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Randall J Hunt, Ph.D.

Randall Hunt is a Chief Science Officer with the Upper Midwest Water Science Center.


My work focuses on water flow, and its effect on natural systems. This research uses a variety of approaches such as numerical modeling, ion and isotope chemistry, tracers, parameter estimation, and stochastic methods. It emphasizes a range of groundwater – surface water systems including wetland, stream, and lake interactions. More recently this work has been extended to research investigating ecohydrology of aquatic systems, effects of climate and landuse drivers, and source and transport of enteric viruses to drinking water wells and temperature through watersheds.  Much of my work has focused on improving model forecasts and uncertainty estimates  for decision making.

Professional Experience

  • 2018 to 2021 - Chief Science Officer, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Water Science Center

  • 2015 to 2018 - Associate Director of Science, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Water Science Center

  • 1996 to present - Research Hydrologist, US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Water Science Center

  • 2003 to present - Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geoscience

  • 2000 to 2003 - Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Geoscience

  • 1990 to 1996 - Hydrologist, US Geological Survey, Wisconsin District

  • 1991 to 1993 - Research Fellow, US DOE, Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Program

  • 1988 to 1990 - Hydrogeologist/Project Manager, Barr Engineering Company, Minneapolis, MN

  • 1986 to 1987 - Leopold Research Fellow, Leopold Memorial Reserve, Baraboo, WI

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D in Hydrogeology (major) and Wetland Sciences (minor) - University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993

  • M.S. in Hydrogeology - University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1987

  • B.A. in Geology (major) and Business (major) - Gustavus Adolphus College, 1985

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Professional Societies

  • Professional Hydrologist #60-111, State of Wisconsin

  • Geological Society of America

  • American Water Resources Association, Wisconsin Section

  • Society of Wetland Scientists

  • American Geophysical Union

  • National Groundwater Association

  • Academic and Professional Service

  • 2014 to 2019 - Advisor to the Editor-In-Chief for the journal Groundwater

  • 2009 to 2013 - Associate Editor for Hydrogeology Journal

  • 2008 to 2009 - Guest Editor for "Hydrogeoecology and Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems" theme issue of Hydrogeology Journal

  • 2005 to present - Appointed by Governor to the State of Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing Geology, Hydrology, Soil Science Joint Board (Chair 2008 - 2014)

  • 2005 to 2006 - Guest Editor for "Analytic Element Modeling" special issue of the journal Groundwater

  • 2002 to 2004 - Associate Editor for the journal Wetlands

  • 1998 to 2010 - Member, University of Wisconsin System Groundwater Research Advisory Council (Chair 2003-2010)

  • 1995 to present - Member, State of Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council Research Subcommittee

  • 1997 to present - Associate Editor for the journal Groundwater

  • Editorial Boards

  • Groundwater

  • Environmental Modelling & Software

Honors and Awards

  • 2013 – Distinguished Service Award, Wisconsin Section-AWRA

  • 2012 – Superior Service Award, US Department of the Interior

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government