Phd in Hydrology

Storrs Mansfield, Connecticut
Apr 28, 2021
May 28, 2021
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Position Description: The UConn NRE Ecohydrology lab ( is recruiting one full time PhD student with an anticipated start date of August 30th, 2021. The position is fully funded to carry out agricultural hydrology research.

Overview: The graduate student will work in the Ecohydrology Lab under the supervision of Assistant Professor James Knighton. Our research project will involve sampling soils on actively managed farms to understand how agricultural best management practices (BMPs) influence the movement of water and dissolved solutes (nitrogen and phosphorus) through soils. We will collect ecohydrological data across several growing seasons at approximately five farms across Connecticut. These data will be used to update a distributed hydrological model to improve predictions of plant water availability and nutrient transport. The calibrated model will then be used to understand how BMPs might limit the loss of nutrients to nearby streams under current and future climate conditions.

This PhD position will involve a combination of field, lab, and modeling work (approximately a 40% / 20%/ 40% split). Field work will involve driving to CT farms (~30-60 minutes from UConn Storrs campus), collecting soil core samples, and installing and maintaining probes in soils. Lab work will involve cryogenic vacuum extraction of water from soil and plant samples and isotopic analysis of the extracted water. Modeling work will involve editing computer code to improve the simulation of ecohydrological processes and then using these improved models to forecast how best management practices can reduce steam nutrient loading and improve agricultural production. The PhD student will also have the opportunity to gain experience in teaching, mentoring, and grant writing.


  • MS/MA degree in hydrology, environmental science, agricultural engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, or a related field.
  • A valid US driver’s license and a car (for driving to field sites, all mileage will be reimbursed)

Preferred qualifications:

  • Prior coursework on hydrology and environmental science
  • Experience with hydrological modeling (e.g. SWAT, EPA SWMM)
  • Experience with R, Matlab, or Python.

To Apply: Please submit the following to Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The last day to apply is July 1, 2021; however, a qualified applicant may be hired before this date.

  • Statement of research interests (no more than 1 page)
  • A complete Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Contact information for two professional/academic references (name, phone, email)

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