I am always looking for motivated students to join my lab. SDSU offers an MS in Watershed Science and a PhD Program in Geography, both with funded GA/TA positions available. Both programs have an annual application date in December. Please contact me if you are interested in applying next year. While I will work with you to develop your own research ideas, here are examples of open projects where I would welcome new research students:

  • Mapping hydrologic processes across the U.S.   Understanding the physical processes that generate river flow is key to good watershed management and prediction of floods and droughts. This project will analyze USGS streamflow data from across the U.S. for patterns relating to process such as snowmelt, infiltration, evaporation and connection between hillslopes and channels. This research will contribute to the NSF-funded project “A framework to predict hydrologic processes at continental scales“.
  • Landscape controls on low flows and water resources. Many features of the landscape such as karst bedrock or wetland distributions are critical to controlling stream baseflow, but are not fully represented in hydrology datasets. This project would suit a student with an interest in GIS analysis, and will develop new landscape datasets to represent these features. The research will contribute to the NSF-funded project “A framework to predict hydrologic processes at continental scales“.
  • Quantifying plastic pollution and other marine debris from the San Diego River. To prevent plastic pollution from the San Diego River from reaching the ocean, we need to identify its sources such as from storm drains or from the river margins. This research will develop a quantitative model of pollution sources for the river, as well as participating in fieldwork, as part of a new project funded by NOAA’s marine debris program.
  • Groundwater availability in Mediterranean ecosystems. In climates with dry summers, such as in Southern California, many plant and tree species rely on groundwater to survive the summer months. This project will use satellite remote sensing of seasonal growth cycles to identify where and why vegetation has access to groudwater.

Lab commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

In our lab, we are committed to fostering a diverse, welcoming and equitable climate. Everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation brings value to our hydrology research. Diverse backgrounds of lab members bring creativity and new ideas, which are essential for creating an environment for excellent science. Dr Hilary McMillan welcomes and encourages students from underserved and underrepresented minority backgrounds to apply to the lab. We work to offer all students support, mentorship, and opportunities to help you to succeed in your chosen career.