Groundwater and Environmental Research

Groundwater research

  • Risk assessment of groundwater contamination. Real-time data integration in groundwater flow and transport modeling using the ensemble Kalman filter. Optimal monitoring network design for groundwater management.
  • Groundwater protection and aquifer vulnerability. Groundwater quality. Acid rock drainage from mines.
  • Groundwater and surface water interaction along the White River on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • Land subsidence modeling.  Aquifer system response to pumping through ground-surface elevation monitoring with Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
  • Understanding flow and transport processes in the Madison aquifer. Caves modeling using multiple point geostatistics.
  • Fate and transport of contaminants; natural attenuation processes.
  • Stray gas migration through shallow aquifers.

Environmental research

  • Environmental effects of mine drainage and tailings disposal. Subsurface contamination and environmental remediation. Water monitoring and water quality assessment on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation through the NSF Pre-Engineering Education Collaborative (PEEC) Program.
  • Environmental risks of fracking.
  • Impacts of energy development to air, water, landscapes, and ecosystems.
  • Mitigation measures for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.


  • Yi Fang
    Geomechanics, Geofluids, Geoengineering, Geo-energy (geothermal, unconventional hydrocarbon, and subsurface CO2 storage)
  • Kurt Katzenstein
    InSAR, Geohazards, Geomechanics
  • Sarah Keenan
    Low-temperature geochemistry, Geomicrobiology
  • Liangping Li
    Groundwater, Geostatistics, Data assimilation 
  • Larry Stetler
    Geological engineering, Site characterization, 3D imaging

Emeritus Faculty

  • Arden Davis
    Groundwater modeling, Contaminant transport, Arsenic and heavy metals
  • Perry Rahn
    Engineering geology, Hydrogeology
  • Foster Sawyer
    Groundwater, Petroleum, Sedimentation


Research Focus Areas