Water Resources Graduate Program

The Water Resources graduate emphasis area offers MS and PhD 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 MU Graduate School for the MS or PhD 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, PhD, Assistant Professor
    • Water Quality, Limnology, Aquatic Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Reservoirs
  • Noel Aloysius, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
    • Terrestrial hydrology, Water resources management, Human-natural systems modeling, Climate change assessment
  • Alba Argerich, PhD, Assistant Professor
    • Water quality, Land use effects on aquatic ecosystems, Stream functional processes-nutrient cycling, respiration, and primary production, Ecology of the hyporheic zone
  • Tony Lupo, PhD, Professor
    • Atmospheric and fluid dynamics, Climate dynamics, and Mathematics
  • Stephen H. Anderson, PhD, Professor
    • Environmental Soil Physics, Soil and Water Conservation
  • Neil I. Fox, PhD, Professor
    • Precipitation Observation and Microphysics
  • Ranjith Udawatta, PhD, Research Professor
    • Water quality, Agroforestry, Watershed management
  • Damon Hall, PhD, Assistant Professor
    • Sustainability science, Water resources policy and planning, Environmental communication
  • Robin Rotman, JD, Assistant Professor
    • Water quality, Water Law and Policy, Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Finance
  • Morgan Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor
    • Biogeochemistry, Water quality, Ecological sustainability, Greenhouse gas emissions, Soil science
  • Jacob Westhoff, PhD, Assistant Leader and Cooperative Assistant Professor, US Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
    • Aquatic ecology, Land use effects on aquatic ecosystems, Invasion ecology, Species conservation
  • Jeffrey Wood, PhD, Assistant Research Professor
    • Ecosystem science, Biometeorology, Terrestrial ecology, Surface-atmosphere gas and energy exchange

Affiliated Faculty

  • Martin Appold, PhD
    • Hydrogeology; Economic Geology; Geochemistry
  • Claire Baffaut, PhD, Research Hydrologist
    • Hydrology, Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling
  • John Lory, PhD, Extension Associate Professor
    • Field nutrient management
  • Don Tillitt, PhD, USGS Research Toxicologist
    • Aquatic Toxicology, Biochemistry
  • Kathleen M. Trauth, PhD, PE, Associate Professor
    • Hydrology and hydraulics, Stormwater management and wetlands analyses using GIS, Environmental regulatory compliance and policy
  • Michael Urban, PhD, Associate Professor
    • Fluvial geomorphology; anthropogenic landscape change
  • Kristen Veum, PhD, Soil Scientist
    • Chemical, Physical, and Biological Soil Quality
  • Jodi Whittier, PhD, Assistant Research Professor
    • Landscape ecology, Species conservation, GIS applications
  • Binbin Wang, PhD, Assistant Professor
    • Environmental hydraulics; physical processes in aquatic systems; mixing, transport, and fate; turbulence; multiphase flow (bubbles and drops); air-water interaction; boundary layers
  • Susannah Erwin, PhD, Hydrologist, Water Resources Division, National Park Service
    • Hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, ecohydraulics, river management
  • Jennifer Graham, PhD, USGS Research Hydrologist
    • Harmful algal blooms, Limnology, Water quality, Nutrient dynamics
  • Ted Harris, PhD, Assistant Research Professor, Kansas Biological Survey
    • Phytoplankton ecology, Cyanobacterial blooms, HABs, Cyanotoxins and metabolites
  • Katrina K. Knott, PhD, Contaminant Biologist and Resource Scientist, Missouri Department of Conservation
    • Ecotoxicology, Nutritional and Physiological Ecology
  • Thea Edwards, PhD, Supervisory Research Biologist and Branch Chief of Biochemistry and Physiology, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC)
    • Aquatic ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Fish physiology, Environmental health, Nitrate
  • Jeff Steevens, PhD, Supervisory Research Fish Biologist, USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC)
    • Environmental toxicology, Contaminants, Sediments, Metals, Nanotechnologies