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Affiliate Faculty

Avner Vengosh

Professor, Nicholas School of the Environment
Nicholas School of the Environment
Earth and Ocean Sciences

(919) 681-6831

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Avner Vengosh


My research aims to link environmental geochemistry and isotope hydrology in order to trace the sources and mechanisms of water contamination and relationships with human health. Current research includes global changes of the chemical and isotopic compositions of water resources due to human intervention and contamination, salinization of water resources in the Middle East and Northern Africa, naturally occurring contaminants (arsenic, fluoride, boron) and radioactivity in water resources, the impact of coal combustion residues on the environment, and the impact of gas drilling and hydro-fracking on the quality of shallow groundwater.


Title Number Level Semester Requirements Fulfilled
Water Quality Health
Crosslisted as ENVIRON 524 EOS 524

Explore basic concepts of water quality and human health with focus on the global water cycle, global water demand and availability, chemical properties of water, contaminants in water, health implications, and environmental isotope hydrology. Highlights relationships between human activities, water scarcity, water quality degradation, and ecological and health consequences. Addresses some policy implications related to conflicts over water resources and impact of energy production on water resources. Prerequisites: prior knowledge of introductory calculus and chemistry or consent of instructor.

Course Notes:
MAJOR: Focused Study
MSC: Elective


Recent Publications

Kondash, AJ, Albright, E, and Vengosh, A. "Quantity of flowback and produced waters from unconventional oil and gas exploration." The Science of the total environment 574 (January 2017): 314-321.

Vengosh, A, Coyte, R, Karr, J, Harkness, JS, Kondash, AJ, Ruhl, LS, Merola, RB, and Dywer, GS. "Origin of Hexavalent Chromium in Drinking Water Wells from the Piedmont Aquifers of North Carolina." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 3, no. 12 (December 13, 2016): 409-414.

Schwartz, GE, Redfern, LK, Ikuma, K, Gunsch, CK, Ruhl, LS, Vengosh, A, and Hsu-Kim, H. "Impacts of coal ash on methylmercury production and the methylating microbial community in anaerobic sediment slurries." Environmental science. Processes & impacts 18, no. 11 (November 2016): 1427-1439.

Harkness, JS, Sulkin, B, and Vengosh, A. "Evidence for Coal Ash Ponds Leaking in the Southeastern United States." Environmental science & technology 50, no. 12 (June 10, 2016): 6583-6592.

Lauer, N, and Vengosh, A. "Age Dating Oil and Gas Wastewater Spills Using Radium Isotopes and Their Decay Products in Impacted Soil and Sediment." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 3, no. 5 (May 10, 2016): 205-209.

Lauer, NE, Harkness, JS, and Vengosh, A. "Brine Spills Associated with Unconventional Oil Development in North Dakota." Environmental science & technology 50, no. 10 (May 2016): 5389-5397.

Schwartz, GE, Rivera, N, Lee, S-W, Harrington, JM, Hower, JC, Levine, KE, Vengosh, A, and Hsu-Kim, H. "Leaching potential and redox transformations of arsenic and selenium in sediment microcosms with fly ash." Applied Geochemistry 67 (April 2016): 177-185.

Yu, M, Weinthal, E, Patiño-Echeverri, D, Deshusses, MA, Zou, C, Ni, Y, and Vengosh, A. "Water Availability for Shale Gas Development in Sichuan Basin, China." Environmental science & technology 50, no. 6 (March 2016): 2837-2845.

Schlesinger, WH, and Vengosh, A. "Global boron cycle in the Anthropocene." Global Biogeochemical Cycles 30, no. 2 (February 2016): 219-230.

Jackson, RB, Vengosh, A, Carey, JW, Davies, RJ, Darrah, TH, O'Sullivan, F, and Petron, G. The environmental costs and benefits of fracking. January 1, 2016.