Tess Wynn Thompson

Education

Ph.D., Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2004

M.S., Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1995

B.S., Agricultural Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1992

Experience

July 2011- Associate Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

July 2004 – June 2011 – Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

August 1998 – May 2004 - Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

May 1996 – June 1998 - Field Coordinator/Extension Associate, Maryland Cooperative Extension, Frederick, MD

March 1995 – May 1996 - Senior Staff Engineer, Woodward-Clyde, Gaithersburg, Maryland

March 1994 – March 1995 - Environmental Modeler, North Carolina Division of Environmental Management, Raleigh, NC

August 1992 – March 1994 - Graduate Research Assistant, Civil Engineering, NC State University, Raleigh

Selected Major Awards

  • Turner Faculty Fellowship, 2016
  • Outstanding Faculty Member, Alpha Epsilon, 2005
  • Graduate Dissertation Award of Merit, Gamma Sigma Delta, 2005
  • 1st place, PhD poster competition, Torgersen Graduate Research Awards, 2004
  • Outstanding Graduate Student, College of Engineering, 2001-2002
  •  Outstanding Graduate Student, BSE Department, 2000-2001
  • Member Gamma Sigma Delta, Alpha Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi
  • Virginia Tech 1992 Woman of the Year

Courses Taught Last Five Years

  • BSE 2105 - Introduction to Biological Systems Engineering
  • BSE 2384 - Soil and Water Resources Management
  • BSE 3305 - Land & Water Resources Engineering
  • BSE 5214 - Advanced Topics in Watershed Management
  • BSE 5984 - Stream Restoration

Other Teaching and Advising

I serve as the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Studies for the BSE department.  I also am collaborating on a curriculum development project with partner institutions in the US (University of Illinois) and Europe (University College Dublin, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, University of Bari (Italy), and Agricultural University of Athens). The project is funded through the Atlantis program of the U.S. Department of Education and the European Commission.

Program Focus

My research program focuses on the protection and restoration of stream and wetland systems.  A major goal of my research program is to investigate the interactions between stream-side vegetation and stream channel stability, including quantifying how vegetation reinforces streambanks and changes flow energy during storm events. I am also interested in improving testing procedures and models of cohesive streambank erosion. I am also collaborating with Lee Daniels (CSES) and Richard Whittecar at Old Dominion University to develop an improved wetland design model. My role in the project has been to improve current surface water hydrology calculations used in common design models.  Another objective of my research program is to minimize the impacts of urban development on streams. Using a grant from the VA Water Quality Improvement Fund, my research team designed, constructed, and monitored two innovative best management practices (BMPs; a bioretention area and a structural soil infiltration trench). Based on these results, we developed BMP design and maintenance recommendations to increase the adoption and success of such BMPs. The next step is to identify the physical, chemical, and microbial processes in forest soils that can be restored in urban environments. I am collaborating with Leigh-Anne Krometis (BSE), David Sample (BSE) and Brian Strahm (Forestry) to explore these processes.  Lastly, to advance the understanding of linkages between management actions and ecosystem response, I am working with faculty across campus to develop and maintain the StREAM Lab, a large scale stream laboratory.

Current Projects

  • “Wetland Water Budget Modeling” – this multidisciplinary project funded by the Piedmont Wetlands Research Program focuses on the development of a wetland water budget model to improve the success of mitigation wetlands.
  • “Surface Water Flow Resistance to Emergent Wetland Vegetation” –funded by the Piedmont Wetlands Research Program, the goal of this project is to develop models to predict friction factors for emergent wetland vegetation.
  • “Influence of Stream Temperature on Streambank Erosion” – this project is examining the effect of changes in stream temperature, due to climate or landuse change, on the erosion of cohesive streambank soils.

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student, *** post-doc)

  • Willard L.**, T. Wynn-Thompson, L.H. Krometis, T. Neher, and B. Badgley.  (in press)  Does it pay to be mature? Assessing the performance of a bioretention cell seven years post-construction.  Journal of Environmental Engineering.
  • Smyntek P., R. Wagner R, L.H. Krometis, S. Carvajal, T. Wynn-Thompson, and W. Strosnider.  (in press).  Passive biological treatment of mine water to reduce conductivity: Potential designs, challenges, and research needs.  Journal of Environmental Quality.
  • Hopkinson, L.C.** and T.M. Wynn-Thompson.  2016.  Comparison of direct and indirect boundary shear stress measurements along vegetated streambanks.  River Research and Applications 32: 1755-1764.
  • Allen, D.C.***, B.J. Cardinale, and T.M. Wynn-Thompson. 2016.  Plant biodiversity effects in reducing fluvial erosion are limited to low species diversity.  Ecology 97(1): 17-24.
  • Allen, D.C.***, B.J. Cardinale, and T.M. Wynn-Thompson. 2014.  Integrating ecological principles into interdisciplinary ecogeoscience research.  BioScience 64(5): 444-454.
  • Resop, J.P., W.C. Hession, and T.M. Wynn-Thompson. 2014.  Quantifying the parameter uncertainty in the cross-sectional dimensions for a stream restoration design of a gravel-bed stream.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 69(4): 306-315.
  • Niezgoda, S.L., P.R.Peter R. Wilcock, D.W. Baker, J. Mueller Price, J.M. Castro, J.C. Curran, Theresa Wynn-Thompson, J.S. Schwartz, and F.D. Shields, Jr. 2014.  Defining a stream restoration body of knowledge as a basis for national certification.  Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 140: 123-136.
  • Plumb, P., S. Day, T. Wynn-Thompson, and J. Seiler.  2013.  Relationship between woody plant colonization and Typha L. encroachment in stormwater detention basins.  Environmental Management 52(4):861-876.
  • Hopkinson**, L.C. and T.M. Wynn-Thompson.  2012.  Streambank shear stress estimates using turbulent kinetic energy.  J. Hydraulic Research  50(3): 320-323.
  • DeBusk**, K.M., and T.M. Wynn.  2011.  Stormwater bioretention for runoff quality and quantity mitigation.  J. Environmental Engineering 137(9): 800-808.
  • Utley**, B.C., T.M. Wynn, N. Zhang, and L.E. Teany.  2011.  Evaluation of a permittivity sensor for continuous monitoring of suspended sediment concentration.  Transactions of the ASABE. 54(4):1299-1309.
  • Hession, W.C., T. Wynn, L.M. Resler, and J.C. Curran. 2010. Preface: Geomorphology and vegetation: Interactions, dependencies, and feedback loops. Geomorphology 116(3-4): 203-205.
  • Hopkinson**, L.C., and T.M. Wynn.  2009.  Vegetation impacts on near bank flow.  Ecohydrology 2: 404-418.
  • Bartens, J., J.R. Harris, S.D. Day, T.M. Wynn, and J.D. Dove. 2009.  Ecologically Integrated Stormwater Distribution Using Tree Canopy and Structural Tree Soils.  Environmental Management 44(4):646-657.  DOI 10.1007/s00267-009-9366-9.
  • Ranganath**, S.C., W.C. Hession, and T.M. Wynn.  2009.  Livestock exclusion influences on riparian vegetation, channel morphology, and benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages.  J. Soil and Water Conservation  64(1):33-42.
  • Bartens, J., S.D. Day, J.R. Harris, J.D. Dove, and T.M. Wynn.  2008.  Can Urban Tree Roots Improve Infiltration through Compacted Subsoils for Stormwater Management?  J. Environmental Quality.  37(6): 2048-2057.
  • Wynn, T.M., M.B. Henderson**, and D.H. Vaughan.  2008.  Changes in streambank erodibility and critical shear stress due to subaerial processes along a headwater stream, southwestern Virginia, USA.  Geomorphology 97:  260-273.
  • Piercy**, C., and T. M. Wynn.  2008.  Predicting root density in streambanks.  J. American Water Resources Association 44(2): 496-508.
  • Clark**, L. A., and T. M. Wynn.  2007.  Methods for determining streambank critical shear stress and soil erodibility: Implications for erosion rate predictions.  Transactions of the ASABE 50(1): 95-106.
  • Wynn, T.,  and S. Mostaghimi. 2006.  Effects of riparian vegetation on stream bank subaerial processes in southwestern Virginia, USA.  Earth Surface Processes and Landforms  31:399-413.
  • Wynn, T. M., and S. Mostaghimi. 2006.  The effects of vegetation and soil type on streambank erosion, southwestern Virginia, USA.  J. American Water Resources Association  42(1):69-82.

Selected Recent Funding

  • Improving the success of stream restoration practices.  Wynn-Thompson, T. and E.P. Smith  $217,322.  Chesapeake Bay Trust.  2017-2019.
  • Improving the success of in-stream structures.  Wynn-Thompson, T.  $88,075.  Chesapeake Bay Trust.  2015-2017.
  • Badgley, B., T. Thompson, and G. Evanylo. $117,402. Opening the ‘black box’ in bioretention cells: how does understanding of microbial ecology translate to improved performance? ICTAS.  2014-2016.
  • Wynn-Thompson, T. and M. Eick. $45,624 Physicochemical effects of temperature and water chemistry on streambank erosion.  Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. 2012-2013.
  • Wynn, T. $76,458. Development of a Wetland Vegetation Hydraulic Properties Database Piedmont. Wetlands Research Program. 2011-2012.
  • Wetland Water Budget Modeling. W.L. Daniels, T.M. Wynn, and R. Whittecar. $1,588,256. Piedmont Wetlands Research Program. 2008-2018.
  • Hession, W.C., B. Benham, W.L. Daniels, G. Evanylo, LA. Krometis, D. Scott, T. Wynn, E. Hester, K. McGuire, W. Aust, F. Benfield, D. Orth. Stroubles Research, Education, and Management Site (StREAMS) laboratory. $43,327. CALS Integrated Internal Competitive Grants Program. 2011.
  • Hodges, S., J. Cundiff, J. Fike, J. Galbraith, J. Ignosh, J. Pease, R. Grisso, T. Wynn, J. Campbell, J. McGee, S. McGinnis, S. Prisley, W. Thomason. VT Integrated Bioenergy Team. $35,000. CALS Integrated Internal Competitive Grants Program. 2011.
  • Stremler, M., J.R. Kuhn, P.P. Vlachos, R.V. Davalos, S.D. Ross. IGERT: MultiScale Transport in Environmental and Physiological Systems (MultiSTEPS). $3,000,000. National Science Foundation. 2010-2015.Wynn Thompson is a Faculty Participant.