Ecosystems Branch

Staff from the Ecosystems Branch support a wide variety of programs for the Division of Water Resources:

  • Logistical support and data management for the Ambient Monitoring System (AMS), a statewide network of stations established for long term collection of selected chemical, physical, and bacteriological indicators from streams, rivers, and estuaries of interest.
  • Development and management of the monitoring coalitions, an innovative program designed to coordinate instream monitoring activities of participating NPDES dischargers within select basins.
  • Statistical analysis of AMS and Coalition data.
  • Identify algae, aquatic plants, and related organisms. Assess algal blooms found during routine monitoring, fish kill investigations, and in response to concerned citizen reports. Provide information on ecology and potential environmental health concerns of blooms.
  • Coordinate Water Sciences Section quality assurance activities.
  • Provide computer and other IT support to the Water Sciences Section.

Ecosystems Branch news

  • Dissolved metals sampling video:

Staff Contacts


Ecosystems Branch Supervisor

Vacant Algal Ecologist  
Mark Vander Borgh Sr. Environmental Specialist, Monitoring Coalition Coordinator 919.743.8423
Elizabeth Fensin Algal Ecologist 919.743.8421
David Huffman Quality Assurance Coordinator 919.743.8407
Tammy Hill Water Quality Analyst 919.743.8412
Vacant Ambient Monitoring System Coordinator  


The mission of the Water Sciences Section is to provide the Division with accurate information pertaining to waters of the state. Excellent service along with water quality monitoring and certification programs and analytical laboratory analyses that provide scientifically defensible data are the section’s main avenues for accomplishing this mission. These activities support the management and protection of North Carolina’s water resources for the health and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina and the economic well-being of the state.  

 Water Sciences Section 1621 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1621

919.733.3908 (Chemistry)