Jean Bahr

notre_dame_13  Jean M. Bahr
Emeritus Professor
(608) 262-5513
Office: 411 Weeks Hall

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Please note that I have retired and am no longer taking on new students or members of my research group.

The interactions between physical and chemical processes that control mass transport in groundwater are of particular interest to me. My students and I employed a combination of field studies through which we can observe the effects of solute transport and transformation processes in real time, core and outcrop studies that provide data on hydrologic and geochemical properties of aquifer materials, and numerical modeling with which we can test our hypotheses about how groundwater systems operate. We have applied these techniques to questions related to groundwater/surface water interactions, naturally occurring and anthropogenic contaminants in shallow and deeper aquifers, and groundwater as a resource for both humans and ecosystems.


I have retired from teaching, but during my 32 years at UW-Madison I taught a variety of courses including Hydrogeology, Contaminant Hydrogeology, Field Applications in Hydrogeology, and Environmental Geology.

Professional Service

I served a term as Department Chair from 2005-2008. Prior to retirement I also participated in a number of University programs including the Geological Engineering Program and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where I served as the chair of the Water Resources Management Program from 1995-1999. I served as faculty co-director of the undergraduate Women in Science and Engineering Residential Learning Community from 2003-2005.

I also am involved in a variety of professional activities outside of the University. I am an editor for the AGU journal Water Resources Research. I am also currently the chair of the federal Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, appointed as chair by President Obama in January 2017. I served as President of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in 2009-2010 and as President of the American Geosciences Institute in 2016-2017.

Recent Publications

Sellwood, S. M., D. J. Hart and J. M. Bahr, 2015. Evaluating the use of in-well heat tracer tests to measure borehole flow rates, Goundwater Monitoring & Remediation, 35(4): 85-94, DOI: 10.1111/gwmr.12134

Rajaram, H., J. M. Bahr, G. Blöschl, X. Cai, D. S. Mackay, A. M. Michalak, A. Montanari, X. Sanchez‐Villa, and G. Sander, 2015. A reflection on the first 50 years of Water Resources Research. Water Res. Res. 51(10): 7829-7837, DOI 10.1002/2015WR018089

Sellwood, S. M., D. J. Hart and J. M. Bahr, 2015. An in-well heat-tracer-test method for evaluating borehole flow conditions, Hydrogeology J. 23(8), 1817-1830 DOI 10.1007/s10040-015-1304-8

Gellasch, C., H. Wang, K. Bradbury, J. Bahr and L. Lande 2014 Reverse water-level fluctuations associated with fracture connectivity, Groundwater 52(1):105-117

Gellasch, C. , K. Bradbury, D. Hart and J. Bahr, 2013  Characterization of fracture connectivity in a siliciclastic bedrock aquifer near a public supply well, Hydrogeology Journal 21(3): 383-399

Leaf, A.T., D.J. Hart and J.M. Bahr, 2012. Active thermal tracer tests for improved hydrostratigraphic characterization, Ground Water 50(5): 726-735

Craig, L., J. Bahr and E. Roden, 2010 Localized zones of denitrification in a floodplain aquifer in southern Wisconsin, Hydrogeology Journal, 18(8): 1867-1879

Root, T. L, M. B. Gotkowitz, J. M. Bahr, and J. W. Attig, 2010, Arsenic geochemistry and hydrostratigraphy in Midwestern U.S. glacial deposits, Ground Water 46(6): 903-912 doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2009.00637.x

Wilcox, J.D., M. B. Gotkowitz, K. R. Bradbury, and J. M. Bahr, 2010. Using groundwater models to evaluate strategies for drinking-water protection in rural subdivisions, J.  Am. Planning Assoc. 76: 3, 295-304.