Melinda L Erickson, Ph.D., P.E.


Dr. Mindy L. Erickson is a research hydrologist in the Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Minnesota office. She is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, and a faculty member of the Water Resources Science Graduate program. Prior to joining USGS in 2009, Mindy worked for a local environmental consulting company and in several Minnesota state agencies, most recently as an environmental research scientist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Mindy has BS and MS degrees in Geological/Civil Engineering, and a PhD in Water Resources Science, all from the University of Minnesota. Mindy’s primary research interests are the geochemistry, fate, and transport of geogenic contaminants (e.g., arsenic, iron, manganese) and organic chemicals (e.g., petroleum products, endocrine active chemicals, and pharmaceuticals) in glacial groundwater systems across the U.S.

Professional Experience

University of Minnesota Departments of Soil, Water and Climate; Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering; Water Resources Science

2017 - present, Adjunct Associate Professor

2007 – 2017, Adjunct Assistant Professor

  • Participate in graduate student examining committees. 
  • Conduct interdisciplinary environmental research with U of MN faculty and others. 

U.S. Geological Survey Minnesota Water Science Center, 2009 – present, Research Hydrologist (Hydrologist through 2017; Groundwater Specialist through 2016)

  • Glacial Principal Aquifer Analyst, National Water Quality Program (NAWQA)
    • lead development of statistical models and maps of natural constituents (redox, arsenic, manganese) across the glacial aquifer system
    • facilitate NAWQA groundwater sampling within the glacial aquifer system
    • Lead point of contact for questions related to NAWQA work in the glacial aquifer system
  • Conduct interdisciplinary environmental research. Recent projects included:
    • regional differences in arsenic concentrations in Minnesota groundwater (MDH)
    • groundwater/surface water interactions in the NE Twin Cities Metropolitan Area (Met Council)
    • fate and transport of contaminants of emerging concern (e.g., endocrine active compounds, pharmaceuticals, personal care products) into shallow, vulnerable aquifers (MPCA)

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2006 – 2009, Environmental Research Scientist

  • Lead MPCA’s ambient ground water monitoring program, including developing monitoring strategy and design, conducting appropriate data analysis, and reporting results
  • Conduct interdisciplinary environmental research. 

Minnesota Department of Transportation, 2005 – 2006, Senior Research Analyst/GIS Specialist

  • Developed, lead, executed, documented, and reported complex technical studies for a wide range of transportation projects using appropriate engineering software tools
  • Lead GIS group within the Section, including delegating, facilitating, and performing GIS tasks
  • Presented technical results to a wide variety of audiences

Minnesota Department of Health, 1998 – 2000, Hydrologist

Completed, with project team members, a multidisciplinary research project related to elevated levels of naturally-occurring arsenic in Minnesota groundwater (Minnesota Arsenic Study, or MARS)

RETEC, 1993 – 1997, Project Manager/Project Engineer

  • Managed projects, including monitoring and adhering to budget and schedule, staffing, subcontractor selection and contracting, and client interaction
  • Performed hydrogeologic and geologic data analysis
  • Prepared remediation designs, including volume calculations, slope stability analysis, surface water runoff management, compliance sampling design, and technical reports
  • Observed, directed, and documented on-site remediation work conducted by subcontractors
  • Interviewed and assisted in hiring decisions regarding new staff; mentored staff


  • Ph.D. 2005, University of Minnesota, Water Resources Science (Dissertation Title: Arsenic in Upper Midwest Groundwater: Occurrence and Geochemical Mobilization Mechanisms)
  • M.S. 1992, University of Minnesota, Civil Engineering (Thesis Title: Control Equation Formulation for Circular Inhomogeneities in the Analytic Element Method)
  • B.S. 1990, University of Minnesota, Geological Engineering (Environmental emphasis)