Jeff P Raffensperger, Ph.D.

Jeff Raffensperger has worked for the MD-DE-DC Water Science Center since 1999. He has led or collaborated on studies of hydrologic processes, water quality, and modeling. He has been a member of the Water Budget Estimation and Evaluation (WBEEP) Team, the Water Budget Baseline (WBB) Team, and is the Water Science Center Groundwater Specialist.



Ph.D. in Hydrogeology, 1993 – Dissertation Title: Quantitative Evaluation of the Hydrologic and Geochemical Processes Involved in the Formation of Unconformity-Type Uranium Deposits, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

M.A. in Hydrogeology, 1990, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

M.S. in Geology, 1988, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

B.S. in Geology (Cum Laude), 1985, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Professional Experience

2009-present: HYDROLOGIST, U.S. Geological Survey, MD-DE-DC Water Science Center, Baltimore, MD

  • Project Chief, Anacostia Groundwater Study, 2021-present.
  • Member, National Water Budget Baseline (WBB) Team, 2021-present.
  • Member, National Water Budget Estimation and Evaluation (WBEEP) Team, Investigating Water Quality and Sources of Streamflow, 2017-2020. Applying published method for base-flow estimation using a digital filter constrained by chemical mass balance to the CONUS in support of NHM-PRMS.
  • Member, NAWQA Integrated Watershed Studies (IWS) Team, 2013-2019. Developed and published a method for base-flow estimation using a digital filter constrained by chemical mass balance.
  • Acting Project chief, MD-DE-DC Groundwater Network, 2016-2017. Managed resources, staff schedules, data collection, processing, quality assurance, and publication for network of over 480 wells.
  • Developed or modified groundwater-flow models for Assateague Island National Seashore, the Anacostia River watershed, and a part of central Maryland impacted by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).
  • Contributed to groundwater-quality studies at the Standard Chlorine of Delaware, Inc. Superfund Site.
  • Project scientist, Comprehensive Assessment of Water Supply in Maryland project; focused on quantifying groundwater availability using models and age dating.

2006-present: GROUNDWATER SPECIALIST, U.S. Geological Survey, MD-DE-DC Water Science Center, Baltimore, MD

  • Responsible for overall quality of groundwater science and data for the MD-DE-DC Water Science Center.
  • Leader, Data Quality Management Team, 2014-2017, 2021-2022. Worked closely with database administrators to develop and implement data-quality assurance processes.

2004-09: HYDROLOGIST/RESEARCH HYDROLOGIST, U.S. Geological Survey, MD-DE-DC Water Science Center, Baltimore, MD

  • Project chief, Chesapeake Bay River Input Monitoring project, 2005-07. Managed project resources and data collection at four major river water-quality sites. Developed new methods for analyzing and communicating results of load and trend estimation (using ESTIMATOR) to Cooperators, the Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), and the public.
  • Collaborated in improving parametric and nonparametric statistical methods used for water-quality status and trends in nontidal rivers in Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Lead author, unpublished report on factors affecting water quality in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Worked closely with CBP scientists in calibrating the Phase 5 HSPF model.

2009-present: LECTURER, The Johns Hopkins University, Engineering for Professionals, Baltimore, MD.

1999-2004: SUPERVISORY HYDROLOGIST, U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, MD-DE-DC District, Baltimore, MD

  • Supervisory responsibility for the Watershed Studies Section.
  • Wrote work plan and managed the DE Inland Bays HSPF model project. Co-authored Delaware Inland Bays HSPF model report.
  • Developed new studies and wrote work plans for the Potomac TMDL water-quality data-collection project, the follow-up Mattawoman Creek water-quality project, and the Anacostia River water-quality monitoring project.

1993-99: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

  • Taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in hydrology, groundwater geology, and numerical methods.
  • Advised and co-advised graduate students pursuing MS. And Ph.D. degrees.
  • Authored textbook, Elements of Physical Hydrology (now in its 2nd edition).
  • Obtained over $1M in grant funding for research, from the National Science Foundation (including a CAREER Award: EAR/Hydrologic Sciences, 1996), the University of Virginia, the USGS/NPS partnership, the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, the American Chemical Society/Petroleum Research Fund, and others.
  • Developed and published the software package RST2D (Reactive Solute Transport in 2 Dimensions), a family of codes providing an environment for numerical simulation of processes occurring in sedimentary basins: steady or transient saturated groundwater flow, based on either a hydraulic head or stream function approach; steady or transient heat transport, which may be coupled with groundwater flow for variable-density problems; and conservative or reactive multicomponent mass transport (assuming local geochemical equilibrium). Codes have been used as the basis for computations in at least 30 peer-reviewed publications (complete list available on request).

1989-92: RESEARCH ASSISTANT, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

1987-88: TECHNICAL INTERN, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, Washington, DC

1985-86: CARTOGRAPHER, Geodesy Division, Defense Mapping Agency, Brookmont, MD

1984-85: RESEARCH ASSISTANT, Coastal & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Greenbelt, MD


  • Deterministic modeling and numerical methods for solution of differential and partial differential equations.
  • Statistical modeling using parametric and nonparametric methods. Expertise with MATLAB Statistics Toolbox and familiarity with R.
  • Database management. Expertise with Microsoft Excel, familiarity with MATLAB Database Toolbox, ODBC-connected databases and the SQL query language.
  • Geographic information Systems. Experience with ESRI ArcGIS family of desktop software.
  • Programming. Expertise with MATLAB, Fortran, and shell scripting; familiarity with Python. Experience with programming for parallel computing environments. Extensive experience with Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX operating systems.
  • Design and implementation of research programs to meet multiple objectives.
  • Project Management. Over 25 years of experience managing project development and implementation, managing human and capital resources. Experience with project management software such as Omniplan.
  • Oral and written communication.

Honors and Awards

  • Bronze Medal for Commendable Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2007
  • Sesquicentennial Associate of the Center for Advanced Studies, University of Virginia, 1996
  • TTI (Teaching Technology Initiative) Fellow, University of Virginia, 1995–96
  • IBM SUR (Shared University Research) Fellow, University of Virginia, 1994–95
  • Horton Research Grant, American Geophysical Union, 1991

Professional Activities

  • Member, Maryland Commission on Climate Change, Water Resources Subgroup, 2010–2011
  • Member, USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program Modeling Subcommittee, 2002–2008
  • Advisory Editor, Geofluids, 1999–2006
  • Associate Editor, Ground Water, 1999–2004