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Astrid Vreugdenhil, MSc



407 East 32nd Street Austin, Texas 78705

 astridv @

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Key qualifications:

  Astrid Vreugdenhil grew up in an academic environment, which exposed her to extensive worldwide travel from a very young age, with countries visited to include France, UK, Germany, Poland, Russia, Slovak and Check Republics, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria, Switserland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Kenya, Canada, the USA and Mexico. In most of those countries, she has visited not only cultural sites, but also many protected areas, which she keenly observed and studied from information in visitor centers and books. This exposure shaped her interest and understanding of landscapes with their natural and biological processes. Having spent with people and families of so many countries have made her adaptable to different cultural conditions.

Born with a inquisitive and keen mind, she spent her last year in high school majoring in entry college level mathematics and physics, while in college she further deepened her passion for both subjects. As she wished to use those advanced skills for socially and environmentally relevant applications, she chose to study Physical Geography, with and emphasis in Hydrology at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her advanced training in physics and mathematics allows her to thoroughly understand the working of complex models for both surface water and groundwater and develop advanced applications.

  The need for water modeling is growing, as over the next few decades, clean water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource everywhere in the world. Integral water management of both water quality and quantity of surface and groundwater levels will be paramount to satisfy the needs of continuously growing populations with increasing needs for clean water. Her studies and field work in different parts of the world, the USA, the Netherlands, Poland and Kenya gave her a solid basis to face such challenges both technically and socially. As water use is so important for all sectors of society, Astrid not only developed skills in hydrological sciences, but also in planning applications through geographical information systems, GIS, remote sensing and map analysis and composition. 



Study of Rotterdam harbor deposit site: Sept 2004-present

University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Modeling salt concentrations and pressure in a clay layer of a deposit site to determine the effect of osmosis in this layer. Contaminated sludge from the harbor of Rotterdam is stored in a large reservoir shielded off from the aquifer with a layer of clay. There is a concern that contaminants may seep through the clay layer and may reach the groundwater. To simulate ion behavior several groundwater models have been made for the deposit site for sludge from the harbor of Rotterdam. These models simulate ion transport in the groundwater. However, no model has been simulated by considering osmosis and its potential effect on groundwater quality. In this light the following tasks were performed:

     A new groundwater model was built that incorporates the effects of osmosis on ion transport in clay layers.

     The model was built on a Unix platform using the software package Metropol.

       Conclusions are still ongoing.

Groundwater model of Biebrza Basin, Poland: June 2003 to September 2004

Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Determining the effect of small drains in fens of the Upper Biebrza Basin in Poland..              The Biebrza valley in Poland is one of the least disrupted wetlands in Western and Central Europe. Current agricultural practices have resulted in decreases of the groundwater tables, which results in compacting and humification of the peat. In turn this results in drastic change of the vegetation structure and species composition: both rare species and biodiversity decline drastically. The effects of drains has concerned the management of the National Park and a hydrological study has been requested. To determine the effects of drains in the valley a groundwater model was made and the following tasks were performed:

     Performed fieldwork in the Upper Biebrza Basin. Determined the thickness and conductivity of the peat, measured discharge of rivers, and classified vegetation.

     Used raster maps, such as DEM maps, vegetation maps and hydrological maps, to create input maps for the groundwater model.

     Created a MODFLOW groundwater model of the Upper Biebrza valley, Poland.

The model showed to which extend the water levels were lowered by drains in the fens and decreased the flows of upwelling water. These effects of the drains can cause change in vegetation and transformation of peat into humus.


Water budget of Lake Naivasha, Kenya: June 2000 to November 2000 ITC, Enschede, the Netherlands.

Updating of a model of the water levels of Lake Naivasha in Kenya. to determine the sustainability of the lake since agricultural growth in the 1980’s. Lake Naivasha is the only fresh water lake in the Kenyan rift valley and is essential for Kenya’s agriculture; particularly the horticultural export production with a 5th position in the world is essential for the national economy. The agricultural sector around Lake Naivasha has been rapidly expanded during the 1980’s, and agriculture water use appeared to drastically lower the lake’s water levels. It was questioned whether the lake could sustain itself, therefore a model was built to simulate the lake’s water levels. Data on the lake levels have been collected since the 1 890s and data on river flows since the 1960s. For this study the following activities were performed:

     Fieldwork at Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Lake water levels were collected, rivers discharges were measured, and recharge data were collected in the catchment.

     An existing model of lake levels was updated and improved.

     Results were compared to actual lake level data.

The results of the model showed a decrease in lake levels however, the lake could sustain itself.

Drs. Physical Geography, emphasis Hydrology, graduation february 2005 (MSc. Equivalent)

UNIVERSITY OF UTRECHT, Utrecht, Netherlands

B.S. Physics, 2002

UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Salt Lake City, Utah  

Relevant Classes

         Remote sensing


     GIS and Modeling

     The Principles of Groundwater Flow

     Hydrogeological Transport Phenomena

     Reactive Transport in the Hydrosphere

     Contaminant Hydrogeology

     Land Surface Hydrology

     Stochastic Hydrology

     Unsaturated Zone Hydrology

     Field Techniques: installing observation wells, water samples, infiltration tests

     Classical Physics

     Quantum Mechanics


     Advanced Differential Equations

     Complex Variables


Programming proficiency

 C++, Fortran, Unix, Modflow, Hydrus, ArcView, Arcinfo, Erdas Imagine, Microsoft Office, Linux.


Dutch, English, French




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NATUREZA DO MUNDO é o Web site oficial do World Institute for Conservation and Environment, WICE, Es uma red de páginas Web tratando de temas diferentes relacionados à natureza, la conservação el manejo de recursos naturaleiss, parques nacionais y áreas protegidas. Lea aqui porqué creamos Natureza do Mundo. Nossa Methodología explica como produjimos a informação. Nosso Mapa do sitio le ayuda encontrar sua informação no web site. Desfrute!

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