M.Sc. Opportunity: University of Manitoba

Hydrological Modelling for Soil Moisture Monitoring and Forecasting

The Issue
Soil moisture is highly variable in space and time. Climate change is expected to produce more dramatic precipitation fluctuations causing extremes in soil moisture (i.e. drought and flood) more frequently. These extremes profoundly impact on agriculture, flood risk and infrastructure. However, monitoring and forecasting soil moisture is very challenging. Real-time soil moisture monitoring and forecasting requires a modelling approach that integrates various sources of hydrological data to simulate soil moisture levels.

The Opportunity
A research project has been funded consisting of a small-scale study to validate the Aquanty HydroGeoSphere (HGS) model in aRed River Valley(RRV) sub-watershed. The HGS physics-based simulation approach accounts for the entire terrestrial water cycle in 3 dimensions including atmospheric conditions, streamflow, groundwater movement and soil moisture content. Establishment of a RRV watershed that can be accurately simulated using HGS will provide the basis for future upscaling to the entireRRV. This is a key step to establishing a system to simulate current hydrologic conditions, including soil moisture, as well as future hydrologic conditions using weather forecast datafor one of Canada’s most productive agricultural regions. This project will provide the backbone for a variety of agricultural and linked surface water management decision support systems that can utilize current and future soil moisture as a key input variable.

The Position
A Master of Science position is currently available for a qualified and highly-motivated student who is interested in 3D Hydrological Model testing for the purpose of monitoring and forecasting soil moisture.The individual must be a quantitatively-minded earth system science specialist, with knowledge of agricultural practices and landscapes in Southern Manitoba, and with an interest in studying soil moisture dynamics through a combination of advanced numerical models and field study. Strong communication and writing skills are imperative. Previous experience with 3D hydrologic modeling software (i.e. HydroGeoSphere, FeFlow, Modflow, Hydrus, Parflow, GSFlow) would be an asset.

The position has a stipend of $22,000 per year plus the opportunity for additional money as a Teaching Assistant. Applications accepted until the position is filled. To apply, send (via email), a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, a detailed resume and two letters of reference to Dr. Paul Bullock, Professor Agrometerology (Paul.Bullock@umanitoba.ca). Please use “M.Sc. Hydrological Modeling” in the subject line. The Department of Soil Science is committed to a training environment that embraces gender equality, diversity and encouragement of First Nation and Metis peoples and minorities.