University of Florida

Land and Water Resources Engineering Projects

ABE faculty are involved in a wide range of projects in water quality, water resources, irrigation and drainage and other areas of land and water resources engineering. The following are highlights of current research areas. Additional projects can be viewed at faculty websites listed below.

Michael Dukes - Associate Professor

Dr. Dukes and his team are involved in a number of projects, primarily focusing on irrigation. Complete details and additional projects can be viewed at

Michael DukesProject Title: Investigation and Development Methods to Determine Urban Landscape Irrigation for Planning and Permitting in Central Florida
Sponsor: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Summary: With the development of a more precise approach to the allocation of water for landscape irrigation, more water could become available for other demands. This project addresses five main objectives to aid in establishing acceptable landscape aesthetic quality while reducing water demand.

Project Title: Evaluation and Demonstration of Soil Moisture Based On-Demand Irrigation Controllers
Sponsor: Southwest Florida Water Management District
Summary:Four treatment scenarios are being studied in the Pinellas County area to test one or two soil moisture based on-demand irrigation controllers on residential homes with potable water supply. Soil moisture sensor controllers have been connected to existing residential irrigation systems that include an electronic irrigation controller and are supplied by pressurized water supplies.

Rafael Muñoz-Carpena - Associate Professor

Dr. Muñoz-Carpena's research and teaching program focuses on the hydrological and water quality impacts of the Everglades restoration process on agriculture and natural resources.Complete details and additional projects can be viewed at

Rafael Munoz CarpenaProject Title: Linking River, Floodplain, and Vadose Zone Hydrology in a Coastal Wetland Impacted by Saltwater Intrusion: The Loxahatchee River (Florida, USA)
Sponsor: South Florida Water Management District
Summary: This study contributes to the understanding of floodplain hydrology in one of the last bald cypress floodplain swamps in southeast Florida by investigating groundwater, soil moisture, and porewater salinity dynamics in the floodplain of the Loxahatchee River, where reduced freshwater flow has led to saltwater intrusion and a transition to salt-tolerant, mangrove-dominated communities.

Project Title: A Flexible Numerical Component to Simulate Biogeochemical Transport Processes Through Vegetative Filter Strips
Sponsors: Florida Department of Environmental Protection - Bureau of Mine Reclamation, UF Water Resources Center (FL-WRC)
Summary:Vegetative Filter Strips (VFS) are one of the most widely recommended best management practices (BMP) by many state and federal agencies to control non point-source pollution from disturbed land areas.

Kati White Migliaccio - Associate Professor

Dr. Migliaccio's research and teaching program conducts research and extension activities that focus on hydrology and water quality of the southern Everglades and the farmlands of Miami-Dade County. Complete details and additional projects can be viewed at

Kati White MigliaccioProject Title: Assessment of water savings using soil water sensors and ET controllers in urban settings
Sponsor: Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department
Summary: Project objectives consist of working with 25 Home Owner Associations (HOAs) participating in Miami Dade County's Water Use Efficiency Program to install soil moisture sensors and water meters to complete a pair-wise study at each site.  Data will help determine water savings with and without the soil moisture sensor automating irrigation.

Project Title: Modeling Soil Water Dynamics and Flooding above a Shallow Water Table as Responses to Changes in Canal Stage
Sponsors: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD
Summary:The goal of this project is to monitor soil water content and groundwater level along the C111 in agricultural landscapes in South Dade so that a model can be developed that relates canal water stage to soil water content

Bin Gao - Assistant Professor

Bin Gao's research mainly lies in studying water quality and environmental sustainability. It spans a broad range of topics including environmental and water resources engineering, environmental nanotechnology, waste and water reclamation, and hydrologic modeling. Most of his research is interdisciplinary and balances experimental and modeling investigations.

Bin GaoProject Title: Fate and Transport of Colloidal and Nano-Sized Particles in the Vadose Zone
Summary: This project mainly focuses on exploring the mechanisms that govern the fate and transport of abiotic colloids (defined as particles with size range between 10nm to 10 μm) in the soil vadose zone. Multi-scale experimentation and modeling investigations are applied in this study to identify and qualify these mechanisms and to improve current understanding of colloid transport in the vadose zone.

Project Title: Fate and Transport of Nanoparticles in Porous Media
Summary: This project mainly focuses on to advance current knowledge of environmental fate and transport of natural and engineered nanoparticles to inform science-based strategies to avoid the adverse environmental impacts. We are particularly interested in elucidating the governing mechanisms of the filtration and transport of natural and engineered nanoparticles in water-saturated and unsaturated porous media.

Dr. Clyde Fraisse - Assistant Professor

The main goal of the Climate Extension and Applied Research Program is to provide climate information and climate-based products to stakeholders in agriculture, forestry, and water resources management.

The program conducts research aimed at reducing climate and weather risks in agriculture and natural resources in Florida and cooperate with similar programs in the States of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina, under the Southeast Climate Consortium. View additional projects at

Clyde FraisseProject Title: Climate information system for agriculture and water resource management in the SE USA
Sponsor: NOAA
Summary: The main goal of this project is to develop and refine methods to incorporate climate forecasts in water resource management in the southeastern USA and document and assess the utility and impact of climate forecast information provided to stakeholders in agriculture and water resource management.