James J Duncker

James J Duncker is a hydrologist with the USGS Central Midwest Water Science Center located in Urbana, Illinois.  James and his wife, Carrie, a nursing coordinator,  have two sons, Ben and Patrick.  Their family enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities.  James likes to stay home to watch college wrestling and his musical interests are primarily classic rock with a developing interest in blues and


BS Geology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 1982

Professional Experience:
1983-Present USGS, Central Midwest Water Science Center, Urbana, Illinois

Project Chief of HSPF rainfall-runoffmodeling studies in Du Page and Lake counties
Project team member of a joint USEPA-USGS HSPF watershed modeling study for the proposed Crandon Mine project
Project chief for the Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting project
Experienced in the collection of hydro-acoustic techniques for discharge measurements
Experienced in surface-water-quantity and meteorological data collection
Project chief of bathymetric survey of Chicago River
Instrumentation coordinator for the USGS-Illinois Water Science Center

James has been with the USGS since 1983, starting his USGS career as a student field assistant in the USGS DeKalb Field Office collecting streamflow and groundwater data throughout northern Illinois.  In 1988, he transferred to the USGS Illinois District Office in Urbana as a hydrologist working on a wide range of urban hydrology studies. These projects allowed him to combine streamflow data collection experience with hydrologic studies to develop an understanding of urban hydrology in northeastern Illinois. 

Some of the projects that he worked on include the Lake Michigan Diversion Accounting (LMDA) program, monitoring the diversion of Lake Michigan water to the Illinois River Basin.  The LMDA project provided learning experience in hydroacoustic flow measurements using acoustic Doppler current profilers (ADCP's).  The LMDA project helped define the complex hydraulic setting of the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) and contributed to the application of hydroacoustic flow measurement technologies within the USGS. For much of his career he has worked jointly with the University of Illinois Department of Civil Engineering-Hydrosystems Laboratory and the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD).  These projects have focused on urban hydraulics and hydrology throughout the Chicago area   These project utilized our experience in hydroacoustic data collection to the challenging canal, sewer, and tunnel environments and provided data for calibration of hydraulic models.  This partnership (U. of Illinois, MWRD and USGS) work continues today with studies to evaluate the effectiveness of urban stormwater best management practices. 

In 2008, James began working on a large multi-agency effort to prevent invasive Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes.  This project is an interesting multi-disciplinary collaboration of biologists, hydrologists, and engineers to study the life history of these invasive species and to develop, test, and implement effective control technologies.

Journal Articles:

Oberg , K. A., and Duncker, J. J., 1999, Investigation of Anomalous Flows in the Chicago River, Chicago, Illinois. Seattle, WA, in Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers Conference of Water Resources Engineering, August 8-12, 1999