Ecohydrology, Geochemistry, and Hydrogeology

Abe Springer at Hoxworth Springs with alumnae Karissa Amsted. Springs make up some of the most biologically and culturally important ecosystems on Earth, supporting rare and endangered species.

Humans are now one of, if not the most important agent for processes at the surface of the Earth. We conduct comprehensive collaborative research to inform ecosystem management practices that affect hydrologic systems. Some of our research themese include an exploration of the role of upland forest management on hydrologic processes, the implications of dam and resevoir management on associated resources, and the stewardship of springs ecosystems. Graduates of our programs work in the private, governmental, and non-governmental sectors doing land and resource science, management and planning. We focus on modern arid and semi-arid climate systems in Western North America, but include research and teaching from all modern and ancient climate systems. 

Faculty and Research Staff

Abe Springer, Frances O'Donnell, and Rod Parnell

News About Our Recent Work

NAU News: Vital Springs Need Protection and Study
The Academic Minute: Abe Springer - Springs and Sustainability
KNAU, Arizona Public Radio: Flagstaff Research Conducts Largest-ever Study of Arid Landscape Springs
NAU News: Citizen Science Initiative to Monitor Area Springs
AZ Daily Sun: Groundwater in Flagstaff; a Precious Resource

Opportunities for Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Undergraduate students interested in geochemistry, hydrogeology, or ecohydrology typically pursue Bachelor's of Science (BS) degrees in Environmental Sciences of Geology. 
At the graduate level, programs involving geochemistry, hydrogeology, or ecohydrology include the traditional research-and-thesis-based Environmental Sciences and Policy, and Geology Master's of Science (MS) degrees.

Current Projects

  • Springs Ecohydrology
  • Development of a guidebook for environmental flow needs assessment under a changing climate.
  • Mobile field application for citizen science springs monitoring of 4FRI treatments
  • Developing a geodatabase and geocollaborative tools to support springs and springs-dependent species management in the Southern Rockies LCC
  • Linking forest landscape management and climate change to the conservation of riparian habitat in Grand Canyon
  • Fast and slow recharge to deep karst aquifers

Research Laboratories

Colorado Plateau Analytical Lab

Related Groups at NAU

Ecological Restoration Institute

Collaborative Research Groups and Laboratories Outside NAU

Relevant Graduate-level Courses (in SESES)

GLG451 - Hydrogeology
GLG670 - Advanced Hydrogeology (Springs Ecohydrology)
GLG575 - Environmental Geochemistry
ENV555 - Science Policy Interface
FOR560 - Wetland Ecology and Management