Bob Chen ~ Urban Oceanographer

Bob Chen

Monitoring The Neponset Watershed

Neponset River Watershed map
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Neponset River Watershed
Dr. Bob Chen is a tenured professor of organic geochemistry in the Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences Department at University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston. His research interests include:
  • Dissolved organic carbon cycling in ocean margins
  • Chromophoric (colored) dissolved organic matter sources and cycling in estuaries
  • Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy for in situ measurements of pyrene
  • Benthic fluxes of organic compounds
  • Natural hydrocarbon seeps
  • Environmental endocrine disruptors and pharmaceuticals in coastal waters
  • Applications of fluorescence spectroscopy to marine environmental problems
"Urban oceanography is a different kind of challenge, very unlike a research cruise."
A current research goal is to characterize the terrestrial component of chromophoric (colored) dissolved organic matter (CDOM), an important, sometimes dominant component of the sunlight absorbing constituents of seawater, especially in coastal waters where terrestrial inputs of organic matter are large; observe its reactivity in a number of estuaries with differing watershed properties; and quantify its delivery to coastal systems. This study includes field work in the Neponset watershed and Big Bend area of Florida. Bob's research represents one of the first attempts to study the fate and effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the marine environment and, as such, may have major implications for the future production and disposal of synthetic drugs and industrial chemicals.

Bob's Research