AppAqua Cluster

Primary Objectives

The Appalachian Aquatic Science Research Team (AppAqua) takes a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the complex human-environmental interactions affecting water resources in the Southern Appalachian headwaters. The cluster developed a high resolution geospatial database for the Upper South Fork of the New River (USFNR) watershed as part of a long-term water quality monitoring program.  AppAqua studies the long-term spatial relationships between land cover change and water quality in the USFNR watershed that integrates methods and data from physical (hydro-geomorphic), biologic, and social sciences.


water quality/quantity monitoring, land cover assessment, nutrient loading, population sampling, benthic macroinvertebrate sampling, LiDAR and structure from motion, restoration assessment, non-monetary valuation to inform watershed management policy, watershed modeling, riparian zone mapping

Cluster Members

  • Jeff Colby, Department of Geography and Planning
  • Shea Tuberty, Department of Biology
  • Derek Martin, Department of Geography and Planning
  • Chuanhui Gu, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University

Study Area

image of upper south fork of the new river watershed, AppAqua study area, RIEEE


water resources, stream restoration, land use change, ecosystem services, multidisciplinary research