The information provided on this page has been contributed by the individual alumnus

Jen Holmstadt

MS 2008

Update 2014:

I am a geomorphologist and project manager for Tetra Tech Inc., an environmental consulting firm. Our team applies geomorphic principles to solve a wide range of environmental problems.  Presently, our team uses geomorphology to assess pipeline integrity at streams and along slopes for companies that operate crude oil pipelines. We collect and analyze publically available datasets (i.e. DEMs, soils, aerial photos, hydrographic data, etc.) to determine baseline conditions at slopes and streams along pipelines. Field assessments are conducted at each location to confirm baseline conditions and provide additional information not available in a desktop review.

We also use geomorphology to determine the vertical and spatial extent of contaminated sediments and soils in streams and floodplains. For example, our team was involved in the Kalamazoo River crude oil spill cleanup. For that project, we used fluvial geomorphology principles to find and mitigate submerged oil. Geomorphic surfaces were delineated using variables such as sediment type, water depth, geomorphic setting, etc. These variables were also used to inform a hydrodynamic model used to determine sediment transport downstream of the Morrow Lake Dam.

Alumni_HolmstadtMajor advisor: Alan Arbogast

Thesis Title: Geomorphology and geoarchaeology of a small foredune complex along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan

My research focused on a small dune field at the Antrim Creek Natural Area in northwest Lower Michigan. The goal of the study was to reconstruct the geomorphic evolution of the dunes within the context of anemerging geoarchaeological model associated with coastal dunes.

Since my graduation, I have been working for an environmental consulting firm as a soil geomorphologist.Companies that have released contaminants into soils or sediment hire our team to locate and remediate those contaminants, as well as navigate the regulatory process associated with contaminated site cleanup. We also work with federal and/or state agencies that have assumed responsibility for contaminated sites. I use geomorphic principles to determine the spatial and vertical extent of contaminants, primarily in fluvial environments.