Water Resources Graduate Program Description

The Water Resources graduate emphasis area offers M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs specializing in (but not limited to) the occurrence, circulation, distribution, chemical and physical properties, and environmental interaction of surface and subsurface waters, including groundwater. Specific areas of investigation could include lakes and reservoirs, floods and droughts, groundwater aquifers, water use, water quality, water contamination, plant water use, measurement methods, hydrologic modeling and international water resources.

Participating faculty in the Water Resources emphasis area are engaged in both scientific understanding of water resources (biological, chemical and physical) and its management, and the decision-making processes used to address competing societal values (social, economic and legal). The program has no geographic boundaries but benefits from a distinct midcontinent climate, and physiography. Multi-use watersheds (e.g. forest, agriculture, urban), streams, lakes, rivers, wetlands and subsurface waters are ideal areas for basic and applied research that is easily transferrable to other regions. One of the program's major global impacts is the training of highly qualified graduate professionals that are equipped to address many of the complex contemporary water resource problems around the world.

The Water Resources graduate degree program is integrated by a set of common courses from which students can customize their Course Plans. Students and their Advisors are not restricted to those courses, but are expected to draw from the list first when developing Course Plans.

Water Resources program applicants must meet the general requirements set forth by the University of Missouri Office of Graduate Studies for the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, and meet any additional application criteria of the Water Resources graduate emphasis area. Students often self-fund, apply for teaching assistantships, or are supported by grant-funded research assistantships. Other opportunities may be available to eligible students. Applicants should contact specific faculty to determine the availability of position(s) in the potential advisor’s research program and assistantships or scholarships prior to applying. If encouraged to apply by Water Resources faculty, please apply through the University of Missouri's online application program.

Upon successful completion of the School of Natural Resources Water Resources graduate program, students will possess strong technical skills in water resources and related sub-disciplines. Graduates will have developed a holistic understanding of the hydrologic cycle related to ecosystem processes as and the interdisciplinary background necessary to understand and address contemporary water resources problems. Graduates will have an appreciation of the complex interactions of biophysical processes and tightly coupled socioeconomic interactions necessary to implement water resource policy.

Water Resources Core Participating Faculty

School of Natural Resources Faculty

  • Rebecca North, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
    • Water Quality, Limnology, Aquatic Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Reservoirs
    • Webpage
  • Tony Lupo, Ph.D., Professor
  • Keith W. Goyne, Ph.D., Associate Professor
    • Environmental Soil Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Terrestrial biogeochemistry
    • Webpage
  • Stephen H. Anderson, Ph.D., Professor
    • Environmental Soil Physics, Soil and Water Conservation
    • Webpage
  • Neil I. Fox, Ph.D., Associate Professor
    • Precipitation Observation and Microphysics
    • Webpage
  • Peter Motavalli, Ph.D., Associate Professor
  • Douglas Noltie, Ph.D., Associate Professor
    • Fish Ecology and Behavior
    • Webpage
  • Amanda Rosenberger, Ph.D., Associate Cooperative Professor
    • Ecology and conservation of freshwater species
    • Webpage
  • Bo Svoma, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
    • Climate change and climate variability, Land use
    • Webpage
  • Ranjith Udawatta, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor
    • Water quality, Agroforestry, Watershed management
    • Webpage

Affiliated Faculty

  • Alba Argerich, Ph.D.
    • Water quality, Land use effects on aquatic ecosystems, Stream functional processes-nutrient cycling, respiration, and primary production, Ecology of the hyporheic zone
  • Jodi Whittier, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor
    • Landscape ecology, Species conservation, GIS applications
    • Webpage
  • Don Tillitt, Ph.D., Research Toxicologist
    • Aquatic Toxicology, Biochemistry
    • Webpage
  • Bob Lerch, Ph.D., Soil Scientist
    • Sorption and transport mechanisms of herbicides and herbicide metabolites in soil and aquatic environments, Herbicide contamination of streams
    • Webpage
  • Claire Baffaut, Ph.D., Research Hydrologist
    • Hydrology, Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling
    • Webpage
  • Kristen Veum, Ph.D., Soil Scientist
    • Chemical, Physical, and Biological Soil Quality
    • Webpage
  • Cheryl Kelley, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences
  • John Lory, Ph.D., Extension Associate Professor
    • Field nutrient management
    • Webpage
  • Michael Urban, Ph.D., Extension Associate Professor
    • Fluvial geomorphology; anthropogenic landscape change
    • Webpage