Karen Tuerk

Lecturer, Environmental Science
Main Campus > Trumbower Science Building > 339


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  • M.S., University of Charleston
  • B.S., Western Washington University

Teaching Interests

My introductory Environmental Science courses present the depth and breadth of topics covered in this interdisciplinary field of study. With an eye on current events, we consider the human impact on ecosystems, water and air quality; and the cycling of elements. We consider notable issues—including population growth, climate change and agricultural practices—on both a local and global scale.

Research, Scholarship or Creative/Artistic Interests

My graduate and post-graduate work focused on the unintentional impacts of human activities on marine and estuarine environments. In collaboration with the National Marine Mammal Stranding Network and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, we detected and quantified the presence of persistent organic pollutants (including pesticides and flame retardants) in the body tissues of temperate and subtropical dolphin populations. At the University of South Carolina, our laboratory quantified the response of microorganisms to nutrient loading in estuaries adjacent to golf courses and residential developments.

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