Our department conducts a diverse range of water-related research with an emphasis on fundamental physical and chemical processes affecting water resources and environmental change.
Scientific interests of our students and faculty span water quantity and water quality; physical, chemical and biological systems; nanometer to global scales; and a wide range of study settings around the world.
Geocognition, Aqueous geochemistry
Sheri Fritz and her students work on modern and ancient lakes to understand both contemporary ecosystem processes and the history of landscapes and climate during the Quaternary. Current students are working on patterns of aquatic ecosystem development following deglaciation in Yellowstone National Park and on diatom evolution in large tropical lakes (Titicaca and Malawi). Other active projects in the Fritz lab include investigations of long-term environmental history in the Amazon Basin, the history of the Asian monsoon based on sediment cores from Thai lakes, and reconstructing drought history in the Great Plains.
Geomicrobiology, Aquatic Biogeochemistry
Physical Hydrogeology, Groundwater-surface water interactions, Hydrogeophysics
Vitaly Zlotnik studies flow and transport processes in various formations and their links to the applied problems. These problems include effects of irrigation on stream runoff, salinity variations in lakes, methods of aquifer characterization at various scales, and contaminant remediation. Current students are working on mechanisms controlling lake salinity in the Nebraska Sand Hills and stream depletion in the Platte River and Republican River watersheds. Recent projects included colleagues in the U.S., Australia, Germany, Denmark, and Taiwan.