Dr. Sarah Weinstein Knowlton

Department, Office, or School
Department of Physical Sciences
  • Professor

My research is in the disciplines of chemical oceanography and environmental chemistry. In particular, my lab applies analytical chemistry techniques to marine and freshwater systems.

My research interests in the field of oceanography include biogeochemical cycling and chemical distributions in coastal marine waters. One project investigates inorganic carbon cycling (the CO2 system) in local estuaries using pH and total alkalinity. A second project is in collaboration with scientists at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. The ultimate goal of this project is to use models to examine the potential effects of climate change on the shelf area off Rhode Island. My lab is involved in examining biogeochemical data in Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Long Island Sound, and the southern Gulf of Maine to initialize and validate a coupled physical-biogeochemical model for Rhode Island and Block Island Sounds.

My research in the field of environmental chemistry investigates the transport of road salt to freshwater systems by examining long-term trends in the concentrations of sodium and chloride ions in rivers, streams, and ponds. The input of road deicing salt to the environment has increased dramatically over the last 70 years. Salt delivered to the road is transported to nearby freshwater bodies, potentially harming the ecosystem. In addition to monitoring, we explore further effects of road salt on the Narragansett Bay watershed as a result of cation exchange processes in soils due to addition of excess sodium.


B.S., Bates College

Ph.D., University of Rhode Island


CHEM 105 Gen Organic & Biological Chem I
CHEM 491 Research In Chemistry
CHEM 492 Research In Chemistry
PSCI 103 Physical Science
PSCI 207H Introduction to Environmental Chem
PSCI 217 Introduction To Oceanography
PSCI 491 Research in Physical Science
PSCI 550C Topics
PSCI 580C Workshop

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