stream pictureGroup members

Kristie Franz → Surface Water Hydrology
Alan Wanamaker → Isotope geochemistry
Elizabeth Swanner → Biogeochemistry


The Hydrologic Sciences Group focuses on improving our understanding of the processes that control the movement of water on the earth. We study how geologic, climatic, and human factors influence hydrologic systems.

Research topics include:

  • Surface water and groundwater modeling
  • Land use and climate change impacts on hydrology in managed landscapes
  • Remote sensing of hydrological processes
  • Streamflow and flood forecasting
  • Application of stable isotopes to hydrology and geochemistry
  • Hydrogeology and geochemistry of glacially derived aquitards and aquifers
  • Groundwater quality in agricultural and urban areas
  • Human enteric virus transport in sand and gravel aquifers
  • Groundwater-lake-stream interaction


The Hydrologic Sciences Group utilizes a variety of computational and analytical resources to support student research:

  • Stable Isotope Lab
  • ISU Hydrologic Field Station at Stuart Smith Park (Solinst TLC dataloggers, bubble flow meters)
  • Groundwater research sites at Ada Hayden Lake, downtown Ames, the Walnut Creek watershed, and River Valley Park on the South Skunk River
  • Water-level tapes, peristaltic and submersible pumps, Pygmy and Marsh-McBirney stream velocity meters, infiltrometers
  • Groundwater Vistas and GMS modeling platforms for MODFLOW
  • HydroGeoSphere modeling platform
  • The National Weather Service Community Hydrologic Prediction System software
  • Various 64-bit Windows personal computers and the Meteorology Linux cluster
  • Computer labs with 64-bit computers (17 Windows stations in Science I, 32 dual-boot Windows/Linux stations in Agronomy Hall)

Students interested in pursuing research in Hydrological Sciences are encouraged to contact one of the group members or