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Robert W. Nairn, Ph.D.

Bob holds both the David L. Boren Professorship and Sam K. Viersen Family Presidential Professorship in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma (OU), Norman, Oklahoma, USA. He is the director of the Center for Restoration of Ecosystems and Watersheds (CREW), Associate Director of the Water Technologies for Emerging Regions (WaTER) Center and Adjunct Professor of Biology.

Bob grew up in the steel town of Aliquippa, along the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania.  He earned his BS in Environmental Science at Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA) in 1989..  As an undergraduate, he completed a Science and Engineering Research Semester at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory (Long Island, New York) and a summer at the University of Montana Flathead Lake Biological Station (Polson, MT).  After graduation, he worked as a Research Biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Mines Pittsburgh Research Center.  In 1992, he returned to graduate school at The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), where he completed his PhD in Environmental Science in 1996.  His dissertation was one of the first to be performed at the Olentangy River Wetlands Research Park. Since January 1997, he has been on the faculty at OU.  To learn more about his teaching, research and other interests, please visit his personal homepage.

Robert C. Knox, Ph.D.
Associate Director

Bob Knox is the Ted A. Kritikos Chair and Presidential Professor. His research interests are in subsurface transport and fate processes, ground water remediation technologies, ground water modeling, and the impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons, oilfield brines and mining effluents. CV


Post-Doctoral Researchers

CREW is currently searching for a post-doctoral researcher with expertise in watershed biogeochemistry.  Please contact if interested.

Research Staff

Bryan Page, MS

Bryan completed his undergraduate degree at Slippery Rock University in 2009. During that same year, he started working with BioMost, Inc. of Mars, PA. While at BioMost, Inc., Bryan worked with public and private clients on designing, operation, and maintenance of mine drainage passive treatment systems, along with other environmental services. In August 2014, he began his Master of Science in Environmental Science at the University of Oklahoma. His research focused on the hydraulic conductivity of vertical flow bioreactors. Bryan graduated from OU in December 2016.


Visiting Scholars

None at this time.

Graduate Students

Juan Arango Calderon
PhD student, Environmental Engineering

Juan has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Water Resources from The University of Oklahoma. His current research focuses on using remote sensing technology to develop models capable of determining water quality parameters.


Brandon Holzbauer-Schweitzer
PhD student, Environmental Science

Brandon received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Geoscience from Winona State University in 2014. He then moved to Oklahoma and began his graduate work, which focused on utilizing low impact development (LID) best management practices (BMPs) as alternatives to traditional urban stormwater management. He is now working on his doctoral research, which uses drones to evaluate habitat quality and predict surface water quality. In his free time, Brandon enjoys eating, watching sports, and, when the sun isn't shining, the wonderful Oklahoma weather.

Nicholas Shepherd
PhD student, Environmental Engineering

Nick was raised in Miami, OK near the Tar Creek Superfund Site, and he has been working on Tar Creek related research projects since his sophomore year of high school. His high school work led to working for CREW as an undergraduate research assistant, where he received a BS in Environmental Engineering and his MS in Civil Engineering, Water Resources . His masters research investigated the benefits of Castor canadensis (North American Beaver) when repopulating a mine drainage impacted stream.

Zepei (Maggie) Tang
PhD student, Environmental Engineering

Maggie is from China and spent two years in Scotland. She moved to Pittsburgh to earn her Master's degree from Carnegie Mellon University. She is now at The University of Oklahoma working on her Doctoral degree. Maggie's current work consists of looking at the relationships between metals and nutrients at the sediment-water column interface in a large multi-use reservoir.

M'Kenzie Dorman
PhD student, Environmental Engineering


M’Kenzie is from Lubbock, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Science (2018) and her Master's of Science (2019) in Environmental Engineering from OU. Her Master’s thesis examined degassing of carbon dioxide and oxidation of iron driven by unique mechanical aeration systems which have not historically been used in mine drainage passive treatment systems. When she is not out getting dirty in the field, M’Kenzie likes to hike, work on DIY projects, read a good book and spend time with her adventurous dog.


Carlton Folz
MS student, Environmental Science

Carlton received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Geoscience from Winona State University (Minnesota) in 2019 and moved to Norman, OK to pursue his graduate degree in Environmental Science. He is eager to work with CREW and develop his own thesis project over the next few years. In his free time, he enjoys bow hunting, fishing, and exploring the outdoors!


JD Ingendorf
MS student, Environmental Science

J.D. is from Dallas, Texas. He came to OU in 2014 and has been here ever since. He is now in his second year of his Master’s program in Environmental Science and is currently looking at the role of sulfate reduction and mercury methylation in vertical flow bioreactors of passive treatment systems. When he has spare time, he enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, the Dallas Mavericks, fishing, the outdoors, and cooking.

Nikhila Gollakata
MS student, Environmental Science

Nikhila is in her first semester as a Master’s student in Environmental Science and is from Hyderabad, India. She graduated with a BS-MS in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), India. Her research interests are to understand the fate and transport of metal contaminants in water systems and to investigate water quality. She enjoys playing badminton, drawing mandala art and trying out new recipes in her spare time.

Justine McCann
MS student, Environmental Science

Justine received her BS in Geoscience from Penn State in 2014. After graduating, she returned to her hometown of Atlanta, GA to work in contaminated site remediation and environmental compliance at CH2M Hill and AECOM. She is currently working on her Master's of Environmental Science degree, focusing on characterizing and finding solutions for metal contamination in mine drainage impacted streams. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading.

Harper Stanfield
MS student, Environmental Engineering

Harper came to Oklahoma from Atlanta, GA, and completed a BS in Environmental Engineering in May 2019. Now a master's student, he is assessing the potential for beneficial reuse of passively treated mine drainage for crop irrigation and livestock watering. When he is not in the greenhouse watering his corn plants and fending off hungry mice, he can be found playing Ultimate with JD.


Undergraduate Researchers

Hannah Curtis
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Hannah Curtis is a junior double-majoring in environmental engineering and music and is completing her Honors Research with CREW. She works as an academic research assistant at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management on the South Research Campus and as a writing assistant for the Honors College. In her free time, she loves visiting national parks, reading, and drinking coffee!




Sarah Hobson
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Sarah is a junior from Norman, Oklahoma pursuing a BS in Environmental Engineering and BA in International Studies with a German minor. She has researched the presence of rare earth elements in iron oxide precipitates from passive treatment systems as an Honors research project and is now performing a UROP project to investigate relative rates of leaf decay in trace-metal contaminated and non-contaminated terrestrial grasses. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors, playing guitar and cello, playing Ultimate Frisbee, cooking, and learning new things.


Heath Orcutt
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Heath is a fourth-year undergraduate student from Norman, OK. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering, with a minor in Water and Sanitation for Health and Sustainable Development and plans to graduate in May 2021. Heath spent a year of her undergraduate studying abroad in Valencia, Spain, completed two internships with the mining industry, and now that she is back in Oklahoma, she likes to spend time with her family, rock-climb, and read books on her back porch.


Veronica Salter
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Ronnie is a second year undergraduate student pursuing her BS in Environmental Engineering, and plans on completing her MS through OU's accelerated program. She hails from Juneau, Alaska, and is completing the Honors Engineering Research Experience under Dr. Nairn and the CREW research team. Currently, she is researching depth discrete water profiling in minshafts, boreholes, and monitoring wells in the Tar Creek Superfund Site. In her freetime, Ronnie enjoys painting, hiking, and playing with her cat, Pepsi. 



Kristen Soucheck
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Kristen is a junior from Little Silver, NJ pursuing her BS in environmental engineering. For her Honors research, she is assisting CREW and focusing on using stable isotopes to estimate water age to understand the connectivity of aquifers, artesian discharges, and surface and mine pool waters. In her free time, she likes to read, play the guitar, and spend time with her pet bird.

Duncan Wright
BS student, Environmental Engineering

Duncan is from St. Johns, Michigan and is a junior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. He is currently assisting Brandon Holzbauer-Schweitzer with the process of automating the merging of photographs taken by small unmanned aerial systems to create a analyzable image. He enjoys cooking and is an avid Detroit sports fan.