| Project title: The influence of preferential flow on water and solute fluxes in the unsaturated zone |
Research need: Much unsaturated-zone water moves not as typically slow diffuse flow, but rapidly through preferential flow channels such as root holes and fractures. Impacts are profound and far-reaching for issues such as contaminant transport, ecohydrology, and aquifer recharge. Understanding is limited and accepted theory is lacking, making preferential flow a crucial and exciting area of earth science.
Intern responsibilities: The student will collaborate as a member of our team, and take responsibility for one or more particular research components. Such a component might be a set of lab or field experiments, development of a formula or algorithm for predicting the behavior or consequences of preferential flow, or developing a new technique for measurements or calculations. The student will participate in planning, interpreting, and preparing for publication of the research.
Expected outcome: The project will produce substantial material for one or more journal publications, to advance the understanding and theory of preferential flow and build a foundation for solving critical problems such as rapid contaminant transport and episodic aquifer recharge. The USGS will benefit from this contribution to its mission of evaluating the problems and effective utilization of water resources. The student will benefit by first-hand acquaintance with the ideas and research practices of USGS scientists, practical experience with cutting-edge research techniques, and achieving research contributions to thesis work and to published scientific knowledge.
Duration: Up to 12 months
Point of contact and mentor: John Nimmo, firstname.lastname@example.org