Todd M. Hurd, Professor and Chair

sampling with students

Shippensburg University
Department of Biology
(717) 477-1751
240 Franklin Science Center
Shippensburg, PA 17257

Courses Taught (see course catalogs for descriptions)





Ecology                      Plant Ecology


Principles of Biology I

Research Interests

  • Fluorescence methods in groundwater and contaminant tracing
  • Hydrology, biogeochemistry, and general ecology of wetlands and spring creeks
  • Rates, limits, cycling, and ecological effects of biological nitrogen fixation anthropogenic nutrients


Please contact me if you would like research experience in these or related areas. The Ecology & Environmental Biology Concentration requires 3 credits of experiential elective that may be filled with independent research. Many students also participate in an independent research experience regardless of concentration requirement. There are also opportunities to write your own grants at Shippensburg to obtain supplies and travel funds, and to at times be paid as an undergraduate research assistant. Grads, see Shippensburg University M.S. program in Biology for general program description, and consider these or related areas for thesis work with me at Shippensburg. There are also funds available for graduate research at Shippensburg University through the Institute for Public Service.



Some Project Photos:




 Ecosystem biogeochemistry and food web studies                                                                                  



Adirondack alder wetland – Hudson River Headwaters

(SUNY ESF-Huntington Forest field station)                     


Black Locust grown hydroponically without nitrogen  

(Brian Lehman)                        


Slaven Jesic (foodweb and hyporheic DO studies), Big Spring, Newville, Pennsylvania


Fluorescent Dye Traces to delineate source areas of carbonate springs and spring creeks 



A sink collapse in a sediment basin (example of rapid karst recharge feature and sensitive karst flow systems)


Ashley Brookhart-Rebert and Dave Miller Jr. Determining source areas for carbonate springs with fluorescent tracing techniques


Clearing a sediment plug in a karst swallow hole     Photo T.P. Feeney

(Renae Saum and TMH)  to release tracer (Kaja Spassef)


·         Hurd, T.M. 2012. Determination of preferential flow patterns to Cumberland County springs with fluorescent dye tracing. Pennsylvania Geology 42(3):3-11. link to DCNR source

·         Hurd, T.M., Brookhart-Rebert, A. Feeney, T.P., Otz, M.H. and Otz, I. 2010. Fast, regional conduit flow to an exceptional value spring creek: implications for source water protection in mantled karst of south central Pennsylvania. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies v. 72, no. 3, p. 129–136.

·         Hurd, T.M., Jesic, S., Jerin, J.L., Fuller, N.W., and D. Miller Jr. 2008. Stable isotope tracing of trout hatchery carbon to sediments and foodwebs of limestone spring creeks. Science of the Total Environment 405: 161 -172 ABSTRACT

·         Hurd, T.M., Gökkaya, K., Kiernan, B.D. and Raynal, D.J. 2005.  Nitrogen sources in Adirondack wetlands dominated by N-fixing shrubs. Wetlands 25:192-199 PDF

·         Gökkaya, K., Hurd, T.M., and Raynal, D.J. 2005. Symbiont nitrogenase, alder growth, and soil nitrate response to phosphorus addition in alder  (Alnus incana  ssp. rugusa) wetlands of the Adirondack Mountains, New York State, U.S.A. Environmental and Experimental Botany 55/1-2 pp 97-109 PDF

·         Hurd, T.M. and Raynal D.J. 2004. Comparison of nitrogen solute concentrations within alder (Alnus incana ssp. rugosa) and non-alder dominated wetlands. Hydrological Processes 18: 2681-2697 PDF

·         Kiernan, B.D., Hurd, T.M., and Raynal, D.J. 2003. Abundance of Alnus incana ssp. rugosa in Adirondack Mountain shrub wetlands and its influence on inorganic nitrogen. Environmental Pollution 123:347-354

·         Hurd, T.M., Raynal, D.J., and Schwintzer, C.R. 2001. Symbiotic N2-fixation of Alnus  incana ssp. rugosa in shrub wetlands of the Adirondack Mountains, New York, U.S.A. Oecologia 126:94-103.

·         Bischoff, J.M., Bukaveckas, P., Mitchell, M.J. and Hurd, T.M. (2001). Nitrogen storage and cycling in a forested wetland: implications for watershed nitrogen processing. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 128 (1/2):97-114.

·         Hurd, T.M., Brach, A.R., and Raynal, D.J. 1998. Response of understory vegetation of Adirondack forests to nitrogen additions. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 28:799-807.

·         Richey, D.G., McDonnell, J.J., Erbe, M.W., and Hurd, T.M. 1998. Hydrograph separations based on chemical and isotopic concentrations: a critical appraisal of published studies from New Zealand, North America, and Europe. Journal of Hydrology (New Zealand) 37:95-111.

·         Hurd, T.M. and Schwintzer, C.R. 1997. Cluster root formation and mycorrhizal status of Comptonia peregrina and Myrica pensylvanica in Maine, USA. Physiologia Plantarum 99:680-689.

·         Hurd, T.M. and Schwintzer, C.R. 1996. Cluster roots of Alnus incana ssp. rugosa in the field and of four Alnus species in water culture with phosphorus and iron deficiency. Canadian Journal of Botany 74:1684-1686.



Ph.D.  SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY.

M.S.  University of Maine, Orono ME.

B.S.  SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY.
 Cranberry Lake Biological Station of SUNY-CESF.
 SUNY College of Arts and Sciences, Geneseo NY

Some Ecology and Environmental Biology Related Links

Jobs and Internships in Ecology and Environmental Biology
Ecology and Environmental Biology Concentration, Shippensburg University
The U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research Network
The Adirondack Ecological Center
Threatened and Endangered Species of PA
Ecological Society of America
PA-Dept. Environmental Protection
Society of Wetland Scientists
PA Natural Heritage Program
Pennsylvania Biological Survey
Big Spring Watershed Association
PA Bureau of Forestry,   PA Fish and Boat Commission

­­­­­­­­­­­­­Links to Labs Contracted or Collaborated with for Student Research at Shippensburg

Some Fly Fishing Links and Photos
PA Trout/Trout Unlimited

PA Fly Fishing



Big Spring Brook Trout on a Baetis dry fly



“Sulfurs” on the Yellow Breeches




View of the Cumberland Valley from Col. Denning State Park near Shippensburg University (Ecology Club Outing)





Remnant red spruce in Pennsylvania, Bear Meadow Natural Area near State College (Graduate Wetland Ecology)