Oklahoma Water Resources Center

Research and Reflections of a Winning Presenter

Student Water Conference Accomplished Participants

Research and Reflections of a Winning Presenter

John McMaine

Initially encouraged by his advisor, John McMaine first came to the conference as a master’s student from the University of Kentucky in 2013. The following year McMaine received honorable mention for Outstanding Graduate Student Oral Presentation. He is now in his third year as a doctoral candidate here at Oklahoma State University, preparing to participate in his fifth Student Water Conference.

“The Student Water Conference has benefited me by giving me an opportunity to present and get feedback from knowledgeable, experienced faculty. It has given me opportunities to network with students and faculty doing water research from across the United States. Visiting OSU for the Student Water Conference was one of the reasons that I ended up in Stillwater for my doctorate studies,” said McMaine.

The biosystems and agricultural engineering doctoral student encourages those planning to participate in this year’s event to make the most of all the opportunities at the conference.

“Attend the social events to get to know your peers and future colleagues,” said McMaine. “Attend presentations and ask questions to expand your horizons beyond your research topic.”

McMaine explained he has always believed that “bringing engineering and technological innovation into agriculture can improve both environmental and economic sustainability.” The biosystems and agricultural engineering department at OSU teaches students to apply rigorous engineering fundamentals to real-world problems in practical and innovative ways. This fact will be evident at the Student Water Conference.

The Water Center’s support of events like the Research Symposium at the Governor’s Water Conference and the Student Water Conference give students like McMaine the opportunity to present their research. The center is a great benefit to anyone working in the water research field.

“Since it also is a central location for Oklahoma water research, interacting with the Center allows me to keep up-to-date on research and events in Oklahoma,” said McMaine.

McMaine has had years of experience working with the Water Center through his research projects. His first and second research presentations were over his master’s research, in which he performed hydrologic evaluations of a bioretention cell capturing runoff from a commercial area.

“Rain gardens, or bioretention cells, are becoming popular as a means to manage stormwater in such a way that runoff is captured and infiltrated onsite rather than conveyed offsite," explained McMaine. “A stormwater management system consisting of a rainwater harvest system, rain garden, and infiltration chamber was built at the Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc. distribution center in Lexington, Kentucky during the fall of 2011. Precipitation, inflow, and water level were measured from May 2012 to April 2013 to evaluate the hydrologic performance of the rain garden. The results of the study were used to formulate recommendations for rain garden design and construction in central Kentucky.”

McMaine has presented on his doctoral research the past two years and will do so again this year. This research considers the use of constructed wetlands as a tool to remove pesticides and nutrients from nursery run-off.

“The greenhouse and nursery industry has a significant economic impact in Oklahoma and in the United States. Unfortunately, nurseries can have a negative environmental impact, as well.  Constructed wetlands possess the mechanisms required for pesticide removal and degradation; however little research has been performed on pesticide removal by constructed wetlands especially in greenhouse and nursery settings,” said McMaine.

In 2016, two constructed wetlands, one free surface and one subsurface flow, were monitored for the reduction of pesticides and nutrients from runoff. The results indicated that both effectively reduced pesticide and nutrient loading into receiving waters; however, results varied among pesticides. The demonstrated success of these constructed wetlands and knowledge gained from this study provides a framework on which nurseries and greenhouses can build effective strategies for run-off management.

Interesting research projects like McMaine’s will be in abundance at the Student Water Conference.

If you are interested in attending the 2017 Student Water Conference, register at www.water.okstate.edu/swc.

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Higher Education Act), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal and state laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, genetic information, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures.  This provision includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. The Director of Equal Opportunity, 408 Whitehurst, OSU, Stillwater, OK 74078-1035; phone 405-744-5371; email: eeo@okstate.edu has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity. Any person (student, faculty, or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based on gender may discuss his or her concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with OSU’s Title IX Coordinator 405-744-9154.

Sean Hubbard
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
145 Agriculture North
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-4490
Fax: 405-744-5739
Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Emily E. Horton
Communications Student Worker
Oklahoma Water Resources Center
245 Agriculture Hall
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Phone: 405-744-5615
Fax: 405-744-5339
Email: emily.e.horton@okstate.edu

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