Brent Heerspink

Research Interests

I am a PhD candidate in the hydrogeology lab and a student intern with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Upper Midwest Water Science Center in Lansing, MI. My research focuses on better understating water quality and water resources in the Great Lakes though integration of field and remotely sensed data with process-based hydrologic models. My work is focused in two primary research areas: 1) investigating the landscape characteristics and hydrologic processes controlling stream chemistry, with a focus on anthropogenic nutrients and, 2) interactions between the Great Lakes and Michigan’s terrestrial groundwater. I am also interested in the fate and transport of emerging contaminants, and how surface water-groundwater interactions affect aquatic habitats in both streams and wetlands. In addition to my current work, I am actively interested in connecting hunter- and angler-based conservation organizations to academic research hydrology and water quality, to advance habitat protection and restoration efforts.

I received my Bachelors in biology form Albion College, and my Masters in Earth and Environmental Science from MSU in 2020. Between my Bachelors and Masters degrees, I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division. My previous research has focused on the fate, transport, and remediation of organic contaminants in groundwater aquifers, nutrient biogeochemistry in groundwater discharge areas with stream channels, and the effects of land cover and climate change on water resources in the Brazilian Amazon. In addition to my academic interest in water, I’m an avid outdoorsman, and an active member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Ducks Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited.