Sponsored Research

KWRRI manages a variety of research projects and provides technical support through contracts with local, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations.

USGS Research Programs

The KWRRI is one of 54 state-level Water Resource Research Institutes of the US Geological Survey (USGS). KWRRI administers several state-level USGS grant programs for water research including the Annual Base Grants (104b) and National Competitive Grants (104g). The Annual Base Grants and National Competitive Grants make up the backbone of the USGS 104 program. More information about these programs can be found on the USGS website here.

USGS 104b Grant Award Program

104

Number of projects funded through the 104B grant program in the last 10 years.

$1.8 million

Total number of dollars spent on 104b supported research in the last ten years

USGS 104b Grant Award Program

One of the most important ways that KWRRI supports research is through the administration of an annual base grant program authorized by the provisions of section 104b of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984. Under Section 104b of the Water Resources Research Act, annual base grants are awarded to serve the needs of the state, region and nation by supporting and encouraging research and technology transfer in the area of water resources. Specifically, these grants:

  1. Support the creation of a long-term linkage between universities, state agencies, and federal agencies for the solution of the nation's water problems;
  2. Provide support for a national network of water resources research institutes;
  3. Focus on state and regional water resources problems that can be solved by researchers at academic institutions; and
  4. Support research responsive to priority needs, seed projects, new and emerging career professionals, and quick transfer of results to users.

The current focus of the program is to provide small student enhancement grants to support research on water resource issues in a wide range of disciplines at any of Kentucky’s universities.

For more information, visit our Applications Page

USGS 104b Grant Awards

2021-2022

  1. Analyzing Recent Spatio-temporal Rainfall Erosivity Patterns and Trends Across Kentucky.
    • PI: Dr. C. Andrew Day, Dept. of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville.
  2. Motivations and Barriers to the Implementation of Riparian Buffer Zones on Central Kentucky Horse Farms
    • PI: Steve Evans, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Tammy Brewster-Barnes, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Emily Koyagi, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Leanna Hartsough, Department of Communications, University of Kentucky.
  3. Early Detection and Quantitative Risk Assessment of Microbial Contamination in Karst Basins
    • PI: Dr. Alan Fryar, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Diana Byrne, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Ryan Dapkus, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky.
  4. The Role of Small Kentucky Wetlands in Carbon Sequestration and Methane Emissions
    • PI: Dr. Andrew Mehring, Department of Biology, University of Louisville.
  5. Emerging Contaminant Exposure Following WWTP Processes to Surface Waters and Agroecosystems
    • PI: Dr. Tiffany Messer, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Bill Ford, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky.
  6. Improving Best Management Practices for Siting, Maintenance, and Design of Urban Karst Groundwater Injection Wells
    • PI: Jason Polk, Department of Earth, Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Abigail Williams, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
  7. Reforest the Bluegrass: Evaluating Effects of Riparian Reforestation on Urban Stream Health
    • PI: Dr. Kenton Sena, Lewis Honors College, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Christopher D. Barton, Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky.
  8. Exploring the Links Between Soil Moisture, O2, CO2, and Long-term P cycle Along Forested River Valley Bottoms in Western Kentucky USA
    • PI: Dr. Gary Stinchcomb, Watershed Studies Institute and Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Murray State University.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Bassil El Masri, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Murray State University.
  9. Evaluating the Effects of Beaver Dam Removal on the Hydrology, Water Quality, and Bioindicators of a Restored Wetland
    • PI: Dr. Kinga M. Stryszowska-Hill, Department of Biological Sciences & Watershed Studies Institute, Murray State University.
    • Co-PI: Karen Baumann, Department of Biological Sciences & Watershed Studies Institute, Murray State University.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Michael Flinn, Department of Biological Sciences & Watershed Studies Institute, Murray State University.
  10. Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing of the Gut Microbiome to Understand the Effects of Freshwater Mussels on Water Quality.
    • PI: Dr. David Weisrock, Department of Biology, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Luke Moe, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Mary Foley, Department of Biology, University of Kentucky.

2020-2021

  1. Magnetic Nanoparticles to Remove Arsenite from Water
    • PI: Dr. David Atwood, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Shashika Bandara, Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky.
  2. Evaluation of a New Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films Sampler for Determining Time-Averaged Concentrations of Cyanotoxins in Kentucky Water Bodies
    • PI: Dr. Elisa D’Angelo, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky.
  3. Aerobic Scope in Kentucky Stream Fishes as a Fitness Indicator of Climate Change Impacts.
    • PI: Dr. Richard Durtsche, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University.
  4. Analysis of Contaminated Karst Groundwater Supplying “Off the Grid” Religious Communities in Southcentral Kentucky
    • PI: Dr. Chris Groves, Crawford Hydrology Laboratory and Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Margaret Gripshover, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Pat Kambesis, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Lee Anne Bledsoe, Crawford Hydrology Laboratory and Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
  5. Lawn Establishment in Kentucky: Balancing Green Lawns with Waterbody Eutrophication Risks
    • PI: Dr. Brad Lee, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Gregg Munshaw, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Jason Unrine, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
  6. Geophysical Imaging of Ridgetop Wetland-Perched Groundwater Systems
    • PI: Dr. Jonathan Malzone, Department of Geosciences, Eastern Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Dr. John White, Department of Geosciences, Eastern Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Rebecca Moskal, Undergraduate Student, Department of Geosciences, Eastern Kentucky University.
  7. A Comparison of Sedimentation Rates and Hydrological Regimes in Floodplain Wetland Easements and Natural Bottomland Forested Wetlands of Western Kentucky
    • PI: Dr. Jessica B. Moon, Department of Biological Sciences, Murray State University.
  8. Examining Hydrogeological Dynamics of Flooding and Flow Reversals of the Green River and Major Springs of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
    • PI: Dr. Jason Polk, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Matthew Cecil, Graduate Student, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
  9. In-situ 3D Electrical Resistivity Method for Understanding Water Dynamics in Shallow Karst Features
    • PI (Primary): Dr. Junfeng Zhu, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky.
    • PI (Secondary): Dr. James Fox, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Bronson McQueen, Undergraduate Student, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky.

2019-2020

  1. Causes and Extent of Elevated Groundwater Methane Concentrations in Eastern Kentucky
    • PI (Primary): Dr. Andrea Erhardt, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky.
    • PI (Secondary): Dr. Thomas M. Parris, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky.
    • Co-PI: Cristopher Alvarez Villa, MS student, University of Kentucky.
  2. Quantifying the Source of Dissolved Reactive Phosphate in Karst Drainage of the Inner-Bluegrass using Oxygen Isotopes
    • PI: Dr. William Ford, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky.
    • Graduate Assistant: Cory Radcliff, MS Student, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky.
  3. Predicting Harmful Cyanobacteria Blooms in Central Kentucky Lakes
    • PI: Dr. Jason Marion, Department of Environmental Health Science, Eastern Kentucky University.
  4. Development of Buoyant Photocatalysts for Cleaning Contaminated Streams and Water Bodies
    • PI: Dr. Matthew Nee, Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Lovence Ainembabazi, MS Student, Department of Chemistry, Western Kentucky University.
  5. Comparison of Water Loss Audit Methodologies in High Loss Kentucky Utilities
    • PI: Dr. Scott Yost, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kentucky.

The document USGS 104(b) Grant Program: Kentucky's Annual Report FY 2019 (PDF, 35 pgs) provides a short synopsis of each project funded in FY 2018. 

2018-2019

  1. Assessment of MRSA Presence in Suburban Waste Water Treatment Plant’s Effluent in Lexington, Kentucky.
    • PI: Dr. Gail Montgomery Brion, Department of Civil Engineering, UK.
    • Co-PI: Atena Amirsoleimani, PhD student, Department of Civil Engineering, UK.
  2. Evaluation of Untreated Karst Groundwater as Community Water Sources, Barren and Monroe Counties, Kentucky. 
    • PI: Dr. Chris Groves, Crawford Hydrology Lab, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: LeeAnn Bledsoe, MS, Crawford Hydrology Lab, Western Kentucky University.
    • Co-PI: Cayla Baughn, MSStudent, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
  3. Developing a Threat Assessment and Monitoring Framework for Urban Karst Groundwater Management. 
    • PI: Dr. Jason Polk, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University. 
    • Co-PI: Rachel Kaiser, MS Student, Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University.
  4. Water and Solute Movement in a Fragipan Soil as Modified by Ryegrass.
    • PI: Dr. Christopher J. Matocha, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
    • Co-PI: Keegan Smith, MS Student, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
  5. Phosphorus Contributions to Urban Runoff from Non-Anthropogenic Animal Waste. 
    • PI: Dr. Brad Lee, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Dwayne R. Edwards, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, UK.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Gregg Munshaw, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, UK.
  6. Modeling Impacts of Seasonal Land Cover Change on Fluvial Sediment Loads of the Upper Floyds Fork Watershed, KY.
    • PI: Dr. C. Andrew Day, Department of Geography and Geosciences, University of Louisville.
    • Co-PI: Aimee Downs, USGS.
  7. Evaluating and Addressing Climate Awareness and Water in Kentucky. 
    • PI: Dr. Carmen Agouridis, Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, UK.
    • Co-PI: Dr. Lauren Cagle, Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Department of Writing Rhetoric and Digital Studies, UK.

The document USGS 104(b) Grant Program: Kentucky's FY 2018 Projects (PDF, 12 pgs) provides a short synopsis of each project funded in FY 2018. 

Water Resources 104(g) National Research Grant Program

Water Resources 104g National Research Grant Program

The United States Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources, provides matching grants to support research on the topics of water supply and water availability. Any investigator at an institution of higher learning in the United States is eligible. Section 104g of the Water Resources Research Act of 1984 requires that this competitive grant program focus on, “water problems and issues of a regional or interstate nature beyond those of concern only to a single State and which relate to specific program priorities identified jointly by the Secretary (of the Interior) and the (water resources research) institutes.”

Objectives of this program include the following:

  1. Promote collaboration between the USGS and university scientists in research on significant national and regional water resources issues. Proposals exhibiting substantial collaboration between the USGS and the applicant are encouraged and will receive extra weight in the evaluation and selection process. Collaborative proposals should describe in detail the respective roles of the USGS and the applicant in the proposed work. It is anticipated in FY2020 the USGS will have internal funds available for modest support of USGS scientists on selected proposals. Potential applicants seeking collaborative opportunities are encouraged to contact USGS scientists directly (http://water.usgs.gov/nrp/science.php) or Water Science Center Directors (http://water.usgs.gov/district_chief.html).
  2. Promote the dissemination and application of the results of the research funded under this program.
  3. Assist in the training of scientists in relevant water resource fields. Proposals that include a strong educational component (student support) are encouraged, as are proposals from faculty beginning their careers.

For more information, visit our Applications Page