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George M. Hornberger

Contact Information

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George M. Hornberger

Office: Buttrick 155

PMB 407702
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
Phone: 615-343-1144
Fax: 615-322-7012

Recent Resume / CV


Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment

  • University Distinguished Professor
  • Craig E. Philip Professor of Engineering
  • Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences


  • Ph.D., Hydrology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • MSCE, Hydrology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
  • BSCE, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Experience

  • 2008 ---  Director, VIEE, Vanderbilt University
  • 2014 ---  Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • 2008 ---  University Distinguished Professor, Vanderbilt
  • 2012-2013 Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt
  • 1970-2008 - from Assistant Professor to Ernest H. Ern Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia
  • 2002-2006 - Associate Dean for the Sciences, University of Virginia
  • 2006-2007 - Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1997-1998 - Visiting Scientist, Institute for Alpine and Arctic Research, University of Colorado
  • 1990-1991 - Visiting Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey and, concurrently, Visiting Professor, Stanford University
  • 1984-1985 - Honorary Visiting Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Lancaster, Lancaster, U.K.
  • 1977-1978 - Visiting Fellow, Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, The Australian National University

Current Students

John Crane, Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering
Research: Determination of what impacts nitrous oxide emissions from urban riparian buffer zones may have for regional GHG inventories.

Leslie Duncan, Ph.D. candidate in environmental sciences
Research: Local and regional hydrological and subsurface conditions in regulation of the mechanical behavior of landslides and in relation to changing river flows.

Thushara Gunda, Ph.D. candidate in environmental sciences
Research: Climate, water, and drought in Sri Lanka..

Chelsea Peters, Ph. D. candidate environmental engineering
Research: Groundwater surface water interaction

Elizabeth Stone, M.S. candidate Earth and environmental Sciences
Research: Nitrogen cyc;ling across the Mahaweli watershed, Sri Lanka

Scott Worland, Ph.D. candidate environmental engineering
Research: Water use in U.S. cities

Recent Ph.D. graduates

John Jacobi, Ph.D., Environmental Engineering. Dissertation: "A Changing Climate in Sri Lanka: Shifts, Perceptions, and Potential Adaptive Actions"

Yi Mei, Ph.D. Environmental Engineering. Dissertation: "Hydrological Regulation on Dissolved Organic Carbon Transport from Agricultural and Forest Soils to Streams"

Debra Perrone, Ph.D. Environmental Engineering. Dissertation: "Characterizing!Water, Food, and Energy Interrelationships"

Research Projects

  • Environmental stress and human migration in Bangladesh--natural and human landscapes
    • Collaborators: Brooke Ackerley, Jonathan Gilligan, Steve Goodbred, and others
  • Climate Adaptation, Water-Energy Impacts, Perceptions and Behavior in Sri Lanka
    • Collaborators: Amanda Carrico, Jim Fraser, Jonathan Gilligan, Lanka Thabrew, Heather Truelove
  • Water Conservation in American Cities
    • Collaborators: David Hess and Jonathan Gilligan

Recent Publications

Hornberger, G.M., Wiberg, P.L., Raffensperger, J.P., and P. D’Odorico. 2014. Elements of Physical Hydrology, 2nd Edition . Johns Hopkins Press.

Hornberger, GM and JC Ayers. Hydraulic Fracturing in the Development of Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources. Oxford Bibliographies Online, In press

Mei Y, Hornberger GM, Kaplan LA, Newbold JD, and AK Aufdenkampe 2014. The Delivery of Dissolved Organic Carbon from a Forested Riparian Hillslope to a Headwater Stream. Water Resources Research.

Perrone D and GM Hornberger 2014. Water, Food, Energy: Scrambling for Resources or Solutions? WIRES-Water 1 : 49-68.

Flewelling S.A., Hornberger, G.M., Herman, J.S., Mills, A. L. and W.M. Robertson. 2014. Evapotranspiration Causes Diel Patterns in Stream Nitrate Concentrations. Hydrol Proc.28 : 2150-2158.

TsangY-P, Hornberger GM, Kaplan LA, Newbold JD, and A Aufdenkampe, 2014. Spatial distribution of groundwater evapotranspiration: impacts on modeling stream flow. Hydrol Proc. 28 : 2439-2450.

Murphy,JC, Hornberger GM and RG Liddle 2014. Concentration–discharge relationships in the coalmined region of the New River basin and Indian Fork sub-basin, Tennessee, USA. Hydrol. Process . 28 : 718-728.

Jacobi, J., D. Perrone, L. Duncan, G. Hornberger 2013. A Tool for Calculating the Palmer Drought Indices. Wat. Resour. Res.9: 6086–6089. DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20342.

Camp J, Abkowitz M, Hornberger G, Benneyworth L, and J Banks 2013. Climate change and Freight Transportation Infrastructure: Current Challenges for Adaptation. J. Infrastruct. Syst. 19: 363-370.

Mei Y, Hornberger GM, Kaplan LA, Newbold JD, and A Aufdenkampe 2012. Estimation of Dissolved Organic Carbon Contribution from Riparian Zone to a Headwater Stream. Wat. Resour. Res 48: 9, doi:10.1029/2011WR010815.

Flewelling S.A., Herman, J.S., Hornberger, G.M., and A. L. Mills. 2011. Travel Time Controls the Magnitude of Nitrate Discharge in Groundwater Bypassing the Riparian Zone to an Agriculture Stream on Virginia’s Coastal Plain. Hydrol. Proc. , DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8219.

Ewing, A., Thabrew, L., Perrone, D., Abkowitz, A. and G.M. Hornberger 2011. Is LCA a credible tool for corporate environmental footprinting? A case study of an inland marine freight transportation company. J. Industrial Ecology 15 : 937–950.

Perrone, D., Murphy, J. and G.M. Hornberger 2011. Gaining perspective on the water-energy nexus at the community scale. Environ. Sci. & Tech. , 45:4228–4234. DOI: 10.1021/es103230n

Hornberger, G.M. 2009. Hydrologic context for modelling nutrient cycles. In Anderssen, R.S., R.D. Braddock and L.T.H. Newham (eds) 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand and International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, July 2009, pp. 37-43. ISBN: 978-0-9758400-7-8.

Gu, C., Maggi F., Venterea, R.T., Riley, W.J., Hornberger, G.M., Xu, T., Spycher, N., Steefel, C., Miller, N.L., and C.M. Oldenburg 2009. Aqueous and gaseous nitrogen losses induced by fertilizer application. JGR-Biogeosciences 114 : G01006, doi:10.1029/2008JG000788.

Gu, C., Hornberger, G.M., Mills, A.L., and J.S. Herman 2008. Influence of stream-aquifer interactions in the riparian zone on NO3 - flux to a low-relief coastal stream, Water Resour. Res. 44 : W11432, doi:10.1029/2007WR006739.

Ajami, N.K., Hornberger, G.M., and D. L. Sunding. 2008. Sustainable water resource management under hydrological uncertainty, Water Resour. Res. 44 : W11406, doi:10.1029/2007WR006736.

Maggi F., Gu, C., Riley, W.J., Hornberger, G.M., Venterea, R.T., Xu, T., Spycher, N., Steefel, C., Miller, N.L., Rubin, Y. and C.M. Oldenburg 2008. Mechanistic modeling of biogeochemical nitrogen cycling: model development and application in an agricultural system., JGR-Biogeosciences , 113 : G02016, doi:10.1029/2007JG000578.

Gu, C., Hornberger, G.M., Mills, A.L., and J.S. Herman 2008. The Effect of Freshets on the Flux of Groundwater NitrateThrough Streambed Sediments, Water Resour. Res. , 44 : W05415, doi:10.1029/2007WR006488.

Selected recent presentations

Hornberger, G.M. (May 2014) “Water Science and Technology: Key Ingredients in Shaping Innovative Pathways to Sustainability.” Ecosystems, Economy, and Society: Large-scale Ecological Restoration, \Meeting at the National Academies, sponsored by Veolia Environmental Services.

Hornberger, G.M. and A. Carrico (June 2014) “Interdisciplinary Challenges in Studying Social-Ecological Systems: Partnerships across the Natural and Social Sciences”, Gordon Research Conference on Water, Holderness, NH.

Perrone,D., J.Jacobi, and G.Hornberger (December 2013).“Adaptation Planning in Sri Lanka under Shifting Rainfall Patterns.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Crane, J.W. and G.M. Hornberger (December 2013). “Effects of changing lawn care practices on N2O emissions: A scenario analysis.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Mei, Y.,G.M. Hornberger, L.A. Kaplan, A. K. Aufdenkampe, and J.D. Newbold (December 2013). “A Model to Simulate the In Stream Dissolved Organic Carbon Dynamic in a Headwater Watershed, PA.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Worland, S.C. and G.M. Hornberger (December 2013). “Characterizing the Occurrence and Transport of Brackish Groundwater in Southwest Bangladesh.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Gunda, T. and G.M. Hornberger (December 2013). “Comparative Assessment of Irrigation Water Quality in Sri Lanka’s Tank-Cascade and Mahaweli Irrigation Schemes.” American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California.

Worland, S.C. and G.M. Hornberger (November 2013). “Characterizing the Hydrostratigraphic Controls on Groundwater Discharge into the Harpeth River Using Thermal Signatures and Electromagnetic Induction” Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Burns, Tennessee

Murphy,J.C., G.M. Hornberger and R.G. Liddle (November 2013). “Concentration-Discharge Relationships in the Coal Mined Region of the New River Basin and Indian Fork Sub-Basin, Tennessee” Tennessee Water Resources Symposium, Burns, Tennessee

Honors and Awards

  • Virginia Chapter of Sigma Xi, President's and Visitors' Prize, 1986.
  • Robert E. Horton Award, Hydrology Section, American Geophysical Union, 1993.
  • Elected Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 1994.
  • Appointed to five-year Visiting Professorship at University of Reading, UK, 1995
  • 1995 Biennial Medal for Natural Systems, Modelling and Simulation Soc. of Australia
  • 1995 John Wesley Powell Award for Citizen's Achievement (US Geological Survey)
  • Elected Fellow, Association for Women in Science, 1996
  • Elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering, February 1996
  • 1999 Excellence in Geophysical Education Award, American Geophysical Union
  • Bownocker Lecturer, Ohio State University, May 1999
  • ISI Highly Cited Researcher, 2000 (
  • National Associate of the National Academies in recognition of extraordinary service, 2001
  • Langbein Lecturer, American Geophysical Union, 2002
  • Elected Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2005
  • Virginia Outstanding Scientist, 2007
  • William Kaula Award, American Geophysical Union, 2010