Monohan Lab Group

Hydrologic Surveying in Meadows

Welcome to the Monohan Lab Group (MLG), a web-based resource for current and former students of Dr. Carrie Monohan, Science Director at The Sierra Fund (TSF) and Adjunct Professor at California State University, Chico’s Geological and Environmental Sciences Department.

This page highlights research conducted by current students and alumni to enhance ecosystem and community resiliency in the Sierra Nevada, and provides a key opportunity for members to contribute to and benefit from continued collaboration with TSF and our partners.

We look forward to co-creating this resource with the researchers formerly or currently working to enhance scientific understanding of unique Sierra issues.

Prospective students should contact Dr. Monohan at for more information.

Current and Former Students

Brandon ErtisBrandon Ertis, Current Graduate Student, CSU Chico
Brandon Ertis is a licensed professional engineer in the state of California, has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UC Davis, and is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science at CSU Chico. He has over five years of experience working with water resources in California, including agricultural water management, environmental monitoring, abandoned mine remediation, and flow measurement. After graduating from UC Davis, Brandon also completed an internship with Engineering Ministries International (eMi), working on a community development project in rural Kenya analyzing opportunities for water-related development. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for SmartPhones4Water, a nonprofit that was created out of a passion for people, water, and restoration.
Claire-Marie KooiClaire-Marie Kooi, Current Graduate Student, CSU Chico
Claire-Marie earned her B.A. in Environmental Earth Science from UC Berkeley in 2014. After graduation, she worked in the education sector and was granted the UC Berkeley DCAC/SCEC fellowship to assist low-income and minority students in pursuing higher education. Following this experience, Claire-Marie decided to return to school and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Environmental Science from CSU Chico. For her thesis, she is exploring the effects of meadow restoration on pathogen concentrations in surface waters in the Feather River watershed.
Travis MooreTravis Moore, Current Graduate Student, CSU Chico
Travis earned his B.S. in Environmental Science and Hydrology from CSU Chico in May, 2012 and is currently in progress on an M.S. in Geosciences: Hydrology/Hydrogeology at CSU Chico. The topic of his thesis is mercury contamination of surface and groundwater at a past hydraulic mine, Malakoff Diggins. Mercury contamination is a primary research interest as well as, groundwater contamination, geomorphology, and fish passage improvement.
David MeyerDavid Meyer, M.S. – Environmental Science, CSU Chico (2017)
While an undergraduate, David completed an internship with the Bay Area based biotechnology company CytoCulture International. During his internship David utilized industrial microbiology techniques to analyze groundwater samples to assist in the bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater. After completing his undergraduate degree, David continued his work with CytoCulture International in its partnership with Biogas Energy to write a California Energy Commission grant focused on optimizing energy production from locally produced organic wastes using anaerobic digestion. David used this research opportunity to continue his education and completed his M.S. in Environmental Science from CSU Chico in spring of 2017. David completed his research on the California Energy Commission grant in the summer of 2017 and now works as the process control manager for the anaerobic digestion facility located at North State Rendering in Oroville California. David continues to be involved in bioremediation work and is active in the Bioresource Lab which is part of the Center for Water and the Environment at CSU Chico.
Alexandria Keeble-TollAlexandria Keeble-Toll, M.S. – Environmental Science, CSU Chico (2016)
Alex completed her undergraduate studies in 2002 (B.A., Sociology, magna cum laude, UCLA) and received her first graduate degree in 2006 (M.A., Sociology, CSU, Sacramento). Alex completed her graduate degree in 2016 (M.Sc., Environmental Science, with distinction, CSU, Chico). She has been designing and executing multidisciplinary research projects on mining impacts in Nevada County for over ten years using approaches that include Environmental Inequality Formation (EIF) modeling to examine legacy mine impacts, Q-Methodology to explore subjective views in mine permit processes, participant observation and field surveys to understand angler catch and consumption patterns, and biological data collection and analysis to support public health advisories for mercury contaminated fish.
Harihar NepalHarihar Nepal, M.S. – Environmental Science, CSU Chico (2014)
Harihar graduated from CSU Chico 2013 with B.S. in Environmental Science with a chemistry option and in 2014 with an M.S. in Environmental Science. While in graduate school, he worked under Dr. Carrie Monohan, and studied sediment load and inorganic mercury load in Humbug Creek. In the same project, he also worked to identify sources of sediment and mercury in the Malakoff Diggins abandoned mine site. In 2014, Harihar joined USGS Nevada Water Science Center (USGSNWSC), focused on flow (direct, indirect, ADCP computation), survey datum, and water quality (ground water and surface water) of the region (from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake). Harihar currently teaches organic chemistry (CHEM220) and general environmental science(ENV100) in Truckee Meadow community college (TMCC) Reno since 2015.
David DemareeDavid Demaree, M.S. – Environmental Science, CSU Chico (2013)
David graduated from UC Santa Cruz 2007 with a Chemistry B.S. He then when to work for Environmental Testing Labs, and mainly tested for metals and common ions, in a variety of media ranging from water and soil to Chinese Herbal Medicines. David went back to school in 2011 at CSU Chico and graduated in 2013 with an M.S. in Environmental Science. At CSU Chico David worked under Dr. Carrie Monohan, and studied surface and subsurface water contamination and connectivity in man made features such as pits, adits and tunnels at Malakoff Diggins. David is currently in the Environmental Science PhD program at Oregon State University, and his dissertation project is on vadose zone nitrogen transport and stakeholder outreach and engagement in La Pine OR, in relation to the controversial issue of nitrate contamination in well water in the La Pine Area.
George M. ValenteGeorge M. Valente, B.S. – Hydrology, CSU Chico (2016)
At CSU Chico, George worked under Dr. Monohan of The Sierra Fund to evaluate methylmercury concentrations in trout in the Yuba and Bear River watersheds. Following graduation, George interned with The Sierra Fund to collect fish tissue samples to test for mercury with the goal of filling data gaps so that site specific fish consumption advisories could be developed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
Carli SperisenCarli Sperisen, B.S. – Environmental Science, CSU Chico (2015)
Carli earned her B.S in Environmental Science with a focus of Eco-Hydrology in 2015 from California State University Chico. Currently Carli is in the process of obtaining her masters from University of California Davis in Hydro-chemistry with interests in water quality as it pertains to rivers and lake ecosystems. She has been an undergraduate volunteer at The Sierra Fund since 2014 where she assisted with data collection for research in water quality regulation and abandon mine remediation at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. The hands-on field work with mentors at The Sierra Fund gave her experiences which encouraged her ground water monitor senior project.