Archana Tamang

Field validation of geospatial modelling tool for estimation of phosphorous loading from septic systems to tributaries in the Lake Simcoe watershed

Lake Simcoe is the largest lake in southern Ontario aside from the Great Lakes. It provides drinking water for eight municipalities, supports tourism industry, and provides water for agricultural production. Over the past two centuries, human activities have had a significant impact on Lake Simcoe's water quality. Phosphorus is a key water quality concern in Lake Simcoe. In 2015, 78 tonnes of phosphorus was loaded into Lake Simcoe. Septic systems are one of the major sources of phosphorus loading to Lake Simcoe. However, the contribution and magnitude of impact of septic systems on phosphorus loading to tributaries and receiving lakes are still unclear. My research looks into developing a geospatial model for automated placement of septic systems in the Lake Simcoe watershed. It also focuses on field validating the geospatial model in estimation of phosphorus loading from septics to tributaries in Lake Simcoe. This work will play a key role in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, as well as support existing and future phosphorus management initiatives.

Personal Background

I completed my Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science - Honors degree in 2016 from the University of Guelph. During my undergraduate studies, I worked with various professors and graduate students as a Research Assistant. The opportunities to work on various research projects introduced me to the world of research. It made me realize the impact of conducting scientific research has on the advancement and understanding of the world around us. My undergraduate thesis was in Soil Physics, which focused on understanding soil water storage and deep drainage between dry and wet years. Upon graduation, I started work at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as a GIS lead in a Northern Livestock Pilot project, along with supporting various soil and water projects in the ministry. My passion for science and research in water resources and water quality led me to join RESTORE in September 2017. Currently, I am pursuing my master's degree under Dr. Clare Robinson.

Awards


  • Strengthening Student Support in Ontario - 2012 to 2016
  • The Ross and Jean Clark Scholarship - 2018
  • Ontario Trust for Student Support - 2018
  • Environment & Sustainability Graduate Student Award - 2018