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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research & Development Center 
Environmental Laboratory 
3909 Halls Ferry Road 
Vicksburg, MS 39180-6199

Environmental Laboratory (EL)

The U.S. Army Engineer and Development Center’s Justin Wilkens, a research biologist with the Environmental Laboratory, checks the waypoints using the SubSeaSail’s G6 navigation software on his laptop. The unmanned surface vessel was taken to Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, for a demonstration by Wilkens and a team of ERDC-EL research biologists, including Dr. Guilherme Lotufo and Dr. Mark Ballentine. The USV gathered data indicating the presence of munitions constituents from unexploded underwater ordnance, a problem at sites around the world. Chris Todter, far left, a SubSeaSail partner, and Tom Goddard, far right, SubSeaSail Fabrication and Testing, are also visible in the photo.
In one Engineering With Nature® project located on Washington’s Skagit River, USACE Seattle District incorporated salmon habitat features into levee repairs made from 2007 to 2011. Installation of large logs with rootwads at the toe of the levee provides low-velocity refuge habitat for juvenile salmon on their migratory route to the estuary. Since installation in 2011, additional woody debris has recruited to create a longer and wider area of habitat benefits. Skagit River has been designated as a critical habitat for three salmonid species listed under the Endangered Species Act.
This figure is an Adverse Outcome Pathway, or an overview of one way chemicals may cause pulmonary (lung) fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is the development of scar tissue (similar to a scab on the skin) within the lung. This makes it difficult for people to breathe by preventing the lungs from expanding to fill with air. As a result, people can die from a lack of oxygen in their blood. Ordinarily, if chemicals caused some type of mild lung injury, PPAR-gamma would prevent the development of pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we show that it is possible for chemicals to drive the development of pulmonary fibrosis by inactivating the PPAR-gamma receptor. This allows TGF-beta to stimulate pulmonary fibrosis, as a result of lung injury either by the chemical or some other cause (e.g., inhaled sand, smoke, or other chemicals) that may irritate the lung. Unfortunately, once pulmonary fibrosis has developed, it is not reversible ⸺ the scar tissue remains forever.
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory’s Environmental Engineering Branch (EPE) hosted 11 interns in summer 2019. Pictured are mentors and interns, Top Row: Dr. Victor Medina (EPE), Michelle Wynter (EPE), Ryan Jarrett, Jesse Roberts, Martha Hebert; Middle Row: Dr. Afrachanna Butler (EPE), Alexandria Kessee, Jormarie Lopez, John Broussard, Dr. Catherine Thomas (EPE), Dameia Graham; Bottom Row: Luke Gurtowski (EPE), Dr. Edith Martinez-Guerra (EPE), Ilea Diaz, Michelle Carpio, Jessica Pope, and Jose Mattei-Sosa (EPE).
Dr. Jan Hoover of the Environmental Laboratory shows his snake, Bimbo, to students and teachers from the Academy of Innovation during an exhibit about invasive species at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Earth Day celebration on April 23, 2019.


ERDC biologists’ research noted in professional journal
Studies conducted by research biologists at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory (EL) on the management of the invasive aquatic plant flowering rush...
ERDC science helps USACE districts ease time-of-year dredging restrictions
It was when he was a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University that Dr. Matt Balazik, a research ecologist with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental...
ERDC partners with Ohio universities to develop solutions for harmful algal bloom problem
The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) established cooperative agreements with the Ohio State University (OSU), the University of Toledo (UToledo) and Bowling Green State...