Welcome to the Watershed Hydrology Lab

Mission statement:  
  • To conduct interdisciplinary research that improves understanding of how the storage and movement of water influences ecosystem structure and function.
  • To maximize the integrity, usefulness, and accessibility of research products within the scientific, local, state, national, and international communities.
  • To appreciate that the success of this research depends on the professional respect given to, and earned from, the stakeholders in those communities.
  • To develop the academic and professional skills of students and early career scientists in their work to fulfill this mission.

Directed by: 

Robert A. Payn, PhD

Assistant Professor of Watershed Hydrology
Office: 826 Leon Johnson Hall (back of lab in 827)
Phone: +1-406-994-7197


A video summarizing current research activity:

Montana Institute on Ecosystems Rough Cut Seminar: 20 April 2016

Summary of current research interests:
  • Interpreting the relative roles of climate variability, natural ecosystem behavior, and management decisions in determining the trajectory of Montana aquatic ecosystems and water resources.
  • Understanding the mechanisms controlling the water balance of the valley floor hydrologic system, and scaling this understanding to whole-watershed behavior.
  • Integration of biogeochemical, ecological, hydrological, and sociological models in a common reference frame.
  • Inferring watershed structure and function from the spatial distribution of stream water quantity and quality.
  • Developing robust statistical approaches for selecting the appropriate level of complexity in mechanistic environmental models.

Welcome to Montana State University and Bozeman

North Cottonwood Creek
North Cottonwood Creek, Bridger Range Bozeman, Montana, USA

Montana State University is located in Bozeman, Montana.  We are in the Gallatin River valley near the confluence where the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers converge to form the Missouri River.  Bozeman has a population of around 38,000 people and is nestled between the mountains of the Bridger Range to the north and the Gallatin and Madison Ranges to the south.  Bozeman has outstanding access to both summer and winter outdoor recreation, and a thriving local arts and business community.

Bozeman and the Madison Range from Mount Baldy Bozeman, Montana, USA

Please select from the navigation bar at the left or the tabs above to learn more about the lab.  Some material may be restricted to collaborator access only.