up close map of southern California and Tijuana

Research Areas and Projects

Hydrologic & Watershed Modeling

A wide range of hydrologic and watershed models can be used to assess the impacts of urbanization or agriculture on watersheds.

  • Trent Biggs
  • Alicia Kinoshita
  • Sam Shen
  • Kathryn Thorbjarnarson
  • Hilary McMillan
  • Matt Weingarten

Remote Sensing

Airborne and satellite-based imagery can be used to map riparian vegetation, invasive species, channel condition, and evapotranspiration.

  • Trent Biggs
  • Alicia Kinoshita
  • Sam Shen
  • Doug Stow

Management & Policy

Policy is critical to address water-related problems. SDSU has long experience with policy and management along the US-Mexico border and in San Diego County.

  • Paul Ganster
  • Piotr Jankowski
  • Andrew Wiese
  • Amy Quandt

Water Quality & Ecosystems

Human activities affect both water quality and aquatic ecosystems that depend on clean water.

Water quality

  • Trent Biggs
  • Temesgen Garoma
  • Rick Gersberg
  • Eunha Hoh
  • Natalie Mladenov
  • Kathryn Thorbjarnarson


  • Andrew Bohonak
  • Chun-Ta Lai
  • Rebecca Lewison
  • Walt Oechel
  • Kim Stringfellow
  • Kari Sant
  • Matt Verbyla


NSF Office of International Science and Engineering, International Research Experience for Students
"IRES: US-South Africa collaboration on sustainable sanitation and energy and resource recovery from wastewater." $ 249,304. 2014 – 2017.  PI: Mladenov.  More info at https://sustainablesanitation.weebly.com.

San Diego River Conservancy
"Restoration of Alvarado Creek Upper Reach 1." $543,500. Jan 2016 – Dec 2018. PI: Zink; Co-PIs: Kinoshita and Mladenov.

Environmental Protection Agency and USDA.  
"Sediment and runoff into the Tijuana Estuary from Los Laureles Canyon."  $93,000.  2014-2018.  PI: Biggs.

San Diego State University
"Alvarado Creek Baseline Monitoring." $58,559. Jan 2016 – Apr 2016. PI: Zink, Co-PIs: Kinoshita and Mladenov.

Faculty Research Incentive Award, Water Resources and Policy Initiatives, Office of the Chancellor, The California State University
"Collaborative endeavor to promote NSF-funded research experiences for Cal Poly Pomona University (CPP) and San Diego State University (SDSU) students on water reuse at the food-energy-water nexus." $5,515. 2016. PIs: Palomo, Mladenov.

SDSU Summer Undergraduate Research Program
"Photo-oxidation contributions to oil spill and seep oil degradation in natural sea water." $5,515. 2016. “PI: Mladenov, Undergraduate student researcher: Madeleine McConnell.

SDSU University Grants Program
"Recycling sulfur limits methane production: coupling of carbon and sulfur cycling in constructed wetlands." $5,515. 2016. PI: Mladenov.

COAST Program
"Persistence of oil-derived hydrocarbons in the coastal environment after the Refugio oil spill." $6,825. Aug 1, 2015 – Jul 31, 2016.  PI: Mladenov.


Data for "Worldwide signature of the 2022 Tonga Volcanic tsunami" by M. Carvajal; I. Sepulveda; A. Gubler; R. Garreaud (2022). Geophysical Research Letters.
Download: Table S1 data | Time Histories (.zip file)