Christopher Lowry

Associate Professor; Director of Graduate Studies

PhD, Geology (Hydrogeology), University of Wisconsin-Madison – 2008

413 Cooke Hall
(716) 645-4266


Physical hydrogeology

Research Interests

My research focuses on quantifying the controls on groundwater flow in wetland ecosystems and how groundwater interacts with both surface water as well as vegetation. This work uses a range of tools to better understand how groundwater moves through the subsurface. These tools include monitoring wells, seepage meters, stream gaging, soil cores, near surface geophysical methods, and numerical modeling. I also have a particular interest in distributed sensing using temperature as a groundwater tracer.

Course Offerings

  • GLY 312 – Surface Processes and Hydrology I
  • GLY 313 – Surface Processes and Hydrology II
  • GLY 414/514 – Hydrogeology
  • GLY 530 – Groundwater Modeling

Current Students

  • Jonathan Malzone – PhD – Groundwater/surface water interactions creating biogeochemical hotspots.
  • Matthew Celestino – MS – Quantify the impact on water resources in Broome and Tioga Counties, N.Y..

Recent Former Students

  • Laura Best – MS (2013) – Thesis title: “Modeling the regional groundwater flow in Proome and Tioga Counties, N.Y. under high-volume water extraction scenarios drive by potential natural gas development of the marcellus shale.”; Currently employed at Stantec as a Hydrogeologist in Training.
  • Dominick Ciruzzi – MS (2014) – Thesis title: “Quantifying seasonal volume of groundwater in high elevation meadows: Implications for complex aquifer geometry in a changing climate.”; Currently perusing a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Jeremy Crowley – MS (2012) – Thesis title: “Determining the spatial distribution of groundwater and surface water exchange using heat as a tracer.”; Currently employed at Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology as an Assistant Research Hydrogeologist.
  • Katie Feiner – MS (2013) – Thesis title: “The effects of beaver damming on groundwater flow through a wetland, Beaver Meadows, N.Y.”; Currently employed as an Associate at McLane Environmental LLC.
  • Nicholle Griffith – MA (2012) – Project title: “Linking wetland vegetation and groundwater levels in Western New York.”; Currently employed at Applus+RTD as an Environmental Geologist.
  • Kenneth Hay – MA (2014) – Project title: “Performing a sensitivity analysis on vertical flux estimates based on simulated streambed temperature time series data.”
  • Ethan Mamer – MS (2013) – Thesis title: “Quantifying fine scale discharge to surface water using the amplitude shift method with distributed temperature measurements.”; Currently employed at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology as a Hydrogeologist.
  • Susan Little – BS (2014)
  • Lindsay Krygier – BS (2014)
  • Benjamin McPherson – BS (2011)

Recent Publications

Mamer, E. and C.S. Lowry, 2013, Quantifying spatially distributed groundwater/ surface water interactions using temperature signals and paired fiber-optic cables. Water Resource Research, 49, 1–11, doi:10.1002/2013WR014235Cristea N.C., J.D. Lundquist, S.P. Loheide II, C.S. Lowry, and C.E. Moore 2013, Modeling how vegetation cover affects climate change impacts on streamflow timing and magnitude in the upper Tuolumne Basin, Sierra Nevada. Hydrological Processes, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9909

Lowry, C.S., and M.N. Fienen. 2013, CrowdHydrology: crowdsourcing hydrologic data and engaging citizen scientists. Ground Water. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.2012.00956.x

Fienen, M.N., and C.S. Lowry. 2012, Social.Water a crowdsourcing tool for environmental data acquisition. Computers and Geosciences. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2012.06.015

Lowry, C.S., S.P. Loheide II, C.E. Moore, and J.D. Lundquist. 2011, Groundwater controls on vegetation composition and patterning in mountain meadows. Water Resources Research. W00J11 doi:10.1029/2010WR010086

Lowry, C.S., J.S. Deems, S.P. Loheide II, and J.D. Lundquist. 2010, Linking snowmelt derived recharge and groundwater flow in a high elevation meadow system, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. Hydrological Processes. doi:10.1002/hyp.7714

Lowry, C.S., and S.P. Loheide II. 2010, Groundwater dependent vegetation: quantifying the groundwater subsidy. Water Resources Research. 46: W06202. doi:10.1029/2009WR008874.

Lowry, C.S., D. Fratta, and M.P. Anderson, 2009, Ground penetrating radar to identify mechanisms controlling spring flow in a peat dominated wetland. Journal of Hydrology. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2009.04.023