Jennifer Demchak

Jennifer Demchak

Chair of Geosciences Department

31 South Academy Street
Mansfield, PA 16933

Phone: 570-662-4613
Photo of Jennifer Demchak
Research Disciplines: Water Quality | Water Resources | Wetlands

Research Interests

Water quality, water quantity, acid mine drainage, agriculture, wetland mitigation, best management practices, unconventional drilling (marcellus shale), and land use impacts on watersheds

Educational Background

She began her academic career at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ), followed by receiving her MS in Biology at Clarion University. She then attended WVU where she completed her PhD in Plant and Soil Science in 2005.

Her MS thesis titled, “Analysis of Vertical Flow Wetlands in the Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage” investigated the study of passive treatment for acid mine drainage through biological and inorganic processes. The study investigated treatment system construction designs and determined system effectiveness. The study developed new water sampling techniques and a new means of evaluating reduction/oxidation within organic media.

Her PhD dissertation titled, "Water Quality Changes of Underground Mines in Northern West Virginia” investigated the long term trends of acid mine drainage from underground mines in the Cheat River Basin. The data set consisted of water analysis conducted in the 1960s and data that was collected in the summers of 1999 and 2000. Changes over time, natural attenuation rates, and relationships of precipitation events and flow rates to chemistry were investigated.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Jennifer Demchak is the Chair of the Geosciences Department at Mansfield University. She was hired in 2007 to develop the watershed management program. She was able to develop curriculum from the ground up. Her heart lies with students and sharing her passion for environmental stewardship. 

During the summer of her sophomore and junior year, she was able to secure an internship with the PADEP. This changed her life forever. Since the summer of 1994, her research emphasis has been on watershed related issues. She has successfully started her own watershed management consulting company in 2002, NMBS Environmental, which focused on mine drainage remediation, wetland mitigation and permitting. As demands of an academic career increased, consulting work has now become a hobby to be enjoyed during the summers and shared with undergraduates as an opportunity for real world experience.

Other Research

  • Watershed impacts from acid mine drainage, along with designing mitigation techniques. Watershed investigation and protection throughout Pennsylvania.
  • Wetland mitigation, delineation and permitting.
  • Investigating impact of resource extraction on water quality and benthic organisms.
  • Investigating removal of sediment and nutrient loads using agricultural BMP’s.
  • Researching watershed and environmental policy and how that is being implemented in the field.
  • Pathways to higher education/STEM programming in K-12.

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