A CEE professor and graduate student in the lab preparing a sample for analysis

Local, national and global environmental and public health protection is a key societal concern and one that is intrinsically linked to clean water. Our current research in the nexus of water and ecological and human health strives to limit the damage to the natural environment and ecosystem, and potentially avoid exposure of humans and natural systems to hazards.


CEE faculty and student research in water and human/ecological health addresses key needs in ecohydrological resilience, ecosystem services, socio-hydrological interaction, and interactions with disease (e.g., malaria, whirling disease).

Highlighted Research Projects & Initiatives

Using Big Data approaches to assess ecohydrological resilience across scales

Graphical depiction of the critical zoneLand-cover transformation, amplification of biogeochemical flows, and climate disruption are triggering transitions in the Earth system that are unprecedented on human timescales. To ensure biosphere integrity and continued human flourishing, we need to understand the factors that determine ecosystem resilience to these diverse disturbances. This project brings together researchers from across the country in a Critical Zone Collaborative Network, combining data science, ecology, hydrology, and biogeochemistry. Students, researchers, and outreach partners will work in dynamic teams to create new knowledge through field and lab work, and improve education, policy, and participation in STEM fields. CEE researchers are developing and applying complex systems tools to study patterns in watershed data that will be used to inform understanding of ecohydrological resilience. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation.


CEE Faculty: Kristen Underwood, Donna Rizzo, Scott Hamshaw

UVM Collaborators: Julia Perdrial, Regina Toolin, Leon Walls, Michael Blouin, Byung Lee

Collaborating Institutions & Organizations: CUAHSI, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Nevada - Reno, Penn State, University of Kansas, University of Arizona, Desert Research Institute



Research Topics

  • Ecohydrological resilience
  • Ecosystem services
  • Socio-hydrological systems
  • Ecological habitat
  • Climate change response
  • Interactions with disease

Graduate Study in Water and Human/Ecological Health

Highlighted courses are listed below:

  • CE255 – Physical/Chemical Processes of Water/Wastewater Treatment
  • CE256 – Biological Processes of Water/Wastewater Treatment
  • CE369 – Geostatistics
  • CE395 – Environmental Chemical Dynamics
  • CE395 – Wastewater Epidemiology