David Mitchell

David Mitchell, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Adjunct Professor


Aquatic Ecology, Water Policy and Regulation, Ecological Risk Assessment

Educational Background

B.A. Biology, Brandeis University, 1975; M.S. Biology, University of Oregon, 1979; Ph.D. Ecology, Cornell University, 1986


David Mitchell, Ph.D. is a Senior Associate Scientist at Abt Associates with 30 years of experience in environmental analysis, ecological impact assessment, and resource management. Mitchell has worked on water quality and quantity issues, nutrient criteria, ecological restoration and monitoring projects, water toxics, sediment assessment, ecological risk assessments, and water quality policy and permitting throughout the United States. Recent Federal projects include project management for ecological model review for the USACE Institute for Water Resources, technical support for various EPA effluent limitation guidelines and related rulemaking (e.g., Clean Water Act Section 316b, Steam-Electric Utilities, Dental Mercury Amalgam, Coalbed Methane, and Shale Gas Extraction (hydrofracking). He has particular expertise in nutrient criteria including developing a prioritization tool for assessment State’s progress for EPA Health and Ecological Criteria Division, providing qualitative benefits for Florida nutrient criteria, and development of regional nutrient databases, analyses, potential application of nutrient criteria in New England. Recent activities included planning and collection of a deepwater sediment core for nutrient, chemistry, and microfossil data to establish baseline conditions for the phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Limit (TMDL) for Cayuga Lake, NY. Mitchell continues to provide technical direction and oversight for assessment, treatment design, permitting, and implementation of ecological restoration of lakes and ponds in Massachusetts. Recent examples include Farm Pond (Sherborn), Forest River Park Pond (Salem), and Stillwater and Lovers Lake (Chatham). Mitchell has been professionally certified as a Lake Manager (CLM) by the North American Lakes Management Society since 1991 and served as an adjunct professor at UMass Lowell since 1995.