USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Professional Pages

Blank space
Search USGS Professionals Featured Profiles Blank space Frequently Asked Questions  |  About The USGS Professional Pages
bio image of Katherine  Norton

Katherine Norton

Physical Science Technician

Contact Info

Short Biography

I am a computer programmer and instrumentation developer for the Sediment Laboratory at the Cascades Volcano Observatory.  In the SedLab, I have three main areas of focus.  First, I am responsible for developing the Sediment Laboratory Environmental Database System (SLEDS), the information management system used in USGS Sediment Labs to track samples and results in the lab.  Second, I conduct instrumentation research and development using optical imaging to measure the particle size distribution and shape of suspended sediment.  Third, I do specialty analytical projects and analytical method development for parameters such as bulk density, settling velocity, flocculation, and specific gravity.  My professional goals are 1) to work on ever more challenging application development, web development, and database administration projects, and  2) to successfully create an instrument to measure the particle size distribution and shape of very small amounts of sediment with a known precision and accuracy.

I have an MS in Environmental Science and an MST in Science Teaching from Portland State University.  My MS thesis was on sediment resuspension from urban stormwater detention ponds; my MST thesis was on how science service learning programs can promote high school girls' interest in science.  Since I finished graduate school in 2008,  I've been working for the CVO SedLab.  Before I worked for the USGS, I was an Americorp voluteer for an environmental non-profit, a landscaper, a native plant grower, a botanical field crew leader for the Forest Service, and a technician in a plant research lab.  I have a BS in Restoration Ecology from the University of California, Davis and an AAS in Computer Information Systems from Portland Community College. 


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Hydrologic Processessediment transport
Information Technologydata communication
Information Technologyimprovement of scientific data usability
Information Technologysoftware application development
Information Technologyweb site/page development
Techniques and Methodscamera calibration
Techniques and Methodsimage analysis
Techniques and Methodslaboratory methods
Techniques and Methodsphotography
Techniques and Methodsstatistical analysis

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

A Water Census of the United States

Data Integration & Interoperability

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Sediment Analysis

Digital Imaging for Particle Analysis and Characterization (DIPAC)--building an optical imaging flow cell system that can repeatably measure particle size distribution on as little as 10mg of suspended sediment

Settling Velocity of Asbestos-Laden Flocs----developing a technique to accurately measure the settling velocity distribution of flocculated samples, using simultaneous optical and mass-based measurements

Contact Information

Katherine Norton
1300 SE Cardinal Court Bldg. 10
Vancouver, WA 98683
360-993-8980 - Fax
Back to top

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:Ask USGS
Page Last Modified: January 24 2013 17:21:51.
Version: 2.6