Sam Nesheim

I am a research technologist focused on supporting the lab in a variety of projects, and primarily focus on field work involving surface and groundwater in Northern Michigan. I am split part time between the MSU Hydrogeology lab and the Watershed Science and Ecohydrology Lab (PI Dr. Jay Zarnetske). My research interests include surface and groundwater interaction, urban water quality, and the intersection of hydrological and ecological processes.

Noah Bohl

I am a master’s student in the Hydrogeology Lab working with Dr. Anthony D.
Kendall. My research aims to understand how inputs of cold groundwater into
streams can provide thermal refuge habitat for cold water fish species in
warming streams. I use a combination of modeling and data collected from field
deployed sensors to explore how a warming climate will affect these streams, and if
they can remain viable habitat for cold water fish species in Michigan. An improved
understanding of how temperature changes in these habitats during peak water
annual water temperatures is needed to understand future fish survival. By
exploring the future viability of thermal refuge in cold water habitat, I hope to
contribute to informing effective conservation and management efforts.

I received my Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Clarkson
University. My previous research experience has involved studying the growth and
spread of aquatic invasive species in Northern New York. During my Bachelor’s
degree I participated in Clarkson University’s Adirondack Semester Program, where I
participated in a research project examining mercury deposition in Vernal Pools from
the St. Lawrence River to the Adirondack State Park. Outside of academia, I’m
passionate about a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking,
and nature photography.

Jacob Stid

Research Interests

I am a PhD student in the Hydrogeology Lab working with Dr. Anthony D. Kendall. My research aims to better understand three renewable energy landscape subject areas: 1) agricultural security through placement, 2) agricultural and pollinator security through management, and 3) water security through placement and management. To achieve these goals, I use big-data and machine learning analysis with a collection of remotely sensed, survey/census, and modeled data across time and space. A deeper understanding of these practices will help inform future energy infrastructure to mitigate negative effects of our energy needs and possibly regenerate consequences of historical anthropogenic land use. As part of this effort, I am helping develop a field-network of instrumented and managed ground-mounted solar installations in Michigan and across the United States, and invite any external interest for collaboration in this effort. I am also broadly interested in regenerative apiculture, and how regenerative honey production and beekeeping can alter our agricultural landscape for the better.

I received my Bachelors in Geological Sciences from Hope College, and my Masters in Geological Sciences from MSU. My previous research experience includes studying agrisolar co-location in California’s Central Valley and investigating the balance between induced nutritional losses and water security through fallowing of irrigated cropland. During my Master’s degree, I also participated in NASA’s DEVELOP Program at NASA Langley, where I studied salt marsh vulnerability in South Carolina. Aside from academia, I have an astonishingly wonderful wife, Karey, who promotes local and sustainable food consumptions for Taste the Local Difference. I also have an adorable dog aptly named HoneyBee, and enjoy homebrewing mead, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage.


MSc 2021, Michigan State University, Geological Sciences

Thesis: Detection and Assessment of Food, Energy, and Water Impacts of Solar Photovoltaic Co-Location in the California’s Central Valley

Advisor: Dr. David W. Hyndman

BS 2019, Hope College, Geological Sciences


Stid, J.T., Shukla, S., Anctil, A., Kendall, A.D., Rapp, J., & Hyndman, D.W. (2022). Solar array placement, electricity generation, and cropland displacement across California’s Central Valley. Science of The Total Environment, 835, 155240.


Mohammed Mizanur Rahman

Research Interest

My research domain spans from field to basin scale hydrological modelling with a wide range of hydrological models (both numerical and conceptual). In particular, investigating wetlands’ hydrologic and hydraulic interactions with surrounding environments (e.g. rivers and aquifers) has been a preferable area to me over the last couple of years. Under my PhD work, I have developed a variant of Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to enhance SWAT’s capability in simulating riparian wetlands’ hydrology. My research also includes treatment (downscaling and bias correction) of raw Global Climate Model (GCM) generated data and assessing climate change effects on terrestrial water distribution. My current research is simulating groundwater recharge in an Amazonian experimental ranch where I am using the numerical HYDRUS model.


PhD 2017: University College London (UCL), UK; Department of Geography (Wetland Hydrology Unit)

MS 2011: North Dakota State University, USA; Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Dept.

MS 2006: Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh; Irrigation and Water Management Dept.

BS 2004: Bangladesh Agricultural University, Bangladesh; Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology.

Selected Publications

Rahman, M. M., Thompson, J. R, and Flower, R. J. 2019. Hydrological impacts of climate change on river-wetland systems in the Upper Meghna River Basin (Bangladesh and India) and their implications for rice cultivation. Hydrological Sciences Journal. DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2019.1676427

Rahman, M. M., Thompson, J. R, and Flower, R. J. 2016. An enhanced SWAT wetland module to quantify hydraulic interactions between riparian depressional wetlands, rivers and aquifers. Environmental Modelling and Software, vol: 84, p: 263-289.

Rahman, M. M., Z. Lin, X. Jia, D. D. Steele, and T. M. DeSutter. 2014. Impact of subsurface drainage on streamflows in the Red River of the North basin. Journal of Hydrology, vol: 511, p: 474-483.

Leanne Hancock

Research Interests

My research is focused on the geochemistry of modern and ancient sediments. Specifically, I employ a wide variety of tools including stable isotope and trace element geochemistry to reconstruct ancient environments. My previous work was focused on low-oxygen settings and understanding the role of anoxia on local and global ocean chemistry and ecology. Ongoing projects include reconstructing sulfur cycling in methane seep environments and the depositional history of the organic-rich Monterey Formation and its impact on and role in Miocene climate. Current work at Michigan State includes using nitrate nitrogen and oxygen isotopes to determine nitrogen sources to Michigan rivers, and using boron isotopes to quantify septic contamination in freshwater systems.


Ph.D. The University of California Riverside, Earth Science

Graduate Advisor: Timothy W. Lyons

Dissertation Title: Proxy Applications for Reconstructing Carbon and Sulfur Cycling in Ancient Marine Environments

B.S. The University of Georgia, Geology

Recent Publications

Hancock, L.G., Hardisty, D.S., Behl R.J., and Lyons T.W., 2019, A multi-basin redox reconstruction for the Miocene Monterey Formation, California, USA: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology., v. 520, p. 114-127, 10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.01.031.

Feenstra, E.J., Birgel, D., Heindel, K., Wehrmann, L.M., Jaramillo-Vogel, D., Grobety, B., Frank, N., Hancock, L.G., Van Rooij D., Peckmann, J., and Foubert A., in review, Constraining the formation of authigenic carbonates in a recent seepage affected cold-water coral mound by lipid biomarkers: Geobiology.

Walker, S.E., Hancock, L.G., Bowser, S.S., 2017, Diversity, biogeography, body size, and fossil record of parasitic and suspected parasitic foraminifera: A review: Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 47, p. 35-56.

Tarhan, L.G., Haddad, E., Solon, C.M., Dahl, R.M., Hancock, L.G, Henry, S.E., Joel, L.V., and Thompson, T.J., Droser, M.L., 2016, Seafloor colonization in the earliest Paleozoic: evidence from the Cambrian of Death Valley: Proceedings of the Death Valley Natural History Association, p. 3-27.

Loyd, S.J., Sample, J., Tripati, R.E, Defliese, W.F., Brooks, K., Hovland, M., Torres, M., Marlow, J., Hancock, L.G., Martin, R., Lyons, T.W., and Tripati, A.E., 2016, Methane seep carbonates yield clumped isotope signatures out of equilibrium with formation temperatures, Nature Communications, v. 7, article 12274.

Hancock, L.G., Walker, S.E., Perez-Huerta, A., and Bowser, S.S., 2015, Population dynamics and parasite load of a foraminifer on its Antarctic scallop host with their carbonate biomass contributions: PLOS ONE, 10(7): DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132534.

Current CV


Luwen Wan


Research Interest

Generally, I have interests in interdisciplinary research to better understand the complexity of coupled human environment systems. Specially, I have focused on climate change, extreme climate events, landscape pattern evolution and their impacts on surface runoff, water quality and ecosystem services. Currently, my research involves nutrients transport in Great Lakes Basin using a spatially explicit modeling method, also nutrient simulations using a fully-coupled, process-based integrated hydrologic model in agricultural watersheds.


2018-Present: Ph.D. student in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Michigan State University
2016-2017: visiting student in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
2014-2017: MS in Geography, South China Normal University
2010-2014: BS in Land Resource Management, Hunan Normal University

Recent Publications:

  • Zhang, Z., Wan, L., Dong, C., Xie, Y., Yang, C., Yang, J. and Li, Y., 2018. Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities on the Surface Runoff in the Wuhua River Basin. Sustainability, 10(10), p.3405.
  • Chen, Y., Zhang, Z., Wan, L., Zhang, J., Yang, C., Ye, C. and Li, Q., 2018. Identifying Risk Areas and Risk Paths of Non-point Source Pollution in Wuhua River Basin. Acta Georaphica Sinica, 73(09), p. 1765-1777.
  • Wan, L., Zhang, Z., Dong, C., Yang, C. and Zhang Z., 2017. The study on influence factors of hanjiang river basin of reference crop evapotranspiration change and its spatio-temporal change. Journal of south China normal university (natural science edition),49(04),p.73-81.
  • Wan, L., Zhang, Z. and Li, Y., 2017. Temporal and spatial analysis of extreme temperature and precipitation events in hanjiang river basin during the past 50 years. Journal of China Agricultural University, 22 (09), p.133-144.
  • Li, Y., Zhang, L., Qiu, J., Yan, J., Wan, L., Wang, P., Hu, N., Cheng, W. and Fu, B., 2017. Spatially explicit quantification of the interactions among ecosystem services. Landscape Ecology, 32(6), pp.1181-1199.


Ally Brady

I grew up in a small farming suburb of Grand Rapids, Michigan where my parents greatly enforced the value of curiosity and discovery. Being surrounded by freshwater my entire life fostered a deep appreciation for the environment and the dynamic interactions between humans and varying ecosystems. During my undergraduate experience at The Ohio State University, I was able to utilize my passion as well as supporting coursework to perform research of groundwater contamination. My Bachelor’s Thesis redirected my interests from analyzing water issues that had already occurred to prevention of water issues that may arise. In my graduate education, my goal is to directly impact people in a positive way through science discovery which is why I work with the Hydrogeology Lab at MSU.

Research Interests

I am interested in the effects of anthropogenic water use on overall environmental, economic, and energetic sustainability. A majority of water withdrawal is used for agricultural irrigation, and irrigation is paramount to sustainability. Through data analysis and the use of models created by the hydrogeology lab, the USGS, and more, I investigate the impacts of agricultural irrigation on the energy footprint and water resources of the Central Valley in California.


  • PhD Student August 2018-Present, Environmental Geosciences, Michigan State University
  • BS Earth Sciences 2014, The Ohio State University, magna cum laude,  with Honors in Arts & Sciences, and Honors Research Distinction in Earth Sciences

Recent Abstracts

Ben McCarthy

Research Interests

My interests in hydrology include groundwater processes, geology and its influence on both surface and groundwater, and subsequent impacts on water use. My involvement in research focuses on the properties of large scale aquifers in the central continental United States. Measuring the relationship between water use and energy expenditure, using analytical methods to evaluate total energy expenditure in a region, more specifically; Kansas. Water and energy are the one of the most important factors that determine agricultural yield and efficiency, impacting all steps of the agricultural process. I’m interested in quantifying this process and evaluating the current methods involved in increasing efficiency on a large scale.

Quercus Hamlin

Research Interests

Cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus have been driven out of balance by anthropogenic processes. My work seeks to understand nutrient sources and transport at regional scales. As an NSF graduate research fellow, I led development on the Spatially Explicit Nutrient Source Map (SENSMap) in the Great Lakes Basin, a product that quantifies seven N and P source applications at 30 m resolution. I am interested in modelling the fate of these nutrient applications as they move across the land surface and through groundwater.


MS Student September 2017 – present, Environmental Geosciences, Michigan State University
BS Geographic Information Science 2017, Michigan State University

Recent Works

Hamlin, Quercus F., Kendall, Anthony D., Martin, Sherry L., Whitenack, Henry D., Roush, Jacob A., Hannah, Bailey A., Hyndman, David W. “Spatially Explicit Nutrient Source Map (SENSMap): Quantifying Landscape Nutrient Inputs in the Great Lakes Basin.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (In Review)

Hamlin, Quercus F., Kendall, Anthony D., Martin, Sherry L., Hyndman, David W. “Quantifying Nutrient Loading Landscapes using Spatially Explicit Maps in the Great Lakes Basin”. Poster. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. 12 December 2018.

Hamlin, Quercus F., Kendall, Anthony D., Martin, Sherry L., Hyndman, David W. “Quantifying Nutrient Inputs in the Great Lakes Basin with SENSMap (Spatially Explicit Nutrient Source Map)”. Oral. US International Association for Landscape Ecology Annual Meeting. 11 April 2018.


Quercus Hamlin CV Feb 25 2019

Jeremy Rapp

Research Interests

The health of the High Plains Aquifer is directly related to the extent and demands of the irrigated landscapes that exist within it.  My research aims to further the understanding of this irrigation by generating high resolution GIS map products  using remotely sensed imagery fused with environmental data.



Posters, Papers, and Publications

Poster: AGU 2017

Poster: AGU 2019

Jacob Roush

Research Interests

Human activity is drastically altering the planet we live on in ways that we don’t fully understand. I am interested in studying the effects of hydropower installation, changes in land use, and climate change on the hydrologic regime of the Mekong River Basin. Study of this system will give crucial insight into how human activity affects one of the world’s largest rivers and how we could further manage this system to sustainably provide fresh water for the millions who depend on it.


Curriculum Vitae – Jacob Roush

Brent Heerspink

Research Interests

I am a PhD candidate in the hydrogeology lab and a student intern with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Upper Midwest Water Science Center in Lansing, MI. My research focuses on better understating water quality and water resources in the Great Lakes though integration of field and remotely sensed data with process-based hydrologic models. My work is focused in two primary research areas: 1) investigating the landscape characteristics and hydrologic processes controlling stream chemistry, with a focus on anthropogenic nutrients and, 2) interactions between the Great Lakes and Michigan’s terrestrial groundwater. I am also interested in the fate and transport of emerging contaminants, and how surface water-groundwater interactions affect aquatic habitats in both streams and wetlands. In addition to my current work, I am actively interested in connecting hunter- and angler-based conservation organizations to academic research hydrology and water quality, to advance habitat protection and restoration efforts.

I received my Bachelors in biology form Albion College, and my Masters in Earth and Environmental Science from MSU in 2020. Between my Bachelors and Masters degrees, I worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division. My previous research has focused on the fate, transport, and remediation of organic contaminants in groundwater aquifers, nutrient biogeochemistry in groundwater discharge areas with stream channels, and the effects of land cover and climate change on water resources in the Brazilian Amazon. In addition to my academic interest in water, I’m an avid outdoorsman, and an active member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Ducks Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited.

Tianfang Xu


Research Interests

Numerical simulation and uncertainty quantification of groundwater flow and solute transport

Water resources sustainability

Coupled climate, hydrologic and social-economic systems

Model-data fusion

Machine learning



Ph.D. Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jun. 2012 – Aug. 2016

Thesis title: An efficient fully Bayesian approach to uncertainty quantification of groundwater models

M.S. Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Aug. 2010 – May. 2012

Thesis title: Use of data-driven models to improve prediction of physically based groundwater models.

B.S. Geotechnical Engineering, Nanjing University, China, Sep. 2006 – Jun. 2010



Xu, A. J. Valocchi, M. Ye and F. Liang. Quantifying model structural error: efficient Bayesian calibration of a regional groundwater flow model with a data-driven error model and fast surrogates. Water Resources Research, submitted.

Xu and K. Guan, Temporally and spatially ranging response of rainfed corn yield to climate and extreme events in the U.S. Corn Belt, Global Change Biology, in preparation.

Xu, A. J. Valocchi, M. Ye, F. Liang and Y.F. Lin. Bayesian calibration of groundwater models with input data uncertainty. Water Resources Research, in revision.

Xu and A. J. Valocchi. A Bayesian approach to improved calibration and prediction of groundwater models with structural error. Water Resources Research, 51(11): 9290-9311, 2015.

Xu and A. J. Valocchi. Data-driven methods to improve baseflow prediction of a regional groundwater model. Computers & Geosciences, 85(B): 124-136, 2015.

Choi, J., E. Amir, T. Xu and A. J. Valocchi. Learning relational Kalman filtering. In Proc. 29th AAAI Conf. on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-15), Austin, TX, Jan. 2015.

T. Xu, A. J. Valocchi, J. Choi, and E. Amir. Use of machine learning methods to reduce predictive error of groundwater models. Groundwater, 52(3): 448-460, 2014.

Complete CV

CV (Last Updated September 2016)


Chanse Ford

FieldWorkResearch Interest

My research interests involve examining shallow groundwater, surface hydrology and groundwater-surface water interactions through empirical observation and geochemical (isotopic) methods. My interest in this area stems from a desire to help our society better manage these natural resources and best prepare for the changes to these systems due to global climate change. My current research involves examining changes to groundwater and river systems in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula due to changes in snow melt timing and dynamics. Previous research involved the use of stable isotopes to better understand the relations of groundwater, surface water and precipitation at the headwaters of the White River in Manistee National Forest and quantifying groundwater discharge into the White River through the use of seepage meters.


2016-Present: Ph.D. student in Environmental Geoscience, Michigan State University

2014-2016: MS in Geoscience, Western Michigan University

2009-2014: BS in Geology, University of Southern Indiana



Doss, P.K., Feldhaus, A, Ford, C., Stephens, M. and Chambers, T.B., 2014, Long-Term Monitoring of Water Resources with Undergraduate Student Collaborators: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 46, No. 6, p.527.

Ford, C. M. and Doss, P. K., 2013, Characterizing Groundwater Seepage In The Headwaters Of The White River, Manistee National Forest, Michigan: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 45, No. 7, p.201

Ford, C.M., Hampton, D.R., Doss, P.K., and Krishnamurthy, R.V., 2015, Characterizing Heterogeneous Discharge in the Headwaters of the White River, Manistee National Forest, Michigan: Abstract M-35 presented at the 2015 AGU Chapman Conference: The MADE Challenge for Groundwater Transport in Highly Heterogeneous Aquifers: Insights from 30 Years of Modeling and Characterization at the Field Scale and Promising Future Directions, Valencia, Spain, 5-8 October.



Ford – Curriculum Vitae August 2016




Sam Smidt


Research Interests

My research interests include using sensing techniques to quantify near surface transport in order to serve a global society. Currently, I am modeling recharge in the Southern High Plains Aquifer in response to land use and climate change in order to better understand the future of food and water sustainability in this heavily irrigated area. Previously, I have quantified surface water-groundwater exchange using electrical resistivity tomography in order to better understand hyporheic transport as a design goal for stream restoration structures.


2014-Present, PhD student in Environmental Geoscience, Michigan State University

2012-2014, MS in Geoscience, University of Iowa

2008-2012, BS in Geology, Environmental Science, Olivet Nazarene University


Smidt, SJ, JA Cullin, AS Ward, J Robinson, MA Zimmer, LK Lautz, TA Endreny. A comparison of hyporheic transport at a stream restoration structure and natural feature. Department of Engineering Research Open House, Iowa City, IA. 2014.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Using electrical resistivity tomography to quantify hyporheic exchange. James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference, Iowa City, IA. 2014.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Electrical resistivity tomography as a hydrogeophysical tool for characterizing surface water-groundwater interactions. Annual Meeting of the Iowa Academy of Science, Fort Dodge, IA. 2014.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Quantifying the controls of discharge and regional hydrogeologic gradients hyporheic exchange. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 2013.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Quantifying the controls of discharge and regional hydrogeologic gradients hyporheic exchange. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. 2013.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward, JA Cullin, J Robinson, TA Endreny, LK Lautz, MA Zimmer. Do stream restoration structures create hyporheic zones that are comparable to those at natural features? Society for Freshwater Science, Jacksonville, FL. 2013.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Experimental design for quantifying the role of stream gradient and discharge on hyporheic exchange. James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. Iowa City, IA. 2013.

Ward, AS, J Robinson, TA Endreny, JA Cullin, SJ Smidt, LK Lautz, MA Zimmer. Do stream restoration structures create hyporheic zones that are comparable to those at natural features? American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA. 2012.


Smidt, SJ, JA Cullin, AS Ward, J Robinson, MA Zimmer, LK Lautz, TA Endreny. A comparison of hyporheic transport at a stream restoration structure and natural riffle feature. Groundwater. In Review.


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Xiao Liu

XiaoPersonal History

Growing up near a beautiful coast in China, I gained my love for water and rocks. Studying in major about soil and water presented a good basic for my research. I have a strong desire to learn more about nature and help to improve the environment. Satellite-based Estimates of Groundwater Depletion in India by Matthew Rodell published in Nature in 2009 attracted my attention on ground water, which shown in the article, changed more considerably than surface water in India. It is significantly important and challenging, so I made my decision to focus on groundwater more than surface water in my following career.

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring groundwater and how to use groundwater best for human.  I’m currently focused on coupling human and natural systems and improve water resources sustainability in metropolis.


  • M.S.   Michigan State University                       Environmental Geosciences                 2013-Present
  • M.S.   Beijing Normal University, China          Hydrology and Water Resources        2010-2013
  • B.S.    Beijing Forestry University, China         Soil and Water Conservation              2006-2010

Complete CV

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Kayla Cotterman

kayla_imageResearch Interests

I am interested in studying the High Plains Aquifer through the CLASS project.  Some of the aspects that intrigue me include the effect of climate change as well as the economic impact of the aquifer.  I will use various models to study the aquifer’s changes throughout time such as rate of depletion and recharge.


  • B.S. Atmospheric Science, Purdue University, 2013
    Certificate, Learning Beyond the Classroom, Purdue University, 2013