Professor Wang      
Zhi (Luke) Wang
Ph.D., University of Leuven, Belgium, 1997

Professor of Hydrology and Soil Physics
Coordinator, GIS Certificate of Advanced Study

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
California State University, Fresno
2576 E. San Ramon Avenue, Mail Stop ST-24
Fresno, CA 93740

Tel.  (559) 278-4427
Fax. (559) 278-5980

Office: Science II 121

Coordinator, GIS Graduate Certificate of Advanced Study (2012-),
See QuickInfo Page
RISE Program Faculty Mentor (program description and research labs)
Geosciences METRO Program Faculty Mentor (program description)

International Workshop (coordinator) : PC-based Modeling of Water Flow and Contaminant Transport in the Vadose Zone and Groundwater (2004 program and photos)

Teaching Interests:
Surface and Subsurface Hydrology, Hydrogeology, GIS, Environmental Science, Soil Physics and Computer Applications. 

Courses taught and developed at CSU Fresno:

EES 004: Environmental Science (GE)
EES 108: Soil and Water Science
EES 112: Earth System History (web-based and classroom)
EES 117: Hydrogeology
EES 177: Quantitative Methods for Earth Science
EES 178: Geostatistics
EES 180: Computer Applications in Geology
EES 186: Environmental GIS
EES 217T: Contaminant Hydrology (graduate)
EES 217T: Unsaturated Zone Hydrology (graduate)
EES 230: Contaminant Transport (graduate)
NSCI 115: Environmental Earth and Life Science
NSCI 115: Environmental Earth and Life Science (distance learning)
NSCI 115: Environmental Earth and Life Science (web-based)

Research Interests:

  • Fluid mechanics (finger flow) in porous media including soils and fractured rocks.
  • Watershed hydrology and environmental hydrogeology - water flow and solute transport.
  • Stormwater and groundwater studies in urban and rural areas.
  • GIS applications in hydrology, other natural sciences and all possible areas.
  • Climate change effects on hydrological processes, water resources and ecosystems.
  • Hydraulics and irrigation engineering, irrigation scheduling and technology.
  • Soil and water conservation in arid and semi-arid regions.

At present, I am conducting a field-based research on water flow and salt transport in the shallow saline aquifer under the Naval Air Station Lemoore (funded by DoD). Recent community-based projects (funded by the state) include monitoring of the upper Fresno River watershed and the Upper San Joaquin River watershed involving water quality and discharge measurement, watershed delineation and snowpack calculations using GIS, and estimation of the climate change effects on the watersheds. Other basic and applied studies include measurement and modeling of unstable or finger flow in porous media (basic science), engineering improvement of irrigation systems in the San Joaquin Valley to raise water use efficiency, and irrigation scheduling (download Irrigation Scheduling Tables - an Excel program).

Recent Project Summaries:

Shallow Saline Aquifer Monitoring Program at NAS Lemoore,
funded by DoD ($138,566), 2010-1012. The Lemoore area in the western San Joaquin Valley has long been affected by soil and groundwater salinization due to long term irrigation and drainage from agricultural fields. The major objective of this study is to develop a groundwater monitoring program for NAS Lemoore based on solid science and in concert with parallel studies on plant and wildlife habitats. The goal is to maintain the best possible environmental conditions for the DoD training missions. The major scientific tasks are to: (1) evaluate all existing monitoring wells on the property and install or redrill new wells as necessary; (2) evaluate soil and groundwater qualities over time and space to develop specific recommendations on soil amendment, water treatment and crop planting; and (3) conduct GIS data analyses and develop water resources management recommendations. A team of undergraduate students are hired to perform both the field and laboratory studies. A Rockwork model is developed by graduate student Ron Holcomb to study the saline groundwater dynamics and the geology of the aquifers. Based on that, MODFLOW and GIS models will be developed for trend analysis and predictions. Recommendations on water supply, plant and wildlife accommodations will be developed based on the interconnected soil, water, plant and wildlife studies.

Fresno River-Hensley Lake Water Quality Monitoring Project,
funded by California EPA, 2009-1010 ($187,366, collaborating with ecologist Dr. Steve Blumenshine at CSUF and Central Sierra Watershed Committee). My responsibility is to develop GIS-based Nutrient Loading and Species Distribution Models that are capable of analyzing the fate and transport of nutrients and exotic species in the upper Fresno River watershed.  Using the water quality data collected by the team, chart and quantify the water quality and species distribution within the watershed. Identify watershed land uses associated with high nutrient loads using GIS. Determine threshold limits on algal growth inducers, alone and in combination with each other. Estimate the assimilative capacities of the Fresno River and Hensley Lake for these nutrients; identify areas in the watershed where nutrient input is highest, and attempt to determine whether the sources are point or non-point in nature.  Using the model, identify and analyze various possible reduction strategies.

Field Trip 3-9-2003 (PDF).
Field sampling Plan - air-photo and GIS (PDF)
Other project files (2008-09) including high quality GIS maps displayed in the Madera County Library

Selected Publications (with PDF files):

Graduate Students: 

  1. James R. Meier (graduated in Summer 2005 and hired by GeoMatrix Consultants): Thesis abstract: Analysis of Groundwater Banks in San Joaquin Valley.
  2. Ori Sartono (graduated in Summer 2007, K.D. Schmidt & Assoc.) Thesis abstract: Parameterization of a fractured hardrock aquifer in western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California
  3. Sana Alsaoudi (graduate in Fall 2007): Thesis abstract: Isotope studies of San Joaquin River and the nearby groundwater resources.
  4. Jorge Baca Jr. (graduated in Fall 2009, California EPA - Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board). Thesis abstrct: GIS-aided modeling and site measurement of soil erosion potentials in the upper Fresno River watershed, California.
  5. Doug DeFlitch: (Graduated in Spring 2010):Thesis abstract: Measurement and Monitoring of Bedload Sediment Transport along the Upper San Joaquin River below Friant Dam.
  6. Joe Knight: Geological study of selenium transport in the Central Valley of California.
  7. Ronald E. Holcomb (California EPA - Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board): Hydrogeological study of the shallow saline aquifer in Lemoore, California.
  8. Ashley Ross: Measurement and modeling of sediment transport in the Big Creek basin of Kings River watershed, California

Complete CV (PDF file)