Joan Q. Wu, PhD


Research Interests

Dr. Wu works in the BSysE Land, Air, Water Resources & Environmental Engineering (LAWREE) research emphasis area at the Puyallup Research and Extension Center. She conducts research in the broad area of hydrology, with specific interests in stochastic modeling of vadose-zone flow and solute transport; simulation of ground-water flow and contaminant transport; field investigation and computer modeling of water erosion; and application of GIS and remote sensing to hydrologic studies.

Dr. Joan Wu conducts research in the broad area of hydrology, with specific interests in stochastic modeling of vadose-zone flow and solute transport; simulation of ground-water flow and contaminant transport; field investigation and computer modeling of water erosion; and application of GIS and remote sensing to hydrologic studies. Her research team consists of Postdoctoral Research Associates, M.S. and Ph.D. students as well as undergraduate students. Together with her team, she is working on a number of exciting research projects.

Research Associates

  • Dr. Hanwue Qiu
  • Dr. Jane Zhang


  • Tianyan Guo, MS , Fall 2014
  • Michelle Hendrickson, PhD, current


Dr. Joan Wu teaches both undergraduate and graduate hydrology courses. She also teaches a departmental core course. These courses include:

  • BSYSE 512 Research and Teaching Methods, 2002–present
  • BSYSE 556 Surface Hydrologic Processes and Modeling, 2001–present
  • BSYSE 595 Ground-water Flow and Contaminant Transport, 1999–present
  • BSYSE 351 Environmental Hydrology, 1998–2004

My Research In the News

Joan Wu

Email Dr. Wu
Fax: 253-445-4621

Puyallup Res & Ext Ctr
Biological Systems Engineering
Washington State University
Puyallup, WA 98371-4998

Biographical Sketch (pdf)
Google Scholar

Research Center Affiliations

Agricultural Research Center (ARC)
Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outtreach (CEREO)
State of Washington Water Research Center (SWWRC)

Research Initiatives

Washington State University Clean Technologies

Selected Recent Grants

(PI unless otherwise specified)

  • The Boeing Company, Initial Assessment of The Boeing Company’s Probabilistic Model for Stormwater Impacts to Receiving Water, $26,678, Jun 2012–Dec 2012
  • US Department of Interior, Developing WEPP-Mine: A Management Tool for Western Alkaline Surface Coal Mines, $286,416, Aug 2009–Jul 2011
  • US Army Corps of Engineers, Developing an Online GIS-Based Tool to Predict Soil Erosion from Forested Watersheds, $150,000, Jun 2009–Jun 2011
  • USDA CSREES CEAP, Evaluating the Impacts of Conservation Practices on Watershed Health in a Salmon-Bearing Rangeland Watershed: Asotin Creek, Washington, $621,000, Sep 2008–Aug 2011 (co-PI)
  • USDA CSREES, Integrated Education and Research for Sustainable Development: Linking Engineering and Economic Sciences, $258,000, Sep 2008–Aug 2013 (co-PI)
  • Bonneville Power Administration, Enhancing Summer Instream Flow and Reducing Temperature in Agricultural Watersheds, $224,766, Apr 2007–Aug 2010 (co-PI)
  • US Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Research, Assessing the Sources and Transport of Fine Sediment in Response to Management Practices in the Tahoe Basin using the WEPP Model, $232,149, Aug 2007–Aug 2010

Current Projects

  • Soil infiltration through waste cover materials under winter conditions at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA), $25,000, Aug 2005–Aug 2006.
  • Modeling reactive transport of Sr-90 and Cr in variably-saturated subsurface, Idaho National Laboratory, Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA), $25,000, Aug 2005–Aug 2006.
  • Calibration and validation of the WEPP lateral flow version for forest watersheds, USDA Forest Service, $40,600, Aug 2005–Dec 2007.
  • Hydrogeology database development and ground-water modeling of the Palouse Basin Aquifer system, Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee $17,000, Aug 2005–Jul 2006.
  • Ground-water investigations of Bertrand and Tenmile Watersheds, Whatcom Ct. Department of Public Works, Bellingham, WA, $154,971,  2005–Dec 2006. (Jointly lead the project with M.E. Barber)
  • Evaluating material properties to optimize wood-strands for wind erosion control, Washington Technology Center, $48,000, Jul 2005–Jun 2006.
  • Flex-cropping and chemical fallow potentials for dryland farming, USDA CSREES Special Grant to The Columbia Plateau Wind Erosion/Air Quality Project, $140,000, Jul 2002–Jun 2006. (Jointly lead the project with C.O. Stöckle and M. Flury).
  • Modeling hydrology and erosion under winter climatic conditions of the Pacific Northwest: Modifying WEPP, USDA CSREES NRICGP, $298,549, Sep 2002–Aug 2006.
  • Stochastic simulation of flow and solute transport in heterogeneous unsaturated fields, Inland Northwest Research Alliance (INRA)/DOE, $150,000, Aug 2001–May 2005.

Selected Publications

  • Dobre, M., W.J. Elliot, J.Q. Wu, I.S. Miller, T.B. Jain, Effects of topographic features on post-fire exposed
    mineral soil in small watersheds, For. Sci., 2014. (in press)
  • Wang, L., J.Q. Wu, W.J. Elliot, F.R. Fiedler, S. Lapin, Linear diffusion-wave channel routing using a discrete
    Hayami convolution method, J. Hydrol., 509, 282–294, 2013.
  • Dun, S., J.Q. Wu, W.J. Elliot, J.R. Frankenberger, D.C. Flanagan, D.K. McCool, Applying Online WEPP to
    assess forest watershed hydrology, Trans. ASABE., 56, 581–590, 2013.
  • Watanabe, K., T. Kito, S. Dun, J.Q. Wu, R.C. Greer, M. Flury, Water infiltration into a frozen soil with
    simultaneous melting of the frozen layer, Vadose Zone J., 2012. doi:10.2136/vzj2011.0188.
  • Fan, C., H. Xie, J.Q. Wu, and S. Birnbaumb, Analysis of USGS spectral library of silicate minerals:
    Implication for remote sensing applications, J. Appl. Rem. Sens. 6, 2012. doi: 10.1117/1.JRS.6.063514.
  • Mobbs, T., T. Peters, J.R. Davenport, J.Q. Wu, and M.E. Evans, Effects of four soil surfactants on four soilwater
    properties in sand and silt loam, J. Soil Water Conserv. 67, 275–283, 2012.
  • Qiu, H., D.R. Huggins, J.Q. Wu, M.E. Barber, D.K. McCool, and S. Dun, Residue management impacts on
    field-scale snow distribution and soil water storage, Trans. ASABE 54, 1639–1647, 2011.
  • Wang, L., J.Q. Wu, L.C. Hull, and A.L. Schafer, Modeling reactive transport of strontium-90 in
    heterogeneous variably-saturated subsurface, Vadoze Zone J. 9, 670–685, 2010.
  • Pruneda, E.B., M.E. Barber, J.Q. Wu, and D.M. Allen, Use of stream response functions to determine impacts
    of replacing surface-water diversions with ground-water withdrawals, Hydrogeol. J. 18, 1077–1092, 2010.
  • Williams, J.D., S. Dun, D.S. Robertson, J.Q. Wu, E.S. Brooks, D.C. Flanagan, and D.K. McCool, WEPP
    simulations of dryland cropping systems in small drainages of Northeastern Oregon, J. Soil Water Conserv.
    65, 22–33, 2010.
  • Zhang, J.X., K-T Chang, and J.Q. Wu, Effects of DEM resolution and source on soil erosion modelling: a
    case study using the WEPP model, Int. J. Geogr. Info. Sci. 22, 925–942, 2008.