e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Water and Wetland Resource Studies Area of Study for M.S., M.P.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental Science

Leader: Philippe Vidon

The water and wetland resources area of study focuses on technical, social, and institutional aspects of water resources management, water quality issue mitigation, and water system restoration.

Individual students may emphasize biophysical or social science subject areas but all study in both areas. The biophysical science aspects include the physical, chemical and biological interactions occurring in water systems. The social science aspects are concerned with planning, regulation, law and institutions, and management of water and wetland resources.

Recommended coursework includes:

  • physical sciences: civil engineering, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, meteorology, environmental engineering, soils, water chemistry, hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry and geographic information systems;
  • biological sciences: ecology, entomology, fisheries biology, forestry, microbiology, water quality and limnology;
  • social sciences: administration, economics, government, history, law, ethics, philosophy and policy.

  • Hike across Arbutus Lake

    Early morning hike across Arbutus Lake to reach the Archer Creek Watershed for seasonal sampling

  • Restored North Carolina stream

    Restored North Carolina stream with piezometers to monitor the hydrology of the hyporheic zone of the stream

  • Students sample water quality

    GPES graduate students getting ready to sample for water quality in a North Carolina riparian zone, Summer 2013

  • Joshua G. sampling for soil greenhouse gases emissions

    Graduate student Joshua G. sampling for soil greenhouse gases emissions in the Adirondacks, Winter 2013

  • Student on mountain top

  • Student wuth plants

  • Students on boat

  • Water testing

  • Studetn feeding chord into water

  • Student working with plants

  • Students working in wateJonas Hamberg collects samples

    GPES student Jonas Hamberg collects samples for a study of macrophyte restoration in the Hudson River estuary.

  • Getting nets ready to sample eels

    Getting ready to sample eels.

  • Supplies in forest

  • Professors in front of wetland

  • Indoor experiment

  • Machine for experiment

  • Studying in field

WWRS Faculty

Name and Interests

Address / Email

Boyer, Gregory L.
biochemistry and environmental chemistry, plant and algal biochemistry, chemical ecology and toxins produced by algae. environmental monitoring, including Buoy and ship-based monitoring systems for water quality
320 Jahn Laboratory
Briggs, Russell D.
forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, ecosystem services, watershed management, forest soils, silviculture
202 Baker Laboratory
Daley, Douglas J.
water resources, solid and hazardous waste management, ecological engineering, environmental restoration, phytoremediation, bioremediation, soil and water pollution, solid and hazardous waste management, environmental engineering
420 Baker Laboratory
Diemont, Stewart
systems ecology, ecological engineering, traditional ecological knowledge, Latin America, ecosystem restoration, sustainability analysis, natural wastewater treatment systems and re-use, less-developed countries, agroecology
460 Illick Hall
Dölle, Klaus
pulp & paper and related environmental topics, design, constructed wetlands,subsurface bioreactors, fossil energy, bioenergy, hydropower, water and waste water treatment, paper recycling, paper development, filler materials, energy savings, renewable energy & processes, engineering, machine & process design.
421 Walters Hall
Endreny, Theodore A.
water resources engineering, ecological engineering, stream restoration, urban watersheds, lesser-developed countries
426 Baker Laboratory
Hussein, Rafaat M.
Hazardous wastes, water & land resources, GIS, expert & knowledge-based assessment, analysis and management systems
216 Baker Laboratory
Kroll, Charles N.
stochastic and deterministic hydrology, environmental modeling, water resource systems engineering, ecological engineering, urban forestry, drought assessment, environmental systems engineering, stochastic and deterministic modeling, risk assessment, coupled human and natural systems
424 Baker Laboratory
Limburg, Karin E.
riverine fish and estuarine ecology, fisheries ecology, watershed ecology, systems ecology, ecological economics, fisheries and ecosystem science, coupled human-natural systems, biogeochemistry, fisheries ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical tracers, modeling
249 Illick Hall
Moran, Sharon D.
environmental policy, human dimensions of water/wastewater issues, political ecology, environment-society relations, green and innovative technologies, environmental issues in post-communist countries, qualitative research methods, gender and nature, sustainability indicators, emergent technologies, environmental justice, ethical frameworks in public policy
220 Marshall Hall
Murphy, Cornelius B.
Non-point source contaminant studies, advanced water treatment technology, environmental nanotechnology, fate and transport of contaminants in environmental systems
423 Baker Laboratory
Ringler, Neil H.
Aquatic ecology and fishery biology; vertebrate biology; macroinvertebrate diversity, distribution and abundance; stream and littoral zone ecology; habitat restoration.
224 Illick Hall
Schulz, Kimberly L.
nutrient and exotic species effects on aquatic ecosystems, ecological stoichiometry, aquatic community and ecosystem ecology, bioenergetics, nutrient cycling, lower food web studies, great lakes, finger lakes, plankton, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, invasive species
456 Illick Hall
Selfa, Theresa
environmental sociology, sociology of food and agriculture, environmental governance, qualitative and mixed methods, social impacts of land use change, bioenergy, water policy and politics, social dimensions of payments for ecosystems services
211C Marshall Hall
Shaw, Stephen B.
hydroclimatology, water resources engineering, ecohydrology in a changing climate, water resources, climate change, hydrology, systems modeling, stormwater management
418 Baker Laboratory
Stella, John C.
riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems
344 Illick Hall
Tao, Wendong
constructed ecosystems for water and wastewater treatment, nutrient recovery from wastes, water quality, microbial ecology of engineered ecosystems, dairy manure and wood leachate
422 Baker Laboratory
Vidon, Philippe G.
Geography/Environmental Science, Surface and Subsurface Hydrology, Water Quality, Riparian Zone/Watershed Biogeochemistry and Hydrology, Agriculture, Best Management Practices, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Mercury, Carbon Cycling, Greenhouse Gases (N2O, CO2, CH4).
309 Bray Hall

Current Graduate Students in Water and Wetland Resource Studies

Current Students Only currently registered students appear — new names appear at start of academic year

Matthew Isles

Water and Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Moran

Matt Isles, MS candidate in GPES with a concentration on water resources, holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in political science.  He completed a master’s in public administration (MPA) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University through ESF’s concurrent degree program.  His thesis research addresses institutional dimensions of environmental policy, specifically the organizational structure and effectiveness of estuary management programs.

Blake Neumann

Blake Neumann

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Collins and Selfa

Courtney Nichols

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Vidon

Casey Pearce

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Vidon

Katherine Powers

Katherine Powers

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Vidon

Personal Statement
As an undergraduate at St. Lawrence University, I conducted research under Dr. Amanda Lavigne regarding the potential power output of pre-existing micro-hydro dams in Northern New York. This experience greatly influenced my MS concentration of Water and Wetland Resource Studies, as well as my focus on holistic, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues. With my current research I plan to discuss both the ecological risk assessment and public risk perception of hydraulic fracturing. Beyond academic courses and research, I work for the SUNY-ESF Outreach Office as a STEM Mentor, teaching 1st and 4th graders at Van Duyn and Dr. King Elementary Schools.

Qian Wang

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Doelle and Hussein
Undergraduate Institution: Hohai University (Environmental Science)

Graduate Research Topic
Pharmaceuticals in wastewater

Favorite Quote
Create the miracles by yourself

Molly Welsh

Molly Welsh

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Vidon
Undergraduate Institution: University of Rhode Island (Environmental Science)

Previous Graduate Study: University of North Carolina Charlotte

Web Link

Graduate Research Topic
My research focuses on quantifying the effects of stream and floodplain restoration on seasonal hydrology (surface water-groundwater interactions) and biogeochemistry (cycling of nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus). I am interested in identifying tradeoffs in ecosystem services, such as water quality improvement through nitrogen removal, versus potential disservices, including release of greenhouse gases. Additionally, I am analyzing social and economic components of restoration projects and investigating various methods of incorporating local environmental knowledge into cooperative watershed management.

Jared Williams

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MF
Advisor(s): Stella

Rachel Zevin

Rachel Zevin

Water & Wetland Resource Studies
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Stella
Undergraduate Institution: University of Vermont

Web Link

Personal Statement
Rachel Zevin, a passionate environmentalist, joined the Stella lab in the summer of 2017. After deciding as a child to dedicate her life to the protection of nature, Rachel attended the University of Vermont, where she graduated with multiple honors (Rubenstein School Honors and as an Honors College Scholar). She majored in Natural Resource Ecology and minored in Geospatial Technologies. While in undergrad, Rachel performed independent research (thesis titled, “Effect of wind disturbance intensity on Carabidae assemblages”) for UVM's Forest Ecosystem Health lab. In addition, she worked for the Watershed Alliance of the Lake Champlain Basin Program and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, educating water ecosystem health and science. Since graduating, Rachel has worked as a GIS technician for the State of Vermont's Agency of Agriculture and the New England Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Rachel is thrilled to have joined the Stella Lab. Her research goals are to create geospatial models to predict areas well-suited for beaver occupancy in the Adirondack Mountains and then further predict whether beaver occupancy would be detrimental to nearby humans. This will be done using a combination of field data, collected by Rachel and other past and present members of the Stella Lab, and geospatial data products. To contact Rachel email razevin@syr.edu.

Graduate Research Topic
Rachel Zevin's graduate research project is to create geospatial models to predict areas well suited for beaver occupancy in the Adirondack Mountains and then further predict whether beaver occupancy would be detrimental to nearby humans.

Favorite Quote
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~ Dr. Suess, The Lorax