PSU researcher wins award for showing ponds contribute high levels of carbon emissions

A PSU research fellow in aquatic sciences has won a prestigious award for a paper that shows that small ponds contribute much more in the way of carbon emissions than their relative size may suggest.

Meredith Holgerson, Ph.D. was awarded the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) 2018 Lindeman Award for her paper, "Large contribution to inland water carbon dioxide and methane emissions from very small ponds" published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Holgerson is a David Smith Conservation Research Fellow in the Department of Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University.

Traditionally small inland ponds have been excluded from carbon emissions studies because they are difficult to quantify globally and were assumed to contribute minimal levels of emissions given their small size relative to lakes. Holgerson's paper challenges those assumptions, showing that while small ponds account for only about 9% of inland waterways by surface area, they contribute approximately 15% of carbon dioxide and 41% of methane emissions from inland waters.

Holgerson's paper documents work conducted while in a Ph.D. program at Yale University. The award will be presented at the ASLO Summer Meeting in Victoria, British Columbia in June 2018.

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