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PhD Graduate Research Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences at Michigan State University

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PhD Graduate Research Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences at Michigan State University

Department of Geological Sciences





The Department of Geological Sciences at Michigan State University has graduate assistantships and fellowships available for motivated doctoral students looking to join the Hydroecology/Watershed Sciences or Hydrogeology research groups in 2014. Possible graduate research topics include:


Hydroecology / Watershed Sciences:

–          Investigating the role of groundwater – stream water interactions on stream biogeochemistry (e.g., Nitrogen and Carbon cycling).

–          Revealing the impact of climate change and land use dynamics on the hydrologic controls of watershed solute export, namely, the export of organic carbon (dissolved and particulate) as well as nitrogen and emerging contaminants

–          Developing a theoretical framework for how hillslopes, shallow-aquifers, and streams interact to influence biogeochemical and ecological patterns in stream networks



–          Studying the role of groundwater in mediating and buffering impacts of climate and land use change on stream biogeochemistry.

–          Simulating temperature and nutrient transport throughout the terrestrial water cycle with a regional integrated surface/subsurface hydrologic model.

–          Simulating impacts of extreme events of watershed nutrient export, and how those may respond to climate change.

–          Understanding how agricultural land use and management impacts sustainable water use under a changing climate.

–          Quantifying the impacts of changes in climate and land use on hydrology and ecosystems.


Applicants must be self-motivated and hard-working, with good written and verbal communication skills. A strong background in hydrology, hydrogeology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology, or physics is ideal. Past programming and GIS experience is highly desirable.


Our research groups are highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, and we encourage applicants with interests across the spectrum of basic to applied sciences. Students interested in the intersection of policy and hydrologic sciences may be interested in pursuing an additional degree certification through the Environmental Sciences and Policy Program.


Please contact Dr. Jay Zarnetske at jpz@cns.msu.edu, or Dr. David Hyndman at hyndman@msu.edu if interested. Official applications for the graduate program in the Department of Geological Sciences are due by December 1, 2013 for full consideration in additional fellowship and funding opportunities (applications received after December 1, 2013 will also be considered).


We welcome emails prior to the application date that include: 1. current CV with list of references, 2. transcripts, 3. general GRE scores (with percentages), 4. writing samples, and 5. a brief statement detailing your specific interests in graduate studies and these research topics, as well as your relevant research and computational experience.


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