Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Diane McKnight

Second Advisor

Fernando Rosario

Third Advisor

Holly Barnard


Previous research has suggested that production of non-humic dissolved organic matter (DOM) can be directly related to chlorophyll-a concentrations in surface waters. In recent years, increases in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in surface waters have been documented in many northern temperate regions.The underlying processes and the effects of increasing DOC on aquatic ecosystems and drinking water quality are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to expand upon the findings of the interactions between DOM and chlorophyll a concentrations in a lake in the Green Lakes Valley of the Colorado Rocky Mountains to over 30 lakes and drinking water reservoirs across the State of Colorado. Another goal was to gain insight into seasonal trends which could give be expanded to potential impacts of climate change. Additional reasons these relationships are important are because algal derived DOM has been documented as a precursor material to the formation of disinfection byproducts, and longer summers as a result of climate change could increase the algal growing season.