Rhea Thompson is a Ph.D. student in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Sciences Graduate Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is evaluating the green infrastructure benefits of WaterShed, a sustainable solar house designed by University of Maryland researchers for the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon competition, in which the house won first place. Her research interests are in understanding the effects of climate, vegetation, building, and design on green infrastructure benefits (e.g., wastewater treatment, stormwater retention, energy savings) as well as in bridging socioeconomic disparities in green infrastructure accessibility. In her spare time, Rhea travels back and forth to the Caribbean where she enjoys celebrating the local Carnival, visiting family and the beach, and hiking to waterfalls. While in Grenada this summer, she snorkeled in the world’s first underwater sea sculpture park.
Fellowship Experiences Blog Posts
See Rhea's post to Fellowship Experiences, Maryland Sea Grant's blog written by and about graduate fellows and their research:
Smithville is a community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. A century ago, Smithville had more than 100 residents. Today, it has four, in two homes: an elderly couple, and one elderly woman and her son, who cares for her.
Taylor Armstrong is studying the toxins produced by algae and identifying natural algaecides to reduce harmful algal blooms. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, running, and painting.
Urban stormwater runoff remains on the of the primary sources of nutrients, sediments, and other pollutants in receiving waters, like the Chesapeake Bay. Stormwater best management practices (BMPs) and green infrastructure (SWGI) have been implemented in urban and suburban areas to re-establish ecosystem functions lost because of urbanization. SWGI treatment trains provide sequential infiltration and treatment of stormwater on the landscape prior to export into nearby waterways and groundwater.