College of Natural and Computational Sciences

Susan Carstenn, Ph.D.

Research and Work Experience

Hawaii Pacific University, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Studies. 2005 - present

  • Monitoring and assessment of riparian restoration of a subtropical stream on Oahu.
  • Developing a Hawaii Wetland Condition Index Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a Landscape Development Intensity Index and the Floristic Quality Assessment Index.
  • Evaluation of Oceanographic Influences on Marine Mammal Strandings in the Main Hawaiian Islands: An Application of Geographic Information Systems
  • Linking Watershed-Scale Conservation, Restoration, and Land Use Practices to Biogeochemical Processes in Intermittently and Permanently Open Estuaries and Nearshore Marine Environments in Hawaii
  • Ecological Restoration of Molii Pond, an Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond

Tetra Tech, Inc., NEPA Specialist. September 2005 - present

Dr. Carstenn collaborates with principal scientists and project managers at Tetra Tech on Biological Assessments, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Impact Statements and Ecosystem Restoration. Relevant projects are listed below.

  • Lanai Wind Farm. Identified permitting requirements for a large proposed wind farm on the island of Lanai, Hawaii. Collaborated on EISPN and HCP and outlined required permitting requirements.
  • Marine Resources Study, a component of the Makua Military Reserve Environmental Impact Statement, Oahu, Hawaii. Assisted in design and implementation of a study to detect a wide range of contaminants in fish, shellfish and algae in estuarine and near shore waters of the Waianae Coast, Oahu, Hawaii.
  • USCG Water Training Area EA. Assessed the potential impacts of live fire training on biological resources. Spatial analysis using ArcGIS was used to identify areas adjacent to Oahu, Maui and Kauai that would be minimally impacted by USCG training.
  • Army Pacific 8th Elements Modularity Environmental Assessment. Oahu, Hawaii. Assessed impacts to biological resources.
  • Maui Television Broadcasters, LLC. Environmental Assessment, Maui, Hawaii. An environmental evaluation of the potential impacts of relocating a transmitting tower on Mt. Haleakala. Assessed impacts to biological resources.
  • Advanced Technology Solar Telescope EA, Maui, Hawaii. An environmental evaluation of the potential impacts of placing a telescope on Mt. Haleakala. Assessed impacts to biological resources with specific emphasis on Hawaiian petrels.
  • USCG Patrol Boat Support Facility Environmental Assessment, Maui, Hawaii. An environmental evaluation of the potential impacts of modifications to facilities in Maalaea Harbor. Assessed impacts to Essential Fish Habitat.
  • HOT, Inc Environmental Assessment. An environmental evaluation of the potential impacts of an offshore aquaculture facility. Preliminary draft of impacts on multiple resources.
  • Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Environmental Assessment, USFWS. Assisted in the assessment of impacts to biological resources. 

BEM Systems, Inc., Senior Environmental Scientist, Restoration Specialist. 2004-2005

Dr. Carstenn, a senior scientist and principal investigator, collaborated with the South Florida Water Management District on two contracts.

  • Options for Accelerating Recovery was charged with identifying methods for accelerating the recovery of phosphorus (P) impacted areas of the Everglades with an emphasis on the eradication of Typha domingensis and the reestablishment of historic Everglades communities. Documentation of the response of surface water and soil P and macrophytes, to accelerated recovery management options is integral to the project. This contract lead to a large-scale, long-term research project titled, “Ecological Implications of Natural Recovery and Fire on Phosphorus Storages, Cattail Expansion and Native Vegetation Recovery.”
  • Tree Island Characterization evaluated current tree island conditions with respect to macrophyte community composition and structure, soil structure and chemistry and overall tree island health. Continued monitoring of these tree island attributes will provide a means for assessing aspects of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 

Hawaii Pacific University, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science. 2002-2004

While at HPU, Dr. Carstenn continued to oversee a research project initiated while at the University of Florida and described in the following section. 

University of Florida, Post Doctoral Research Associate and Principal Investigator. 2000-2002

Dr. Carstenn was a Principal Investigator and Project Manager for research funded by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research on Successional Trajectories of Constructed and Restored Wetlands addressing the development and application of successional trajectories to address adequate site progress toward ecological goals for created forested wetlands on phosphate mined land. Dr. Carstenn received this funding to extend research initiated during her dissertation.

  • Co-Investigator and Project Manager, Development of Biological Indicators of Wetland Health, funded by Florida Department of Environmental Protection and US Environmental Protection Agency. 
  • Project Manager (1995-2000), Effects of Shading on Nuisance Species and Succession, funded by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. This project focused on understanding the role of cattails and primrose willow in the development of created forested wetlands on phosphate mined land. This project resulted in five MS degrees and one Ph.D.

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Publications

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. (2010) Background and rationale of the project: challenges of large-scale ecosystem restoration study. In: Evaluating Natural Recovery and Fire Effects in Phosphorus-enriched Water Conservation Area 2A. Final Report to the South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. (2010) Modified BACIPS Design: multiple spatial control design considering spatial variations for ecosystem. In: Evaluating Natural Recovery and Fire Effects in Phosphorus-enriched Water Conservation Area 2A. Final Report to the South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Miao, S.L., C. Thomas, C. Edelstein, S.M. Carstenn, C. Zou, and E Sindhoj. (2010) Multiple temporal-scale sampling methods. In: Evaluating Natural Recovery and Fire Effects in Phosphorus-enriched Water Conservation Area 2A. Final Report to the South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida.

Miao, S.L., C. Thomas, C. Zou, and S.M. Carstenn. (2010) Overall data analysis approaches. In: Evaluating Natural Recovery and Fire Effects in Phosphorus-enriched Water Conservation Area 2A. Final Report to the South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Miao, S.L., C. Edelstein, S.M. Carstenn and B. Gu. (2010) Short-term ecosystem responses to a prescribed fire in a nutrient-enriched and cattail-dominated Everglades wetland. Fundamental and Applied Limnology 176:29-41 

Carstenn, S.M. (2009) Successional trajectories of constructed and restored forested wetlands. Final report to Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. Bartow, FL. 

Miao, S.L., S.M. Carstenn, and M. Nungesser. (2008) Real World Ecology: Methods and Case Studies. Springer Publishing. Pp. 308. 

Miao, S.L., S.M. Carstenn, C. Thomas, C. Edelstein, E. Sindhoj and B. Gu. (2008) Multiple spatial controls and temporal sampling schemes to explore short-and long-term ecosystem response to fire in an Everglades wetland. In: S.L. Miao, S.M. Carstenn, M. Nungessor, editors. Real World Ecology: Methods and Case Studies. Springer Publishing. 

Miao, S.L., S.M. Carstenn, and M. Nungessor. (2008) Unprecedentd challenges in ecological research: past and present. In: S.L. Miao, S.M. Carstenn, M. Nungessor, editors. Real World Ecology: Methods and Case Studies. Springer Publishing. 

Grace, J., S.M. Carstenn, Miao, S.L., and E. Sindhoj. (2008) Ecology in the real world: how might we progress?. In: S.L. Miao, S.M. Carstenn, M. Nungessor, editors. Real World Ecology: Methods and Case Studies. Springer Publishing. 

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. (2006) A new direction for large-scale experimental design and analysis. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4 (5): 227.

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. (2006) Ecological Implications of Natural Recovery and Fire on Phosphorus Storages, Cattail Expansion and Native Vegetation Recovery. Final Research Plan to South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Cohen, M.J., S.M. Carstenn and C. Lane. (2004) Evaluation of floristic quality indices for biotic assessment of depressional marsh condition in Florida. Ecological Applications 14:784-794. 

Carstenn, S. M. (2002) Effects of shading on nuisance species in constructed forested wetlands. In M.T. Brown and S. M. Carstenn, eds. Effects of Shading on Nuisance Species and Succession. Final Report to Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. Bartow, FL. 

Carstenn, S.M. (2002) Successional trajectories of constructed forested wetlands. In M.T. Brown and S.M. Carstenn, eds. Self Organization and Successional Trajectories of Constructed Forested Wetlands. Final Report to Florida Institute of Phosphate Research. Bartow, FL. 

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Presentations

Carstenn, S.M. and R. Guinter. Developing a Hawai‘i Wetland Condition Index Using the Landscape Development Intensity Index and the Floristic Quality Assessment Index. Hawaii Conservation Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii. July 2008. 

Carstenn, S.M. and R. Guinter. Developing a Hawai‘i Wetland Condition Index Using the Landscape Development Intensity Index and the Floristic Quality Assessment Index. Hawaii Conservation Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii. July 2008.

Carstenn, S.M., G. Redpath, and K. Courtney. System Resilience and Ecosystem Restoration: Planning, Implementation, and Assessment. Presented to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Honolulu, Hawaii. December 2008. 

Carstenn, S.M. and S.L. Miao. Addressing BACIPS design and analytical challenges using a large-scale fire project in the Everglades. EcoSummit 2007, Beijing, China. May 2007. 

Carstenn, S.M. and K.C. Reiss. College and university education in the United States. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mianyang Normal University, Mianyang, China. May 2007. 

Carstenn, S.M. and K.C. Reiss. College and university education in the United States. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, China May 2007.

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. Ecological Implications of Natural Recovery and Fire on Phosphorus Storages, Cattail Expansion and Native Vegetation Recovery. Ecological Society of America. Montreal, Canada. August 2005. 

Carstenn, S.M. Evaluation of floristic quality indices for biotic assessment of depressional march condition in Florida. Ecological Society of America. Portland, Oregon. August 2004. 

Carstenn, S. M. Invited lecturer. Organic matter development on phosphate mined lands. South Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Wetland Scientists. Norfolk, VA. November 2001.

Carstenn, S. M. Invited lecturer. Ecological assessment: successional trajectories, bioindicators and emergy analysis. Department of Chemistry. University of Siena. Siena, Italy. November 2000.

Carstenn, S. M. and M. T. Brown. Nuisance Species Persistence in Created Forested Wetlands. Society for Ecological Restoration. San Francisco, CA. September 1999. 

Carstenn, S. M. and M. T. Brown. Assessing Alternatives for the Restoration of the Ocklawaha River using EMergy Analysis. Society for Ecological Restoration. San Francisco, CA. September 1999. 

Carstenn, S.M. and M.T. Brown. Assessing Ecological Restoration, A Case Study: The Rodman Reservoir. First Biennial EMergy Analysis Conference. Gainesville, Florida. September 1999. 

Carstenn, S. M. Systems ecology, energy language and computer modeling for marine science. Florida Marine Science Educators Association Conference. Jacksonville, Florida. April 1999. 

Carstenn, S. M. and R. Garcia. The Effect of Shading on Cattails. National Association of State Land Reclamationists National Conference . Jacksonville, FL. October 1998. 

Carstenn, S. M. and M. T. Brown. Assessment of Created Wetlands: Successional Trajectories and Self Organization. Society for Ecological Restoration International Conference, Austin, TX. September 1998. 

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Invited Workshops/Symposia

Carstenn, S.M. Constructed treatment wetlands for surface water management. Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation in Hawaii Workshop. Honolulu, Hawaii. October 2008 

Carstenn, S.M. and R. Guinther. The influence of rare endemic, occassional indiginous, and ubiquitous alien species on Florida Quality Assessment Indices in Hawaii. Society of Wetland Scientists Annual Conference. Washington, D.C. 2008. 

Carstenn, S.M. and R. Guinther. Developing a Hawaii Wetland Condition Index Using the Landscape Development Intensity Index and the Floristic Quality Assessment Index. Hawaii Conservation Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii. August 2008. 

Carstenn, S.M. Assessing constructed forest wetland development using successional (performance) trajectories. Restoration Workshop: Native Plant Community Restoration and Management in Florida and the Southeast. Florida Institute of Phosphate Research and Institute of Food and Agricultural Services. Lakeland, Florida. April 2008. 

Carstenn, S.M. and S.L. Miao. Real world ecological studies: contemporary approaches linking design, analysis and interpretation. Honolulu, Hawaii. December 2007. 

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. Large-scale studies: Challenges in experimental design and analysis. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. Memphis, Tennesee. August 2006. 

Miao, S.L. and S.M. Carstenn. Options for accelerating recovery of phosphate impacted regions of the Everglades. South Florida Water Management District. West Palm Beach, Florida. March 2005. 

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Research and Professional Activity Funded

$70,000 Monitoring and assessment of riparian restoration of a subtropical stream on Oahu. Hawaii Phase III. Department of Health through Hui O Koolaupoko Fall 2012 

$2700 Environmental field fesearch and monitoring Program. HPU Trustees Scholarly Endeavors Program Fall 2012.

$9,880 Linking watershed-scale conservation, restoration, and land use practices to biogeochemical processes in intermittently and permanently open estuaries and nearshore marine environments in Hawaii. HPU Trustees Scholarly Endeavors Program Spring 2012. 

$10,000 Monitoring and assessment of riparian restoration of a subtropical stream on Oahu. Hawaii Phase II. Department of Health through Hui O Koolaupoko Fall 2011 

$23,000 Ecological Restoration of Molii Pond, an Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond. National Fish Habitat Restoration/United States Fish and Wildlife Service. September 2010 

$1600 Faculty Development Grant Fall Spring 2008 

$20,000 South Florida Water Management District 2007

$2100 Hawaii Pacific University Technology Grant Fall 2007 

$2100 Hawaii Pacific University Technology Grant Spring 2007 

$500 Hawaii Pacific University Faculty Development Grant Spring 2007 

$15,000 South Florida Water Management District 2006 

$1600 Hawaii Pacific University Technology Grant Spring 2006 

$3500 Hawaii Pacific University Faculty Development Grant Spring 2006 

$1000 Hawaii Pacific University Technology Grant Spring 2004 

$1000 Hawaii Pacific University Faculty Development Grant Spring 2004

$122,665 Successional Trajectories of Constructed Forested Wetlands, Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, 2001- 2003 

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