Gene-Hua Crystal Ng

Gene-Hua Crystal Ng Profile Picture

Gene-Hua Crystal Ng

Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences


John T. Tate Hall
Room 385-14
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


PhD, 2008, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research Interests

I'm interested in how different aspects affecting the hydrologic cycle – including the atmosphere, plants, soil, microbial activity, and geochemistry – interact with each other.  Understanding the links between these elements helps us explain how the environment will respond to changing conditions, including impacts of climate change, land use, and contamination.  I use computer models to describe dynamic connections at the land surface, in the unsaturated zone, and in groundwater aquifers.  My work also focuses on statistical methods that merge models with data (data assimilation) to provide more reliable and informative insights than is possible with either models or data alone.  

My work has included: investigating soil, crop, and climate controls on groundwater recharge in semi-arid areas of the High Plains; ecohydrological modeling of vegetation vulnerability and resilience in the Mojave Desert; assessing data assimilation methods for chaotic models of the atmosphere; and describing chemical, mineral, microbial, and transport processes that affect groundwater quality near Bemidji, MN and on Cape Cod, MA.  My ongoing research combines integrated hydrological modeling and field observations to tackle problems in water resources, ecological sustainability, and biogeochemical cycling; I am interested in arid to temperate settings, under both natural and human-impacted conditions. 

I am currently seeking motivated and curious graduate students and post-docs to join my group – please contact me if you are interested!

Hydrology/Hydrogeology Research Lab

Currently Teaching Courses
General Hydrogeology
Hydrogeology Field Camp
Fluid Mechanics in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Hydrologic Modeling
Fluid Earth Dynamics

Selected Publications

Somers, L.D., J.M. McKenzie, B.G. Mark, P. Lagos, G.-H.C. Ng, A.D. Wickert, C. Yarleque, M. Baraër, Y. Silva (in review), Climate impacts on Andean water resources using a mountain systems approach, Nature Geosciences.

Ng1, G.-H.C., C. Rosenfeld, C. Santelli, A.R. Yourd*, J. Lange*, K. Duhn, and N.W. Johnson (in review), Microbial and Reactive Transport Modeling Evidence for Hyporheic Flux-Driven Cryptic Sulfur Cycling and Anaerobic Methane Oxidation in a Sulfate-Impacted Wetland-Stream System, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.

Liu*, S. and G.-H. C. Ng1 (2019), A data-conditioned stochastic parameterization of temporal plant trait variability in an ecohydrological model and the potential for plasticity, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 274, 184-194,

Wickert, A. D., C. T. Sandell, B. Schulz, and G.-H.C. Ng (2019), Open-source Arduino-derived data loggers designed for field research, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 23, 2065-2076,

Saberi*, L., R.T. McLaughlin*, G.-H.C. Ng1, J. La Frenierre, A.D. Wickert, M. Baraer, W. Zhi, L. Li, and B.G. Mark (2019), Multi-scale temporal variability in meltwater contributions in a tropical glacierized watershed, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 23, 405-425,

Ng1, G.-H.C., A.D. Wickert+, L.D. Somers, L. Saberi*, C. Cronkite-Ratcliff, R.G. Niswonger, and J.M. McKenzie (2018), GSFLOW–GRASS v1.0.0: GIS-enabled hydrologic modeling of coupled groundwater–surface-water systems, Geoscientific Model Development, 11, 4755-4777,

Ng1, G.-H.C., A.R. Yourd*, N.W. Johnson, A.E. Myrbo (2017), Modeling hydrologic controls on sulfur processes in sulfate-impacted wetland and stream sediments, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, doi: 10.1002/2017JG003822.

Ziegler, B.A., M.E. Schreiber, I.M. Cozzarelli, and G.-H.C. Ng (2017), A mass balance approach to investigate arsenic cycling in a petroleum plume, Environmental Pollution, doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.08.110.

Ng1, G.-H.C., D. Bedford, and D. Miller (2015), Identifying multiple timescale rainfall controls on Mojave Desert ecohydrology using an integrated data and modeling approach for Larrea tridentata, Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/2015WR017240.

Ng1, G.-H.C., B.A. Bekins, I. Cozzarelli, M.J. Baedecker, P.C. Bennett, R.T. Amos, and W.N. Herkelrath (2015), Reactive Transport Modeling of Geochemical Controls on Secondary Water Quality Impacts at a Crude Oil Spill Site near Bemidji, MN, Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/2015WR016964.

Ng1, G.-H.C., B.A. Bekins, I. Cozzarelli, M.J. Baedecker, P.C. Bennett, and R.T. Amos (2014), A Mass balance approach to investigating geochemical controls on secondary water quality impacts at a Crude Oil Spill Site near Bemidji, MN, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 164, doi: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2014.04.006.

Ng1, G.-H.C., D. Bedford, and D. Miller (2014), Development of a mechanistic model and data assimilation framework for assessing desert ecohydrology, Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/2014WR015281.

Ng1, G.-H.C., D. McLaughlin, D. Entekhabi, and A. Ahanin (2011), The role of model dynamics in EnKF performance for chaotic systems, Tellus A, 63(5), doi: 1600-0870.2011.00539.

Ng1, G.-H.C., D. McLaughlin, D. Entekhabi, and B. R. Scanlon (2010), Probabilistic Analysis of the Effects of Climate Change on Groundwater Recharge, Water Resources Research, 46, W07502, doi:10.1029/2009WR007831.

Ng1, G.-H.C., D. McLaughlin, D. Entekhabi, and B. Scanlon (2009), Using data assimilation to identify diffuse recharge mechanisms from chemical and physical data in the unsaturated zone, Water Resources Research, 45, W09409, doi:10.1029/2009WR007831.

Y. Zhou, D. McLaughlin, D. Entekhabi, and G.C. Ng (2008), An ensemble multiscale filter for large nonlinear data assimilation problems, Monthly Weather Review, 136, 678-698.

(1denotes lead author and/or lead PI, *denotes advisee author, +denotes contribution equal to first author)