Erica Marti

Dr. Erica Marti’s main research interests are in water and wastewater treatment, especially in the area of transforming wastewater for a beneficial reuse (drinking water, irrigation water, etc.). Past work has included understanding the formation of unregulated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and investigating different methods to prevent their formation. DBPs are created when water is disinfected with chemical oxidants like different forms of chlorine and ozone. We use the chemicals to inactivate pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) but the chemicals can react with other dissolved organics and inorganics to create unwanted byproducts, some of which are toxic. Therefore, water treatment professionals must work carefully to provide the right amount of oxidant for disinfection while minimizing DBPs.
Future research topics include remediation of polluted groundwater, adsorption of heavy metals from wastewater using biochar made from agricultural waste products, uptake of DBPs in plants grown using treated wastewater, and optimizing toxicity assays for DBPs.
Dr. Marti also conducts research in the area of STEM education and has led several Teacher Professional Development programs for integrated STEM lessons and engineering design.

Jacque Ewing-Taylor

As the Institutional Grants Coordinator, Jacque Ewing-Taylor brings together interdisciplinary research teams to respond to high-profile grant Requests For Proposal (RFPs) and coordinates the support for proposal review.

Ewing-Taylor also holds the position of associate director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education. The Raggio Center is focused on the educational aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) such as professional development for educators and improving instruction for students.

A major function of the center is supporting the evaluation portion of the grant process and this correlates to Ewing-Taylor’s primary research interest—studying professional development strategies that best increase teacher effectiveness. Ewing-Taylor points out that, “kids are natural scientists” and she is focused on finding the best ways to develop those tendencies.