Ellen A. Cowan Ph.D

RECAPP 2019 Award Winner: Dr. Cowan joined the Appalachian faculty in 1988. She teaches a variety of introductory and advanced classes, including Introduction to Physical Geology, Oceanography, Geomorphology, and Geoarchaeology, but does research in glacial-marine sedimentology and in sediment transport of coal ash in the Clinch and Emory Rivers from the TVA Kingston ash spill. She spends her summers documenting modern glacial sedimentation associated with tidewater glaciers in the fjords of southeastern Alaska. During her last three cruises, she included three students (each year) in various aspects of her research projects. Dr. Cowan collaborates with a number of other workers, including some from the U.S. Geological Survey and Northern Illinois University. Dr. Cowan is a member of Appalachian's College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers, won the 1999 Don Sink Outstanding Scholar Award, won the 2018 Undergraduate Research Mentorship Excellence Award, and was named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2018.

There are 6 included publications by Ellen A. Cowan Ph.D:

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Cordilleran Ice-Sheet Growth Fueled Primary Productivity In The Gulf Of Alaska, Northeast Pacific Ocean 2018 7 Fertilization of the ocean by eolian dust and icebergs is an effective mechanism to enhance primary productivity. In particular, high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll (HNLC) areas where phytoplankton growth is critically iron-limited, such as the subarctic ...
Dynamics Of The Late Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet Documented In Subglacial Diamictites, AND-1B Drill Core 2014 12 Geologic studies of sediment deposited by glaciers can provide crucial insights into the subglacial environment. We studied muddy diamictites in the ANtarctic geological DRILLing (ANDRILL) AND-1B drill core, acquired from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf i...
Evidence For Unmonitored Coal Ash Spills In Sutton Lake, North Carolina: Implications For Contamination Of Lake Ecosystems 2019 7 Coal combustion residuals (CCRs, also known as “coal ash”) contain high concentrations of toxic and carcinogenic elements that can pose ecological and human health risks upon their release into the environment. About half of the CCRs that are generat...
Magnetic Susceptibility As A Proxy For Coal Ash Pollution Within Riverbed Sediments In A Watershed With Complex Geology (Southeastern USA) 2017 29 A study of near surface sediments from the Dan River (southeastern USA) was conducted to assess the use of magnetic properties as proxies of coal ash after a recent spill. The watershed geology is diverse and potentially contributes magnetic minerals...
Magnetic Susceptibility Measurements To Detect Coal Fly Ash From The Kingston Tennessee Spill In Watts Bar Reservoir 2013 1457 An estimated 229 000 m3 of coal fly ash remains in the river system after dredging to clean-up the 2008Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) spill in Kingston, Tennessee. The ash is heterogeneous with clear,orange and black spheres and non-spherical amorp...
Mid-Pleistocene Climate Transition Drives Net Mass Loss From Rapidly Uplifting St. Elias Mountains, Alaska 2015 510 Erosion, sediment production, and routing on a tectonically active continental margin reflect both tectonic and climatic processes; partitioning the relative importance of these processes remains controversial. Gulf of Alaska contains a preserved sed...