Water Resources

Get into the flow

Always complicated, the issue of water is becoming even more complex and controversial as world population increases and climate changes. The water resources concentration gives you the problem-solving skills needed in this increasingly important field. You’ll learn about biological and physical aspects of water in the environment through courses including wetland ecology and management, stream ecology, groundwater-flow and water-quality modeling, and fisheries management. 

You’ll develop a wide range of skills, including modeling, pollution prevention, watershed assessment, wetland restoration, and wastewater treatment. You’ll add training in environmental management and policy to ensure that you can translate your science to the public and policymakers. Graduate well-positioned for careers with government, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, industry-based departments of environmental management at international or national levels, or fast-growing and often innovative state and municipal organizations.

How to apply




Add in-depth knowledge and detail

The water resources concentration emphasizes scientific principles of water quantity and quality. Courses provide information and problem-solving skills using biological, chemical, and physical descriptions of water in the environment. MSES students choosing the Water Resources concentration are required to take three course (9 credit hours) from the Water Resource core (at least one course in both the Physical and Chemical Aspects of Water and in the Ecological Aspects of Water area) and three course (9 credit hours) from Water Resources Electives.

Water Resources Core (9 credit hours)

Physical and Chemical Aspects of Water (at least one course)
  • Water Quality Modeling (E 502)
  • Aquatic Chemistry (E 539)
  • Groundwater Flow Modeling (E 554)
  • Watershed Hydrology (E 555)
  • Physical Hydrology (GEOG-G 551)*
  • Methods in Analytical Geochemistry (GEOL-G 544)*
  • Surface water Hydrology (GEOL-G 550)*

*Please work with an advisor when taking courses outside of O’NEILL.

Ecological Aspects of Waters (at least one course)
  • Wetlands Ecology and Management (E 540)
  • Subsurface Microbiology and Bioremediation (E 544)
  • Stream Ecology (E 546)
  • Limnology (E 556)

Water Resources Electives (9 credit hours)
  • Fisheries & Wildlife Management (E 460)
  • Fisheries & Wildlife Management Laboratory (E 461)
  • Restoration Ecology (E 534)
  • Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
  • BMP Design for Healthy Urban Watersheds (E 555)
  • Conservation Biology (E 557)
  • Climate-Change Impacts on Natural Resources (E 591 / R 591)

Combining your MSES degree with the MPA can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. Integrating science and policy for better leadership. Our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests and help you design a program that is best or you.

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.


O’Neill gave me technical knowledge in wetland delineation and environmental regulations that I use at my current job.

—Samantha Beaupre, MSES’17, Environmental Biologist, Lochmueller Group, Indianapolis

You can join the O’Neill Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in water resources

Ashley Clark
Clinical Assistant Professor

(812) 855-4517

  • Survey Methodology
  • Human Resource Management Including Management of Contingent Employees
  • Positive Organizational Scholarship

Kimberly A. Novick
Associate Professor

(812) 855-3010

  • Forest Ecology
  • Ecosystem Carbon and Water Cycling
  • Biometeorology

Todd V. Royer

(812) 855-0563

  • Aquatic biogeochemistry
  • Water resources
  • Nutrient and carbon cycling in streams and rivers
  • Water quality and nutrient standards

Adam S. Ward
Associate Professor

(812) 856-4820

  • Environmental science
  • Hydrology
  • Watershed management
  • Civil engineering
  • Water quality
Professor and student in wading boots.