Jennifer Rivers Cole, Harvard University

Harvard Extension School Instructor Cambridge, Massachusetts jcole01@fas.harvard.edu Office: (617) 615-1612

Bio/Research

Groundwater geochemistry is the area of geology focused on water flow through porous media in the subsurface. Through my research in vast circumboreal wetlands of North America, I became interested in the groundwater of urban and agricultural regions. Water in Boston is relatively clean due to ...

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Bio/Research

Groundwater geochemistry is the area of geology focused on water flow through porous media in the subsurface. Through my research in vast circumboreal wetlands of North America, I became interested in the groundwater of urban and agricultural regions. Water in Boston is relatively clean due to impermeable covering such as roads, buildings, and parking lots. Conversely, the water beneath agricultural regions is polluted by agrochemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, rodenticides, fungicides, and herbicides. By focusing in on agriculture, it became clear that this sector uses enormous amounts of fossil fuels. Looking at fossil fuels led me to research how to teach students about renewable energy and climate change. One of the largest threats to our planet is our current system of industrialized agriculture and concentrated animal feeding operations. I am now focusing on China and India, collaborating with an Economist, to determine the impacts of animal husbandry on ecosystems, and what market forces and social factors could lead to a global decrease in meat consumption. This would decrease the use of fossil fuels and lessen the pollution of surface- and groundwater.

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