Prosper Gbolo

Prosper Gbolo is a PhD Candidate in the University of North Dakota’s Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering. Prosper Gbolo started his education in Ghana and continued at the University of Ghana, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Geology. He enrolled in the Ohio University’s Geological Sciences’ program to further his knowledge in surface and groundwater problems and how to manage those resources. In 2008, Prosper received a Master of Science (MS) degree in Geological Sciences at Ohio University. He worked with Professor Dina Lopez as a student researcher in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program. Prosper’s present research is focused on the transformation, mobilization, and sequestration of phosphorus within an abandoned feedlot in the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge near Crookston, Minnesota.

Email: prosper.gbolo@my.und.edu

The Cycling, Fate, And Quantification of Nutrients at an Abandoned Feedlot

Fellow: Prosper Gbolo

Advisor: Phil Gerla, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota.

Degree Progress: PhD in Geology and Geological Engineering; graduation December 2014.

Research Synopsis:

Nutrients are chemical species that play important roles in soils, water, and living organisms, and are transformed from one species to another through different biogeochemical processes and cycles. Currently, there are research gaps in the cycle, mobility, speciation, and sequestration of P in different environments. Nutrient quantification in runoff and nutrient leaching in groundwater systems have received attention lately. In view of this, this research examines the P cycle within a sandy ridge and adjacent wetlands. This study will analyze groundwater, soils, surface water, plant tissues, and microorganisms as part of a larger study to test the hypothesis that when P is transported by runoff, it is sequestered and immobilized, with increasing abundance in wetlands.

Project Objectives:

Progress:

The project is in its third year and the site has been instrumented with nested wells and soil pore-water samplers for monitoring groundwater nutrient. Grab soil samples and plant biomass have been sampled during 2012 summer, but more sampling will be done during 2013 summer to determine more thoroughly constrain nutrient variability. Drought conditions experienced in summer 2012 limited groundwater sampling; additional sampling will be carried out during 2013 for water quality analysis and nutrient modeling. A manuscript has been submitted and accepted for publication in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). A second paper is in review. 

Research Outcomes:

Conference Presentations

1.    Gerla, PJ, and Gbolo, P 2004, 'Mapping the fate of nutrients in wetlands adjacent to an abandoned feedlot', Proceeding of the Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2014, Abstract No. 14855, P 325. (Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR - May 2014).
2.    Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2014, 'Plants, soils, and waters' role in mitigating environmental problems associated with an abandoned feedlot', Proceeding of the University of North Dakota Scholarly Forum", University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, 2014.
3.    Gerla, P, and Gbolo, P, 2014, 'Mapping the fate of nutrients at the abandoned Crookston Cattle Company feedlot', Proceeding of the North Dakota Water Quality Monitoring Conference Poster Presentation, Bismarck State College, Bismarck, ND - March 2014.
4.    Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2013, 'Evaluation of nutrient variability in a wetland Soils and Plants Tissue' Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science Annual Conference, Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND - April 2013.
5.    Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, "Spatial distribution of soil nutrients in an abandoned feedlot and adjacent wetlands", Proceedings of the North Dakota Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users conference, Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND - September 2013).
6.    Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2013, 'Nutrient variability in soils and plants in an abandoned cattle feedlot', Proceedings of the North Dakota /South Dakota Engineering Research Summit, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD - April 2013.
7.    Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2012, 'Assessing the effects of groundwater and soil nutrients on vegetation indices", Proceedings of the North Dakota EPSCoR Conference, Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND - 2012.
8.   Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2012, 'Ground conditions and the fate of nutrients at the former Crookston Cattle Company", Proceeding of the North Dakota Academy of Science Meeting (Bismarck, ND - March 2012), and the University of North Dakota Scholarly Forum (Grand Forks, 2012).

Publications

1. Gbolo, P, Gerla, P, and Vandeberg, G, "Using high-resolution, multispectral imagery to assess the effect of soil physical and chemical properties on vegetation reflectance at an abandoned feedlot (In-review for submission to the International Journal of Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS, 2014).
2.  Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, "Spatiotemporal distribution of nutrients from an abandoned cattle feedlot", 2014 (In Review for submission to the Journal of Soils and Sediments )
3.  Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2013. Statistical analysis to characterize transport of nutrients in groundwater near an abandoned feedlot. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 17:4897-4906.

Technical Paper

1.  Gerla, P, Gbolo, P, and Gorz, KL, 2014, 'Large-Scale prairie restoration: managing for resilience', Technical Report for the collaborative project between the Red Lake Watershed District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the University of North Dakota.  
2..  Gbolo, P, and Gerla, P, 2014, 'Harnessing sequestered phosphorus from abandoned feedlots: A feasible alternative to depleting phosphorus (Submitted for publication in the SCOPE Newsletter).​

Significance:

This research will bridge some of the research gaps concerning nutrient pathways in surface and subsurface systems, and the relationship between nutrients, organic matter, soil physiochemical properties, and some trace elements. Result of this research will benefit feedlot management and mitigate pollution, and also help guide the development of regulations for protecting surface and groundwater quality without excessively restricting animal production.

 

Dr. Philip Gerla

 

Associate Professor
Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering
Leonard Hall 213
University of North Dakota