Joseph Graney


Professor of Geology

PhD, 1994

University of Michigan


Office: Science 1, Room 264

Telephone:  (607) 777-6347

Email address:


Research Interests:

My research and teaching melds field and laboratory work. My approach entails collection of samples on spatial and temporal scales coupled with analysis using modern analytical techniques to trace natural and anthropogenic geochemical processes. Check out the Environmental Geology portion of our program information on how my programs mesh with other faculty members' interests within the Department of Geological Sciences at Binghamton University.


Environmental geochemistry continues to be the theme of my research interests, which involve development and application of methods for recognition of anthropogenic perturbations to natural systems. Present research activities include work coordinated through the Center for Integrated Watershed Studies (CIWS) on projects monitoring ecosystem scale processes within watersheds in urban, rural and mixed land use environments. This work includes collaborative studies with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition to assess the effects of nutrients and trace metals generated in the Southern Tier of New York on ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay. These projects mesh physical and chemical techniques for monitoring changes in water quality parameters with watershed models. The Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers merge in downtown Binghamton (check out the photo near the welcome message to the Geological Sciences Department website), so the Binghamton area is an ideal place to study the headwater regions of a major river basin!

Monitoring studies also take place on campus! Karen Salvage (Geology), Weixing Zhu (Biology) and I recently received NSF funding to establish instrumentation for long term monitoring within the Binghamton University Nature Preserve. This study area is used as a teaching, training and research tool for watershed based studies. Undergraduate and graduate students are performing field studies to characterize the geology and hydrology of the area; selecting, siting, and testing atmosphere and hydrosphere monitoring equipment, and performing ongoing automated and manual data collection and analysis. Check out The Campus Watershed for an overview.

Much of my past and present research also involves the development of techniques to trace metal pollution, specifically lead and other metals, to their source(s). Project support from the EPA has allowed for projects that include comparison between types of analytical instrumentation to measure Pb isotope ratios as well as evaluation of ICP-MS methodologies for atmospheric aerosol analysis. Samples for this work involved field studies in several locations. One in the Detroit, Michigan area involved measuring Hg and other trace elements in precipitation, ambient aerosols, dry deposition to surrogate surfaces, runoff from parking lots, and the influent and effluent from sewage treatment plants. Another involved collecting samples in southern Florida to study the importance of urban sources to the atmospheric deposition of trace metals including mercury to the Everglades. ESEM image of sulfate aerosols on teflon filter substrate.

The Binghamton area provides many opportunities to work on environmental problems at a local scale that lead to broader scale applications. For example, in the Fall of 2000, several of my graduate students and I began work on a project near Hillcrest. Hillcrest is an area located 10 miles northeast of the Binghamton University campus where a probable childhood cancer cluster is located. We have been assessing the impacts of activities in the area from a geochemical perspective by examining: 1) Hg Emissions - Local versus Regional Sources and Their Impacts 2) Determining the Past Deposition Record and Sources of Heavy Metals using Pond Sediments 3) Determining Present Day Fluxes and Sources of Heavy Metals in Surface Water Runoff Visit the Binghamton Press and Sun Article on Nature Preserve Grant, May 1st, 2000 for more information. The work on this project has lead to further research opportunities with the Defense Logistics Agency at other locations. These watershed, Pb isotope, mercury, and trace metal monitoring studies mesh well with my future plans for work on projects involving source apportionment related to power plant emissions. All of these past and present research efforts have involved multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, a method that I find to be integral and satisfying for solving complex problems.


Graduate Students:

Mikki Smith, MS candidate (expected 2015)

Jonathan Schmitkons, PhD candidate (expected 2016)

Kristina Nelson, MS candidate (expected 2016)

David Saba, MS candidate (expected 2016)



In the fall term, I offer Environmental Hydrology.  This course is crosslisted between Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies.  In the spring term I offer Environmental Measurements. This course was designed for fourth year and beginning graduate students and involves sampling, analysis, and interpretation of results acquired from environmental samples. 


Other Interests:

My past research projects have included field and laboratory studies of precious-metal mineralization in fossil geothermal systems within volcanic/lacustrine environments; and use of lead isotopes and trace metals as tracers of anthropogenic pollution as recorded in lake sediments. Past research projects included use of gas ratio mass spectrometers to analyze the stable isotope ratios of C, O, H, and S. I have also used quadrupole mass spectrometry for determining gas concentrations. Much of this work was developmental and involved devising analytical techniques to quantitatively sample micromoles of water and gas from fluid inclusions.


Select publications:

  • Brophy, M. and Graney, J.R. (2004) Groundwater effects from highway tire shred use. Environmental Forensics, Vol. 5, 79-84.
  • Graney, J. R., Dvonch, J.T. and Keeler G.J. (2004) Use of multi-element tracers to source apportion mercury in south Florida aerosols, Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 38, 1715-1726.
  • Graney, J.R., Landis, M.S. and Norris, G.A. (2004) Concentrations and solubility of metals from indoor and personal exposure PM2.5 samples, Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 38, 237-247.
  • Graney, J.R. and Eriksen, T.M. (2004) Metals in pond sediments as archives of anthropogenic activities: a study in response to health concerns, Applied Geochemistry, Vol. 19, 1177-1188.
  • Salvage, K.S., Graney, J.R., and Barker, J. (2004) Watershed-based integration of hydrogeology, geochemistry, and geophysics in an Environmental Geology curriculum, Journal of Geoscience Education, Vol. 52, 141-148.
  • Graney, J.R. (2002) Use of real time vapor phase mercury monitors to assess Hg emissions associated with flask over-packing operations. Proceedings Volume of the Symposium on Air Quality Measurements and Technology. Air and Waste Management Association, SanFrancisco, CA. 12 pages.
  • Atasi, K.Z., Fujita, G., Le Platte, G., Hufnagel, C., Keeler, G., Graney, J., and Chen, T. (2001) Impact of atmospheric deposition on the headworks of a wastewater treatment plant - a case study. Water Science and Technology. 43 (5): 223-229.
  • Robbins, J.A., Holmes, C., Halley, R., Bothner, M., Shinn, E., Graney, J., Keeler, G., tenBrink, M., Orlandini, K.A., and Rudnick, D. (2000) Time-averaged fluxes of lead and fallout radionuclides to sediments in Florida Bay. Journal of Geophysical Research 105: 28,805-28,821.
  • Graney, J. R., Keeler, G.J., and Christensen, J.N. (2000) Environmental Applications of MC-ICPMS: Using Pb Isotope Ratios from Precipitation Samples to Help Constrain Pollutant Source and Fate in the Great Lakes and South Florida Regions. Proceedings Volume of the Air and Waste Management Association International Symposium on the Measurement of Toxic and Related Air Pollutants, Research Triangle Park, NC. 7 pages.
  • Dvonch, J.T., Graney, J.R., Marsik, F.J., Keeler, G.J., and Stevens, R.K. (1999) Utilization of Elemental Tracers to Source Apportion Mercury in South Florida Precipitation. Environmental Science and Technology 33: 4522-4527.
  • Dvonch, J.T, Graney, J.R., Marsik, F.J., Keeler, G.J. and Stevens, R.K. (1998) An investigation of source-receptor relationships for mercury in south Florida using event precipitation. Science of the Total Environment 213: 95-108.
  • Marsik, F.J., Dvonch, J.T., Keeler, G.J., Landis, M.S., and Graney, J.R. (1998) The use of WSR-88D radar data for source apportionment of wet deposition from the 1995 SoFAMMS. Conference Proceedings from the American Meteorological Society "Third Conference on Atmospheric Chemistry" Long Beach, CA, 147-151.
  • Graney, J.R., Halliday, A.N., Keeler, G.J., Nriagu, J.O., Robbins, J.A., and Norton, S.A. (1995) Isotopic record of lead pollution in lake sediments from the northeastern United States. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 59, 1715-1728.
  • Graney, J.R., and Kesler, S.E. (1995) Factors affecting gas analysis of inclusion fluid by quadrupole mass spectrometry: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 59, 3977-3986.
  • Graney, J.R., and Kesler, S.E. (1995) Gas composition of inclusion fluid in ore deposits: Is there a relation to magmas? in Thompson, J.F.H., ed. Magmas, Fluids and Ore Deposits. Mineralogical Association of Canada Short Course Series 23, 221-245.
  • Sherlock, R.L., Tosdal, R.M., Lehrman, N.J., Graney, J.R., Losh, S, Jowett, E.C., and Kesler, S.E. (1995) Origin of the McLaughlin mine sheeted vein complex: Metal zoning, fluid inclusion and isotopic evidence. Economic Geology 90, 2156-2181.
  • Boer, R.H., Meyer, F.M., Robb, L.J., Graney, J.R., Vennemann, T.W., and Kesler, S.E. (1995) Mesothermal-type mineralization in the Sabie-Pilgrimís Rest Goldfield, South Africa. Economic Geology 90, 860-876.
  • Mavrogenes, J.A., Bodnar, R.J., Graney, J.R., McQueen, K.G., and Burlinson, K. (1995) Comparison of decrepitation, microthermometric and compositional characteristics of fluid inclusions in barren and auriferous quartz veins of the Cowarra Creek Gold District, New South Wales, Australia. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 54, 167-175.


Technical Reports:

  • Graney, J.R. (2004) Residual Vapor Phase Mercury Monitoring: Binghamton Depot, Binghamton, New York. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-02-H-0100. 70 pages.
  • Graney, J.R. (2002) Vapor Phase Mercury Monitoring: Warren Depot, Warren, Ohio. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-02-H-0100. 55 pages.
  • Graney, J.R. (2002) Vapor Phase Mercury Monitoring: New Haven Depot, New Haven, Indiana. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-02-H-0100. 39 pages.
  • Santiago, A.R and Graney, J.R. (2002) Present Day Flux and Sources of Metal in Surface Water Runoff at the Binghamton Depot, Binghamton, New York. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-00-C-0003. 158 pages.
  • Eriksen, T.M and Graney, J.R. (2002) Deposition Record and Sources of Heavy Metals in Pond Sediments at the Binghamton Depot, Binghamton, New York. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-00-C-0003. 88 pages.
  • Graney, J.R. (2001) Vapor Phase Mercury Sampling: Somerville Depot, Hillsborough New Jersey. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-01-P-0052. 20 pages.
  • Graney, J.R. (2001) Vapor Phase Mercury Sampling Intensive Report: Binghamton Depot, Binghamton, New York. U.S. Army and Engineering Support Center; Huntsville, Alabama. Contract # DACA87-00-C-0003. 46 pages.
  • Keeler, G.J., Barres, J.A., Graney, J.R., Deboe, S., Krueger, A.M., and Todd J.J. (1998) Total and Dissolved Metals in Michigan River Samples. Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of EPA Grant No. CP995671-02-0 to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Surface Water Quality Division, Lansing, MI.
  • Keeler, G.J., Dvonch, T., Graney, J.R., and Deboe, S. (1997) South Florida Atmospheric Mercury Monitoring Study (SoFAMMS) Trace Elements in Precipitation Data Report. Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of EPA Grant No. 6D0399NAEX to the U.S. EPA National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Last Updated: 9/30/15