CREW research is conducted on multiple scales (e.g., laboratory bench-top, microcosm, greenhouse and field) but specific ecosystem- and watershed-scale demonstrations are emphasized with a focus on solving the complex environmental dilemmas resulting from past industrial activities (e.g., abandoned and derelict mines).
CREW research evaluates these challenges, designs solutions, and - perhaps most importantly - documents results through physicochemical water quality changes and ecological recovery. Most projects focus on two general areas:
- Watershed biogeochemistry including drainage-basin scale evaluations of pollution sources and mass loadings to and in streams and other receiving water bodies, leading to remediation and restoration planning that summarizes and prioritizes impacts for clean-up. Recently, CREW has expanded our on-the-ground monitoring efforts with two small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) to collect high-resolution, site-specific multispectral data.
- Ecological engineering, especially passive treatment systems (design, construction and evaluation of sustainable ecological systems for treatment of contaminated waters), land reclamation (native plant establishment and phytoremediation of degraded soils and wastes), applied fluvial geomorphology (natural channel design for stream restoration) and waste recycling (beneficial reuse of mining wastes).