Qian Zhang

Watershed Effectiveness Data Analyst
Chesapeake Bay Program Office


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1750 Forest Drive, Suite 130
Annapolis, MD 21401

Qian Zhang

Watershed Effectiveness Data Analyst
Chesapeake Bay Program Office

Dr. Qian Zhang is an Associate Research Scientist with UMCES at the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program. His main responsibility is to collaborate with scientists and managers in the CBP Partnership to analyze monitoring data and explore the temporal and spatial patterns and trends of water quality in Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, which are critical to defining the success of the Bay restoration effort toward meeting the goals of the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement and to making science-based management decisions in the foreseeable future.

Dr. Zhang is interested in applying scientific principles and statistical approaches to examine nutrient and sediment loads from watersheds and better understand their drivers and impacts along the land-river-estuary continuum. Specific research interests include: (1) quantifying riverine water-quality loads and trends; (2) improving statistical methods for riverine water-quality load and trend estimation; (3) disentangling natural and anthropogenic controls of riverine water-quality loads and trends; and (4) understanding impacts of riverine loads on receiving waters.

Zhang obtained his Ph.D degree from the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. His doctoral dissertation focused on nutrient and sediment export from major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. Zhang also holds two Master of Science degrees from Johns Hopkins University, one in environmental engineering and the other in statistics.

Areas of Expertise:

Water Quality; Watershed; Nutrients; Statistics; Machine Learning; Chesapeake Bay


  • Johns Hopkins University, 2016, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering
  • Johns Hopkins University, 2014, M.S.E., Statistics
  • Johns Hopkins University, 2011, M.S.E., Environmental Engineering
  • Nanyang Technological University, 2009, B.E., Environmental Engineering

Publications: Google Scholar

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/qian-zhang

Email: qzhang@chesapeakebay.net; qzhang@umces.edu

Twitter: @QIANZHANG1


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Evaluating water-quality trends in agricultural watersheds prioritized for management-practice implementation (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Legacy sediment as a potential source of orthophosphate: Preliminary conceptual and geochemical models for the Susquehanna River, Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Integrating monitoring and modeling information to develop an indicator of watershed progress toward nutrient reduction goals (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Effects of point and nonpoint source controls on total phosphorus load trends across the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


James Tributary Summary: A summary of trends in tidal water quality and associated factors, 1985-2021 (REPORT)

Progress in reducing nutrient and sediment loads to Chesapeake Bay: Three decades of monitoring data and implications for restoring complex ecosystems (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Evaluating the effectiveness of coastal environmental management policies in China: The case of Bohai Sea (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Nutrient limitation of phytoplankton in three tributaries of Chesapeake Bay: Detecting responses following nutrient reductions (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

A water quality barometer for Chesapeake Bay: Assessing spatial and temporal patterns using long-term monitoring data (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Major point and nonpoint sources of nutrient pollution to surface water have declined throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Regional patterns and drivers of total nitrogen trends in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: Insights from machine learning approaches and management implications (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Nutrient improvements in Chesapeake Bay: Direct effect of load reductions and implications for coastal management (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Nitrogen in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: A century of change, 1950–2050 (REPORT)

Inferring controls of dissolved oxygen criterion attainment in the Chesapeake Bay (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Chesapeake legacies: The importance of legacy nitrogen to improving Chesapeake Bay water quality (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

An approach for decomposing river water-quality trends into different flow classes (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Nutrient trends and drivers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (REPORT)

Nutrient limitation of phytoplankton in Chesapeake Bay: Development of an empirical approach for water-quality management (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Temporal inequality of nutrient and sediment transport: A decision-making framework for temporal targeting of load reduction goals (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Potomac Tributary Report: A summary of trends in tidal water quality and associated factors, 1985-2018 (REPORT)

Recent status and long‐term trends in freshwater discharge and nutrient inputs (BOOK)

Sediment dynamics and implications for management: State of the science from long-term research in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Adapting the dynamic LakeMab model to simulate seasonal variations of phosphorus concentration in reservoirs: A case study of Lake Bultière (France) (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


River water‐quality concentration and flux estimation can be improved by accounting for serial correlation through an autoregressive model (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Estimation bias in water-quality constituent concentrations and fluxes: A synthesis for Chesapeake Bay rivers and streams (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Patterns and trends in Secchi disk depth over three decades in the Chesapeake Bay estuarine complex (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Chesapeake Bay dissolved oxygen criterion attainment deficit: Three decades of temporal and spatial patterns (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Chesapeake Bay's water quality condition has been recovering: Insights from a multimetric indicator assessment of thirty years of tidal monitoring data (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Evaluation of statistical methods for quantifying fractal scaling in water quality time series with irregular sampling (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Watershed export of fine sediment, organic carbon, and chlorophyll-a to Chesapeake Bay: Spatial and temporal patterns in 1984–2016 (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Synthesis of nutrient and sediment export patterns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: Complex and non-stationary concentration-discharge relationships (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Improving riverine constituent concentration and flux estimation by accounting for antecedent discharge conditions (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


An improved method for interpretation of riverine concentration-discharge relationships indicates long-term shifts in reservoir sediment trapping (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Decadal-scale export of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment from the Susquehanna River basin, USA: Analysis and synthesis of temporal and spatial patterns (JOURNAL ARTICLE)

Long-term changes in sediment and nutrient delivery from Conowingo Dam to Chesapeake Bay: Effects of reservoir sedimentation (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Long-term trends of nutrients and sediment from the nontidal Chesapeake watershed: An assessment of progress by river and season (JOURNAL ARTICLE)


Long-term seasonal trends of nitrogen, phosphorus, and suspended sediment load from the non-tidal Susquehanna River Basin to Chesapeake Bay (JOURNAL ARTICLE)