Welcome

Research in my group focuses on the morphodynamics of rivers and streams and the relation of these morphodynamics to human activity, ecosystems, and biog eochemical processes. I am a faculty member in the River, Watershed, and Landscape Dynamics graduate program in the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, which involves interdisciplinary coursework and research experiences bridging physical geography, geology, civil and environmental engineering, and natural resources and environmental science.

News

Research Opportunities for New Graduate Students

I am looking for new graduate students for the following projects starting in the Fall 2017.  Please contact me (brhoads@illinois.edu) if you are interested in these research opportunities.

The Role of Large Wood in Sediment, Carbon and River Dynamics in Midwestern Agricultural Landscapes

This PhD-student opportunity, part of the NSF-funded Critical Zone Observatory in Intensively Managed Landscapes (http://criticalzone.org/iml), will examine the movement, storage, and arrangement of large wood in Midwestern rivers flowing through agricultural landscapes with forested riparian corridors.  It will explore the influence of large wood on the movement and storage of sediment and particulate carbon within river channels and on floodplains.  It will also investigate how large wood contributes to river morphodynamics through its effects on bar formation and channel change.  The project will focus mainly on field work in the Sangamon River basin in Illinois, but may also include comparative analysis of watersheds in Iowa and Minnesota.   

The Influences of Human Landscape Modification and Watershed Geomorphology on Spatial Patterns of Sediment Flux within Midwestern Agricultural Watersheds

This PhD-student opportunity, part of the NSF-funded Critical Zone Observatory in Intensively Managed Landscapes (http://criticalzone.org/iml), seeks to determine the extent to which human factors, along with geomorphic characteristics of watersheds inherited from glacial and post-glacial conditions, influence spatial patterns of fine sediment transport and storage within intensively managed agricultural landscapes. The project will focus mainly on field work in the Sangamon River Basin in Illinois, one of the watersheds in the IML-CZO, but may include comparative analysis of watersheds in Iowa and Minnesota.  It may also involve modeling of sediment dynamics at the watershed scale. 

Mixing at and Downstream of River Confluences

This Master’s- or PhD-student opportunity is part of an ongoing effort to determine the factors that control mixing of water, sediment, and dissolved constituents at and downstream of river confluences.  This NSF-funded project is part of an international collaborative effort involving colleagues at the University of Iowa and the Institute of Freshwater Ecology in Berlin, Germany.  The project includes field, laboratory, and numerical modeling components with opportunities for field work both in the Midwestern United States and in Europe. A video is  available on YouTube that provides an overview this international collaborative project.  To see the video click here

 

Resources & Links

Free Book: Rhoads, B.L. and Thorn, C.E. 1996. The Scientific Nature of Geomorphology

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center

Water and Land Stewardship, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment

Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Lab

A new video is now available on YouTube that provides an overview of an international collaborative project, partly funded by the National Science Foundation,  focusing on mixing at river confluences.  To see the video click here