Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources; University of California
125 Veihmeyer Hall
Davis, CA 95616-8628
Land, Air & Water Resources
- Groundwater Cooperative Extension Program
- Groundwater Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment Tools
- Toward Sustainable Groundwater in Agriculture - Linking Science and Policy, June 2024
Thomas Harter holds the Nora S. Gustavsson Endowed Professorship in Water Resources at the University of California, Davis after serving as the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair for Water Policy and Management from 2007-2020. He has a joint appointment as Distinguished Professor and as Distinguished Professor in Cooperative Extension at 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. At UC Davis since 1995, he has established a unique research program in agricultural groundwater hydrology developing novel understanding and solutions to address issues at the nexus of groundwater, the unsaturated zone, soils, and agriculture. He is a member of the American Geophysical Union, has been 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.
- 2022 James H. Meyer Distinguished Achievement Award
Presented by Agricultural Sustainability Institute, https://www.ucdavis.edu/news/senate-federation-honor-members-teaching-research-service, 2023
SpecialtyFlow and transport processes in groundwater and in the vadoze zone; non-point source pollution of groundwater; numerical and statistical modeling of non-point source pollution at the agriculture-groundwater nexus; sustainable groundwater management; integrated water management.
Areas of Expertise (click to see all ANR academics with this expertise)
California Agriculture Article Contributions
- California's agricultural regions gear up to actively manage groundwater use and protection
- Soil suitability index identifies potential areas for groundwater banking on agricultural lands
- Out of sight but not out of mind: California refocuses on groundwater