Robbins - Natural Resources and the Environment - University of Connecticut
Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

Dr. Gary A. Robbins
Professor of Geology
Department of Natural Resources & the Environment

University of Connecticut
U-4087, 1376 Storrs Road
Storrs, CT 06269-4087

Room #321

Phone: (860) 486-2448

Lab: (860) 486-0262
Fax: (860) 486-5408


Ph.D., 1983 Texas A&M University, College Station, TX Department of Geology
M.S., 1972 Brown University, Providence, RI Department of Geology
B.S., 1970 Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY Department of Geology


2004 - Present Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Faculty Member Center for Integrative Geosciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Professor
1986 - 2004 Department of Geology & Geophysics, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT Associate Professor to Professor
1984 - 1986 Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Santa Ana, CA Senior Project Hydrogeologist
1983 - 1984 Department of Geology, Texas A & M, College Station, TX Assistant Professor
1980 - 1983 Department of Geology, Texas A & M, College Station, TX Lecturer
1975 - 1980 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, D. C. Geologist Intern to Project Geologist (GS-14)
1971 - 1974 Brown University, Providence, RI Research Assistant


  • Apparatus and Method for Measuring Volatile Constituents in Earth Samples, U.S. Patent No. 5,050,425, date 9/24/91, U.S. Patent No. 5,140,845, date 8/25/9

Professional Affiliations

  • Certified Professional Geologist, American Institute of Professional Geologists (CPG-06715)
  • Registered Geologist & Certified Engineering Geologist, State of California
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America (Rep. of Hydrogeology Div. to NE Section, 1988-1991)
  • Member, International Assocation of Hydrogeologists (Board of Directors and Newsletter Editor, US Chapter)
  • Member, Association of Engineering Geologists (Groundwater Committee Chairman 1983-85)
  • Member, National Ground Water Association (Past Associate Editor, Ground Water; 2013-2014 Awards Comm. Chair
  • Member, American Geophysical Union
  • Member, Connecticut Environmental Professional Organization (Educational Committee 2008 - present)
  • Member, Geological Society of Connecticut
  • Member International Water Resources Association

Honors and Distinctions

  • 2019 Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • 2016 - 2017 UCONN Innovative Teaching Professor
  • 2015 Coordinated development of Memorandum of Agreement between U. Connecticut and National Research Council of Italy
  • 2014 Roman Aqueduct Art and Engineering Exhibit, U. Connecticut
  • 2014 Keynote Speaker at annual Connecticut Environmental Professional Organization meeting
  • 2013 Chair, Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources
  • 2012 Semester Abroad Instructor at the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai, Florence, Italy
  • 2012 Recipient of the Contribution to Practice Award, Licensed Site Professionals Association (of Massachusetts)
  • 2012 Co-Chair, Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources
  • 2011, Dept of NRE delegation to China for Sino/US workshops on soil and water research
  • 2005, 2007, 2012 Recipient of a U. Connecticut, Environmental Policy Advisory Council, Environmental Leadership Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2001 Recipient of the U. Connecticut, Chancellor’s Information Technology Award
  • Board of Trustees of the Manchester, Connecticut Library (1998-2002)
  • Founding President, Manchester Community Television, Inc. (1999- 2000)
  • Member of the Cox Cable Advisory Council (1998-2000)
  • Connecticut Ground Water Association (Founding Board Director, 1989-1993)
  • Past Member of Executive Committee of U. Connecticut Water Resources Institute
  • Past Member of Executive Committee of U. Connecticut Environmental Research Institute
  • Mobil Foundation, Inc.1995 and 1996 award recipient
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission High Quality Performance Award
  • Member, Sigma Gamma Epsilon Honorary Earth Science Society, Texas A&M University
  • Awarded W.G. Mills Fellowship in hydrology, Texas A&M University

Selected Current or Recent Grants

Grant Period Title Sponsor Amount
8/1/2020-7/31/2021 Application of the DOAM, SPM and FLUTE Methods in a Bedrock Angle Boring Haley and Aldrich, Inc. $49,780
1/1/19 -12/31/23 Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, MOA Internships (PI) Connecticut Dept. of Public Health $35,000 
8/1/18 – 8/30/19 Assess Fracture Flow and Contaminant Conditions in 6 Wells in Town of Sherman, CT Town of Sherman, CT $31,620
10/1/18 – 10/1/21 Use of DNA Bacteria Sequencing as a Tracer Method to Evaluate Farm Related Sources of Groundwater Arsenic Contamination USDA-Hatch $60,000 
3/1/18 – 2/28/19 Quantifying Road Salt Impacts on Forested Wetland Structure and Function in Eastern Connecticut (Co-PI wih B. Lawrence) USGS-CTIWR $25,791 
3/1/17-2/28/18 Investigation of Bedrock Well Contamination by Uranium, Radium and Radon Resulting from Deicing Salt Exchange (Co-PI with M. Dietz, M. Metcalf) USGS-CTIWR $20,995 
3/30/17-1/31/18 Investigation of Hydrologic Factors Influencing Bog Turtle Population Persistence at a Site in Connecticut CT DEEP $29,059 
12/1/16 – 7/1/17 Mobile Applications for Teaching Water Resources Concepts and Measurements UCONN Provost $1,200 
6/1/16 -12/31/18 Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, MOA Internships (PI) Connecticut Dept. of Public Health $20,000 
2/15/15 – 2/14/18 Water Supply Capacity Credits (Co-PI with S. Swallow (PI)  and others) USDA-NIFA $500,000 
Summer 2015 Ancient Roman Contributions to Modern Water Resource System Development and Management (study abroad course development (with CO-PI Glenn Warner) UCONN CAHNR $7,200 
Ongoing Agroforestry Riparian Project for Biofuel and Environmental Benefits (Co-PI with J. Clausen  (PI) and others) USDA-NIFA-Hatch $13,927 
1/1/14-12/31/15 MOA with Dept. of Public Health for Intern Training CT DPH $12,000 
6/12/2014 Direct Push Methods for Groundwater Sampling, Field Training CT DEEP $2,600 
6/10/14 – 6/11/14 Direct Push Methods for Groundwater Sampling, Field Training EPOC $2,500 
4/15/14 - 8/23/14 Monitoring of Ground Water Beneath Gym at Killingly High School Killingly, CT $2,000 

Research and Recent Publications

Specializing in the study of the fate and transport of ground water contamination and ground water supply sustainability; Developing low cost methods for characterizing bedrock fracture flow conditions.  Using indigenous bacteria as a groundwater tracer tool.  Evaluating legacy arsenic pesticide use impact on groundwater contamination.   Improving methods for sampling domestic wells for groundwater contamination. Applying the Dissolved Oxygen Alteration and Single Packer Methods for characterizing fracture flow conditions in crystalline rock using non-vertical boreholes. Evaluating the impact of permeable pavement drainage on groundwater quality. Assessing the use of downhole investigatory methods to evaluate road salt contamination of domestic wells and means to curtail the impact.

  • Flahive, N.A., and Robbins, G.A., 2020, A Single Packer Method for Characterizing Water Contributing Fractures in Crystalline Bedrock Wells, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, V. 40, No.1, p 65-73. 
  • Higgins, M., Robbins, G.A., and Metcalf, M., 2020, An Assessment of Hydrologic Factors that Influence  
    Contaminant Concentrations Determined from Domestic Well Water Samples, Environmental Earth Sc,   10 p.  
  • Higgins, M, Robbins, G.A., Maas, K. and Binkhorst, G., 2020, Use of Bacteria Community Analysis to Distinguish Groundwater Recharge Sources to Shallow Wells, J. Environmental Quality, DOI: 10.1002/jeq2.20150. 11p.
  • Vitale, S.A., Robbins, G.A., and Romanowicz, E., 2019, Identifying Cross-Well Fracture Connections Using the Dissolved Oxygen Alteration Method, J. Hydrology, V. 572, p. 781-789.
  • Vitale, S.A., and Robbins, G.A., 2018, Measuring Water Quality from Individual Fractures in Open Wellbores Using Hydraulic Isolation and the Dissolved Oxygen Alteration Method, Hydrogeology, V. 25, p. 2199-2206.
  • Paladino, O., Moranda, A., Massab, and Robbins, G.A., 2018, Analytical Solutions of Three-Dimensional Contaminant Transport Models with Exponential Source Decay, Groundwater, V.1, p.96-108.
  • Vitale, S.A., and Robbins, G.A., 2017, Measuring Flow Rate in Crystalline Bedrock Wells Using the Dissolved Oxygen Alteration Method, M., Groundwater, V. 55, No. 4, p 588-592.
  • Vitale, S.A., Robbins, G.A., and McNaboe, L.A. 2017, Impacts of Road Salting on Water Quality in Fractured Crystalline Bedrock, J. Environmental Quality, v. 46, p. 288-294.
  • MacNaboe, L., Robbins, G.A. and Dietz, 2017, M. Mobilization of Radium and Radon by Deicing Salt Contamination of Groundwater, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, V. 228, paper 94.
  • Dietz, M., Angel, D., and Robbins, G.A., 2016, Permeable Asphalt: A New Tool to Reduce Road Salt Contamination of Groundwater in Urban Areas, Groundwater, V.55, No. 2, pp. 237-243.
  • Vitale, S. and Robbins, G.A., 2016, Characterizing Groundwater Flow in Monitoring Wells by Altering Dissolved Oxygen, Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation, Volume 36, Issue 2, Spring 2016, p. 59-67.
  • Metcalf, M. J., Stevens, G.J and Robbins, G.A., 2016, Application of First Order Kinetics to Characterize MTBE Natural Attenuation in Groundwater, J. Contaminant Hydrology, V. 187, p. 47-54.
  • Metcalf, M. and Robbins, G., 2014, Using Domestic Well Records to Determine Fractured Bedrock Watersheds and    Recharge Rates, Groundwater, V. 52, no. 5, p. 782-788.
  • Metcalf, M. J. and Robbins, G.A., 2014, Evaluating Groundwater Sustainability for Fractured Crystalline Bedrock. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, (early pub available online at doi:10.2166/ws.2013/179)
  • Libby, J., and Robbins, G.A., 2014 An Unsteady State Tracer Method for Characterizing Fractures in Bedrock Well, Groundwater, v. 52, no. 1, p. 136-144.
  • Starn, J.J., Bagtzoglou, A.C., and Robbins, G.A., 2013, Uncertainty in simulated groundwater quality trends in transient flow: Hydrogeology Journal, in press and published online.
  • Cassanelli, J., and Robbins, G.A., 2013, Road Salt Impact to Connecticut's Groundwater: A Statewide Centennial Perspective, Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 42, p.737-748.
  • Metcalf, M.J. and Robbins, G.A., 2013, Natural Buffering of Contaminants Related to Development in Fractured   Rock.  Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation, v. 33, no. 4: 89-99.
  • Metcalf, M. J. and Robbins, G.A., 2013, Domestic Well Database Development and Integration into a GIS: An Approach for Managing Ground Water Resources. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, v.13.5, p. 993-1006
  • Chlebica, D., and Robbins, G.A., 2013, Altering Dissolved Oxygen to Determine Flow Conditions in Fractured Bedrock Wells, Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, v. 33, no. 4, p. 100-107.
  • Starn, J.J,  Bagtzoglou, A., and Robbins, G.A., 2012, Methods For Simulating Solute Breakthrough Curves in Pumping Groundwater Wells, Computers & Geosciences 48: 244-255.
  • Chlebica, D.W., Robbins, G.A., Spera, H., Bagtzoglou, A.C., 2012, Resolving Fractured Bedrock Aquifer Flow and Sustainability Issues Using an Equivalent Porous Media Model, International Conference on Groundwater in Fractured Rocks, Poster Session, Prague, Czech Republic, May 23 and 24.
  • Metcalf, M.J., Robbins, G.: Deciphering Groundwater Trends in the Fractured Bedrock Using GIS for Resource Management and Planning, International Conference on Groundwater in Fractured Rocks, Poster Session, Prague, Czech Republic, May 21 and 22.
  • Libby, J., Robbins, G., 2012, Characterization of Water Contributing Fractures Intersecting a Well in Crystalline Bedrock Through Monitoring Changes In a Tracer Profile during Slug Test Recovery, International Conference on Groundwater in Fractured Rocks, Prague, Czech Republic, May 23.
  • Starn, J.J, and Robbins, G.A., 2012, Complex flow paths in simulations of bedrock recharge in Connecticut, Geol. Soc. of Amer., Northeastern Section Meet., abstracts with programs, March 18 , Hartford, CT.
  • Libby, J. and Robbins, G.A.,.2012, Verifying an Unsteady State Tracer Dilution Method in Fractured Bedrock Wells Using Physical and Computer Models, Geol. Soc. of Amer., Northeastern Section Meet., abstracts with programs, March 18 , Hartford, CT.
  • Chlebica, D.W. and Robbins, G.A., 2012, Deciphering Fractured Crystalline Bedrock Ground Water Recharge: Data Input, Constraints and Modeling Needs, Geol. Soc. of Amer., Northeastern Section Meet., abstracts with programs, Poster Session, March 18 , Hartford, CT.
  • Kahn-Bureau, D., Lewis, L., and G.A. Robbins, 2011, Testing DNA Barcoding Methods of Diatoms in an Environmental Sample, Northeast Algal Society, 50th Anniversary Symposium, Poster Session, Woods Hole, MA, April, 15-17,.
  • Robbins, G.A., Aragon-Jose, A., 2011, Circumventing Sand Pack Drainage Complication in Determining Hydraulic Conductivity from Monitoring Wells with Partially Submerged Screens, North American Environmental Field Conference & Exposition, San Diego, CA, January 14.
  • Aragon-Jose, A.T., and Robbins, G.A.,, 2011, Low-Flow Hydraulic Conductivity Tests at Wells that Cross the Water Table, Ground Water, V. 49, No. 2, p. 426–43










Department of Natural Resources and the Environment
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of Connecticut
1376 Storrs Road, Unit 4087
Storrs, Connecticut 06269-4087
Phone: 860-486-2840