The McLaughlin research group works on better ways to characterize and manage water resources. We are currently focusing on three related topics:
(1) We are studying the distribution and movement of water over continental-scale regions. This is motivated by a desire to identify the connections between water availability and food production, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas where population growth rates are high.
(2) We are developing new ways to extract information from limited field data. This involves development of data assimilation techniques that use mathematical models to interpolate and extrapolate measurements.
(3) We are investigating the effects of spatial and temporal variability on hydrologic processes. This topic is closely connected to the question of how descriptions of natural phenomena depend on scale.
In each of these broad research areas we are involved in studies which cross disciplinary lines between hydrology, applied mathematics, economics, and ecology.