Zarnetske, Jay

Zarnetske, Jay photo


Environmental Hydrology & Ecohydrology
Assistant Professor
 308 Natural Science
 (517) 353-3249

Jay Zarnetske is an environmental hydrologist who is exploring the hydrogeomorphic template of catchment ecosystems and groundwater – surface water exchange environments. His research group is interested in how hydrologic processes and aquatic ecosystems responds to climate and land use change. The group focuses on how hydrologic processes can control complex aquatic ecosystem patterns and processes. Most of their research deals with:

  • Ground Water - Surface Water Interactions in Rivers (Riparian and Hyporheic Zones)
  • Emergent Patterns in Environmental Biogeochemistry and Stream Ecosystems
  • Nitrogen and Carbon Export & Retention in Stream Networks (Ecological Flow Regimes)
  • Arctic and Permafrost Influenced Stream Ecosystems

They approach these interests in terms of how catchment hydrology and groundwater - surface water interactions affect aquatic ecosystems through solute generation, fate, and transport. Our methods involve a range of characterization techniques (e.g., tracers, isotopes, and geophysics, statistical data mining) and modeling that couples hydraulic and ecosystem processes (e.g., reactive nutrient transport).

Jay is an alumnus of Oregon State University (Ph.D.), Utah State University (M.S.), Colby College (B.A.). He was a Gaylord Donnelly Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University before joining MSU.

Recent Publications

Abbott BW, G Gruau, JP Zarnetske, F Moatar, L Barbe, Z Thomas, O Fovet, T Kolbe, S Gu, AC Pierson-Wickmann, P Davy, G Pinay. (2017) Unexpected structure and synchrony of water quality in headwater stream networks. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/ele.12897

Ruhala SS, JP Zarnetske, DT Long, JA Lee-Cullin, S Plont, and ER Wiewiora. (2017) Exploring dissolved organic carbon cycling at the stream-groundwater interface across a third-order, lowland stream network. Biogeochemistry,

Pavelsky, TM, and JP Zarnetske. (2017) Declining aufeis in Arctic Alaska reflects a changing hydrologic cycle. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, doi:10.1002/2016GL072397.

Schmadel, N, A Ward, M Kurz, JP Zarnetske, D Hannah, T Blume, M Vieweg, P Blaen, C Schmidt, J Knapp, M Klaar, P Romeijn, T Datry, T Keller, S Folegot, A Marruedo Arricibita, S Krause. (2016) Stream solute tracer timescales changing with discharge and reach length confound process interpretation, Water Resoures Research, 52, doi:10.1002/2015WR018062.

Briggs, MA, FD Day-Lewis, JP Zarnetske, and JW Harvey. (2015) A physical explanation for the development of redox microzones in hyporheic flow. Geophysical Research Letters, 42, doi: 10.1002/2015GL064200.


  • GLG411 - Hydrogeology