John Selker

John Selker
210 Gilmore Hall
Office Phone: 


Long Vita: 
Biographical Info
Research Interests/Specializations: 
  • Hydrologic Instrumentation

  • Vadose Zone Hydrology

  • Groundwater Hydrology

  • Stochastic Hydrology

  • Contaminant Transport


Dr. Selker, TAHMO co-Director, has worked as a consulting engineer in the USA, Kenya, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Canada, and England.  Additionally he has carried out scientific research in Chile, Ghana, Senegal, Israel, China, and 10 European countries.  His areas of expertise include electronic design (e.g., lead engineer on the Sun Microsystems optical mouse project), irrigation and water systems, and development projects.  Since completing his doctoral studies Dr. Selker has been a professor in the department of Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University for 23 years focused on Water Resources Engineering.  He has published a textbook on soil hydrology, as well as 150 peer reviewed publications related to Water Resources Science and Engineering.  He is currently the leader of the National Science Foundation Center for Transformative Measurement Programs, and just stepped down as Editor of the world’s leading research journal on water resources, Water Resources Research, associate editor of Advances in Water Resources, and The Journal of Chilean Agriculture.  Many of his projects blend novel sensing methods with critical water resource management problems. He was honoured most recently in 2013 being elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and 2013 recipient of the John Hem Award for Science and Technology from the American Groundwater Association.  He has served as CEO of SelkerMetrics for six years, a water resources technology company with annual sales of over $250,000.

Current Research: 

Lab experiments are conducted in three facilities, including many column and chamber experiments investigating transport, degradation, and retention of materials as a function of microbial, geologic, and hydrologic conditions.

Numerical research includes simulation of two and three-phase flow in porous media, focusing on the role of local heterogeneity upon fate and transport. Capillary barrier systems are included in field, lab, and numerical investigations.

Field experiments are ongoing in Oregon (atmospheric turbulence, river/aquifer exchange, artificial recharge of aquifers for habitat restoration), Oklahoma and Spain (soil moisture dynamics at 0.25-1,000 m scales), Senegal (automated remote monitoring of hydrologic variables), China (stream/aquifer interactions), Chile (hydrologic processes in landscapes with swelling soils), and Israel (internal waves and double-diffuse diffusion processes in hypersaline environments).

Dr. Selker's research includes development of instrumentation (passive capillary sampling devices for vadose-zone sampling, tensiometers and tension infiltrometers for site characterization, and use of LUX light-emitting microbes for continuous in-situ monitoring of microbial colonization and movement in unsaturated media, fiber optics for environmental monitoring using temperature, etc.), the characterization of vadose zone and hyporheic processes (capillary barriers, nutrient and pesticide loss from agricultural fields, groundwater/surface water interactions), and analytical/numerical representations of hydrological processes (Boussinesq equation, HYDRUS simulations, etc).

Dr. Selker is one of 6 editors of Water Resources Research.