USF Geologist and Colleague Receive Major EPA Award

TAMPA,Fla (July 8, 2008) - Mark Rains, assistant professor of ecohydrology in USF's Department of Geology, and his colleague, Tracie-Lynn Nadeau of the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA), have received the 2007 Level I Scientific and Technical Achievement Award (STAA) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a synthesis article included in the "Featured Collection" of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (43: 118-133). Their paper addressed the roles played by headwater streams and adjacent wetlands in maintaining the integrity of down steam navigable-in-fact waters.

The Level I STAA is conferred for research that the EPA believes is of national significance, has a high impact on a broad area of science/technology, has far reaching consequences, and is recognizable as a major scientific/technological achievement within its discipline.

"Two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have led to a debate over the definition of  'Waters of the United States' subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act," explained Rains. "In response, Dr. Nadeau and I co-edited the Featured Collection and co-wrote the synthesis article that concluded the Featured Collection."

The EPA distributed the Featured Collection to key policy makers in Washington, D.C. and posted it on its Web site designated to providing information on "Waters of the United States" under the heading "Relevant Studies."  (

"We are obviously pleased to win the award," said Rains.  “However, we are even more pleased that our work has played a central role in clarifying the definition of 'Waters of the United States' subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act."

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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