Thomas Harter

Dr. Thomas Harter

Position Title
Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist; Robert M. Hagan Chair for Water Management and Policy

  • Land, Air, and Water Resources
  • Center for Watershed Sciences

Thomas Harter, Ph.D.Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and Policy. Hydrology Program - Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources; University of California, Davis; Research Interests: Flow and transport processes in ground water and in the vadose zone; stochastic analysis of such processes in heterogeneous porous systems; numerical modeling; sustainable groundwater management; assessment and remediation of ground water contamination; nonpoint source pollution of groundwater; geostatistics. (see UCCE research). For a list of publications, check out Thomas' resume.

Short Bio

Thomas Harter is the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair for Water Resources Management and Policy at the University of California, Davis. He holds a joint appointment as Professor and Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, is currently chair of the Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Group, and, as Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, is a team partner for the World Water Center. Dr. Harter received his BS and MS in Hydrology from the Universities of Freiburg and Stuttgart, Germany; and his PhD in Hydrology from the University of Arizona.  He spent the first six years of his career with UC Davis at the Kearney Agricultural Research Center in Fresno County, where he became familiar with San Joaquin Valley groundwater management and protection issues and established his research program in agricultural groundwater hydrology - a program he has continued to pioneer over the past 18 years at UC Davis. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union and is serving on the Board of Directors of the Groundwater Resources Association and of the Water Education Foundation. He is associate editor for the Journal of Environmental Quality. Dr. Harter's research and extension emphasizes the nexus between groundwater and agriculture. His research group focuses on nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater, sustainable groundwater management, groundwater and vadose zone modeling, groundwater resources evaluation under uncertainty, groundwater-surface water interaction, and on contaminant transport. His work uses a range of numerical, statistical, and stochastic modeling approaches, often with field research, to evaluate the impacts of agriculture and human activity on groundwater flow and contaminant transport in complex aquifer and soil systems, and to support development of tools needed in agriculture and by decision- and policy makers to effectively address sustainable groundwater management and water quality issues in agricultural regions. In 2008, Dr. Harter's research and extension program received the Kevin J. Neese Award in recognition of its efforts to engage scientists, regulators, farm advisors, dairy industry representatives, and dairy farmers to better understand the effects of dairy operations on water quality.