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Watershed Management Lab


Directed by Matthew Deitch, Ph.D.

Milton, Florida

The University of Florida Watershed Management Lab is located at UF/IFAS's West Florida Research and Education Center in Milton, FL. Our research focuses on how we can maintain sustainability of ecosystems and communities along landscapes, streams, and estuaries focusing mainly on the Florida Panhandle. We partner with agencies, conservationists, private landowners, other academic researchers, and other stakeholders in the region to improve the wellbeing of the people and ecosystems of northwest Florida.

We have several students and personnel in our lab who use state-of-the-art methods and equipment to conduct a wide range of projects, field-based, and lab-based studies. Explore our research program by clicking the links or check out the latest news below.

Interacitve Map -- Watersheds of the major estuaries of Northwest Florida

Northwest Florida's estuaries have extensive watersheds that cover several thousand square miles across multiple states. Actions in these watersheds affect Northwest Florida's estuary ecosystems and the services they provide.


What do hydrologists do?

Hydrologists measure and describe the dynamics of water on, above, and below Earth's surface. Check out these videos illustrating tasks commonly conducted by hydrologists!

Measuring Streamflow

Streamflow describes the volume of water moving through a stream, described in units of volume per time.  Watch a group of UF Milton students walk through a site to set up and measure a streamflow through a channel cross-section in Big Coldwater Creek, in Santa Rosa County, Florida.


Frequency Analysis

Frequency analysis describes the process of determining how often an event of a particular magnitude occurs, based on historical measurements. Watch this video describing how hydrologists determine the frequency of occurrence for precipitation events, based on historical daily rainfall data.


Latest news from the Watershed Management Lab--

October 26, 2021

Congratulations to Jiahua Zhou, who recently published an article on the influence of Mississippi River discharge and other factors on the conditions of estuaries along the northeastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico! Scientists have long known about the currents that direct water from the Mississippi River eastward, but this confirms the influence that this river water has on estuarine water quality throughout the region. Great work, Jiahua!  Read more about Jiahua's paper here.



October 31, 2019

Jiahua Zhou, Ashlynn Smith, and Matt Deitch will all be presenting at the 2019 Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation biennial meeting in Mobile, AL from November 4 through November 7. Look for photos of presenters once we return!



October 11, 2019

Drs. Eban Bean and Matt Deitch gave presentations at workshops co-sponsored by UF, UF Extension and Sea Grant, and Santa Rosa and Escambia Counties on how green infrastructure can reduce flooding and improve water quality in watersheds along Florida's Panhandle. Learn more about the project and watch a video of their presentations here.