Contact Us

    Hydrologic Science Program

    Interdisciplinary Program

    Debbie Swierczek, Program Coordinator

    School of Graduate Education
    Knight Hall 247

    Phone: 307-766-4128


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    Interdisciplinary PhD in Hydrologic SciencesCurriculum


    We offer course work in the following focus areas:

    • Watershed Hydrology
    • Hydrogeology
    • Environmental Water Quality
    • Hydroecology
    • Water Policy, Economics, and Law
    • Climate Change Science
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Water Resources Engineering
    • Water Resources Management
    • Hydrologic Remote Sensing


    Agriculture and Applied Economics



    Advanced Natural Resource Economics (3)


    An in-depth treatment of theoretical issues, quantitative techniques, and institutional arrangements in the natural resource field. Topics include welfare economics, property rights, market failure and externalities, and benefit cost analysis.

    Prerequisites: ECON 3010 and 3020, STAT 2050 and MATH 2350.

    Atmospheric Science



    Radar Meteorology (3)


    The theory of radar and the application of radars to studies of the atmosphere, including basic radar design, distributed targets, attenuation, polarization, Doppler velocities, analysis techniques, and examples of radar studies of clear air, clouds, and precipitation.

    Prerequisite: ATSC 5002 and 5005.

    Civil Engineering



    Open Channel Hydraulics (3)


    Analysis and design of steady, uniform, gradually varied and spatially varied flow in open channels. Emphasis on basic fluid flow equations associated with natural and man-made open channels.

    Prerequisite: CE 3300.



    Hydraulics of Closed Conduits


    Pipe transmission and distribution systems design including flow control, flow measurement, energy dissipation, pump selection, transients, and cavitation.

    Prerequisite: CE 3300.



    Design of Hydraulic Structures (3)


    Basic hydraulic principles and design of man-made channels. Analysis and design of control and regulating devices and measurement devices used in water resources systems.

    Prerequisite: CE 3300.



    Advanced Biological Wastewater Treatment (3)


    Theory and practice of advanced biological treatment processes for municipal and industrial wastewaters, sludges, groundwater bioremediation and solid waste. Emphasis is on fundamental principles applied to the design and control of existing processes and the development of innovative systems.

    Cross listed with CHE/ENVE 5410. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.



    Environmental Engineering Microbiology (3)


    Development of microbiology for environmental engineering applications. Introduction to bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses with particular focus on pathogenicity and practical metabolic capabilities for waste treatment and remediation. Also examines the basis and pathways of important biochemical reactions including nitrification, hydrogen fermentation, dehalogenation and methanogenesis.

    Prerequisite: consent of instructor.



    Environmental Transport Processes (3)


    Designed for graduate students and engineering seniors interested in the principles of mass transport and their application to environmental systems. Deals with the hydrodynamics of mixing and transport, as well as the interaction of mixing and various reaction rate processes. Applications include water and wastewater treatment, groundwater pollution, and transport and mixing in rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

    Prerequisite: MATH 2310 and ES 2330.



    Hazardous Waste Management Engineering (3)




    Hazardous Waste Site Remediation (3)


    The contamination of soil, air, and groundwater by improper disposal of hazardous wastes is covered. Control and cleanup of contaminated groundwater plumes, treatment of polluted soils and soil gases is emphasized. Case studies are extensively used.

    Prerequisite: CE 3400 and consent of instructor.



    Advanced Physico-Chemical Treatment (3)


    A study of physical and chemical processes for treatment of water and waste water.

    Cross listed with ENVE 5450. Prerequisite: CE 4400.



    Project Management in Environmental Engineering (3)


    Covers the fundamentals of project management as applied to the environmental remediation field. Emphasis will be placed on project organization, work breakdown structures, life cycle management project implementation and control, and the integration of individual projects into the overall project management framework.

    Prerequisite: CE 3400.



    Hydrology Field Methods (1-2)


    This lab based course will provide hands on learning to students to install instruments, collect data, analyze results, and use civil engineering judgment to make decisions.


    Prerequisite: ES 2410.



    Hydrologic Remote Sensing (3)




    Hydrometeorology (3)




    Deterministic Hydrologic Modeling (3)




    Paleo-Hydroclimatology (3)




    Groundwater Hydrology


    Laws governing the movement, recharge, and production of underground water with special emphasis on techniques and methods for analysis and modeling for development of groundwater resources.

    Prerequisite: CE 4800.



    Vadose Zone Hydrology (3)


    Examines fluid (liquid, gas, vapor) and heat flow in porous media and its effects specifically in soil. Near surface effects (impibation, infiltration and evaporation) is emphasized. Analytic and numerical solution techniques will be developed.

    Prerequisite: CE 5810 or consent of instructor.



    Advanced Hydrology (3)


    Analysis and design of steady, uniform, gradually varied and spatially varied flow in open channels. Emphasis on basic fluid flow equations associated with natural and man-made open channels.

    Prerequisite: CE 3300.



    Open Channel Hydraulics (3)


    Advanced hydrologic analysis of floods, sediment, water utilization, flow routing, and the application of special hydrologic problems.

    Prerequisite: CE 3300 and CE 4800.

    Chemical Engineering



    Transport Phenomena (3)


    Examines the modeling of momentum, heat and mass transport.

    Cross Listed with PETE 5010. Prerequisite: ES 2330, MATH 2310, and graduate standing in Chemical or Petroleum Engineering.



    Structure and Properties of Porous Media (3)


    Introduction to porous materials, pore structure and mineralogy of reservoir rocks. Fundamentals of porosity, permeability, and capillary properties of porous materials. Application to hydrocarbon reservoirs.

    Cross listed with PETE 5050. Prerequisite: graduate standing.



    Multiphase Flow (3)


    A thorough background in the methods of analysis and current developments in gas-liquid, gas-solid, liquid-solid, and gas-liquid-solid flows. Introduction to multiphase flow instrumentation.

    Identical to PETE 5070. Prerequisite: ME 3360 or CHE 3025.



    Biochemical Engineering (3)


    Applies chemical engineering principles to the analysis and design of biological processes widely used in the pharmaceutical, food and environmental remediation industries. Topics include kinetics of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, cellular growth and metabolism, bioreactor design and mass transfer considerations.

    Dual listed with CHE 4100. Prerequisite: MOLB 2021 or concurrent enrollment and CHE 4060 or concurrent enrollment.



    Intermediate Fluid Mechanics (3)


    Lagrangian and Eulerian coordinates, Navier-Stokes equations, momentum balance, fluid statics, strain rate and vorticity, irrotational flow, and laminar viscous flow including exact solutions and boundary layers.

    Cross listed with ME 5440. Prerequisites: none.



    Advanced Mass Transfer (3)

    Consideration of diffusional phenomena and processes. Topics include flux laws, diffusion coefficient prediction, steady and unsteady state diffusion in non-flowing systems (with and without chemical reaction), convective diffusion, and diffusion-based separation processes.




    Fluvial Geomorphology (3)


    Examines rivers and river-related landforms. Investigates the physical processes by which water transports and deposits sediment to generate landforms ranging in scale from hillslope rills to continental drainage systems. Emphasizes surface water hydrology, erosion, sedimentation, channel morphology, and the influences of climate change and human activities on fluvial systems.

    Dual listed with GEOG 5450. Prerequisites: GEOG 3010 or GEOL 2100 or 2150.



    Quantitative Methods (3)


    Examines and utilizes mathematical and statistical tools in analyzing geographic and spatial data.

    Dual listed with GEOG 5280. Prerequisite: STAT 2070 or equivalent. (Normally offered spring semester)



    Advanced Global Climate Variability


    This course will utilize climate data and mapping tools to understand global and regional climate variability.

    Prerequisites: GEOG 3450/ENR 3450/ GEOL 3450 or instructor consent.

    Geology and Geophysics



    Groundwater Flow & Solute Transport Modeling


    Movement of groundwater in the subsurface is responsible for a variety of environmental, engineering, and geological processes of importance.

    Prerequisites: Calculus I & II; Geohydrology, or an equivalent introductory hydrology course, or instructor consent; Matlab Programming language.



    Geostatistics (1-3. Max 9)


    Provides a detailed study at a graduate level of a particular topic in geophysics.

    Prerequisite: graduate standing in geology and geophysics and permission of instructor.



    Engineering & Environmental Geophysics


    The content in this class fills the need for civil/environmental/transportation engineers and earth scientists to be capable at applying near-surface geophysical measurements and understanding the strengths and limitations of these methods for solving problems.

    Prerequisites: MATH 2250 or MATH 2200.



    Geohydrology (3)


    Discusses principles governing occurrence, movement and extraction of water in subsurface geologic environment. One required weekend field trip in September.

    Dual listed with GEOL 4444. Prerequisite: MATH 2205.



    Geochemical Modeling (3)


    Modeling of geochemical processes in fluid-rock systems of the Earth's crust. Emphasizes development and application of conceptual models as well as quantitative numerical models. Reinforces and expands fundamental skills in aqueous and fluid-rock geochemistry to better understand geochemical processes and solve problems in fluid-rock systems.

    Prerequisite: GEOL 4777/5777 or GEOL 5610 or GEOL 4490.



    Advanced Geohydrology (3)


    Aquifer performance and testing, ground water basin development and management, conjunctive use of ground and surface water, and regional water resource investigations.

    Prerequisite: GEOL 4444 or 5444.



    Geochemistry of Natural Waters (3)


    Physical chemistry of solutions applied to natural waters. Chemistry of rock weathering, controls on major, minor, and trace element contents of natural waters. Problems of introduced pollutants.

    Dual listed with GEOL 4777. Prerequisites: GEOL 2010, MATH 2205, and CHEM 1030.




    Water Rights

    A study of the allocation and reallocation of water resources with particular emphasis on prior appropriation systems in the Western United States. Riparian systems and groundwater management are also addressed, along with interstate conflicts, federal water rights, federal-state relations, and the effect of environmental laws on water allocation and the exercise of water rights.

    Environment and Natural Resources



    5000-level Water Law for non-Lawyers




    Approaches to Environment and Natural Resources Problem-Solving (3)


    Explores important environmental policy, collaborative and adaptive decision-making and the integration of diverse disciplines in the study and resolution of complex ENR challenges. This is the first course in the ENR Capstone series (along with ENR 4900) and the students should take both capstone courses in the same academic year.

    Dual listed with ENR 4000. Prerequisite: USP WA course.



    Environment and Natural Resources Assessment Practice (3)


    Participation in a multidisciplinary research team to solve a real or simulated problem in environment and natural resources.

    Dual listed with ENR 4900. Prerequisites: graduate standing and ENR 5000.

    Mechanical Engineering



    Advanced Fluid Dynamics (3)


    Introduction to inviscid and viscous hydrodynamic stability; closure in turbulent flows; vorticity and vortex dynamics, theoretical aerodynamics, numerical simulations of viscous flows, experimental methods in fluid flows.

    Prerequisite: ME 5440.



    Turbulence (3)


    Basic notions, properties and scales in turbulent flows. Transport equations; Reynold's stresses, mixing and phenomenological theories. Turbulence dynamics; mean and fluctuating kinetic energy balances, vorticity and temperature fluctuations. Statistical description of turbulence; correlations and spectra, transport, isotropy and homogeneity. Shear flows; plane jets, wakes and boundary layers (including planetary). Turbulent diffusion.

    Cross listed with CHE 5446. Prerequisite: ME 5440.



    Continuum Mechanics (3)


    The basic laws of the physical behavior of continuous media. Stress and deformation at a point; fundamental equations of balance of mass, momentum, and energy; second law of thermodynamics; curvilinear coordinate analysis. Applications to linear elasticity and fluid mechanics.

    Prerequisite: MATH 3310.

    Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management



    Wildland Hydrology (3)


    Teaches essential and unique characteristics of hydrologic cycle as occurred on range and forest lands, concentrating on quantification of these processes and storages.

    Cross listed with ENR 4285. Dual listed with REWM 4285. (Normally offered fall semester of even-numbered years)



    Rangeland Restoration Ecology (3)


    Detailed analysis of various ecosystems unique to western rangelands. Primary emphasis on plant community restoration following degradation from edaphic, biotic, hydrologic, and topographic factors. Application of ecological principles to rehabilitate vegetation and restore ecosystem function.  Strong emphasis on current research to formulate restoration strategies.

    Prerequisites: REWM 4200 or LIFE 3400.



    Watershed Water Quality (3)


    Studies watershed processes controlling water quality. Examines impacts of land use activities such as agriculture production, livestock grazing and mineral and natural gas extraction on surface water and ground water quality. Emphasis is placed on water quality modeling and management.

    Dual listed with REWM 4710. Prerequisites: CHEM 1000.

    Renewable Resources



    Spatial Analysis of Watersheds and Ecosystems (3)


    Covers topics related to analysis of spatial and temporal processes at watershed and ecosystem scales using Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Topics include land classification and suitability analysis interpolation techniques, terrain analysis, model integration, and visualization. Sources of potential error and ramifications are examined.

    Prerequisite: GEOG 4210 or equivalent.

    Soil Science



    Soil Physics (3)


    Examines the forms and interrelations of matter and energy in the soil environment. Fluxes and transformations of soil water and solutes are addressed primarily, as well as physical properties which influence soil productivity.

    Dual listed with SOIL 4100. Prerequisite: MATH 2310.



    Soil Physics Lab (2)


    Students learn methodology and use of equipment to measure soil physical properties in the laboratory and field. Experiments include particle size analysis, soil surface area, soil-water measurement with neutron probe and TDR, field infiltration rate, soil-water retention curve, soil pore size distribution, saturated and unsaturated conductivity, soil water potential and solute breakthrough curve.

    Dual listed with SOIL 4105. Prerequisite: SOIL 2010.



    Genesis, Morphology, and Classification of Soils (4)


    Processes of soil development and methods of description, survey and classification. Includes field trips which examine soils in the Laramie Basin and surrounding mountains.

    Dual listed with SOIL 4120. Prerequisite: SOIL 2010.



    Chemistry of the Soil Environment (3)


    Evaluation of the chemical and physical properties and reactions that occur in the soil environment. Fundamental principles of soil mineralogy, organic matter, and equilibrium chemistry as they relate to soil chemical reactions, plant nutrient availability, and pedogenetic processes will be emphasized.

    Dual listed with SOIL 4130. Prerequisite: MATH 1400, CHEM 1030 or CHEM 1060 and SOIL 2010.



    Applied Geophysics (3)




    Soil Biogeochemistry (3)


    Focuses on fundamental considerations of organic substances, microbiological systems, and chemical processes in soils, sediments and waters. Examination of the nature and origin of organic matter and the role microorganisms in organic nutrient transformations, reactions, and interactions in different ecosystems.

    Dual listed with SOIL 4535. Prerequisite: SOIL 2010 and consent of instructor.

    Contact Us

    Hydrologic Science Program

    Interdisciplinary Program

    Debbie Swierczek, Program Coordinator

    School of Graduate Education
    Knight Hall 247

    Phone: 307-766-4128


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