Thomas M. Holsen
Co-Director Clarkson Center for the Environment
204 Rowley Laboratories
PO Box 5710
Potsdam, NY 13699-5725
B.Sc., University of California at Berkeley (1983)
M.S., University of California at Berkeley (1985)
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley (1988)
Courses taught include:
CE 491 — Senior Design
CE 580 — Environmental Chemistry
CE 584 — Chemodynamics
CE 681 — Environmental Physico-Chemical Processes
HP200 — Honors Sophomore Problem Solving Course
ES 300 — Introduction to Engineering for Non-Engineers
Dr. Holsen's research interests include the transport, transformations and fate of hydrophobic organic chemicals, metals, and ions in a wide array of environmental systems. Of particular interest is pollutant exchange (wet deposition, dry deposition and air-surface/air-water exchange) between earth's surface and the atmosphere.
Atmospheric Deposition, Transport, Transformations and Bioavailability of Mercury across a Northern Forest Landscape. Widespread contamination of mercury in remote aquatic environments due to atmospheric deposition and consequent high concentrations in aquatic biota, suggest that there is an acute need to improve understanding of the mechanisms of mercury transport and transformations in lake/watershed ecosystems. The goal of this interdisciplinary project it to develop a better understanding of how atmospherically deposited mercury is transported through an entire watershed system. Results from field and laboratory experiments will be used to improve an existing mercury transport model.
The Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program: Pushing the Science. In the Great Lakes Fish Monitoring and Surveillance Program (GLFMSP), fish from each lake are analyzed for contaminants to assess temporal trends in organic contaminants and mercury in the open waters of the Great Lakes, using fish as biomonitors. This proposal builds on the foundation we have developed as the current GLFMSP operator. During the next five years, we will further enhance the program by obtaining three new analytical instruments to give us state-of-the-art capability to identify and quantify both emerging and legacy pollutants at levels previously impossible to achieve. In addition, we will supplement fish analyses by assessing contaminant transfer from the water column and through the food chain, expand the analyte list to include important emerging contaminants and use supplemental approaches (a bioassay tool and fatty acids, stable isotopes, and fish stomach analysis) to enhance the program. In addition we will augment our collaborations with other state and federal programs performing similar work. In total these enhancements will give us a much clearer picture of the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem and will make the GLFMSP a world-wide scientific leader in documenting how human activity is impacting the world we live in.
Fugitive Dust Emissions: Development of a Real-time Monitor. At Department of Defense (DoD) sites fugitive dust (FD) is created by vehicle and aircraft maneuvers, artillery/missile backblast, range maintenance and construction activities, and wind erosion on disturbed surfaces. The air quality impacts of these emissions may impair the full use of military installations, particularly in areas that are in nonattainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Current efforts to study FD are hampered by the lack of an effective, real-time sampler able to measure the range of particle sizes that make up FD. To meet this need this project is designed to develop and characterize a novel instrument capable of measuring, in real-time, ambient concentrations of particles >2 µm in size. This project will take advantage of previous work in our laboratory in which a new inlet capable of effectively sampling large particles was designed and tested. The inlet, called the large particle inlet (LPI), was designed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling and its performance characterized in wind tunnel experiments. The novel LPI can sample particles as large as 100 µm at wind speeds up to 7 ms-1 with well characterized sampling efficiencies. In this project the inlet will be coupled to a commercially available forward-scattering optical system to enable the determination of the concentration of FD particles in real-time.
Impacts of Manure Spreading Techniques on Downwind Air Quality: Particles, Ammonia, and Bioaerosols. Emissions of ammonia and particulates from agricultural feeding operations contribute significantly to green house gases inventories, and are of health concern. Additionally, bioaerosols were identified by the EPA as future contaminants of interest from animal feeding operations. Little information is available on emissions of these pollutants from mobile sources (e.g. manure application) at dairy operations. Further, renewed interest in anaerobic digestion for biogas production requires better understanding of air emissions from digester effluent compared to untreated manure. Our goal is to produce data and improve models useful for the development of science-based emission reduction targets to improve air quality and protect human and environmental health. Objectives include developing data regarding the fate and transport of ammonia and particulate matter from agricultural lands during and following application of untreated or anaerobic digested manure from confined dairy operations. We will characterize captured particulate matter regarding bioaerosols (fungi, total and fecal indicator bacteria, pathogens, antibiotic resistant genes and host-specific PCR biomarkers for cattle fecal pollution). Transport models for ammonia and particulate matter will be modified to incorporate emission factors specific to manure application method and treatment. Field samples will be taken from two dairy farms located in Northern New York, each applying manure using conventional splash plate, low height splash plate, and direct injection methods. Results from this study will improve our understanding of how manure application and treatment methods affect air emissions. Validated models will ensure that the data generated will be applicable to other locations in the US.
Determination of the Efficiency of and Emissions from an European Wood Pellet/Solar Boiler System. The United States has now come to recognize the potential for human induced global warming and the likely contribution of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion to the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases. One option to help control CO2 emissions is to increase the efficiency of building heating systems. However , there is a lack of awareness in the U.S. of fully automated, high efficiency wood boiler systems that can burn extremely cleanly. There has been active development of such systems in Europe. Clarkson University is partnering with the U.S representative of the Energy Cabin, the developer of a state-of-the-art pellet combustion process that are described in detail in the brochures appended to this proposal. There has been testing of this system in Europe that showed that this system has significantly lower CO and PM emissions at approximately the same level of NOx emissions with energy efficiencies in the 80 to 90% range. However, it has not been fully characterized for U.S. regulatory and non regulatory pollutants as well as energy efficiency. By providing a location for this demonstration project, Clarkson benefits from the use of this technology and Energy Cabin will gain visibility for their technology. In addition this project will help the public as well as state and Federal regulators understand the capabilities and emissions from the current state-of-the-art in solid fuel combustion. The goals of this project are to: demonstrate and evaluate state-of-the-art, fully optimized, wood boiler technology and raise awareness in industry and among consumers of opportunities for clean and efficient systems.
Ahn, M.C., Kim, B.C., Holsen, T.M., Han, Y.J. Factors Influencing Concentrations of Dissolved Gaseous Mercury (DGM) and Total Mercury (TM) in an Artificial Reservoir (2010) Env Poll 158, 347-355
Ahmed, M.E., Huang, K.L., Holsen, T.M. Nafion-117 behavior during cation separation from spent chromium plating solutions (2009) Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 48, 6805-6810
Kim, S.H., Han, Y.J., Holsen, T.M., Yi, S.M. Characteristics of atmospheric speciated mercury concentrations (TGM, Hg(II) and Hg(p)) in Seoul, Korea (2009) 43, 3267-3274 Atmos Environ
Xia, X., Crimmins, B.S., Hopke, P.K., Pagano, J.J., Milligan, M.S., Holsen, T.M. Toxaphene Analysis in Great Lakes Fish: A Comparison of GC/MS techniques (2009) Anal Bioanal Chem 395:457-463
Selvendiran, P., Driscoll, C.T., Montesdeoca, M.R., Choi, H.D., Holsen, T.M. Mercury dynamics and transport in two Adirondack lakes Limnol. Oceanogr., 54(2), 2009, 413-427
Choi, E.M. Kim, S.H., Holsen, T.M., Yi, S.M. Total gaseous concentrations in mercury in Seoul, Korea: Local sources compared to long-range transport from China and Japan, (2009) Environ. Poll. 157, 816-822
Jaradat A.Q., Fowler K., Grimberg S.J., Holsen T.M., Gosh R.S., Treatment of storm water containing low levels of PCBs using Natural Media Filtration (NMF) (2009) Environ Eng Sci Jan
Choi H.-D. and Holsen, T.M., Gaseous Mercury Emissions from the Forest Floor of the Adirondacks. (2009) Environ Pollut, 157, 592-600