PhD in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Water Resources

The Water Resources emphasis area is an interdisciplinary graduate degree program within the School of Natural Resources. It encompasses all fields of natural sciences represented in the School and, through collaboration, involves related expertise from throughout the University of Missouri and beyond. Participating faculty in the Water Resources emphasis area are engaged in both the scientific understanding of water resources (biological, chemical and physical) and its management, and the decision-making processes used to address competing societal values (social, economic and legal). The program has no geographic boundaries but the location of MU suggests most research will be directed to better understanding of water movement, biogeochemical cycling and biological processes of forested- agricultural and urban landscapes of the midcontinent. The lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands and subsurface waters of the region are prime areas for basic and applied research. One of the program’s major global impacts is the training of highly qualified graduate professionals that are equipped to address many of the complex contemporary water resource problems around the world.

The Water Resources graduate emphasis area offers Ph.D. degree programs specializing in (but not limited to) the occurrence, circulation, distribution, chemical and physical properties, and environmental interaction of surface and subsurface waters, including groundwater. Specific areas of investigation could include lakes and reservoirs, floods and droughts, groundwater aquifers, water use, water quality, water contamination, plant water use, measurement methods, hydrologic modeling and international water resources.

Participating faculty in the Water Resources emphasis area are engaged in both scientific understanding of water resources (biological, chemical and physical) and its management, and the decision-making processes used to address competing societal values (social, economic and legal). The program has no geographic boundaries but benefits from a distinct midcontinent climate, and physiography. Multi-use watersheds (e.g., forest, agriculture, urban), streams, lakes, rivers, wetlands and subsurface waters are ideal areas for basic and applied research that is easily transferable to other regions. One of the program's major global impacts is the training of highly qualified graduate professionals that are equipped to address many of the complex contemporary water resource problems around the world.

Upon successful completion of the School of Natural Resources Water Resources graduate program, students will possess strong technical skills in water resources and related sub-disciplines. Graduates will have developed a holistic understanding of the hydrologic cycle related to ecosystem processes as and the interdisciplinary background necessary to understand and address contemporary water resources problems. Graduates will have an appreciation of the complex interactions of biophysical processes and tightly coupled socioeconomic interactions necessary to implement water resource policy.

Degree Requirements

Please see the PhD in Natural Resources page for major program requirements in addition to the emphasis area requirements below, including information on qualifying and comprehensive examinations.  

Must take at least 9 credit hours from the following:
Aquatic Ecosystem Science
F_W 8460Wetland Ecology3
F_W 8520Stream Ecology3
NAT_R 7001Topics in Natural Resources1-99
NAT_R 7300Methods in Aquatic Ecology3
NAT_R 7100Lake Ecology3
FOREST 7390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
NAT_R 8450Advanced Limnology (offered Spring 2020)3
Climate and Climatology
ATM_SC 7400Micrometeorology3
ATM_SC 7590Radar Meteorology3
ATM_SC 9300Introduction to Chaos Theory3
ATM_SC 8400Atmospheric General Circulation3
ATM_SC 8600Advanced Climate Dynamics3
Hydrologic Science and Water Quality
ATM_SC 7550Physical Meteorology3
ENV_SC 7320Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
ENV_SC 7305Environmental Soil Physics3
ENV_SC 7306Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory2
CV_ENG 7710Soil and Water Conservation Engineering3
ENV_SC 8400Solute Transport in the Vadose Zone3
GEOL 7130Groundwater Modeling3
GEOL 8240Hydrolgeologic Processes3
GEOL 7100Groundwater Hydrology3
Water Management Technology
NAT_R 8290Hydrologic Measurement and Synthesis2
ATM_SC 7510Remote Sensing for Meteorology and Natural Resources3
ATM_SC 7590Radar Meteorology3
ATM_SC 9590Advanced Applications of Weather Radar3
Elective Courses
AG_S_M 7420Surface Water Management3
AG_S_M 7440Water Quality and Pollution Control3
AG_S_M 7460Irrigation and Drainage3
CV_ENG 7230Introduction to Water Quality3
CV_ENG 7240Water Quality Analysis3
CV_ENG 7290Wastewater Treatment and Process Design3
CV_ENG 7700Hydraulics of Open Channels3
CV_ENG 8200Water Quality Modeling3
CV_ENG 8215Environmental Transport Phenomena3
CV_ENG 8225Aquatic Chemistry3
CV_ENG 8270Design of Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities3
GEOL 7300Introduction to Low-Temperature Geochemistry3
GEOL 7500Organic Geochemistry3

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Admissions

Water Resources program applicants must meet the general requirements set forth by the University of Missouri Office of Graduate School for the Ph.D. degree, and meet any additional application criteria of the Water Resources graduate emphasis area. Students often self-fund, apply for teaching assistantships, or are supported by grant-funded research assistantships. Other opportunities may be available to eligible students. Applicants should contact specific faculty to determine the availability of position(s) in the potential advisor’s research program and assistantships or scholarships prior to applying. If encouraged to apply by Water Resources faculty, please apply through the University of Missouri's online application program.

Director of Graduate Studies:

Rebecca North, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Water Quality
School of Natural Resources
University of Missouri
303L Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO, 65211-7220
(573)-882-2832

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