Water Resources

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Introduction

A Master of Science degree in Water Resources will teach you how to harvest, clean and protect the water resources of your civilization. You will study models that will teach you how to manage rain fall and snow melt. You will understand the behavior of watersheds in urban areas. You will analyze flood hazards and the effects of natural disasters on water resources. With this degree you will understand how to restore water resources, which in turn will restore civilizations.

Research

Areas of Specialization

Course work is selected that will enable the student to do research and that forms a strong base for continued professional growth after graduation. The following are examples of graduate programs that a student could develop using the courses available:

  • Watershed Hydrology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Urban Water Resource Systems
  • Water Quality Modeling
  • Hydraulic and River Engineering

However, a student may choose courses that provide a broad water resources education

There is no set of specific courses that defines a "core" requirement. However, the water resources profession rightly expects a Ph.D. to apply advanced engineering and statistical concepts to the modeling of surface and subsurface hydrologic processes and to the interpretation of information. Thus, the candidate should work closely with his or her advisor to ensure that the courses selected provide an adequate base to successfully complete the comprehensive examination.

Graduate Courses

ENCE 630 - ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER RESOURCES SYSTEMS I (3 credits)
The application of statistical and systems engineering techniques in the analysis of engineering data. Methods of formulating and calibrating models are presented. The fundamentals of statistical decision making are addressed. Central topics discussed are hypothesis testing and regression modeling.

ENCE 631 - HYDROLOGIC AND NONPOINT POLLUTION MODELS (3 credits)
A detailed analysis of the physical processes controlling the spatial distribution of runoff and constituent transport during rainfall and snowmelt events. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of the processes and translating this understanding into practical models that can be used for runoff simulation, stormwater management, and environmental impact assessment.

ENCE 634 - RIVER ENGINEERING (3 credits)
The application of fundamentals of hydrology and hydraulics to engineering analysis and design questions focused on rivers and the watersheds they drain. The course examines issues of flood and drought flows, sediment transport, and water quality. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of watershed behavior in the face of land use change --particularly urbanization.

ENCE 635 - GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR WATERSHED ANALYSIS (3 credits)
Emphasis is on the use of GIS to support the analysis and modeling tasks associated with watershed planning and management. This course familiarizes the student with fundamentals of GIS data models, projections, and coordinate systems. Students develop a set of GIS- based algorithms solving common engineering problems in hydrology. Internet data sources and GPS technology are also covered.

ENCE 637 - BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (3 credits)
An exposition of biological principles directly affecting man and the environment; assay, control and treatment of biological agents in water, sewage and air; microbiology and biochemistry of aerobic and anaerobic treatment processes for aqueous wastes.

ENCE 650 - PROCESS DYNAMICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS
The fundamentals of heterogeneous equilibria, rates of environmental reactions, and flow and material transport or presented. Applications of these principles will be presented to small and large scale environmental problems involving liquid, gas, and solid phases. Both natural and engineered environmental systems will be examined.

ENCE 651 - CHEMISTRY OF NATURAL WATERS (3 credits)
Application of principles from chemical thermodynamics and kinetics to the study and interpretation of the chemical composition of natural waters is rationalized by considering metal ion solubility controls, pH, carbonate equilibria, adsorption reactions, redox reactions and the kinetics of oxygenation reactions which occur in natural water environments.

ENCE 655 - ENVIRONMENTAL BEHAVIOR OF ORGANIC POLLUTANTS (3 credits)
Introduction to the scientific data needed and methods currently available to assess the environmental risk of organic chemicals. Applications of principles from chemical thermodynamics will be used to study phase-transfer processes of organic pollutants in the environment (solid/water, solid/air, water/air). Physical-chemical properties of organic pollutants will be used to estimate partitioning.

ENCE 688 - ADVANCED TOPICS IN CIVIL ENGINEERING (1 - 3 credits)
Advanced topics selected by the faculty from the current literature of civil engineering to suit the needs and background of students. May be taken for repeated credit when identified by topic title.

ENCE 688B - Land-Atmosphere Interactions in Hydrology (3 Credits)
This course examines the surface water components of the hydrologic cycle and their connection to the atmosphere. A particular emphasis is made on the role of hydrology in the climate system, the exchange of mass, heat, and momentum between the land surface and the overlying atmosphere, and the transport of water within theturbulent boundary layer.

ENCE 688K - Hydrologic Data Assimilation (3 Credits)
The emerging field of data assimilation is a general technique whereby observations and physical models are optimally merged based on weighing uncertainties within a Bayesian framework in an effort to derive the most utility from two disparate data streams. A particular emphasis will be made on the utilization of observations collected by space-based instrumentation.

ENCE 688U - HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT
Review of environmental laws and regulations related to hazardous waste management, and the study of the technologies utilized to remediate hazardous waste sites.

ENCE 688W - STREAM RESPONSE TO WASTE DISCHARGE
The response of fresh waters to the introduction of organic and inorganic wastes will be discussed as it affects the use of water for industrial and potable supplies.

ENCE 688Y - ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY
Laboratory experiments to familiarize the student with selected unit operations and processes used in water and wastewater treatment; to gain "hands on" experience in the setup and operation of each experiment; to monitor laboratory parameters; and to analyze data and write a laboratory report.

ENCE 689 - SEMINAR (1 - 16 credits)
Independent study under faculty supervision.

ENCE 730 - ENVIRONMENTAL AND WATER RESOURCE SYSTEMS II (3 credits)
Advanced topics in modeling and operations research. Applications to complex environmental and water resource systems. The use of systems simulation and probabilistic modeling. Basic tools of geostatistical analysis.

ENCE 731 - ADVANCED GROUNDWATER HYDROLOGY
Theory and application of unsteady flow in porous media. Analysis of one and two dimensional unsteady flow. Solutions of non-linear equations of unsteady flow with a free surface. Development and use of various numerical models to study the fate and transport of contaminants.

ENCE 732 - ADVANCED HYDROLOGIC ANALYSIS
A detailed examination of the processes controlling the quantity and quality of watershed runoff; emphasis on the development of deterministic mathematical models for process simulation; role of land-phase processes in flood hydrology; evaporation and transpiration; models for urban watersheds; linkage for hydrograph synthesis.

ENCE 739 - SELECTED TOPICS IN POROUS MEDIA FLOW
Analysis of two-liquid flows for immiscible fluids, simultaneous flow of two immiscible fluids and miscible fluids. Hydrodynamic dispersion theories, parameters of dispersion and solutions of some dispersion problems with emphasis on migration of pollutants.

ENCE 752 - THEORY OF AQUEOUS WASTE TREATMENT (3 credits)
Theory and practical design of treating wastewater, hydraulics of plant, cost analysis. Biological oxidation of organics and biological nutrient removal are emphasized. Stabilization and disposal of biosolids will be discussed.

ENCE 753 - UNIT OPERATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (3 credits)
The fundamental theory of unit operations in the physical, chemical, and biological treatment of water is considered in detail. Coagulation and flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, disinfection, ion exchange, adsorption, gas transfer, and membrane processes are among topics to be considered. Pollution prevention and waste minimization will be integrated into the course.

ENCE 755 - TRANSFORMATIONS OF ORGANIC COMPOUNDS IN THE ENVIRONMENT (3 credits)
Focuses on reaction kinetics and mechanisms of organic pollutants transformations. Kinetic principles will be used to calculate or estimate the pollutants' half-lives. Physical-chemical properties of organic pollutants will be used to estimate transformation mechanisms and rates. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of how physico-chemical and structural properties relate with the transformations of organic pollutants.

ENCE 756 - BIOREMEDIATION (3 credits)
Introduction to microbiological and engineering fundamentals of bioremediation. Coverage will emphasize current and emerging technologies for major classes of environmental contaminants and contaminated site characteristics; relevant microbial ecology, biochemistry and physiology; site data needed to assess the feasibility of the bioremediation option; design and operation of engineered bioremediation systems, including reactor and in situ approaches; monitoring methods for evaluating the success of bioremediation projects; technical evaluation of selected case studies.

Recent Thesis and Dissertation Titles

  • Prediction of Stream Geometry in the Maryland Piedmont Based on Land Use and Urbanization
  • The Effect of Watershed Subdivision on Simulated Hydrologic Response Using the NRCS TR-20 Model
  • Effect of GIS Data Resolution on Hydrologic Modeling
  • Using a Geographic Information System for Flood Hazard Analysis: A Case Study on Quail Creek, Colorado
  • Using GIS Methods and the HEC-1 Model to Assess the Effect of Dams on Streamflow in the State of Maryland
  • Modeling Water Quantity and Water Quality with the SWMM Continuous Flow Model Under Non-Stationary Land-useConditions Using GIS
  • The Joint Effects of Climate Change and Urbanization on the Distribution of Streamflow Magnitudes in the Maryland Piedmont Region
  • The Characteristics and Impact of Imperviousness from a GIS-Based Hydrological Perspective
  • Sensitivity of Peak Discharge Calculation to GIS-Derived Hydrologic Routing Parameters in the TR-20 Rainfall-Runoff Model
  • A Reliability Analysis of Stream Restoration
  • GIS Adjustment of Measured Streamflow Data from Urbanized Watersheds
  • Bridge Pier Scour in Tidal Environments
  • A Strategy for Calibrating the HSPF Model

Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the orientation of your undergraduate classes?

A: Many of our undergraduate courses provide a comprehensive grounding in engineering design. The GIS class introduces students to the use of geographic information systems for land development. The surface water hydrology course prepares students for hydrologic design work, especially stormwater management. The groundwater hydrology course covers topic in ground water pollution, well hydraulics, and the cleanup of hazardous wastes.

Q: What is the emphasis of your graduate classes?

A: The primary objective of our graduate program is towards hydrologic modeling. This includes the development and calibration of models, computer simulation, GIS models, water quality modeling, open channel flow, and global hydrologic processes and climate modeling.

Q: Is an undergraduate CEE required?

A: No, but it is encouraged. Depending on an applicant’s background, it may be necessary for those lacking a CEE degree to take one or more courses as prerequisites to admission.

Q: How long does it take to complete a graduate program?

A: If an entering student has all of the prerequisites and is able to enroll full time, then a MS candidate should complete the requirements in three semesters and an intervening summer. Generally, it takes three years to complete a PhD following a MS program. Of course, it depends on the commitment and effort of the candidate.

Q: What are the requirements for the PhD program?

A: An entering student must take 18 credit hours of course work and complete a dissertation. Before starting the dissertation the student must pass a comprehensive examination and defend a research plan.

Q: Are research assistantships available?

A: A number of graduate students are supported on research projects, with the project usually serving as the basis for the thesis or dissertation. The number varies on a semester basis and are awarded based on the qualifications of the student.

Q: Are funds other than RAs available?

A: Yes, the Department has teaching assistants available to well qualified students, and our group can nominate students for department fellowships.

Q: How do I get more specific information or answers to questions?

A: You can correspond with any of the water resources faculty by email.