Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Spatiotemporal Environmental Conditions

‌Since the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed in the mid 1970s, several environmental agencies have been monitoring the air and water quality of Chicago’s densely populated urban environment.  Multiple agencies maintain multiple databases that use different methodologies and store data in different units of measurement making it very difficult to use the data in a comprehensive manner.  In addition, emerging environmental threats such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, endocrine disruptors and plasticizers, are not currently regulated by the USEPA or monitored by many of the collective agencies in Chicago even though urban metropolitan areas are thought to have them in higher concentrations.

In order to address these issues, Institute of Environmental Sustainability's Chicago Area Waterways System Research Program aims to:

  • Develop a comprehensive and publicly accessible web-based database of historical and current physical, chemical, and biological conditions throughout the CAWS that allows users to view and interact with standardized parameter measurements, locations of sampling, and units of reporting
  • Conduct multidisciplinary research to investigate questions of environmental and human health pertaining to new emerging threats
  • Develop a partnership with the public and K-12 students for neighborhood monitoring of water quality
  • Develop a partnership with local decision makers, policy makers, and air and water quality managers to help inform new policies that will require regulation of new emerging environmental toxins

IES has an interdisciplinary research team of aquatic ecologists, analytical chemists and an analytical chemistry lab under development, a GIS specialist and facility, computer scientists, and ecotoxicologists collaborating on an internally funded project, begun in 2012.

Spatial and temporal environmental conditions in the Chicago Area Waterways System: Building a foundation for multidisciplinary research

Dr. Reuben Keller, Environmental Science
Dr. Tham Hoang, Ecotoxicology
Dr. Timothy Hoellein, Biology
Dr. Catherine Putonti, Biology
Dr. John Kelly, Biology
Dr. Christopher Peterson, Environmental Science
David Treering, GIS Specialist