This grant will allow me to work on nutrients in watersheds, both as a geochemist and as a designer of low-impact permaculture plantings. High levels of the nutrients nitrate and phosphate are common in agricultural regions including the Midwest USA; significant amounts are derived both from cropped land and overuse of chemical fertilizers in urban/suburban settings. An understanding of the detailed geochemical behavior of these compounds in whole river ecosystems is important to informed management. One recommended practice to improve water quality is development of more naturalistic plantings in urban and suburban settings. Permaculture is an innovative, ecologically based example of such landscape design. This grant will support me in the initial stages of developing a research program dealing with the behavior of these elements in riparian systems; it will also allow me to take a course leading to certification in permaculture design. My goals are to have research leading to action, and action informed by research. This will be a significant departure from my previous research, which involved bedrock mapping of ancient rocks in the Black Hills, and will take me in a direction where my research better aligns with my personal values and my teaching interests.