Abe Springer, PhD

Abe Springer
  • Professor, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability 

Subject-matter expertise

  • Hydrogeology
  • Ecohydrology


For the past 20 years, Dr. Springer has studied local and regional groundwater flow systems and human impacts on them, applying principles of sustainability to aquifer management through models to quantify the hydrological function of groundwater dominated ecosystems, the role of land-use change and disturbance on groundwater flow systems, and restoration of springs and riparian ecosystems. 

Most of these studies are interdisciplinary and consist of a mix of field and lab work, and basic and applied research.  He has collaborated with ecologists, botanists, plant physiologists, foresters, land managers, engineers, and many different sub-disciplines within the Earth Sciences.

Previously, Dr. Springer was the Inaugural Director of the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at NAU, the Director of the Arizona Water Institute at NAU, and the Fulbright Fulbright Visiting Chair of Water and Environment at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.


  • Mueller, J., W. Swaffar, E. Nielsen, A.E. Springer, S. Masek Lopez. 2013. Estimating the value of watershed services following forest restoration, Water Resources Research, 49, 1773-1781, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20163
  • Ramsted, K.M, J.A. Allen, A.E. Springer. 2012. Have wet meadow restoration projects in the southwestern U.S. been effective in restoring geomorphology, hydrology, soils and plant species composition? Environmental Evidence 1:11, doi:10.1186/2047-2382-1-11.
  • Davis, C.J., A.E. Springer, L.E. Stevens. 2011. Have arid land springs restoration projects been effective in restoring hydrology, geomorphology, and invertebrate and plant species composition comparable to natural springs with minimal anthropogenic disturbance?, Collaboration for Environmental Evidence, Systematic Review CEE 10-002, 72 p.
  • Fry, M.C, A.E.Springer, and P.J. Umhoefer, 2011. Hydrogeologic implications of a fault scaling relationship in bedrock aquifers, Environmental and Engineering Geoscience, 17:4,377-389.
  • Androwski, J., A. Springer, T. Acker, and M. Manone. 2010. Wind-powered desalination: An appraisal of saline groundwater in the U.S. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 1-10. Doi: 10.1111/ j.1752-1688.2010.00493.x.
  • Crossey, L.J., K.E. Karlstrom, A.E. Springer, D. Newell, D.R. Hilton, T. Fischer. 2009. Degassing of mantle-derived CO2 and He from springs in the southern Colorado Plateau region– neotectonic connections and implications for groundwater system, Geological Society of America Bulletin., 121:1034-1053, doi: 10.1130/B26394.1
  • Springer, A.E. and L.E. Stevens. 2009. Spheres of Discharge of Springs, Hydrogeology Journal, doi: 10.1007/s10040‑008‑0341‑y.
  • Griffiths, R.E., D.E. Anderson, and A.E. Springer. 2008. The morphology and hydrology of small spring-dominated channels, Geomorphology, doi:10/1016/j.geomorph.2008.05.038.
  • Kreamer, D.K. and A.E. Springer, 2008. The hydrology of desert springs in North America, in Aridland Springs in North America: Ecology and Conservation, Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, eds. Stevens, L.E. and V.J. Meretsky.
  • Springer, A.E., L.E. Stevens, D.E. Anderson, R.A. Parnell, D.K. Kreamer, S.P. Flora, 2008. A comprehensive springs classification system: Integrating geomorphic, hydrogeochemical, and ecological criteria. in Aridland Springs in North America: Ecology and Conservation, Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, eds. Stevens, L.E. and V.J. Meretsky.

Special groups and committees

  • Assoc. of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers, National Ground Water Assoc.
  • Geological Society of America
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Arizona Hydrological Society
  • Arizona Riparian Council
  • International Association of Hydrogeologists
  • Technical Advisory Committee of the Yavapai Water Advisory Council
  • Technical Advisory Committee of the Coconino Plateau Water Advisory Council


  • BA, College of Wooster, 1987
  • MS, PhD, The Ohio State University, 1994

Web pages