THE MOUNTAIN HYDROLOGY LABORATORY
Recent News & Announcements
I am excited to announce that our paper "Flooding hazard and vulnerability. An interdisciplinary experimental approach for the study of the 2016 West Virginia floods" has been accepted to Frontiers in Water, Water and Human System Section. In addition to providing important insights on flood vulnerability, this work explores our process co-producing knowledge as social and physical scientists in our attempt to integrate Sociohydrology & Hydrosocial approaches. Stand by for the paper!
A huge congratulations to Dr. Luis Andres Guillen for successfully defending his dissertation titled "Environmental controls on the terrestrial water cycle in forested mountain ecosystems". Great work and best wishes.
Check out our new paper published in Hydrological Processes titled "The Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia, USA: Insights, datasets, and opportunities". Gratitude to MHL PhD student Luis Andres Guillen for his leadership and to co-authors for their contributions
Super excited to share Grace's new Story Map on Water Insecurity in West Virginia. Take a look!
I am super excited to be offering a new course titled 'Environmental Justice - Through the Lens of Water' in Spring 2021. Please email for more information (e.g., check out syllabus)
Zegre is featured in the WBOY Clarksburg, WV News program about climate change in West Virginia. See 'MHL in the News' page
The MHL welcomes three new MS graduate students: Grace Dever, Mel Shafer, & Eric Sjöstedt. To learn more about who they are their interests, please check back under the 'PEOPLE' page.
West Virginia Rivers hosts the "Climate Change in West Virginia" lunch seminar series. See MHL colleagues present on what climate change means for fish, people & public health. The MHL's Zegre discussed water security and and environmental justice in the context of climate change here: "Water Security, Climate Change & West Virginia".
Congrats to Justin Earle for defending is MS thesis titled "Catchment-scale water supply stress in West Virginia". Great work Justin!
New press this month in Inside Climate News, Georgia Public Radio, and Ohio Valley ReSource - check them out in the "MHL IN THE NEWS" tab.
Also see our new paper led by previous MHL member Dr. Brandi Gaertner on future climate and water balance components for forested catchments in the Central Appalachian Mountains region in the journal, Water.
Lots of new press in October, November and December. Check out stories from Inside Climate News, Grist, 100 Days in Appalachian, and the BBC on "MHL IN THE NEWS" tab
This month Zegre discusses climate change, water & food security, and sustainable economic opportunities at the "Learn & Preserve: Jefferson County Regional Water Symposium", host by the Rural Agricultural Defenders.
and implications of climate change for public health at "Climate Change & Public Health: Addressing the growing Crisis" at the WVU Law School.
May 2019: Zegre discusses water secuity and climate change at the WVU Academic Media Day. Media coverage that follows included this article that discusses water insecurity and this article that discusses food insecurity in the Mountain State
April 2019: Check out our new paper titled "Seasonal Changes in Water and Energy Balances over the Appalachian Region and Beyond throughout the Twenty-First Century" published here in the Journal of Applied Meteorology & Climatology. The dataset includes ensemble statistics for 18 GCMs and two emission scenarios based on the MACA dataset, will be publically available for researchers to study and decision makers to consider the implications of climate change on Appalachian communities, businesses, and ecosystems.
March 2019: We welcome Dr. Ben Turner to the Appalachian Freshwater Initiative (AFI). Ben is a research scientists in the MHL who is modeling future water resources throughout the Appalachian Mountains region under future climate change. Ben comes with a wealth of experience in computational programming, hydrology, geochemistry, soil physics, climatology, and environmental modeling.
February 2019: Congratulations to MHL member Dr. Brandi Gaertner for successful defense of her dissertation titled "Impacts of climate change on water balance components in the central Appalachian Mountains, USA". Some of her work on forest growing season changes was published here. Stand by for more papers!
January 2019: Zegre becomes the new chair of Catchment Hydrology Technical Committee of the Hydrology section of the American Geophysical Union. Become involved! Check out all fo the TC's here.
MHL and colleagues represent at the 2018 AGU meeting in Washington, D.C. Highlights of our work include:
Thank you to the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation for funding Martina Caretta (WVU Hydrofeminist Lab) and Zegre's proposal titled "Innovative climate change science education and communication for future Appalachian decision makers".
Check out our new paper on carbon sequestration and tree water use of natural and planted forests in China, published in Global Change Biology. Nice work Zhen and congrats! Check out Zhen's other work here.
Congrats to Mtn Hydrology Lab member, Brandi Gaertner, for her recent paper on forest growing season changes and climatic controls on evapotranspiraiton changes through the Appalachian Mtns region. A link to the paper is here
Zegre is featured in the WV Higher Education Policy Commission's "Scientist Spotlight" video series on YouTube discussing MHL research on water, ecosystems, and the economy. You can check it out here.
Justin Earle has joined the MHL as a new MS student. Justin comes from the Fisheries side of science and is eager to merge hydro-climate and cold water fisheries research to quantify changes in freshwater ecosystem services. Welcome Justin!
MHL had a solid contribution to AGU, with Matt Kearns presenting his work on the consumptive landscape and Rodrigo Fernandez presenting his work on historic and future climate for the eastern US.
Congrats to MHL MS student Matt Kearns for producing incredible research that dis-aggregates societal water use and water consumption at the grid scale. Matt's work plays a critical role for understanding economic, community, and ecosystem water security throughout the Appalachian region. West Virginia is fortunate to have Matt, who returned to state after a distinguished military career, to help WV reach its potential.
October 2017: Check out our new paper in Water Resources Research here that provides the introduction commentary for our special issue on Disturbance Hydrology. The special issue is a result of several AGU sessions that we have convened over the years and covers a wide range of disturbance-related studies that range from insect defoliation, wildfire, debris flows, to restoration.
Zegre featured in Rewire.News discussing justice for West Virginia's concerning the re-authorization of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and implications for the Cheat River watershed.
July 2017: Check out our new paper in Science of the Total Environment here that assessed the sensitivity of brook trout to climate warming in the Appalachian Mtns. Results showed that increases in streamflow will largely offset the effects of warming air temperatures proving further support of the importance of WV for modulating the effects of climate change.
May 2017: MHL lab members Gaertner, Fernandez, and Zegre attend the 2017 CUAHSI Master Class: Water Sustainability in a Global Economy taught by Ben Ruddell (Northern Arizona University) and Megan Konar (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). This was an excellent workshop focusing on water footprints, virtual water trade, and life cycle analysis. more info here. Definitely recommendation!
March 2017: Dr. Jason Hubbart, director of the WVU Institute of Water Security & Science, will be offering a new course to WVU: "Principles of Water Resources (ENVP 493A) in fall 2017. Email Jason here if you have questions.
January 2017: Zegre quoted in a new article in Media Shift about the role that Do-It-Yourself (DIY) environmental sensors can play in journalism: Click here. Nice work Emily Corio!
Matt Kearns join the Mountain Hydrology. Matt has been working with the WV Rivers Coalition on the importance of public lands conservation. read more about Matt under the PEOPLE page.
December 2016: Our AGU 2016 session titled Disturbance Hydrology: Exploring Immediate and Long-Term Impacts of Abrupt Changes on Hydrological Processes and Earth Systems was a huge success. We received over 40 abstracts for the session and excited about the ever evolving topic of disturbance hydrology.
Thanks to all you contributed!
A special issue on Disturbance Hydrology in Water Resources Research is forecoming. Stay tuned!
November 2016: Congratulations to Arati Umarvadia for successfully defending her MS thesis titled "Hydrogeochemical Characterization of Rural Drinking Water in the Gauley River Basin, Monongahela National Forest". Arati is working in environmental consultation in Philadelphia. Thanks the USFS for their support of the project.
July/August 2016: The MHL welcomes Rodrigo Fernandez as the new climate scientist post-doc. Rodrigo joins us from UNESCO International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management in Tsukuba, Japan brining forth expertise on large scale climate and hydrological mdoeling and land surface/atmospheric processes.
We also welcome Luis-Andres Guillen, a new PhD candidate in the MHL who will be researching water and carbon dynamics across scales and disturbance regimes in the Appalachian Mtns region. Welcome aboard!
See the PEOPLE tab for more info on Rodrigo and Luis-Andres.
December 2015: The MHL is seeking applicants for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position to investigate climate change impacts on freshwater ecosystems in the Appalachian Mountains region of the eastern US. The area of research will be focused on intensification of the hydrologic cycle and quantifying feedbacks between land cover, climate, and hydrology from stream reach to regional scales. More info here.
Dr. Charley Kelly (WVU) is looking to fill an exciting new MSc GRA position in Forest Soils & Ecohydrology. More info can be found here.
I will be offering a new graduate course titled Climate and Watersheds (FHYD 693B) in the upcoming Spring 2016 semester. This is a project-based course that will explore the coupling of land-atmosphere dynamics on watershed hydrology. The course will meet Mondays from 1-350 pm. Please email me if you have any questions.
Also being offered this Spring is Watershed Management & Land use Hydrology (FHYD 444). This course meets MWF from 11-1150.
Also be sure to check out our Disturbance Hydrology: Assessing the Impacts of Abrupt Landscape Changes on Watershed Hydrology (H029) on Wednesday, December 16. We have 2 oral and 1 poster session with exciting invited talks by Fabian Nippgen (Duke), Sean Carey (McMaster), Shelia Murphy (USGS), and Diego Riveros-Iregui (UNC). The complete schedule can be found here.
September 2015: The water resources community here at WVU got a great boost with the funding of our NSF proposal for the Appalachian Freshwater Initiative (NSF), and exciting new multidisciplinary project that aims to understand the complex interactions between society, climate, and mountain ecosystems in the region. Read more here.
April 2015: The Mountain Hydrology Lab will be teaming up with professor Emily Corio of the WVU Journalism School to develop the Stream Lab which aims to educate journalists in field-based science, data collection, and story telling. We will assist with sensor selection and placement to monitor water quality in and around Morgantown, WV. Additional partners are the WV Public Broadcasting and the Charleston Gazette.
March 2015: A big thanks to Tyler Roman from Kim Novick's lab at Indiana (http://www.indiana.edu/~iubiomet/) for leading a great sap flux sensor building workshop. This workshop was sponsored by Eddie Brzostek 's ecology lab and the Mountain Hydrology Lab at WVU.
December 2014: David Young successfully defended his MS Thesis titled "Catchment streamflow responses to climate change conditioned by historic alterations of landuse". Following his defense, David hopped a plane to present in the Disturbance Hydrology session at AGU. Great work David!
August 2014: Brandi Gaertner joins the Mountain Hydrology Lab as PhD candidate. Brandi is the the recipient of the prestigious WVU Mountains of Excellence PhD Fellowship in Water Resources. Brandi's research will be assessing the historic and future state of Appalachian water resources. Check back at the PEOPLE page for Brandi's bio.
June 2014: Nicolas Zégre presents at the 6th International Conference in Climate Change: Impacts & Responses. Reykjavik, Iceland - Zégre, N., J. Shanmugasundaram, D. Young, C. Wright, E. Lee. 2014. Are headwater catchments resilient to warming climate? An Ecohydrological Case Study from the central Appalachian Mtns. 6th International Conference in Climate Change: Impacts & Responses. Reykjavik, Iceland
Nicolas Zégre and Leighia Eggett present as invited speakers at the West Virginia Allegheny Highland Climate Change Impacts Initiative Conference in at Blackwater Falls State Park, WV. Nicolas discussed water cycle intensification in the Highlands region and Leighia discussed her thesis research characterizing the sensitivity of Canaan Valley and the Blackwater River to climate change. link:
May 2014: Carson Wright defends his MS thesis titled "The Hydroclimatology of West Virginia Spatial and Temporal Trends and their Relationship with the North Atlantic Oscillation". Congrats Carson.
Welcome to the Mountain Hydrology Laboratory!
In this lab, we focus on all aspects of water resources with an emphasis on the impacts and implications of environmental change and climate change on fresh water security, access, environmental and social justice in mountain regions. Conducting research in West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains region offers an awesome opportunity to rethink the relationship between people, power, environment, and water to create a more just and equitable economy based sustainable practices.
In the MHL, we aim to understand how watersheds and humans interact to better understand how anthropogenic and natural disturbances such as climate change, land-use/land cover change, energy development, and water use affect water access, security, justice, and equity. Because of the complex nature and climate of mountain catchment, the mosaic of disturbances driven by resource extraction, and the complex dynamic between people and power, we employ a wide range of research tools and collaborations that include field experimentation, social science and political ecology methods, including an evolving community engaged research program, and numerical modeling. Please see the RESEARCH tab for a description of our projects.
Research Topics: Watershed, forest, ecological hydrology, water quantity & water quality, water resources management; water governance & policy; water security, hydro-social systems, food-energy-water systems; freshwater ecosystem services, sustainability, vulnerability; environmental change, climate change; big data, computational programming, hydrologic modeling, statistics; science communication
Associate Professor of Forest Hydrology
Director, Mountain Hydrology Laboratory
West Virginia University
Google Scholar webpage
Chair, Catchment Hydrology Technical Committee
American Geophysical Union (AGU)-