Background Image for Header:
Melissa O’Neal is the Associate Director for the West Virginia Water Research Institute, where she is responsible for program oversight and supervision of lead managers and Directors of WVWRI programs - Brownfields, Critical Materials, Water, and Energy. As the Associate Director, she manages the USGS-funded 104b, 104g, and student internship program allocated to the WVWRI as one of the 54 institutes that comprise the National Institutes for Water Research. Melissa started her career with WVWRI as an Environmental Technician in 2008, performing water sample collection for various water quality projects throughout Appalachia. In 2011, as an Environmental Specialist for WVWRI, Melissa assisted in securing funding through Colcom Foundation for Three Rivers QUEST, expanding the successful USGS funded Monongahela Water Quality study to the Upper Ohio River Basin. Known affectionately as 3RQ, the program includes partnerships with Duquesne University, Wheeling Jesuit University, RedHorse Environmental, and numerous watershed associations throughout the Upper Ohio River Basin. Advancing in her career at WVWRI, Melissa served as a Project and Program Manager between 2014-2019, where she developed and managed a variety of water monitoring projects, building relationships with stakeholders and securing funding for new initiatives. Melissa obtained an Associate of Science degree through the Garrett College Natural Resources and Wildlife and Technology Program and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources from West Virginia University. A resident of Garrett County, Maryland, Melissa enjoys spending time mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking with her family and much-loved chocolate lab, Ruger.