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Dorothy Vesper


Dorothy is a low-temperature geochemist with a focus on karst hydrogeology, temporal changes in water quality (diel and storm), high-CO2 waters, metal geochemistry, thermal-mineral springs, coal-mine drainage, and how contaminant move in karst aquifers. Much of her recent research considers the relationship between inorganic carbon and sulfur in natural waters.

Environmental Geochemistry Lab

PI: Dorothy Vesper, Professor of Geology


  • BS Juniata College, 1986
  • MS Penn State Univ, 1998
  • PhD, Penn State Univ, 2002


Basically  I'm interested in water - especially water that has flowed through big holes underground.  Those holes can be natural karst settings or coal mines. I'm particularly interested in the water chemistry as it flows from the subsurface to the surface at springs and from mine portals. My research is interdisciplinary and spans from very small to very large scales. On the "small" side, I look at metal speciation and water-rock interactions. On the "large" side I look at how structure and stratigraphy control water chemistry in watersheds of the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province.


  • Aqueous Geochemistry (GEOL 588)
  • Intro to Earth’s Geochemistry (GEOL 388)
  • Contaminant Transport (GEOL 580)
  • Karst Geology (GEOL 466/666)