Exploring Dynamic Interactions Between Surface Water and Groundwater

The interaction between groundwater and that on the surface is not understood well. Its aspects are both complex and in want of better ways to measure such things as stream flow. There is a need for newer methods to be found in order that we can more fully understand these systems and help maintain them.

Through looking at both the Au Sable and Manistee River basins’ headwaters, our objective of this project is to develop methods to increase our knowledge of temperature, stream flow rates, groundwater recharge rates, etc. in these areas. In a two year span, forty gages are to be installed in both the headwaters of the Manistee and the Au Sable rivers. Though the state does have groundwater assessment tools out there, the system is not focused on the headwaters. We are creating a much denser network to narrow in on these specific places in the river system to add to the overall knowledge of rivers. Continue reading “Exploring Dynamic Interactions Between Surface Water and Groundwater”

Ecohydrologic Evaluation of the Higgins Lake-Level Control Structure

Higgins Lake and its outflow, the Cut River

Looking at Higgins Lake in Roscommon County, this project is analyzing the implications of a control structure dam on both the lake itself and the Cut River. Effects of erosion have been found and yet little study has been done on the structure’s role in the environment. This could play a large effect on not only the lake and river wildlife, but the economy and environment of the surrounding human population as well. The Higgins Lake Property Owners Association (HLPOA) made these possible implications and their concerns clear when they brought this issue to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s (MDNRE) Fisheries Division.

Continue reading “Ecohydrologic Evaluation of the Higgins Lake-Level Control Structure”

Forecasting and Evaluating Vulnerability of Watersheds to Climate Change, Extreme Events, and Algal Blooms

Six Word Summary:

Extreme Events Change Nutrient Delivery, Blooms

Furthering steps taken by a past EPA Grant, this project is looking at predicting harmful algal blooms using remote sensing, hydrologic models, and landscape features. With current extreme events, such as droughts and storms, caused by climate change, we want to assess how they will impact both water quality and algal blooms management. Looking into the relationship between extreme events and water quality, we hope to increase the variety of tools at our disposal. This will in turn help us to not only better understand this relationship, but also allow us to have a better knowledge of the impacts on water quality and algal blooms by different extreme events. Continue reading “Forecasting and Evaluating Vulnerability of Watersheds to Climate Change, Extreme Events, and Algal Blooms”

Alexandria Kuhl

PicPersonal History

I grew up along the southern edge of the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, spending each summer outside – swimming in lakes, catching crayfish, climbing trees, etc. etc. Fortunately, those experiences gave me an intense appreciation for the quality of the environment and directed my career path towards the earth sciences. As an undergraduate at Brockport, I was lucky enough to study and research within the Water Resources Department while simultaneously gaining problem solving and programming skills as a Physics major. My desire to combine these interests led me to Hydrogeophysics here at MSU, where I’ve been able to apply my diverse abilities to develop models that help us understand how different factors influence the behavior of water in the environment.

Research Interests

I’m interested in using geophysical techniques and modeling to investigate how water moves in the shallow subsurface beyond point scales. Plant-water interactions play a huge role in controlling how water is distributed in the vadose-zone, but are traditionally difficult to quantify.  Using non-invasive methods we can get a close look at the system without disturbing it.  This kind of information is critical to anticipate how changes in land use and climate will influence future water balances. I’m currently focused on coupling hydrological and geophysical models to optimize root-uptake functions.


  • PhD Candidate 2012-Present, Environmental Geosciences, Michigan State University
  • BS Physics 2012, The College at Brockport, State University of New York
  • BS Water Resources 2012, The College at Brockport, State University of New York

Recent Abstracts

Complete CV

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Autumn Parish

Personal History

During my undergraduate studies at Illinois State University, I worked as a research assistant for the Geology department’s paleontologist and also as a tutor for an introductory level geology course. After earning my degree, I worked for a petroleum company in southern Illinois managing and monitoring multi-formation water injection wells used in secondary recovery of hydrocarbons.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the possible impacts of biofuel crop production  and climate change on future water quality and quantity. More specifically, I am attempting to determine how various cellulosic  biofuel feedstocks will affect the water balance when compared to one another as well as more traditional grain-based feedstocks. To do  this, I work with data collected from biofuel crop test plots and  integrate it with state-of-the-art hydrogeologic models to simulated  crop, soil, and water interactions.


  • B.S. Geology, Illinois State University, 2011

Complete CV

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