Ph.D., Earth Science, Syracuse University
BA, Earth Science, Vassar College
Urban water quality
Dr. Ledford is an urban hydrologist interested in studying the intersection of hydrology, biogeochemistry, and water quality in urban settings, including sociological influences, such as how people interact with water in cities. As the percentage of the world population that lives in cities continues to grow, the importance of balancing basic human needs for food and water with ecosystem services provided by rivers and streams increases. Contamination from cities to receiving water bodies not only impacts the population living in the city, but also the livelihoods of people living downstream. 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 we will improve urban water quality in a changing world.
In 2022 she was awarded the Sulzman Award from the Biogeochemistry section of the American Geophysical Union for excellence in teaching and mentoring. In addition, she was a recipient of the 2022 Dean's Early Career Award from the College of Arts and Sciences. Since 2020 she has been a member of the Board of Directors of CUAHSI, the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc (cuahsi.org). She is the Director of the Dual Degree program for the Department of Geosciences.
For more information, please see her website: sarahhledford.weebly.com.
Ledford SH, M Briggs, R Glas, and MA Zimmer. 2022. Connecting diverse disciplines to improve understanding of surface water-groundwater interactions. Journal of Hydrology X, 17. doi:10/1016/j.hydroa.2022.100141.
Davis L*, R Milligan, C Stauber, N. Jelks, L Casanova, and SH Ledford. 2022. Environmental injustice and Escherichia coli in urban streams: Potential for community-led response. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. doi:10.1002/wat2.1583
CUAHSI Board & Staff#. 2022. COVID-19 impacts highlight the need for holistic evaluation of research and in the hydrologic sciences. Water Resources Research, 58, e2021WR030930. doi:10.1029/2021WR030930. #Attributed authorship to the CUAHSI Board & Staff; my role as co-author is confirmed in the Appendix
Ledford SH and Sherwood Design Engineers. 2021. Urban Stormwater and Microclimate Resilience: Georgia State University. (White paper)
Ledford SH, J Diamond, and L Toran. 2021. Large spatiotemporal variability in metabolic regimes for an urban stream draining four wastewater treatment plants with implications for dissolved oxygen monitoring. PLoS ONE 16(8):e0256292. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0256292.
Ledford SH, M Kurz, and L Toran. 2021. Contrasting Raz-Rru stream metabolism and nutrient uptake downstream of urban wastewater effluent sites. Freshwater Science. doi:10.1086/712932
Lautz LK, SH Ledford, and J Beltran. 2020. Legacy effects of cemeteries on groundwater quality and nitrate loads to a headwater stream. Environmental Research Letters. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abc914.
Ledford SH, M Zimmer, and D Payan. 2020. Anthropogenic and biophysical controls on low flow hydrology in the southeastern U.S. Water Resources Research. doi:10.1029/2020WR027098.
Ledford SH, MM Monteagudo, AN Flores, JB Glass, and KM Cobb. 2020. #GeoGRExit: Why geosciences programs are dropping the GRE. Eos, 101. doi:10.1029/2020EO145223.
Ledford SH and L Toran. 2020. Downstream evolution of wastewater treatment plant nutrient signals using high-temporal monitoring. Hydrological Processes 34:852-864. doi:10.1002/hyp.13640.