Water Science and Management

Graduate Program Information

New Mexico faces serious challenges concerning the supply, development, quality, management and administration of water resources; responses to the challenges will have major impacts on the regional economy, environmental quality and the quality of life of the residents of New Mexico. A major need exists to train the next generation of water resource researchers, educators, and managers to address these challenges, both inside and outside New Mexico. To help meet these needs, an interdisciplinary program in Water Science & Management (WSM) has been developed at NMSU by the departments of

  • Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business,
  • Animal and Range Science,
  • Civil Engineering,
  • Geography, and
  • Plant and Environmental Sciences.

The primary purposes of the interdisciplinary masters and doctoral degree programs in WSM are to provide graduate education for addressing state, national, and international water issues, and to train the next generation of water professionals needed to meet the challenges noted above. A Master of Science WSM degree can be earned with 26 credits of formal course work, plus additional thesis research credits, and a Doctor of Philosophy WSM can be earned with 30-40 credits of formal course work beyond the masters, plus additional dissertation research credits.

Five (5) fields of study are offered in the program and are detailed below (suggested classes for each area are detailed in the following section):

  • Agricultural Water Resources relates to the major use of ground and surface water in providing safe and secure food systems while ensuring ecosystem services. This field of study includes water allocation, water conservation and water management issues facing urban water supply and irrigated agriculture.
  • Watershed, Riparian and Aquatic Systems includes the processes of organizing and guiding land and other resources used in a river basin to provide desired goods and services without adversely affecting soil and water resources. Watershed, riparian, and aquatic system management involves an array of nonstructural (vegetation management) practices, as well as an array of structural (engineering) activities, when conditions warrant.
  • Water Quality and Treatment includes processes used to make water acceptable for desired end-uses. These can include use as drinking water, industrial processes, agricultural uses and environmental management. The goal of water treatment processes is to remove existing contaminants in the water or reduce the concentration of such contaminants so the water becomes fit for its desired end-use.
  • Water Economics and Policy examines the demand for water by all its competing uses, including irrigated agriculture, energy, urban supply, and environmental restoration and management. Policies are examined for their influence on water supplies, water demands, and economic values of water reallocations among agricultural, environmental, energy, and urban users.  It examines the role of water markets, water user decisions, institutional adjustments, and water-related policies with respect to resource costs, water quality, profitability, and environmental effects.
  • Water Informatics is an interdisciplinary science primarily concerned with the collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval and especially the dissemination of water information, including both human and machine readable documents. Examples of human readable documents include maps, field data sheets, operational schedules, and long term asset management plans with narrative text. Machine readable documents include files for geographic information systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), relational database management systems and emerging applications.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements for the Master of Science (MS) in water science and management include all general requirements for a graduate degree as set forth in the NMSU Catalog, plus the following:

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. However, students with grade point averages between 3.0 and 3.5 will be given consideration, this degree being preparatory to the Water Science and Management degree. 
  • A letter of intent or statement of purpose that addresses individual professional and personal goals related to water science and management and discusses how these goals fit within the degree programs at NMSU. It is expected that the candidate will have made contact with prospective advisor(s) at NMSU and speak to how he or she would work with said advisor(s) to advance their research and study.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted directly from persons who know the applicant professionally, including a recommendation from the candidate's current employer/sponsor. These letters should provide evidence of professional ability, research experience and the potential for professional development.
  • A brief resume or curriculum vitae not to exceed five pages that summarize the candidate's background and qualifications.

Admission Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in water science and management include all general requirements for a graduate degree as set forth in the NMSU Catalog, plus the following:

  • Possession of a master’s degree from an accredited university with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale. However, students with grade point averages between 3.0 and 3.5 will be given consideration. This degree being preparatory to the Water Science and Management doctorate.
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted directly from persons who know the applicant professionally, including a recommendation from the candidate's current employer/sponsor. These letters should provide evidence of professional ability, research experience, and the potential for professional development.
  • In addition, applicants to the Ph.D. program should provide evidence of research experience. This could include a master's thesis, a professional paper, peer reviewed manuscripts, consulting reports, or other evidence of experience conducting research.
  • A letter of intent or statement of purpose that addresses individual professional and personal goals related to water science and management and discusses how these goals fit within the degree programs at NMSU. It is expected that the candidate will have made contact with prospective advisor(s) at NMSU and speak to how he or she would work with said advisor(s) to advance their research and study.
  • A brief resume or curriculum vitae not to exceed five pages that summarize the candidate's background and qualifications.

Degree Requirements

Water Science & Management Graduate Courses

The following courses are courses deemed likely to support each of the five fields of study, but this list is not meant to be all inclusive. Variations from or additions to this list may be made by the candidate, subject to the approval by the thesis or dissertation committee chairperson.

Agricultural Water Resources

A EN 459Design of Water Wells/Pumping Systems3
A EN 475Soil and Water Conservation3
A EN 478Irrigation and Drainage Engineering3
AGRO 620Instrumentation in Agronomy3
C E 452Geohydrology3-4
C E 482/E S 452/GEOL 452Hydraulic Structures3
C E 483Surface Water Hydrology3
C E 485Design of Earth Dams3
C E 506Advanced Soil Mechanics3
C E 531Open Channel Hydraulics3
C E 557Water Resources Development3
C E 581Ground Water Hydrology3
C E 582Statistical Hydrology3
C E 682Topics in Hydrodynamics II3
GEOG 467Transportation Geography3
GEOG 552Landscape Ecology4
GEOG 553Geomorphology3
M E 530Intermediate Fluid Mechanics3
M E 533Computational and Theoretical Fluid Mechanics3
SOIL 456Irrigation and Drainage3
SOIL 477Environmental Soil Physics3
SOIL 477 LEnvironmental Soil Physics Laboratory1
SOIL 479Environmental Soil Chemistry3
SOIL 652Advanced Soil Physics3

Watersheds, and Aquatic and Riparian Wetlands

BIOL 533Environmental Physiology of Plants3
C E 483Surface Water Hydrology3
C E 557Water Resources Development3
C E 581Ground Water Hydrology3
C E 682Topics in Hydrodynamics II3
FWCE 459Aquatic Ecology4
FWCE 482Ichthyology4
FWCE 532Environmental Biology of Fishes4
FWCE 534Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology4
GEOL 452Geohydrology4
RGSC 518Watershed Methods and Management3
SOIL 456Irrigation and Drainage3
SOIL 472Soil Morphology and Classification4
SOIL 477Environmental Soil Physics3
SOIL 477 LEnvironmental Soil Physics Laboratory1
SOIL 652Advanced Soil Physics3

Water Quality and Treatment

BIOL 477Applied and Environmental Microbiology4
ENVE 456Environmental Engineering Design3
ENVE 462Sampling and Analysis of Environmental Contaminants3
ENVE 551Unit Processes/Operation of Water Treatment3
ENVE 552Unit Processes/Operation of Wastewater Treatment3
ENVE 552 LUnit Processes/Operation of Wastewater Treatment Laboratory1
ENVE 557Surface Water Quality Modeling3
ENVE 630Fate and Transport of Environmental Contaminants3
FWCE 534Aquatic Contaminants and Toxicology4

Water Economics and Policy

AEEC 575Economics of Water Resource Management and Policy3
PHLS 452Environmental Health3
ECDV 651Economic Development Theory3
ECDV 661Regional Economic Modeling I3
ECDV 662Regional Economic Modeling II3
ECDV 664Population Economics3
ECDV 668Economic Development Finance3
ECDV 671Sustainable Economic Development3
MPH 550Environmental Public Health Issues3
MPH 565International Health Problems3
MPH 567Rural Health Issues3
MPH 569U.S.-Mexico Border Health Issues3

Water Informatics

GEOG 521GIS & T Applications and Modeling3
GEOG 571Cartography and Geographic Information Systems4
GEOG 572Geodatabase Design3
GEOG 573Introduction to Remote Sensing4
GEOG 578Fundamentals of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS & T)4
GEOG 581System Design for Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS &T)3
GEOG 582Advanced Remote Sensing4
GEOG 585Advanced Spatial Analysis3

Minors for the Department

Both minors within the WSAM program are affiliated with other departments.

Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) - Graduate Minor

Applied Statistics - Graduate Minor

Affiliated Faculty – S. Angadi, Ph.D. (University of Manitoba, Canada); S. Archambault, Ph.D. (UNM); A. Salim Bawazir, Ph.D. (NMSU); M.P. Bleiweiss, M.S. (California State-Los Angeles); W.Boeing, Ph.D. (Louisiana State); K. Boykin, Ph.D. (NMSU); C. E. Brewer, Ph.D. Iowa State); C. Brown, Ph.D. (San Diego State/California-Santa Barbara); S. W. Brown, Ph.D. (NMSU); C. A. Caldwell, Ph.D. (Tennessee); K. C. Carroll, Ph.D. (Arizona); D. E. Cowley, Ph.D. (Wisconsin); D. S. Cram, Ph.D. (NMSU); M. N. DeMers, Ph.D. (Kansas); C. M. Downes, Ph.D. (New Mexico); D. W. DuBois, Ph.D. (Nevada); D. P. Dugas, Ph.D. (Oregon); A. G. Sam Fernald, Ph.D. (Colorado State); A. Ghassemi, Ph.D. (NMSU); R. M. Goss, Ph. D. (Nebraska); W. R. Gould, Ph.D. (North Carolina State); S. J. Guldan, Ph.D. (Minnesota); P. Gutierrez, Ph.D. (J. Herrick, Ph.D. (Ohio State); B. H. Hurd, Ph.D. (California-Davis); M. D. Johnson, Ph.D. (NMSU); N. Khandan, Ph.D. (Drexel University); J. P. King, Ph.D. (Colorado State); A. S. Lara, Ph.D. (NMSU); B. Leinauer, Ph.D. (Hohenheim University, Germany); H. Luo, Ph.D. (Tulane); M. C. Mitchell, Ph.D. (Minnesota); M. O' Neill, Ph.D. (Arizona); L. Papelis, Ph.D. (Stanford); J. T. Peach, Ph.D. (Texas); G. A. Picchioni, Ph.D. (Texas A&M); R. C. Pratt, Ph.D. (Purdue); A. Rango, Ph.D. (Colorado State); D. A. Rockstraw, Ph.D. (Oklahoma); R. Sallenave, Ph.D. (University of Guelph-Canada); Z. A. Samani, Ph.D. (Utah State); M. K. Shukla, Ph.D. (University of Agricultural Sciences-Vienna, Austria); G. Sims, Ph.D. (Purdue); G. B. Smith, Ph.D. (North Carolina State); R. G. Smits, Ph.D. (Purdue); S. N. Smirnov, Ph.D. (Novosibirsk University, Russia): R. St. Hilaire, Ph.D. (Iowa State); C. M. Steele, Ph.D. (King’s College, University of London-UK); K. Stevens, M.S. (NMSU); B. L. Stringam, Ph.D. (Utah State); A. L. Ulery, Ph.D. (California-Riverside); J. Urquidi, Ph.D. (Texas Tech); F. A. Ward, Ph.D. (Colorado State); N. Webb, Ph.D. (University of Queensland, Australia); B. Widner, Ph.D. (Colorado State); P. Xu, Ph.D. (Ecole Nationale de Gunie Rural, Des Eaux Et Des Forets, France)

WSAM 589. Landscape Hydrology Modeling

3 Credits

Understand the landscape scale of hydrologic cycle and related hydrological processes. Quantitatively evaluate hydrological system components. Retrieve, visualize and model some of the physical processes using some of the available tools. Consent of Instructor required.

WSAM 599. Masters Thesis

1-15 Credits (1-15)

Thesis. May be repeated up to 88 credits. Consent of Instructor required. Restricted to: Water and Science Management majors. Thesis/Dissertation Grading.

WSAM 605. Arid Land Water Resources

3 Credits (2+2P)

The course will cover various issues of relevance to water resources and water supply management within the Southwest US and other semiarid and arid regions. Discussions may include development and sustainability, climate change and drought, socioeconomic and cultural, and transboundary issues.

WSAM 610. Water and Sustainable Economic Development

3 Credits

For graduate students in the Water Science and Management or other research degree programs, use the water economics literature as a model for student research leading to an M.S. thesis or Ph.D. dissertation.

WSAM 700. Doctoral Dissertation

15 Credits (15)

Dissertation for Water Sciences and Management Majors May be repeated up to 88 credits. Restricted to: Water Sciences and Management majors. Thesis/Dissertation Grading.

Name:

Office Location:

Phone: (575) 646-4198

Website: http://wsm.research.nmsu.edu

Coordinating Institute

  • Water Resources Research Institute, (575) 646-4337

Sponsoring Departments