Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Russell L. Scott (Russ)

Research Hydrologist

Russell L. Scott, Ph.D.

Research Hydrologist

Southwest Watershed Research Center

USDA-Agricultural Research Service

2000 E. Allen Road

Tucson, AZ  85719

Tel: (520) 647 - 2971



Research interests


I am interested in the exchanges of energy and mass (primarily, water and carbon dioxide) at the soil, vegetation, and atmospheric interface and the interactions between hydrology and ecology.  I focus on these exchanges and interactions in water-limited areas.  Some of my specific research topics include: 1) the consequences of global change on water and carbon cycling in semiarid areas, 2) improving estimates and models of riparian vegetation water use, 3) determining the role that vegetation plays on vadose zone soil water redistribution, and 4) partitioning evapotranspiration and carbon fluxes into their component fluxes. 




University of Arizona

Hydrology and Water Resources

Ph.D. 1999

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Civil and Environmental Eng./Hydrology

M.S. 1994

Colorado State University


B.S. 1990


Ten representative publications (a complete list and pdf’s available here)


Barron-Gafford, G.A., Scott, R.L., Darrel Jenerette, G., Hamerlynck, E.P., and Huxman, T.E. 2011. Temperature and precipitation controls over leaf- and ecosystem-level CO2 flux along a woody plant encroachment gradient. Global Change Biology, in press, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02599.x


Scott, R.L., Hamerlynck, E.P., Jenerette, G.D., Moran, M.S., and Barron-Gafford, G. 2010. Carbon dioxide exchange in a semidesert grassland through drought-induced vegetation change.Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 115, G03026. doi:10.1029/2010JG001348.


Scott, R.L., Jenerette, G.D., Potts, D.L., and Huxman, T.E. 2009. Effects of seasonal drought on net carbon dioxide exchange from a woody-plant-encroached semiarid grassland. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 114, G04004.


Potts, D.L., Scott, R.L., Cable, J.E., Huxman, T.E., and Williams, D.G. 2008. Sensitivity of mesquite shrubland CO2 exchange to precipitation in contrasting landscape settings. Ecology, 89, 2900–2910.


Scott, R.L., Cable, W.L., Huxman, T.E., Nagler, P.L., Hernandez, M., and Goodrich, D.C. 2008. Multiyear riparian evapotranspiration and groundwater use for a semiarid watershed.  Journal of Arid Environments, 72, 1232-1246. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2008.01.001


Scott, R.L., Cable, W.L., and Hultine, K.R. 2008. The ecohydrologic significance of hydraulic redistribution in a semiarid savanna. Water Resources Research, 44, W02440, doi:10.1029/2007WR006149


Scott, R.L., Huxman, T.E., Cable, W.L., and Emmerich, W.E. 2006. Partitioning of evapotranspiration and its relation to carbon dioxide exchange in a Chihuahuan Desert shrubland. Hydrological Processes. Special Issue on Emerging Issues in Rangeland Ecohydrology, eds. Wilcox , B. and Thurlow, T., 20, 3227-3243. doi: 10.1002/hyp.6329


Scott, R.L., Huxman, T.E., Williams, D.G., and Goodrich, D.C. 2006. Ecohydrological impacts of woody plant encroachment: seasonal patterns of water and carbon dioxide exchange within a semiarid riparian environment. Global Change Biology, 12, 311–324, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2005.01093.


Scott, R.L., Williams, D.G., Goodrich, D.C., Cable, W.L., Levick, L.R., McGuire, R., Gazal, R.M., Yepez, E.A., Ellsworth, P., and Huxman, T.E. (2006) Chapter D: Determining the riparian groundwater use within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area and the Sierra Vista Subwatershed, Arizona. In Hydrologic Requirements of and Consumptive Ground-Water Use by Riparian Vegetation along the San Pedro River, Arizona, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5163 (eds Leenhouts JM, Stromberg JC, Scott RL), pp. 107-142.


Scott, R.L., Shuttleworth, W.J., Keefer, T.O., and Warrick, A.W. 2000. Modeling multiyear observations of soil moisture recharge in the semiarid American southwest. Water Resources Research, 36, 2233-2247.


Last Modified: 1/13/2012