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Dr. Steve A. Mizell

Associate Research Professor Hydrology
hydrogeology, groundwater, hydrogeology, hydrology, recharge, regional groundwater flow

Professional Interests

Estimation of recharge to regional aquifer systems, delineation and interactions of groundwater flow systems; stream-aquifer interaction in semi-arid environments; contaminant transport through the subsurface under saturated and partially saturated conditions; spatial and temporal variations in groundwater quality and chemistry. Current research includes hydrogeology and hydrogeochemisty of regional groundwater flow systems and their interaction; infiltration of ephemeral stream flows; application of chloride mass balance to estimation of ground water recharge in arid environments.

Research Areas

  • Hydrology of the Unsaturated Zone
  • Hydrogeological Controls on Availability and Quality of Ground Water
  • Global Environmental Hydrology
  • Integrated Watershed System


Ph.D. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro Geoscience-Hydrology
M.S. University of Nevada, Reno Hydrogeology-Hyrology
B.S. Baylor University Geology

Academic Affiliations



Mizell, S. A., Etyemezian, V. R., McCurdy, G. D., Nikolich, G., Shadel, C. A., Miller, J. J., 2014: Radiological and Environmental Monitoring at the Clean Slates I and III Sites, Tonopah Test Range, Nevada, with Emphasis on the Implications for Off-site Transport, Published
Mizell, S. A., Nikolich, G., Shadel, C. A., McCurdy, G. D., Etyemezian, V. R., Miller, J. J., 2014: Tonopah Test Range Air Monitoring : CY2013 Meteorological, Radiological, and Airborne Particulate Observations, Published


Etyemezian, V. R., Shillito, R., Miller, J. J., Shafer, D. S., Cablk, M. E., Campbell, S. A., Chief, K., Fenstermaker, L. F., Forsee, W. J., Meyer, W. J., Mizell, S. A., Nikolich, G., 2013: Post-fire erosion at a Pinyon-Juniper and a Blackbrush Community: 3+ Years of Data, Great Basin consortium 2nd Annual Conference January 14-16, 2013: Boise, Idaho, Published
Miller, J. J., Mizell, S. A., Cablk, M. E., 2013: Comparing playa inundation estimates from Landsat and LiDAR data to a Doppler radar-based hyrologic model, Accepted
Miller, J. J., Mizell, S. A., McCurdy, G. D., 2013: Project 57 Air Monitoring, Published
Miller, J. J., Mizell, S. A., McCurdy, G. D., Campbell, S. A., 2013: Monitoring Potential Transport of Radioactive Contaminants in Shallow Ephemeral Channels: FY2012, Published
Miller, J. J., Mizell, S. A., Nikolich, G., McCurdy, G. D., Campbell, S. A., 2013: NNSS soils monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2012, Published
Miller, J. J., Nikolich, G., Mizell, S. A., McCurdy, G. D., Shadel, C. A., 2013: Tonopah Test Range Air Monitoring: CY2012 Meteorological, Radiological, and Airborne Particulate Observations, Published


Miller, J. J., French, R., Mizell, S. A., Cablk, M. E., Kratt, C., 2011: Using Doppler radar precipitation measurments to enhance estimates of playa inundation, Environmental and Water Resources Institute, World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Palm springs, CA, US, Published


Hershey, R. L., Mizell, S. A., Earman, S. B., 2010: Chemical and physical characteristics of springs discharging from reigonal flow systems of the carbonate-rock province of the Great Basin, western United States, Hydrogeology Journal, 18, 1007-1026, Published
Miller, J. J., Forsee, W., Shafer, D. S., Jenkins, S., Mizell, S. A., Chief, K., 2010: Potential surface water transport of radionuclide-contaminated soils in Plutonium Valley on the Nevada National Security Site, Accepted


Mizell, S. A., Mihevc, T. M., Hershey, R. L., 2008: Field Reconnaissance and Chemistry Data for Selected Water Sources on the Nevada Test and Training Range, Published


Miller, J. J., French, R. H., Mizell, S. A., Meadows, D. G., Young, M. H., 2007: Results of channel transmission loss studies during ephemeral flow events, Published
Minor, T. B., Russell, C. E., Mizell, S. A., 2007: Development of a GIS-based model for extrapolating mesoscale groundwater recharge estimates using integrated geospatial data sets, Hydrogeology Journal, Published
Mizell, S. A., Russell, C. E., Kluesner, T. L., 2007: Estimation of groundwater recharge to selected hydrographic basins of eastern Nevada and western Utah using the chloride mass-balance method, Published
Russell, C. E., Mizell, S. A., Minor, T. B., 2007: Estimation of groundwater rechrage in Steptoe Valley, Nevada, by the elevation-dependent chloride mass-balance approach, Published


Mizell, S. A., Miller, J. J., French, R. H., 2005: Effect of Soil Condition on Channel Transmission Loss During Ephemeral Flow Events, Published
Mizell, S. A., Miller, J. J., French, R. H., 2005: Effect of Soil Condition on Channel Transmission Loss During Ephemeral Flow Events, Published




Atmospheric Sciences (DAS)
Air quality and atmospheric research including meteorology, visibility and pollutant transport.

Western Regional Climate Center
Climate Information and Data Services
Providing jointly developed products, services and capabilities that enhance the delivery of public climate info.

Diversity at DRI
An Inclusive Mission of Research Excellence
Diversity at DRI
Offering a supportive and diverse environment for our students, faculty/staff and visitors.

Land and Life
Earth and Ecosystems Sciences (DEES)
Research into changing landscapes including the soils, plants, animals and humans that affect them.

K-12 Outreach and Education
Supporting Nevada educators in science-based, environmental education with free tools, resources, and training.

Renewable Energy at DRI
Discovering New Energy Production Methods
dri-renewable-energyExpanding renewable energy research throughout Nevada and around the U.S.

Hydrologic Sciences (DHS)
Study of the natural and human factors that influence the availability and quality of water resources.

DRI Nevada Medal Event
2015 Medalist - Dr. Christopher McKay
Proudly honoring outstanding achievement in science and engineering with gala events in Reno and Las Vegas.

Nevada Center of Excellence
Supporting Nevada's Economic Development
Center of ExcellenceCombining NSHE water expertise and IBM’s advanced technologies to grow tomorrow's workforce.