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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Cathleen J Hapeman

Research Chemist

 photo of Cathleen Hapeman Cathleen J. Hapeman, Ph.D.
Research Chemist
USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory
Bldg. 001, Rm. 221, BARC-West
Beltsville, MD 20705-2350 USA
Voice: (301) 504-6451
Fax: (301) 504-5048

Research Interests: (click here to see a list of current research projects)

  • Investigates processes that affect air and water quality as a function of land use and agricultural practice.
  • Assesses risk potential of agricultural pollutants to nearby ecosystems at landscape and regional scales.
  • Examines the effectiveness of mitigation strategies and conservation practices to minimize the agricultural footprint on natural resources.


  • 1981 B.S. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.
  • 1986 Ph.D. (Organic Photochemistry), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Professional Experience:

  • 1986 - 1997: Research Chemist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Pesticide Degradation and Environmental Chemistry Laboratories
  • 1998 - 2005: Research Leader, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Chemistry/Quality Laboratories
  • 2005 - 2014: Research Chemist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Management and Byproducts Laboratory
  • 2014 - present: Research Chemist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory


  • 1987. American Chemical Society, Division of Agrochemicals. Young Scientist Research Award.
  • 1988. USDA-ARS Principal Investigator of a USDA-ARS Research Associate grant. Destruction of the Groundwater Contaminant Alachlor by Photolytic Ozonation: A Mechanistic Study. $50K
  • 1990. Simple System to Decompose Pesticide Waste Water U.S. Patent No. 4,915,842.
  • 1991. Co-Investigator of a Presidential Initiative on Water Quality Grant for development of a pesticide disposal unit. $189K
  • 1991. Simple System to Decompose Pesticide Waste Water U.S. Patent No. 5,011,599.
  • 1996. Principal Investigator of a USDA-ARS Research Associate grant. Environmental Impact of Vegetable Production. $80K
  • 1996 - 2002. Principal Investigator of USDA-ARS, Beltsville Area project to examine environmental impacts of vegetable production. $260K
  • 2000. USDA Secretary of Agriculture Team Honor Award. Developing new technologies and a greater understanding of the fundamental principles supporting sustainable agricultural systems.
  • 2004. Project Director/Co-Investigator of USDA-ARS, ARS Administrator Special Project to determine the source and exposure routes of perchlorate in milk. $300K
  • 2004 - 2008. Co-Investigator of USDA-NRCS CEAP Special Emphasis Watershed Grant to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices in the Choptank River Watershed. $450K
  • 2009. Principal Investigator of a USDA-ARS Research Associate grant. Predicting Ozone Precursors from Ag VOCs using Climatic Conditions & Urban Pollution Concentrations. $100K
  • 2009 - 2012. Co-Investigator of USDA-AFRI Air Quality grant with Kansas State University and with ARS scientists at Beltsville, Ames, Bowling Green, and Florence. Characterization And Measurement Of Air Emissions From Large Open Cattle Feedlot. $400K
  • 2012 -2015. Co-Investigator of USDA-NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant with University of Delaware, University of Maryland, Penn State University, Oklahoma State University, and with ARS scientists at Beltsville, Fayetteville, and Lubbock. Innovative Approaches to Capture Air Pollutant Emissions from Poultry Operations. $967K
  • 2013. American Chemical Society. AGRO Division Fellow Award.

Professional Service:

  • Member of American Chemical Society, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Soil and Water Conservation Society
  • 1987 - 1991. US EPA/HWERL and US EPA/RREL. Served as advisor and active participant in work groups concerning identification of existing and emerging technologies in chemical detoxification and separation science in support of regulation development and enforcement.
  • 1987 - 1992. U.S.A.I.D., Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and Office of Technical Resources, African Emergency Locust/Grasshopper Assistance Program. Project concerned the disposal of obsolete and waste pesticides in West Africa which included attending and presenting disposal/management options in Niamey, Niger.
  • 1989 - 1992. US EPA/FIFRA '88/40CFR165 Workgroup. USDA representative concerning technical and practical feasibility of pesticide management and disposal for the drafting of new regulations.
  • 1999 - 2009. USDA-ARS. Served on the National Programs on Water Quality and Management and on Air Quality writing committees. Lead writer of the Action Plan for Agricultural Emissions Component of National Program 212: Soil Resources, Air Quality, and Global Climate Change.
  • 1998 - present. USDA-ARS Patent Review Committee Chemistry Workgroup.
  • 2000 - present. US EPA/OPP/EFED - Exposure and Modeling Working Group.
  • 2005 - 2006. UNECE/LRTAP (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe - Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution). Technical Reviewer for the Executive Body of the Task Force on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).
  • 2005 - present: American Chemical Society, AGRO Division, PICOGRAM Editor
  • 2006 - 2012, American Chemical Society, AGRO Division, Elected Executive Committee
  • 2007 - 2010. American Chemical Society. Advisor concerning environmental issues surrounding biofuels and biobased products. Served as moderator for the ACS's Science & the Congress Project, Congressional Briefing (2008, Senate Hart Building, Washington, DC); symposia organizer at national and international meetings; invited speaker at international meetings.
  • 2007. USDA-REE. Served as advisor to Under Secretary Gale Buchanan and as rapporteur at the Brazilian Chemical Society/ACS Presidential Symposium in Águas de Lindóia, Sao Paulo, Brazil; furthered information exchange between scientists in the US, Brazil, and other Latin American countries on the chemistry and environmental issues associated with biofuel production.
  • 2012 - present. US EPA/OPPT/TSCA Interagency Testing Committee - Alternate Representative for USDA.
  • 2012 - 2014. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Editorial Board.
  • 2013. Guest Co-Editor for Atmospheric Environment Special Issue: Agriculture and Air Quality: Emission Measurement and Modeling, Vol. 66, 2013.
  • 2013. Co-Editor of Occurrence, Fate and Impact of Atmospheric Pollutants on Environmental and Human Health, ACS Symposium Series 1149, L.L. McConnell, J. Dachs, C.J. Hapeman, Eds. 2013. 270 pp.
  • 2013 - 2015. Elected Officer of the American Chemical Society, AGRO Division: Vice-Chair 2013, Program Chair 2014, Chair 2015.

Selected Publications: (please contact the author to determine reprint availability)

(view author's publications/interpretive summaries/technical abstracts since 1999)

Shelton DR, Sadeghi AM, Karns JS, Hapeman CJ. 1995. Effect of wetting and drying of soil on sorption and biodegradation of atrazine. Weed Science 43:298-305.

Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, Waters RM, Johnson WE. 1995. NMR and molecular mechanics of alachlor conformation and conformers: Implications to the mechanism of environmental photodegradation. J Agric Food Chem 43(6):1724-1729.

Hapeman CJ, Karns JS, Shelton DR. 1995. Total mineralization of aqueous atrazine in the presence of ammonium nitrate using ozone and Klebsiella terragena (Strain DRS-I): Mechanistic considerations for pilot scale disposal. J Agric Food Chem 43(5):1383-1391.

Pierpoint AC, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A. 1997. Kinetics and mechanism of amitraz hydrolysis. J Agric Food Chem 45:651-654.

Hapeman CJ, Anderson BG, Torrents A, Acher AJ. 1997. Mechanistic investigations concerning the aqueous ozonolysis of bromacil. J Agric Food Chem 45(3):1006-1011.

Torrents A, Anderson BG, Bilboulian S, Johnson WE, Hapeman CJ. 1997. Atrazine photolysis: Mechanistic investigations of direct and nitrate mediated hydroxy radical processes and the influence of dissolved organic carbon from the Chesapeake Bay. Environ Sci Technol 31(5):1476-1482.

Rice CP, Chernyak SM, Hapeman CJ, Bilboulian S. 1997. Air-water distribution of the endosulfan isomers. J Environ Qual 26(4):1101-1106.

Schmidt WF, Hapeman, CJ, Fettinger JC, Rice CP, Bilboulian S. 1997. Structure and asymmetry in the isomeric conversion of β- to α-endosulfan. J Agric Food Chem 45(4):1023-1026.

Hapeman CJ, Bilboulian S, Anderson BG, Torrents A. 1998. Structural influences of low molecular-weight dissolved organic carbon mimics on the photolytic fate of atrazine. Environ Toxicol Chem 17:975-981.

Karns JS, Hapeman CJ, Mulbry WW, Ahrens EH, Shelton DR. 1998. Biotechnology for the elimination of agrochemical wastes. Proc Amer Soc Hort Sciences 33:626-631.

Torrents A, Anderson BG, Hapeman CJ. 1998. Using a kinetic model to describe the mechanism of the aqueous ozonolysis of bromacil. J Agric Food Chem 46(4):1630-1636.

Jayasundera S, Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A. 1999. Influence of the chemical environment on metolachlor conformations. J Agric Food Chem 47(10):4435-4442.

Pierpoint AC, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A. 2001. A linear free energy study of ring-substituted aniline ozonation for developing treatment of aniline-based pesticide wastes. J Agric Food Chem 49(8):3827-3832.

Rice PJ, McConnell LL, Heighton LP, Sadeghi AM, Isensee AR, Abdul-Baki AA, Hapeman CJ. 2001. Off-site movement of agrochemicals and soil in runoff from fresh-market vegetable production: Comparing the environmental impact of polyethylene mulch versus vegetative mulch. J Environ Qual 30:1808-1821.

Schmidt WF, Bilboulian S, Rice CP, Fettinger JC, McConnell LL, Hapeman CJ. 2001. Thermodynamic, spectroscopic, and computational evidence for the irreversible Conversion of β- to α-endosulfan. J Agric Food Chem 49(11):5372-5376.

Rice PJ, McConnell LL, Heighton LP, Sadeghi AM, Isensee AR, Abdul-Baki AA, Harman-Fetcho J, Hapeman CJ. 2002. Transport of copper in runoff from fresh-market vegetable production using polyethylene mulch or a vegetative mulch. Environ Toxicol Chem 21:24-30.

Hapeman CJ, Dionigi CP, Zimba PV, McConnell LL. 2002. Agrochemical and nutrient impacts on estuaries and other aquatic systems. J Agric Food Chem 50:4382-4384.

Jayasundera S, Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A. 2003. Examination of molecular interaction sites of acetanilides with organic matter surrogates using nuclear magnetic resonance techniques J Agric Food Chem 51(13):3829-3835.

Pierpoint AC, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A. 2003. Ozone treatment of soil contaminated with aniline, trifluralin and other contaminants. Chemosphere 50(8):1025-1034.

Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Rice CP, Sadeghi AM, Schmidt WF, McCarty GW, Starr JL, Rice PJ, Angier JT, Harman-Fetcho JA. 2003. Current United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service Research on understanding agrochemical fate and transport to prevent and mitigate adverse environmental impacts. Pest Manag Sci 59: 681-690.

Rice PJ, Harman-Fetcho JA, Teasdale JR, Sadeghi AM, McConnell LL, Coffman CB, Herbert RR, Heighton LP, Hapeman CJ. 2004. Use of vegetative furrows to mitigate runoff, soil erosion and copper levels in runoff from fresh-market vegetable production with polyethylene mulch. Environ Toxicol Chem 23(3):719-725.

Harman-Fetcho JA, Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Potter TL, Rice CP, Sadeghi AM, Smith RD, Bialek K, Sefton KA, Schaffer BA, Curry R. 2005. Pesticide occurrence in selected south Florida canals and Biscayne Bay during high agricultural activity. J Agric Food Chem 53:6040-6048.

Capuco AV, Rice CP, Baldwin RL, Bannerman DD, Paape MJ, Hare Jr WR, Kauf AC, McCarty GW, Hapeman CJ, Sadeghi AM, Starr JL, McConnell LL, vanTassell CP. 2005. Fate of dietary perchlorate in lactating dairy cows: Relevance to animal health and levels in the milk supply. Proc Nat Acad Sci 102(45):16152-16157.

Stevens M, Black BL, Lea-Cox J, Hapeman CJ. 2006. Sustainability of cold-climate strawberry production systems. Acta Horticulturae 708:69-72.

Rice PJ, Harman Fetcho JA, Sadeghi AM, McConnell LL, Coffman CB, Teasdale JR, Abdul Baki AA, Starr JL, McCarty GW, Herbert R, Hapeman CJ. 2007. Reducing insecticide and fungicide loads in runoff from plastic mulch with vegetative-covered furrows. J Agric Food Chem 55:1377-1384.

Rice PJ, Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Sadeghi AM, Teasdale JR, Coffman CB, McCarty GW, Abdul-Baki AA, Starr JL. 2007. Evaluation of vegetable production management practices to reduce the ecological risk potential and toxicity of pesticides. Environ Toxicol Chem 26: 2455-2464.

Baker CB, Mock NM, Roberts DP, Deahl KL, Hapeman CJ, Schmidt WF, Kochansk J. 2007. Interference by MES [2-(4-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid] and related buffers with phenolic oxidation by peroxidase. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 43:1322-1327.

Rice CP, Baldwin RL, VI, Abbott LC, Hapeman CJ, Capuco AV, Le A, Bialek-Kalinski K, Bannerman DD, Hare WR, Paape MJ, McCarty GW, Kauf AC, Sadeghi AM, Starr JL, McConnell LL, Van Tassell CP. 2007. Predicting perchlorate exposure in milk from concentrations in dairy feed. J Agric Food Chem 55:8806-8813.

McConnell LL, Rice CP, Hapeman CJ, Drakeford L, Harman-Fetcho JA, Bialek K, Fulton MH, Leight AK, Allen G. 2007. Agricultural pesticides and selected degradation products in five tidal regions and the mainstem of Chesapeake Bay. Environ Toxicol Chem 26:2567-2578.

McCarty GW, McConnell LL, Sadeghi AM, Hapeman CJ, Graff C, Hively WD, Lang MW, Fisher TR, Jordan T, Rice CP, Whitall D, Lynn A, Keppler J, Fogel ML. 2008. An overview of conservation challenges in the Choptank River watershed. J Soil Water Conservation. 63:461-74.

Stevens MD, Lea-Cox JD, Black BL, Hapeman CJ, Sadeghi AM, Harman-Fetcho JA, Pfeil E. 2009. Strawberry environmental considerations in sustainability of cold-climate strawberry production systems. Horticultural Science 44:298-305.

Whitall D, Hively WD, Leight AK, Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Fisher T, Rice CP, Codling E, McCarty GW, Sadeghi AM, Gustafson A, Bialek K. 2010. Pollutant fate and spatio-temporal variability in the Choptank River estuary: Factors influencing water quality. Sci Total Environ 408:2096-2108. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.01.006

Goel A, McConnell LL, Torrents A, Kuang Z, Hapeman CJ, Meritt DW, Alexander ST, Scudlark JR, Scarborough R, 2010. Environmental factors affecting the levels of legacy pesticides in the airshed of Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem 29:1893-1906. DOI: 10.1002/etc.243

Zeinali M, McConnell LL, Hapeman CJ, Nguyen A, Schmidt WF, Howard CJ. 2011. Volatile organic compounds in pesticide formulations: Methods to estimate ozone formation potential. Atmos Environ 45:2404-2412.

Hively WD, Hapeman CJ, Fisher TR, McConnell LL, Rice CP, McCarty GW, Downey PM, Niño de Guzmán GT, Bialek K, Lang MW, Sadeghi AM, Whitall DR, Gustafson AB, Sutton AJ, Sefton KA, Harman Fetcho JA. 2011. Relating nutrient and herbicide fate with landscape features in 15 sub-basins of the Choptank River watershed: Implications for management. Sci Total Environ 409:3866-3878.

Yates SR, McConnell LL, Hapeman CJ, Papiernik SK, Gao S, Trabue SL. 2011. Managing agricultural emissions to the atmosphere: State of the science, fate and mitigation, and identifying research gaps. J Environ Qual 40:1347-1358.

Niño de Guzmán GT, Hapeman CJ, Prabhakara K, Codling EE, Shelton DR, Rice CP, Hively WD, McCarty GW, Lang MW, Torrents A. 2012. Potential pollutant sources in a Choptank River (USA) subwatershed and the influence of land use and watershed characteristics. Sci Total Environ 430:270-279.

Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Potter TL, Harman-Fetcho JA, Schmidt WF, Rice CP, Schaffer BA, Curry R. 2013. Endosulfan in the atmosphere of South Florida: Transport to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. Atmos Environ 66:131-140.

Huang Q, McConnell LL, Razote E, Schmidt WF, Vinyard BT, Torrents A, Hapeman CJ, Maghirang R, Trabue SL, Ro K, Prueger J. 2013. Utilizing single particle Raman microscopy as a non-destructive method to identify sources of PM10 from cattle feedlot operations. Atmos Environ 66:17-24.

Potter TL, Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Schmidt WF, Rice CP, Schaffer B. 2013. Endosulfan wet deposition in Southern Florida. Sci Total Environ 468-469:505-513.

Andrade NA, McConnell LL, Torrents A, Hapeman CJ. 2013. Utilizing polymer-coated vials to illustrate the fugacity and bioavailability of chlorinated pesticide residues in contaminated soils. J Chem Educ 90:479-482.

Andrade NA, Centofanti T, McConnell LL, Hapeman CJ, Torrents A, Nguyen A, Beyer AW, Chaney RL, Novak JM, Anderson MO, Cantrell KB. Utilizing thin-film solid-phase extraction to assess the effect of organic carbon amendments on the bioavailability of DDT and dieldrin to earthworms. 2014. Environ Pollut 185:307-313.

McCarty GW, Hapeman CJ, Rice CP, Hively WD, McConnell LL, Sadeghi AM, Lang MW, Whitall DR, Bialek K, Downey P. 2014. Metolachlor metabolite (MESA) reveals agricultural nitrate-N fate and transport in Choptank River watershed. Sci Total Environ 473-474:473-482.

Schmidt WF, Hapeman CJ, McConnell LL, Mookherji S, Rice, CP, Nguyen JK, Qin J, Lee H, Chao K, Kim MS. 2014. Temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopic evidence of and molecular mechanism for irreversible isomerization of β-endosulfan to α-endosulfan. J Agric Food Chem 62:2023-2030.


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