The Wetmit Project Team

The Geospatial Wetlands Impacts & Mitigation Forecasting Models project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of South Carolina and the Department of Transportation of South Carolina.

The University of South Carolina Team

Professor Michael E. Hodgson

Principal Investigator

Michael E. Hodgson is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. Prior to his tenure at the University of South Carolina he was Team Leader at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (1994-1996) and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado (1987-1994). Professor Hodgson's research interests are in geographical information science and its use in environmental modeling and hazards. Since the 1980s he has conducted GIScience research and hazard research (with GIScience approaches) in attitudes/behavior of residential homeowners to hazards, GIS-based modeling of exposure, facility siting, environmental justice, lidar-based mapping for multiple uses, integrated GIS and remote sensing for environmental assessments, modeling satellite-sensor collection opportunities, and mobile GIS.

Professor Hodgson is the Principal Investigator of the Wetlands Mitigation and Forecasting project. He is serving as lead on the wetlands mitigation tool development and geospatial data development components

Professor John A. Kupfer

Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Kupfer is currently chair of the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. His research couples field work with spatial analysis and modeling to explore the effects of landscape transformation, non-native species, and disturbances such as flooding, fire and hurricanes on plant and animal communities. His studies often have direct applications to ecosystem management, and he works regularly with scientists at Congaree National Park, where he has aided their understanding of the interactions among flooding, sedimentation and floodplain forests.

Peng Gao, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Gao is a research associate at the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina, and has a broad background in the disciplines of landscape ecology, biogeography, hydrological modeling, climate change, and soil science. He is particularly interested in the applications of GIS, remote sensing, spatial data mining, and statistical methods to address basic and applied questions of these disciplines.

On the Wetmit project, Dr. Gao is responsible for data acquisition, management, quality assurance and control.

Silvia E. Piovan, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Silvia E. Piovan became a researcher in Geography in 2010 and since 2011 has worked at the Department of Historical Geographical and Antiquity Sciences (DiSSGeA), University of Padova (Italy). She is Aggregate Professor in Cartography and GIS for the bachelor’s degree program “Design and Management of Cultural Tourism.”

Her main research interests are the geo-historical evolution in human-environment relationships in alluvial plains; historical cartography and geographical information sciences; palaeogeographical and palaeohydrographical reconstruction; stratigraphical architecture and geomorphology of the alluvial plains.

Working jointly with the Wetland Mitigation Forecasting Model project team and funded by the Italian Ca.Ri.Pa.Ro Foundation, she is developing a geo-historical approach for wetlands mitigation.

In the spring of 2015 she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Carolina.

Haiqing Xu

Research Associate

Haiqing Xu is a Ph.D. student in geography at the University of South Carolina. He is interested in GIS modelling, web GIS, and remote sensing applications.

He is responsible for building a wetland site-selection model for the state of South Carolina in the WetMit project

Parker Leslie

Research Associate

Parker Leslie is a Masters' student in the Department of Geography at the University of South Carolina. His research interests center around hydrologic modeling, water resources, remote sensing, and quantitative geography. In the WetMit project, he will explore current mitigation efforts within the state, development/implementation of wetlands mitigation policy, and public awareness of environmental impacts.

Alexandra McCombs

Research Associate

Alexandria McCombs is a Ph.D student at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Geography. Her research focuses on boundary layer climatology; she uses remote sensing and tower based meteorological measurements to determine the causes of the changes in the climatology over time.

As part of the WetMit project, she conducted a survey of all state departments of transportation (DOT) to determine the current geospatial methods being used to handle wetland mitigation in the United States.

Karen Beidel

Research Associate

Karen Beidel has an M.S. in geography from the University of Wisconsin and has worked on the RESPT and SC Archsite projects at the University of South Carolina. She will be working on the application's user interface.

Kylie Tokar

Research Associate

Kylie Tokar, an undergraduate, participated in the validation of the wetlands impact model for all LRTP, STIP, and bridge closure realigment projects.

The SC Department of Transportation Team

M. Sean Connolly

Permitting Division Manager

Sean Connolly has over 15 years of experience working with natural resource mitigation and permitting. His extensive career consists of a unique blend of experience from different entities involved in the mitigation and permitting process. Sean began his career with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) where he was responsible for certification and permitting activities for large development interests including SCDOT projects. He then worked as an environmental consultant. His current position is with SCDOT and works well with his desire to find a pragmatic balance between environmental stewardship and the constant pressures that SC road development projects have on water resources.

Tucker S. Creed, P.E.

Mitigation Manager

Tucker Creed has over 9 years of experience in environmentally sensitive transportation projects. Tucker began his career with F&ME Consultants as a staff engineer after graduating from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is currently the mitigation section manager with SCDOT’s Environmental Services Office and is responsible for developing and coordinating a sustainable mitigation resource for SCDOT. As part of the Wetland Mitigation Forecasting Model project team, Mr. Creed is responsible for providing guidance from a project development perspective to the team.

Chad C. Long

Environmental Project Manager

Chad Long is an archaeologist and environmental coordinator for SCDOT. Prior to working at SCDOT, Mr. Long worked for the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office as a staff archaeologist and GIS Manager. Since 2001, he has been actively involved in the management and distribution of cultural resource data for the state through GIS applications. As part of the Wetland Mitigation Forecasting Model project team, Mr. Long is responsible for providing digital data for planned transportation improvements in the state and advising the project team on the model’s geospatial components/requirements.

Jeff A. Siceloff

Assistant Environmental Project Manager

Jeffrey Siceloff is a stream and wetland biologist for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. He is responsible for conducting stream and wetland delineations, Jurisdictional Determinations, and assists in mitigation planning and monitoring. Mr. Siceloff uses GIS and remote sensing to evaluate environmental impacts on a project by project basis. As part of the Wetland Mitigation Forecasting Model project team, he will test drive the tool and make recommendations based upon his knowledge and experience.

T. Russell Chandler, II

Assistant Environmental Project Manager

Russell Chandler is an environmental permits coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Transportation - Lowcountry region. He assists with wetland and stream delineations, Jurisdictional Determinations, CWA Section 401 and 404 Permits, and mitigation planning. Mr. Chandler is responsible for assisting consultants and SCDOT staff in order to minimize environmental impacts, maintain project delivery schedules and budgets, and coordinate with state and federal regulatory agencies as part of the environmental permitting process. As a member of the Wetland Mitigation Forecasting Model project team, Mr. Chandler will assist in test driving the tool and providing insight based on his knowledge and experience of the environmental permitting process.