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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Laura Lautz

Lautz portrait

Professor: Hydrology

Earth and Environmental Sciences

333G Heroy Geology Laboratory


Research and Teaching Interests

I am a hydrologist, with a geological training, whose research goal is to further understand how physical hydrologic processes influence water quality and movement through watersheds. I am particularly interested in understanding how water moves through paired surface water and groundwater systems, heat tracing in hydrologic systems, and interactions between the energy and water cycles.

My broad interest in the exchange of water between surface and subsurface environments has led me to do several specific interdisciplinary research projects. Generally, my research involves field experiments coupled with computer modeling experiments.

For a list of current projects, please visit:

For more information on the EMPOWER graduate training program, please visit:


Hydrogeology (EAR 401/601)

Water-Energy Seminar (EAR 612)


Emily Baker (PhD Candidate)

Nathaniel Chien (MS Student)

Robin Glas (PhD Candidate)

Amanda Schulz (PhD Student)


Watershed Hydrology Lab: The Watershed Hydrology lab contains instrumentation for laboratory analysis of the chemistry of natural waters and for collecting field measurements. The lab is well equipped with several refrigerators for sample storage, fume hoods, drying ovens, mass balances, adjustable pipettes, and volumetric glassware.

Major laboratory instrumentation includes:
- Two-Column Dionex Reagent Free Ion Chromatography System, ICS-2000, with autosampler (for simultaneously measuring anion and cation concentrations, such as calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate, among others)
- Picarro L2130-i Water Isotope Analyzer, with autosampler (for measuring oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition of water)
- Barnstead NANApure DIamond Ultrapure Water System (for water deionization)

Field instrumentation includes:
- Nikon Reflectorless Total Station (and accessories)
- Portable WTW pH/specific conductance/dissolved oxygen probes
- Geopump Persitaltic Pumps and an FMI piston pump for well sampling
- Flow-through field fluorometer
- ADV velocity meter
- Marsh-McBirney flow meters
- iButton temperature data logger
- Davis VantagePro2 weather stations

Selected Publications

Glas, R., Lautz, L. K., McKenzie, J., Moucha, R., Chavez, D., Mark, B. & Lane, J. W., Hydrogeology of an alpine talus aquifer: Cordillera Blanca, Peru. Hydrogeol J 27, 2137–2154 (2019).

Caldwell, S. H., Kelleher, C., Baker, E. A. & Lautz, L. K., Relative information from thermal infrared imagery via unoccupied aerial vehicle informs simulations and spatially-distributed assessments of stream temperature.
Apr 15 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 661, p. 364-374.

Lautz, L, Kelleher, C, Vidon, P, Coffman, J, Riginos, C, Copeland, H. Restoring stream ecosystem function with beaver dam analogues: Let's not make the same mistake twice. Hydrological Processes. 2019; 33: 174– 177.

Examples of publications from the past two years are listed below. For the most up to date list, see:

*Ledford, SH, LK Lautz, PG Vidon, JC Stella. 2017. Impact of seasonal changes in stream metabolism on nitrate concentrations in an urban stream. Biogeochemistry, 133(3): 317-331. doi: 10.1007/s10533-017-0336-7

*Glose, AM, LK Lautz, *EA Baker. 2017. Stream heat budget modeling with HFLUX: model development, verification, and applications across contrasting sites and seasons. Environmental Modeling & Software, 92: 213-228. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.02.021 (click here for HFLUX model download)

Irvine, DJ, MA Briggs, LK Lautz, RP Gordon, JM McKenzie, I Cartwright. 2017. Using diurnal temperature signals to infer vertical groundwater-surface water exchange. Groundwater, 55(1): 10-26. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12459

*Irvine, DJ, MA Briggs, I Cartwright, CR Scruggs, LK Lautz. 2017. Improved vertical streambed flux estimation using multiple diurnal temperature methods in series. Groundwater, 55(1): 73-80. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12436


College Announces New Department Chairs

(Oct. 17, 2017)

Changes mark continued commitment to the College as the academic heart of the University

A&S Researchers Explore Link between Tropical Glaciers, Water Supply

(Jan. 3, 2017)

New paper by members of Earth sciences department draws on work done in Peruvian Andes

Testing the Waters

(May 3, 2016)

Emily Baker awarded Central New York Association of Professional Geologists 2016 Grant for Student Research

Syracuse Hosts EMPOWER Advisory Committee

(Sept. 21, 2015)

NSF-sponsored program supports water-energy research on campus

Syracuse Receives $3 Million Grant for Graduate-Level STEM Training

(April 13, 2015)

Interdisciplinary project focuses on water-energy research