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The Belmont Hydrology and Fine Sediment Lab: Opportunities


Department of Watershed Sciences

We have funding from the NSF and Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) to support a PhD student to work on mathematical modeling of post-wildfire sediment dynamics. Specifically, we will continue to advance the model framework developed by Murphy et al., (2019) and are in the process of linking that with a recently published population ecology model (Murphy et al., 2020) for evaluating habitat impacts to aquatic ecosystems. Together, these models will be applied to evaluate sedimentation impacts to water supply reservoirs and aquatic habitat, as well as adapted to study the effects of forest management practices on post-wildfire risks.

The successful applicant will be based in Patrick Belmont's research group in the Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University and will work closely with Co-PIs Brendan Murphy (Simon Fraser), Larissa Yocom (USU), and Jon Czuba (Virginia Tech), as well as multiple post-docs, graduate and undergraduate students. 

We encourage applications from individuals who have completed an MS degree in Geosciences, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Watershed Sciences, Hydrology, Physical Geography, or a related discipline, or alternatively have a BS in one of the above fields with several years of relevant work experience. Preference will be given to applicants who have strong writing, coding and analytical skills, modeling experience in hydrology and sediment transport, and spatial analysis skills.

The student will also have the option of participating in USU’s Climate Adaptation Science program. The Belmont Lab values diversity and encourages applications from underrepresented groups. And the Belmont Lab is striving to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible because academic carbon pollution stinks just as bad as anyone else’s.

Contact Patrick Belmont (patrick.belmont@usu.edu) with any questions. To apply, see https://gradschool.usu.edu/apply/

Utah State is located in beautiful Logan, Utah; a city of about 70,000 situated in a picturesque mountain valley 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. Logan is just a few hours away from the red rock country of southern Utah, the wild Uinta and Wind River ranges, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone NP. Logan is consistently ranked among the safest small cities in America and outstanding recreational opportunities abound in the nearby mountains. 

My research group is closely affiliated with several other research groups in hydrology and process geomorphology here at Utah State University, including:

In addition, the Department of Watershed Sciences and College of Natural Resources facilitate interdisciplinary science. Our department and college contain a well-rounded group of researchers with interests that range from ecology to climatology to environmental policy. Some specific researchers with whom my students and I interact include: