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.
  • Wetlands research, monitoring, public education and engagement, and coordination of wetlands special projects.

Ecosystems Branch news

  • Dissolved metals sampling video:


Staff Contacts:

Jim Hawhee Ecosystems Branch Supervisor 919.743.8409
Elizabeth Fensin Algal Ecologist 919.743.8421
Susan Gale Wetlands Program Consultant 919.743.8453
Kristie Gianopulos Wetlands Specialist 919.743.8479
Tammy Hill Water Quality Analyst 919.743.8412
David Huffman Quality Assurance Coordinator 919.743.8407
Amanda Mueller Wetlands Specialist 919.743.8480
Greg Rubino Wetlands Specialist 919.743.8450
Kristen Slodysko Ambient Monitoring System Coordinator 919.743.8411
Mark Vander Borgh Monitoring Coalition Coordinator 919.743.8423
Dan Wiltsie Algal Bloom Response Coordinator 919.743.8443


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)