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Sarah H. Ledford

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Earth Science, Syracuse University
BA, Earth Science, Vassar College


Hydrology, hydrogeology, urban water issues, biogeochemistry


Dr. Ledford is an urban hydrologist working towards understanding issues of water quantity and quality in highly-populated areas.  She does this through a combination of field work, lab work, and modeling. This approach involves combing the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, and biogeochemistry.  Understanding what controls urban water pollution, relaying this knowledge to the public, and having the public join with researchers to influence policy change is the only way to improve urban water quality in our changing world.

Overall, her research focuses on studying the physical interactions between surface and groundwater and subsequent biogeochemical processing controlling water quality, especially nitrogen contamination.  Her research aims to study urban water quality issues in four dimensions: longitudinal, lateral, vertical, and temporal.

Current projects include evaluating the impact of wastewater treatment plant effluent on in-stream ecosystem respiration, gross primary productivity, and nutrient concentrations in the Wissahickon Creek, Philadelphia, PA.  She is also starting to look for field sites in the Atlanta region to study and setting up her water quality analysis laboratory.

For more information, please see her website:

She is teaching Surface Water Hydrology in fall 2018 (GEOS 4650/GEOS 6650).

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