Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Faculty Profile
Nathan Young

Assistant Professor

Orange horizontal rule

414A Bray Hall



Ph.D. in Geology and Environmental Science (co-majors), Iowa State University, 2019

  • Dissertation: An integrated framework for quantifying scale-dependent groundwater flow
    and solute transport in fractured till using field data and numerical modeling

M.S. in Earth and Environmental Science, Wright State University, 2014

B.A. in Geology and Sociology/Anthropology (double major), Earlham College, 2012

Research Interests

I am a physical hydrologist and environmental scientist whose research draws from the disciplines of hydrology, hydrogeology and soil physics to investigate how heat, water and solutes move through the environment. I am particularly interested how these processes respond to both climate change, as well as changes to the physical landscape, such as those caused by thawing permafrost, rising sea levels, or environmental hazards, such as fires, floods, or landslides. My research ultimately seeks to improve our ability to measure, model—and therefore predict—how hydrological processes are likely to evolve on a changing planet, in order to better inform sustainable water management strategies.


  • Watershed Hydrology (FOR 340)
  • Watershed Ecology and Management (FOR 442)

Prospective Students

My philosophy on mentorship is that it is my job to provide the structure and tools that will enable students to achieve their academic and career goals. My lab places a high value on fieldwork, as I strongly believe that students need to spend time in the field to properly experience the environment in which their projects are located. Our work is also highly quantitative, so previous experience with MATLAB, R, or Python is a major asset (but not required!). Lastly, as much of my research program utilizes numerical modelling as a quantitative framework to further explore our collected data and test hypotheses, familiarity with MODFLOW, HydroGeoSphere or similar modeling codes is recommended, particularly at the Ph.D level. If our research interests align and you are interested in joining the lab, don't hesitate to reach out via email ( for more information. Funded graduate assistantships and undergraduate research positions will be offered based on demonstrated academic excellence, previous research experience, and general enthusiasm for learning more about hydrology.  

Selected Publications


Ospina, J.A., N.L. Young, J-M. Lemieux, A. Locat, P. Locat, and J. Molson. In Review. Modeling the impact of deep fractures on groundwater flow and slope stability in post-glacial marine clays (Quebec, Canada). Under review at Canadian Geotechnical Journal.

Young, N.L., A.A. Mohammed, J-M. Lemieux, P. Fortier, J. McKenzie, B. Kurylyk, and J. Flerchinger. In review. Landcover controls on infiltration and groundwater recharge in a post-permafrost landscape. Under review at Water Resources Research



Young, N.L., J.A. Ospina, J-M. Lemieux, and P. Locat. 2023. Deep hydraulically-active fractures in sensitive clay deposits: Implications for groundwater flow and slope stability. Geophysical Research Letters. 

Fortier, P., N.L. Young, J-M. Lemieux, M.A Walvoord, and R. Fortier. 2023. Long-term, high-resolution permafrost monitoring reveals coupled energy balance and hydrogeologic controls on ephemeral talik dynamics near Umiujaq (Nunavik, Québec, Canada). Water Resources Research. 

Young, N.L., J-M. Lemieux, P. Locat, D. Demers, H. Delottier, and L. Mony, 2022. Bias in hydraulic head measurements from multilevel vibrating-wire piezometers with excessively-permeable backfill. Hydrogeology Journal. 

Young, N.L., J-M. Lemieux, L. Mony, A. Germain, P. Locat, D. Demers, A. Locat and J. Locat. 2022. Field performance of four vibrating-wire piezometer installation methods. Canadian Geotechnical Journal. DOI:

Young, N.L., W.W. Simpkins, and R. Horton. 2021. Are visible fractures accurate predictors of flow and mass transport in fractured till? Groundwater 59(1) 24-30. D:OI

Germain, A., N.L. Young, J-M. Lemieux, A. Locat, H. Delottier, P. Fortier, S. Leroueil, P. Locat, D. Demers, J. Locat, and C. Cloutier. 2020. Hydrogeology of a complex Champlain Sea deposit (Quebec, Canada): Implications for slope stability. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 58(11) 1611-1626.

Young, N.L., J-M. Lemieux, H. Delottier, R. Fortier, and P. Fortier. 2020. A conceptual model for anticipating the impact of landscape evolution on groundwater recharge in degrading permafrost environments. Geophysical Research Letters, 47, e2020GL087695

Young, N.L., W.W. Simpkins, J.E. Reber and M.F. Helmke. 2020. Estimation of the representative elementary volume of a fractured till: A field and groundwater modeling approach. Hydrogeology Journal 28(1) 781-793.

Young, N.L., J.E. Reber, and W.W. Simpkins. 2019. FracKfinder: A MATLAB toolbox for computing three-dimensional hydraulic conductivity tensors for fractured porous media. Groundwater 57(1).