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Hydrogeology with special emphasis on hydrogeology of wetlands & groundwater/surface water interactions; also geomorphology & glacial & pleistocene geology
O'Brien's expertise and research interests involve surface water – groundwater interactions and specifically in settings where wetlands occur. Additional areas of interest include Pleistocene deposits, slope stability, stream variability and dynamics - all of which are connected to near surface water movement.
B.A., Syracuse University
M.S., Syracuse University
Ph.D., Boston University
Arnold O’ Brien is Professor Emeritus at UMass Lowell. He joined the faculty in 1969 and achieved the rank of full professor in 1983. He has offered courses covering a wide range of areas and served as Department Chair in EEAS from 1976 until his retirement in 2010. Dr. O’Brien developed his research interests through an investigation of critical questions involving the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, the first such act in the Nation. Research on wetlands hydrology led to a better understanding of the role of wetlands in the regional hydrology and to invitations to serve on Federal panels developing guidelines for wetlands protection. His unique expertise has led to numerous consulting activities for government and private sources involving multimillion dollar projects.