RALEIGH — Simon Gregg seems like a quiet guy — until it starts to rain.
Gregg sizes up the downpour and rattles off a list of strategies for handling the torrent. When the sky clears, he traces the path of runoff water through culverts and detention basins, puzzling over why the ephemeral channels haven’t begun to flow.
Then Gregg spots one, snaking its way down from the large suburban homes above to the granite boulders down in the stream channel. His face lights up.
“That will only last a few minutes — can we get footage?” Gregg calls to the video producer. “That would be great to have for my research.”
Gregg is so fascinated by the impacts of land use, he studies it both professionally and in his spare time. His research at CALS examines urban stormwater mitigation with regenerative stormwater conveyance through smarter development, more ecologically driven watershed management planning and innovative stream restoration techniques.
When he heads home for the day, Gregg jumps into his other project: the Environmental Protection Agency’s swine and dairy waste Nutrient Recycling Challenge.
Gregg is studying the native black solder fly, whose larvae incorporate nutrients into their biomass as they feed on decomposing organic matter. Larvae can also be harvested and used to produce a value-added insect meal for use in commercial feed products. Gregg hopes to develop solutions that will make insects a commercially viable option for organic waste management.
After two years of work, he’s preparing for the next phase: pilot-scale testing.
He can’t wait.
— Chelsea Kellner, NC State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
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