Professor and Chair, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Townes 119D

  • Current disciplinary research interests

      Impact of urbanization on stream and rivers systems, including the drivers of the impact (population growth, economic growth, driving habits, etc.), focusing on N and C biogeochemistry.

  • Interest in connecting sustainability to research

      I’m interested in understanding how water quality and water supply constrain population and economic growth in the upstate region. Also, as a whole, I’m interested in thinking about how resilient the Upstate region will be if faced with energy price spikes or energy limitations. Could the Upstate feed itself? Do we have enough water to allow for growth? What would happen in the case of severe oil shortages (thinking of the unavailability of fuel after Hurricane Katrina)? Is a combination of solar and wind power enough to power the upstate? I’m also interested in applying Ecological Footprint analysis to Furman University and maybe the Upstate.

  • Center-funded research projects

      Organic matter sequestration in intensively grazed pastures: A source of fertility and sink for atmospheric CO2?

      Student Research Assistant: Claire Campbell '13

      This research examined the amount of soil organic matter in soils from two "sustainable" farms, Greenbrier Farms and 12 Aprils Dairy, in the upstate that focus on intensive grazing methods, no-till farming practices, and the elimination of chemical additives, making the soils more fertile. Soil samples were collected from each farm, and an upper limit to soil organic matter is being established from this work. The results of this research will have impacts on soil management for other farms in the upstate, and Dr. Andersen developed two new laboratory exercises for his Environmental Science and Environmental Systems classes based on this data.

  • Sustainability courses taught
      • Environmental Science
      • Environmental Systems
      • Geochemistry
      • Sedimentary Systems
      • Environment and Society
      • Dynamic Systems Modeling

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