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About John Rapaglia

Dr. Rapaglia works on several different lines of research. The first line of research involves studies of Submarine Groundwater Discharge. Groundwater flows directly into the sea anywhere an aquifer with a positive hydraulic head is hydraulically connected to a surface water body. Groundwater is inherently enriched in many contaminants and, therefore, it is often a major pathway for these contaminants to enter the ocean. However, as it is inherently difficult to measure, the input of contaminants into coastal zones through groundwater is often disregarded as an important source. Dr. Rapaglia's research focuses on quantifying this flow of groundwater and associated contaminants into the coastal zones, including the better understanding of geochemical processes occurring in the coastal zone. His lab utilizes various techniques including manual seepage meters, radionuclides, and geographic information systems (GIS) to accomplish our research goals on a local, regional, and global scale.

A second line of research involves sedimentary changes due to vessel navigation in ports and harbors. Large vessels generate waves of sufficient energy to disturb sediments both within and near shipping channels. When disturbed, contaminants maybe re-mobilized from these sediments and released back into the water column. Dr. Rapaglia's lab uses pressure sensors to better understand the types of waves generated by these vessels and their impact on the environment. He seeks to understand how re-mobilized contaminants can effect shellfish species. Dr. Rapaglia has other projects including studying salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers and researching salt marshes, sea level rise, and storm parameters.
Degrees: Post-doctoral researcher 2008-2011: Christian Albrechts University of Kiel, Germany: “Future Ocean Excellence Cluster";
Post-doctoral researcher 2007-2008: National Research Council of Italy’s Marine Science Institute;
PhD 2007: Marine and Atmospheric Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University;
M.S. 2004: Marine Environmental Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University;
B.S. 2001: Geography and Environmental Science, University of Mary Washington.


2015 Assistant Professor of Biology, Sacred Heart University

Curriculum Vitae

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  • BIO 204: Populations to Ecosystems
  • BIO 390: Supervised Research
  • ESM 502: Principles of Environmental Management
  • ESM 503: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Environmental Sciences
  • ESM 504: Environmental Hydrology
  • ESM 506: Environmental Sampling and Analysis
  • ESM 511: Soils and Land Management
  • ESM 599: Supervised Research

Articles (18)