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headshot of Joseph R. Graney

Joseph R. Graney


Department of Earth Sciences


Joseph Graney's research and teaching melds field and laboratory work. His approach entails collection of samples on spatial and temporal scales coupled with analysis using modern analytical techniques to trace natural and anthropogenic geochemical processes.

Environmental geochemistry continues to be the theme of Graney's 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 which makes Binghamton area 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 Graney 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.

Much of Graney's 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.


  • PhD, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
  • MS, University of Nevada at Reno
  • BS, University of Wisconsin at Platteville

Research Interests

  • Environmental Geochemistry
  • Environmental Hydrogeology

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental Hydrology
  • Environmental Measurements


  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2004-2005

More Info

Graney's 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. He has 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.