Joel Moore | Towson University

Associate Professor of Geosciences

Prof. Joel Moore (center) and two of his students, an environmental science master’s
student and geology undergraduate student, collect a water sample for geochemistry
analysis. The analysis will include testing the road salt content.

If you live in or near Baltimore, you’ve probably noticed that salt trucks hit the
streets at the mere hint of a snowflake.

Those rocky crystals help us stay safe behind the wheel in slippery conditions, but
they also have unintended consequences.

According to Joel Moore, who researches the effects of road salt on stream and ground
water chemistry, that same salt gets carried by storm run-off into area reservoirs,
significantly increasing the sodium levels in our drinking water, and also has detrimental
effects on organisms living in urban and suburban streams.

Moore, who teaches geology courses at Towson University, helps prepare budding environmental scientists by infusing
this sort of research into his classes. He is also a research adviser to students
in environmental science and geology.  

“Being active in research helps me give students up-to-date information,” says Moore,
“and since I do a lot of local research, I can relate it to things that they’ve seen
or have the opportunity to go out and see.”

Conducting research for themselves is one of the best ways for students to prepare
for careers and graduate school, says Moore, who takes classes to visit field sites,
features hands-on research projects in his upper-level courses, and offers individual
research opportunities for students in the field and in his TU lab.


Many go on to their own careers as researchers or pursue work in government agencies,
nonprofits and the environmental consulting industry. 

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