Faculty Research


Take a sneak peak at our faculty's water-related research qc_theme_2014water

water_students_6Dr. William Vasquez Mazariegos, associate professor of economics
Courses taught: 
Development Economics, Mathematical Economics, Statistics, Comparative Economics Systems, Economics of Water Resources (forthcoming), and Economic Aspects of Current Social Problems: Water in Brazil*
Research interests: Household preferences for improve water services, Water behaviors (e.g. in-home water treatment and storage, bottled water consumption), Economic Valuation of Water Resources, Economic incentives and institutional arrangements for optimal use of water resources, and Household strategies to cope with water-related risks (e.g. flooding, hurricanes). 

Water research:
Stated and Revealed Preferences for Improved Water Services in Guatemala: This project investigates household willingness to pay and work for improvements in water services in the small town of San Lorenzo in western Guatemala. The project also investigates the determinants of nonpayment of water bills and averting behaviors such as in-home water treatment and consumption of bottled water. Fairfield students participating in this project: Ricardo Espaillat’14

Economic Valuation of Urban Lakes in Brazil: This project uses hedonic models of housing prices and choices experiments to estimate the value that households in Campos dos Goytacazes (Brazil) assign to urban lakes in the city. With Dr. Carlos Rezende at Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense (Brazil)

Hurricane Evacuation and Mitigation Strategies: This project follows a sequential contingent behavior approach to investigate determinants of hurricane evacuation in the northeastern coast of the US. The project also implements choice experiments to analyze household preferences for public programs aimed at mitigating hurricane disasters. With Dr. Pallab Mozumder at Florida International University

Dr. Shannon Gerry, assistant professor of biology base_fac_gerry
Courses taught: General Biology II, Human Physiology, Anatomy: Form & Function
Research interests: Biomechanics of fish swimming and feeding 

Water Research: The research in my lab is currently focused on three projects all related to water:

One, we are studying the evolution of jaw muscle activation patterns in stingrays. Due to the shape of the head and the flexible skeleton made of cartilage, stingray jaws are highly mobile. We are investigating if the jaw muscles are able to operate independently when feeding on different prey types.

Two, we are studying the energetics and muscle activation patterns of stingray locomotion. Batoids (skates and stingrays) are capable of walking across the substrate as well as swimming in the water column. Some species also punt, or use their fins to glide across the bottom. We are investigating the energetic costs of each of these forms of locomotion by measuring metabolic rate. We are also quantifying how the patterns of muscle activation in the fins change with swimming speed.

Three, we are studying the influence of body shape on swimming in bluegill sunfish. Within a single population, these fish have diverged into two different body forms: a littoral form with a rounder body that maneuvers among the weeds and a pelagic form with a streamlined body that cruises in the open water. We are testing their maximum swimming speeds, maneuverability and escape responses using high-speed video as well as the physiological properties of their fin and body muscles.


water_fac_res_3Dr. Bruce W. Berdanier, Dean, School of Engineering
Research Interests: Drinking and Wastewater Treatment, Surface Water Quality 

Currently, I am involved in a three year study of naturally occurring levels of heavy metals in the surface water, sediments, and plants in the White River watershed in South Dakota.  Additionally, I have been involved for the past three years in designing and implementing drinking water treatment for 700 students at a rural university in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia.  Students from South Dakota State University and Fairfield University have worked the past two summers with me on these projects. Read More.





Water theme, 2014-16, layout, JYJo Yarrington, professor of studio art
Courses taught: Foundation Drawing, Printmaking, Junior and Senior Seminar

Research interests
: I am a traveler, an artist/collaborator and a compagne, in the very purest sense of that word. On my journeys around the world, as I experience both place and community life, I interact and engage as tourist and outsider. My photographs serve not as documentation (in the way of becoming a relic), but rather as a witness to an ephemeral event that often occurs while I am alone. I forget the photograph but see the phenomena. The notion of water has been a part of my creative process, a metaphor, a referencing of how we navigate the deep and unruly terrain between psychological spaces and physical places.

Water research: I recently have completed and compiled material for a three-book project called The Falling Edge: Iceland, Venezuela, and Bhutan (2004-2012), with Dr. Kim Bridgford, a practicing poet, current director of the West Chester University Poetry Center and former professor at Fairfield University. Professor Bridgford's and my next project, The Rotating Axis, to be completed over the next 10 years, will go to places close to the equator, and toward the ‌southernmost and northernmost parts of the globe. We will and trace these lines of travel, both literally and metaphorically, through lines of photography as well as lines of poetry.

In addition, I am working on a project called On the Edge and In Between: The Skelligs and the Blaskett Islands with two other artists, one from Ireland and the other a studio professor emeritas from the University of Illinois. This work evolved as a result of our interactions as invited Fellows at the Cill Rialaig Artist Residency, located on the farthest point west of the Ring of Kerry. This collaborative residency and the work that has ensued will result in an international exhibition, in Ireland, in 2015.

Currently, I am working on a project with two photographers specializing in alternative processes, Morgan Post and Sam Dole, for the November 2014 exhibition Connecticut (un) Bound, at Artspace Gallery, New Haven. Our project, titled Containment and Spillage, is a book object that responds to and comments on nuclear waste plants in Connecticut, the process of using coolants in the reactors and the potential longterm effects of the slow seepage of radioactive materials into the surrounding land and waterways. The structure of the proposed book object will be defined by contextual dichotomies  – absence/presence, interior/exterior, and containment/spillage.  Key components will include the use of uranium for a number of processes and procedures employed in the formation of the book.

 Learn More