Christina Cianfrani, associate professor of hydrology, received her B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, M.S. from Yale University, and Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Vermont.
Her research focuses on watershed processes approached from an ecological and engineering perspective. Specifically, she explores the effects of urbanization on stream systems and conducts basic geomorphological research relating hydrologic stream characteristics with biotic integrity. To conduct these interdisciplinary research projects she partners with local and state agencies, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and private consultants.
Her teaching interests include watershed hydrology, stream ecology, sustainable water resources, stream restoration, and fluvial geomorphology.
All life requires water to survive. Where do we get our water? Where does it go? Will there always be enough? How can we manage our water resources to ensure there is enough? What policies affect these decisions? This course explores these topics using a systems approach to gain an understanding of how our water resources are intimately tied with the surrounding ecosystem. Topics include the water cycle, hydrologic budgets, urban stormwater management and low impact development. Students will read and discuss primary literature, delineate watershed boundaries, compute water budgets (at the watershed level and for their own water use), and complete a group design project. Each group will develop a design for a stormwater best management practice to be located somewhere on the Hampshire campus. Designs will include: assessment of need for improved stormwater management, building layout/plan, and stormwater calculations. Groups will be required to present their final designs to the class.
Floods, droughts, and hurricanes have all been predicted to increase in response to climate change. How will these and other effects impact our access to freshwater? How will we adapt to these changing conditions? This class will cover a brief introduction to the science behind climate change predictions and look specifically at the impacts to the water cycle. We will also discuss how the ways in which we have changed the landscape affect our ability to respond to changes in water availability. Students will read and discuss primary literature, develop a research question and project, collect and interpret data (both in the field and the library), and learn the basic skills scientists use to analyze water related issues.
Rivers and streams wind through the landscape moving water, sediment and other materials and provide habitat for a variety of organisms. In this class we will discuss the main processes that occur in rivers and the means for observing them. We will learn to interpret the morphology (shape) of rivers and fluvial landscapes. We will use both field measurements (i.e., get our feet wet in the stream) and computer models to analyze local river systems from both a hydrological and ecological perspective. Students will explore the primary literature, complete lab exercises, develop a stream project, and discuss the response of streams to natural and human induced environmental change. This course requires weekly field trips to a local stream. Field work includes hiking and wading in shallow water.
How does water move through the landscape? What can we learn from studying streams and rivers? Students will explore topics in hydrology and watershed management. Areas of focus will include hydrologic cycle/water budgets, watershed characteristics, groundwater hydrology, aquatic ecosystems, and urban hydrology. Students will get their hands and feet wet in the lab and around Hampshire's campus, read and discuss primary literature, analyze data in teams, and learn basic skills scientist use to analyze water-related issues. In addition to gaining an understanding of hydrological processes, students will collect and analyze hydrologic data from a local watershed and develop a comprehensive watershed management plan. This course is suitable for upper-division students as well as first-year students with basic science background and an interest in water resources.
Associate Professor of Hydrology
Mail Code NS
Cole Science Center 102
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002