William E. Schnabel, Ph.D., P.E.
Institute of Northern Engineering
525 Duckering Building, PO Box 755910
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5910
(907) 699-2431 mobile
(907) 474-7041 fax
Sections on this page:
- Ph.D., Environmental Systems Engineering, May 2000. The University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- M.S., Environmental Engineering, May 1996. The University of Iowa; Iowa City, IA.
- B.S., Chemistry, May 1991. Purdue University; West Lafayette, IN
- 7/2009 - Present
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
Director, Water & Environmental Research Center
Research Associate Professor
Manages staff, facilities, and equipment for an interdisciplinary academic research center. Facilitates collaborative research projects within and outside of the WERC, and performs outreach activities on behalf of the WERC. Collaborates with academic units on campus to attract and retain promising students. Oversees WERC budgets, and manages WERC long-term planning. Conducts interdisciplinary research on cold region surface/subsurface water quality, contaminant fate and transport, water resources and waste management.
- 9/2007 - 6/2009
University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks, AK
Research Assistant Professor
Proposed, planned, conducted, and managed research projects at the UAF Institute of Northern Engineering, Water and Environmental Research Center. Varied projects are centered around cold regions applications involving surface/subsurface water quality, contaminant fate and transport, water resources and waste management.
- 8/2006 - 9/2007
Golder Associates Inc. Duluth, MN
Senior Project Engineer
Managed the origination, design, installation, and reporting of environmental planning/investigation/cleanup projects over a range of market sectors. Work was focused upon surface/groundwater quality, soil/groundwater remediation, alternative covers, and cold region engineering applications.
- 1/2002 - 7/2006
University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK
Served in a National Science Foundation-sponsored, research-oriented tripartite faculty position at the UAA School of Engineering. Research projects involved characterization and source tracking methods for fecal indicator bacteria in cold region streams; investigations into the use of wetlands for stream remediation/reclamation; implementation of mycorrhizal fungi for contaminant degradation, hydrological vadose zone modeling, and design/construction/operation of a pilot-scale evapotranspiration cover for use at a cold-region solid waste facility. Courses taught included graduate courses in Remediation (EQE 613), Water Quality Management (EQE 602), Groundwater Dynamics (CE 663), and an undergraduate course entitled Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CE 441). Other duties included organizing and presenting at regional and national technical conferences, participating in university governance committees, assessing and planning school-wide curriculum materials, obtaining and managing grant funds, advising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, providing materials and instruction for F.E. and P.E. licensure exam review courses, and serving as mentor/advisor for student groups.
- 6/2000 - 11/2001
North Liberty, IA
Project Engineer / Project Manager
Served as a project manager in an engineering firm. Designed, installed, and maintained vegetative treatment systems for use as landfill caps, flow-through bioreactors, and groundwater/soil treatment systems. Directed field crews through all aspects of development, construction, and maintenance of natural remediation systems at locations throughout the US. Employed numerical modeling software for design, and remote sensing hardware/software for monitoring of deployed remediation systems.
- Registered Professional Engineer (Environmental), Minnesota License # 45130
- American Society of Civil Engineers (Associate Member)
- ASCE Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering, Environment & Public Health Committee (Chair)
- American Water Resources Association
Detailed Academic Experience
Funded Research (PI or co-PI)
- PI. Kuparuk Foothills Hydrology Study (2006 - 2010). Evaluated quality and quantity of lake water resources for industrial use on Alaska's North Slope. Contributed to an interdisciplinary multi-project initiative to characterize surface water flow processes on the North Slope. Funding Agency: Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities
- PI. Impacts of Cold Region Open Dumps on Microbial Water Quality (2009 - 2010). Surveyed microbial water quality in rural Alaskan villages associated with solid waste sites. Evaluated possible feedback mechanisms between microbial water quality and human health. Funding Agency: USGS/NIWR/UAF Water and Environmental Research Center
- PI. Partitioning Behavior of Pathogen Indicator Organisms in Snowmelt (2008 - 2009). Investigated the survivability and partitioning dynamics of fecal indicator organisms associated with agricultural activities. Constructed snow lysimeters to capture snow and assess snowmelt water quality. Funding Agency: USDA-CSREES
- PI. Sources and Dynamics of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in University Lake (2005-2006). Employed bi-weekly sampling and source tracking to investigate origin and fate of fecal indicator bacteria in an impacted lake. Funding Agency: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- PI. Characterizing Sources and Growth Potential of Indicator Bacteria in Cold Region Streams (2005-2006). Modified the Antibiotic Resistance Analysis source tracking method for use in cold region water bodies. Funding Agency: USGS/UAF Water and Environmental Research Center
- PI. An Evapotranspriation Landfill Cap at Elmendorf Air Force Base (2004-2010). Modeled, designed, constructed, and monitored two pilot-scale basin lysimeters for the assessment of evapotranspiration covers employed at cold region landfills. Developed a method utilizing Electrical Resistivity Tomography to visualize and quantify vadose zone soil moisture. Project led to the installation of a full-scale evapotranspiration cover. Funding Agency: USAF/Weston Solutions
- PI. Developing Sustainable Waste Management Technologies in Sichuan, China (2005). Project was performed as a supplement to an Engineers Without Borders student group trip. Undergraduate research involved literature review, presentation, and design of sustainable water/wastewater/waste management solutions for use in a remote Chinese village. Funding Agency: UAA
- PI. Spatial, Temporal, and Phase Distribution of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Chester Creek (2004-2005). Employed weekly sampling and spatial analysis to develop a conceptual model and propose best management practices with respect to a fecal impacted stream. Funding Agency: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- PI. Metals Uptake from Surface Waters Through a Sand Filter Willow Wetlands (2003). Constructed a greenhouse wetlands to investigate the use of willow plantations as a best management practice for surface water quality. Funding Agency: Alaska EPSCoR
- PI. Assessing Mycorrhizal Fungi for the Uptake of Organic Pollutants (2002-2003). Mycorrhizal (vegetative-fungal) systems were assessed in order to describe the role of fungi in the degradation/uptake of contaminants in phytoremediation systems. Funding Agency: Alaska EPSCoR
- Co-PI. Attenuation of Herbicides in Sub Arctic Environments (2008-2010). Performed field and lysimeter fate and transport studies on a suite of herbicides proposed for use along Alaskan transportation corridors. Funding Agency: Alaska University Transportation Center
- Co-PI. North Slope DSS: A GIS-Based Support System for Informing Water Resource Decisions. (2008-2011). Developed new and modified existing water resource models for inclusion into a modular decision support framework. The decision support system was designed for use by industry, regulatory agencies, scientists, municipal planners, and other stakeholders associated with Alaskan North Slope water resources. Funding Agency: US Department of Energy
- Co-PI. Sagavanirktok River/Bullen Point Hydrology Project (2008 - present). Worked with an interdisciplinary team to conduct hydrologic/meteorologic monitoring and analysis to support resource development activities on Alaska's North Slope. Funding Agency: Alaska Department of Natural Resources
- Co-PI. Independent Third Party Review of the Proposed Kincaid Estates Subdivision, Anchorage, Alaska (2005). Surface water infiltration and groundwater contaminant fate/transport characteristics were assessed to predict the impacts of a proposed subdivision upon a local aquifer. Funding Agency: Alaska Legislature
- Co-PI. Evaluation of Stormwater Treatment by Constructed Wetlands in Alaska (2002 -2003). The performance of three wetlands constructed for stormwater treatment was evaluated with respect to contaminant mitigation and design performance over a period of two field seasons. Funding Agency: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities
- Co-PI. Fundamental and Applied Research on Water Generated during the Production of Gas Hydrates (2003). Treatment options for water and wastewater produced during methane hydrate extraction were evaluated for use at North Slope drilling installations. Funding Agency: Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
- Co-PI. Community Based Service Learning Minigrant: Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination of Water Quality Data for the Chester Creek Watershed (2003). Collaborated with faculty members from Geology and Biology departments to institute a student-run water quality sampling and assessment program. Funding Agency: UAA
- Remediation (EQE 613); Spring 02, 03, 05; Graduate Level
- Water Quality Management (EQE 602); Fall 02, 03, 05; Graduate Level
- Goundwater Dynamics (CE 663); Spring 04, 06; Graduate Level
- Engineering Graphics (ES 103); (Team taught with another faculty member) Fall 04; Undergraduate Level
- Introduction to Environmental Engineering (CE 441); Fall 05; Undergraduate Level
- Guest Lecturer. Provided lectures on a variety of topics including water quality, waste management practices, and general environmental engineering to students in UAA Geology and Biology courses, as well as students at other Alaskan universities and high schools.
- Faculty Liaison and Project PI - UAF Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program Graduate Fellowships (2008 - present).
- Faculty Mentor - Engineers Without Borders (2005-2006).
- Faculty Mentor - ASCE (2004).
- UAA Faculty Senator (2003 - 2006).
- Member - Engineers Week Student Competition Organizing Committee (2002 - 2006) (Chair, 2006).
- Member - Municipality of Anchorage Onsite Systems Technical Advisory Board (2003 - 2006).
- Member - ASCE Technical Council on Cold Regions Engineering Environment and Public Health Committee (2003 - present).
- Member - Conference Organizational Committees (2002 - 2006) (e.g., Alaska Water and Wastewater Management Association Annual Conference, ASCE World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, UAA Science to Engineering Conference, UAA Educating for a Sustainable Future Conference).
- Member - UAA Sustainability Task Force (2004 - 2005).
- Manuscript Reviewer - International Journal of Phytoremediation, Environmental Science & Technology ( 2002 - present)
Consulting Project Experience
- Fuel Spill Response; Nuiqsut, AK. Led a field team in the excavation of diesel-impacted soils from a gravel pad in arctic Alaska. Duties included excavation oversight, spill delineation, screening and verification sampling, site safety, human and material resource requisition, site reconstruction, institutional planning, and reporting.
- PCE Focused Feasibility Study; Roseville, MN. Worked with a team of professionals in the development of a CERCLA-style feasibility study for the remediation of a chlorinated solvent source area/plume in a near-surface aquifer.
- Alternative Cover Installation; Waterford, PA. Led the construction/installation team for the replanting of an alternative final cover. Components of the project included a vegetative cover for hydraulic control, a vegetative "living fence," and a baseball/softball facility.
- City of Cozad MSW Landfill; Cozad, NE. Led the design and installation of an alternative final cover and a vegetative buffer for hydraulic control of a landfill and a downgradient TCE plume. Performed vadose zone hydrologic modeling using Hydrus-2D. The 10-acre site and installation conditions provided an opportunity to refine techniques for cold region applications.
- Solutia Vegetative Buffer; Trenton, MI. Oversaw the design and installation of a hybrid poplar buffer around an industrial landfill. Phreatophytic vegetation was installed to the capillary zone depth order to promote hydraulic control of groundwater flowing towards the Detroit River.
- WMI Dekalb County Landfill; Dekalb, IL. Led the design and installation of a hybrid poplar buffer around a municipal solid waste landfill. Phreatophytic vegetation was installed as a hydraulic control between the toe of the landfill and an adjacent surface water body.
- City of Loogootee Vegetative Buffer; Loogootee, IN. Led the design and construction of a hybrid poplar buffer for the remediation of petroleum -impacted soils at a railroad installation.
- Ft. Wainwright SVE; Fairbanks, AK. Assisted in operation and maintenance of an air sparge / soil vapor extraction system at a cold region, petroleum-impacted site.
- CN Railway Phase II Environmental Site Assessments; Biwabik/Keenan/Duluth MN. Served as project manager for the investigation of potential subsurface impacts at three railyards in northern Minnesota. Duties included managing budgets, overseeing subcontractors, performing field installation/sampling activities, assessing/reporting results, and liaising with the client.
- Northshore Mine Stormwater Management Study; Babbitt, MN. Performed a stormwater modeling study utilizing HEC-HMS to investigate the sump size and pumping capacities at a taconite facility. Activities included modeling the current mine configuration with respect to local climatic/hydrologic/topographic information, assessing future impacts based upon predictions of future mining activities, and providing recommendations regarding stormwater management options.
- ANTHC Village Master Plans; Anchorage, AK. Prepared master plans describing improvements to water, wastewater, and solid waste facilities at several remote Alaskan villages. Compiled social, technical, and regulatory information relevant to the required improvements for each village, and participated in the preliminary site design of recommended facilities.
- Kincaid Estates Evaluation; Anchorage, AK. Assessed the impacts of a planned residential development upon groundwater resources near an abandoned gravel pit. Employed SHAW numerical model to predict infiltration as a function of soil depth and climate conditions, and used those results to provide recommendations regarding impacts of residential contaminants. Served as a technical advisor for state and local entities in the arbitration of a planning dispute.
- Schnabel, W., K. Duddleston, T. Wilson, R. Edwards, G. Stahnke, M. Maselko, and D. Maddux, (In press). "Variability, Seasonality, and Persistence of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in a Cold Region, Urban Stream." ASCE Journal of Cold Regions Engineering.
- Toniolo, H., Derry, J. Irving, K. and W. Schnabel, (In review). "Hydraulic and Sedimentologic Characterization of a Reach on the Anaktuvuk River, Alaska." ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering.
- Schnabel, W., J. Munk, T. Abichou, D. Barnes, W. Lee, and B. Pape (In press). "Assessing the Performance of a Cold Region Evapotranspiration Landfill Cover Using Lysimetry and Electrical Resistivity Tomography." International Journal of Phytoremediation.
- Myerchin, G., D. White, W. Schnabel, M. Lilly, K. Holland, and P. Prokein. (2008). Lake survey data for the Kuparuk Foothills region: Spring 2008. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center, Report INE/WERC 08.04, Fairbanks, Alaska, 9 pp.
- Myerchin, G., D. White, W. Schnabel, M. Lilly, K. Holland, and P. Prokein. (2008). Lake survey data for the coastal plain from the Sagavanirktok River to Bullen Point: Spring 2008. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center, Report INE/WERC 08.04, Fairbanks, Alaska, 9 pp.
- Van Stempvoort, D., K. Biggar, D.M.Filler, R A.Johnson, J. Armstrong, I. Snape, K. Mumford, S. Bainbridge, D.L. Barnes and W. Schnabel (2008). Emerging Technologies. In Filler, D.M., D. L. Barnes, I. Snape (Eds) Bioremediation of Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Cold Regions - A Handbook, Cambridge University Press.
- Schnabel, W., K. Duddleston, and R. Edwards (2006). Sources and Dynamics of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in University Lake; Final Report to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- Schnabel, W., T. Wilson, K. Duddleston, C. MacCauley, D. Nyman, and D. Maddux (2005). Spatial, Temporal, and Phase Dynamics of Fecal Coliform Bacteria in Chester Creek; Final Report to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
- Schnabel, W. and W. Lee (2005). A Numerical Simulation of Evapotranspiration Landfill Cover Performance at Three Cold-Region Locations. Proceedings of the World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, Anchorage, Alaska, May 2005.
- Lee, W., W. Schnabel, and D. Barnes (2005). Implementation of a Pilot Scale Evapotranspiration Landfill Cover for Use in Cold Regions. Proceedings of the World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, Anchorage, Alaska, May 2005.
- Stahnke, G., W. Schnabel, K. Duddleston, and T. Wilson (2005). Antibiotic Resistance Analysis of Enterococci in Chester Creek. Proceedings of the World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, Anchorage, Alaska, May 2005.
- Wilson, T., G. Stahnke, W. Schnabel and K. Duddleston (2005). Seasonal Variations in Fecal Coliform Bacteria in a Cold Region Stream. Proceedings of the World Water and Environmental Resources Congress, Anchorage, Alaska, May 2005.
- Munk, L., M. Methany, and W. Schnabel (2004). Review of Geologic and Hydrogeologic Studies Related to the Proposed Kincaid Estates Subdivision, Anchorage, AK. Final report to the Office of Norman Rokeberg, AK State Legislature. Oct 6th, 2004.
- Schnabel, W.E. (2004). Cold Weather Evapotranspiration Covers: A Viable Alternative? In Proceedings for PNWIS 2004 Annual Conference (Pacific Northwest International Section, Air & Waste Management Association), Portland, OR, Nov 3-5, 2004.
- Maddux, D., D. Nyman, C. McCauley, and W. Schnabel (2004). Evaluation of Stormwater Treatment by Constructed Wetlands in Alaska. Final report to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Project # 75079.
- Woolard, C., W. Schnabel, L. Munk, M. Hines (2003). Fundamental and Applied Research on Water Generated During the Production of Gas Hydrates. Final report to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, February 17th, 2003.
- Schnabel, W. and E. Mutter (2003). Preliminary Protocols for the Study of Ectomycorrhizal Gene Expression in Northern Systems. In Proceedings for International Conference on Mycorrhizae 4, Montreal, Quebec, August 10-14, 2003.
- Schnabel, W., D. Maddux, C. McCauley, D. Nyman, C. Adler, and C. Woolard (2003). Determination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon and Heavy Metal Concentrations in Two High-Latitude Constructed Wetland Systems. In Proceedings for Assessment and Remediation of Contaminated Sites in Arctic and Cold Climates, Edmonton, Alberta, May 4-6, 2003.
- Schnabel, W. (2003). Heavy Metal Deposition in a Sand Filter Willow Wetland Model. In Proceedings for Alaska Water and Wastewater Management Association Research & Development Conference, Fairbanks, AK, April 13, 2003.
- Licht, L., E. Aitchison, W. Schnabel, M. English, and M. Kaempf (2001). "Landfill Capping with a Woodland Ecosystem." ASCE Journal: The Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management, 5, pp 175-184.
- Schnabel, W. and D. White (2001). "The Effect of Mycorrhizal Fungi on the Fate of Aldrin: Phytoremediation Potential." International Journal of Phytoremediation, 3, pp 221-241.
- Schnabel, W. and D. White (2001). "The Effect of Mycorrhizal Fungi on the Fate of PCB's in Two Vegetated Systems." International Journal of Phytoremediation, 3, 203-220.
- Schnabel, W. and D. White (2000). "Surfactant Addition Enhcnces the Hyphal Uptake of PCB's and Aldrin by Mycorrhizal Fungi in Liquid Culture." International Journal of Phytoremediation, 2, pp233-242.
- White, D. and W. Schnabel (1998). "Treatment of Cyanide Waste in a Sequencing Batch Biofilm Reactor." Water Research, 32, pp254-257.
- Schnabel, W., A. Dietz, J. Burken, J. Schnoor and P. Alvarez (1997). "Uptake and Transformation of TCE by Edible Garden Plants." Water Research, 31, pp816-824.
- S. Delisle, O. Blondel, F.J. Longo, W. Schnabel, G.I. Bell and M.J. Welsh (1996). "Expression of Inositol 1,4,5-Triphosphate Receptors Changes the Calcium Signal of Xenopus Oocytes." American Journal of Physiology. 270 (Cell Physiol. 39), C1255-C1261.
- Lahiri, D. and W. Schnabel (1993). "DNA Isolation by a Rapid Method from Human Blood Samples: Effects of MgCl2, EDTA, Storage Time, and Temperature on DNA Yield and Quality." Biochemical Genetics, 31, pp321-328.