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Tanja N. Williamson, PhD

Soil-water scientist experienced in natural and human-affected systems, including links with vegetation and landscape dynamics. Research interest spans landscape and water-resource effects of agriculture, mining, development, and climate change.  Published research supported by OSMRE, USDA, NSF, USEPA, USGS, state agencies, and universities.  

Recent and ongoing research includes:

  • Hydrologic modeling of mixed land-use watersheds
    • the importance of land-cover change to streamflow magnitude, variability, and seasonality
    • developing decision-support systems that inform resource managers
  • Incorporation of soil-physical data into hydrologic modeling
    • Comparison of lab and field measurements to modeled soil properties
    • Sensitivity of hydrologic models to changes in soil properties 
    • Simulation of hydrologic response from landscape reconstruction
  • Temporal variability of soil-water storage and movement
    • Agricultural resilience under projected climate change
    • Delineation of ephemeral and intermittent streams in Appalachia
  • Conservation management in agricultural landscapes
    • Identifying sediment source
    • Linking soil-water storage with the stream environment
    • Extent and characteristics of tile-drains (sub-surface agricultural drainage)



Ph.D.   Soil and Water Science (Pedology), University of California, Riverside, 1999 

M.S.     Earth Science (Geomorphology), University of California, Riverside, 1995 

B.S.     Geoscience, The Pennsylvania State University, 1992 (includes PSU Field Camp)    

Professional Experience  

U.S. Geological Survey  

  • Research Hydrologist, Kentucky Water Science Center  (2010 to present)      
  • Hydrologist, Kentucky Water Science Center  (2006 to 2010)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky (2016 to present)

Quinte Conservation, Belleville, ON, Canada (2006) 

Loyalist College, Belleville, ON, Canada  (2004-2005) 

University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA, Geosciences (1999-2004)