applied nature of my research, my students and I often must learn about public policy and finance, as well as plumbing, electrical wiring, and how to operate a drill rig while performing research, but also how to use a wide range of chemical and analytical instruments and computational models.
Teaching Philosophy and Interests
Enabling students to achieve intellectual enlightenment, gain practical knowledge, and develop better learning skills are the primary goals of my teaching efforts. My teaching style encourages all students to be actively involved when learning as a single large group and learning from each other small breakout groups and through a peer review system to develop their technical writing skills. Over my time as a professor I have altered my teaching style to address four major problems 1) the high dropout rate of 1st year students; 2) the poor technical writing and public speaking skills of many students; 3) the unsustainably low numbers of students choosing geology or environmental science as their major; and 4) the insufficient mathematical skills of upper level students. To address this situation and instill good learning habits of attending class and being engaged, I modified my approach and interspersed my lecture with small breakout groups in which the students worked with each other, myself and the TA on short questions on the subject that day. To instill the habit of steady learning rather than cramming, I chose to have courses forego tests and instead examine with weekly quizzes. Time and logistical concerns are the primary reason why technical reports are rarely assigned in large classes. To overcome this, I devoted time in class to teach basic methods for gathering and reporting original and unoriginal information in a technical report. To further draw in the students, I attempted to connect geology and environmental science to outside fields by giving interested students opportunities for extra credit by giving short presentation to the class. To improve their talks, I brainstormed with them to locate topics that involved as aspect of geology and their career interest. For graduate students I assist them in the development of talks and papers that are both related to the class and to a component of their research. In various forms this has involved literature reviews, usage of advanced statistical analysis to assist in the collection and analysis of data, and development of computational simulations of ground and surface water flow within their field site.
ENSCI 112 Our Changing Planet
8. Blanford W., T. Boving, Z. Al-Ghazawi, M. Shawaqfah,J. Al-Rashdan, I. Saadoun, J. Schijven, and Q. Ababneh. 2010. River Bank Filtration for Protection of Jordanian Surface and Groundwater. World Environmental & Water Resources Congress American Society of Chemical Engineers (ASCE).
10. Cable, J.E., Smith, C.G. and Blanford, W.J., 2009. Dispersivity and distribution coefficients in marine sediments using tritium and radium-226. Radioprotection, 44(5): 185-190.
11. Boving, T.B., Cady, P., Choudri, B.S., Hawaldar, K., Blanford, W., 2009: Improving Water Quality by Riverbank Filtration – Experiences in India and Jordan . In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Perspective on Current and Future State of Water Resources and the Environment. American Society of Chemical Engineers (ASCE) / Association of environmental and water resources engineers and scientists Conference (EWRI), Chennai, India.
12. Boving, T.; Blanford, W.; McCray, J.; Divine, C.; Brusseau, M. 2008. Comparison of line-drive and push-pull flushing schemes. Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation. 28 (1), pp. 75-86.
13. Boving, T. B., and S. M. Barnett, G. Perez, W. J. Blanford, and J. E. McCray. 2007. Remediation with Cyclodextrin: Recovery of the Remedial Agent by Membrane Filtration. Remediation. No. 2, p. 21-36.
14. Keim R. and W. J. Blanford. 2006. Hurricanes Create a Crossroads for Hydrological Management of the Mississippi River Delta. Ground Water. Groundwater Vol. 44, No. 2, p. 123-124. (invited contribution).
15. W. J. Blanford. 2005. Parasite Transport in Limestone Aquifers. Editor J. H. Lehr: The Encyclopedia of Water. Vol. 5. p. 365-370. John Wiley and Sons.
16. Blanford W. J., Boving T. B. 2006. Aquifer Monitoring Shows Complex-Sugar Flushing Increases Potential for Enhanced Biodegradation. In: US EPA Technology News and Trends. p. 2-4.
17. P. Rykwalder and W. J. Blanford. 2005. Vadose Zone Monitoring. Editor J. H. Lehr: The Encyclopedia of Water. Vol. 1. p. 538-543. John Wiley and Sons.
18. Brusseau, M.L., J.K. Oleen, J. Santamaria, P. Orosz-Coglan, W.J. Blanford, P.Rykwalder, and C.P. Gerba. 2005. Transport of Microsproidium Encephalitozoon Intestinales Spores in Porous Media. Water Research, Vol. 39, p. 3636-3642.
19. W. J. Blanford, J. Yeh, C. P. Gerba, R. W. Harvey, R. Bales, and M. L. Brusseau. 2005. Bacteriophage PRD-1 Transport in a Sandy Aquifer: Influence of Water Chemistry and Travel Distance on Viability. Water Research, Vol. 39, No. 11, p. 2345-2357.
20. W. J. Blanford. 2004. Parasite Fate and Transport in Karstic Aquifers. IDS-Water Americas 2004.
21. Divine, C. E., J. E. McCray, L. M. Wolf Martin, W. J. Blanford, D. J. Blitzer, M. L. Brusseau, T. B. Boving. 2004. Partitioning Tracer Tests as a Remediation Metric: Case Study at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Remediation Journal. Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 7-31.
22. S. K. Sandrin, M. L. Brusseau, J. J. Piatt, W. J. Blanford, N. T. Nelson, and A. A. Bodour. 2004. Characterizing Spatial Variability of In-Situ Microbial Activity Using Biotracer Tests. Groundwater. Vol. 42, No. 3, p. 374-383.
23. Divine, C.E., McCray, J.E., Wolf, L.M., Blanford, W.J., Blitzer, D.J., Boving, T.B., 2004: Partition tracer test, DNAPL characterization, remediation assessment, source zone investigation. Remediation Journal, 14(2), 7-31.
24. Cain, R. B., Johnson, G. R., McCray, J. E., Blanford, W. J., and Brusseau, M. L. 2000. Partitioning Tracer Tests for Evaluating Remediation Performance. Ground Water, Vol. 38, No. 5, p. 752-761.
25. W. J. Blanford, Barackman, M., Boving, T. B., Klingel, E., and Brusseau, M., 2000. Cyclodextrin-enhanced Vertical Flushing of a Trichloroethene Contaminated Aquifer. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. p. 58-66.
26. McCray, J., Bryan, K., Cain, R., Johnson, G., Blanford, W., and Brusseau, M., 1999. Field Test of Cyclodextrin for Enhanced Flushing of Multicomponent Immiscible Liquid Contamination: Comparison to Water Flushing. Eds.: Annable, J. S. Gierke, D. A. Sabatini Symposium Name: Field Testing of Innovative Subsurface Remediation Technologies.
27. W. J. Blanford, E. J. Klingel, G. R. Johnson, R. B. Cain, C. Enfield, and M. L. Brusseau. 1999. Performance Assessment of In-well Aeration for the Remediation of an Aquifer Contaminated by a Multi-component Immiscible Liquid. Eds.: M. L. Brusseau, M. D. Annable, J. S. Gierke, D. A. Sabatini Symposium Name: Field Testing of Innovative Subsurface Remediation Technologies.