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Environmental Sustainability Division

Earth Systems Science Division

Wayne Johnson, photo
Wayne Johnson
Division Manager

The Earth Systems Science Division (ESSD) conducts research and provides expertise to improve the management of natural resources and energy and to solve challenging environmental problems. The Division focuses on two key issues:

Carbon Management [+ expand/ - collapse]

Legacy Waste Management [+ expand/ - collapse]

ESSD capabilities include applied geology and geochemistry, hydrology, multiphase modeling, characterization and monitoring, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, ecotoxicology, and risk and decision sciences. Our researchers use a suite of well-equipped chemical, geologic, soil and plant laboratories to accomplish our mission. We use the laboratories in conjunction with field experiment facilities to collect data that are integrated into models with a range of complexity matched to the problems being solved. In addition, ESSD has the following unique facilities:

  • Carbon Capture and Geologic Sequestration Laboratory — to understand key processes that control efficient and effective CO2 capture and geologic sequestration, including co-sequestration of other gases.
  • High Volume Analytical Laboratory — to characterize wastes, soils, sediments and groundwater containing chemical and radiological contamination.
  • Aquatic Research Laboratory — to study fish survival as a function of hydropower management, environmental and ecotoxicological conditions, and Hanford Site cleanup actions. This facility has access to Columbia River water and Hanford Site groundwater.
  • Aerosol Intermediate-scale Test Bed — to evaluate transport and dispersion of aerosols (e.g., dust and toxins) in response to temperature and wind speed in a controlled environment. The test bed supports ecotoxicology and environmental detection systems testing.
  • Hanford Cultural Resources Laboratory — to meet National Historic Preservation Act responsibilities and use the HAMMER complex to provide training and hands-on experience with cultural resource management practices.
  • Ecosystem Biomarker Laboratory — to discover biomolecular signatures of ecosystem function in order to manage and mitigate the impact of environmental stressors such as contaminants, nanomaterials and climate change.

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Check out the newly revised Environmental Biomarkers website highlighting capabilities in environmental sustainability and safe nano.

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