Dr Wells began his career with USDA-ARS in 2004, as a post-doctoral research associate (hydrologist) in the USDA-ARS, Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit, Oxford, MS. In 2008, he became a Research Hydraulic Engineer with WPPRU. A native of Mississippi, Dr Wells received a PhD in Biological and Environmental Engineering (emphasis on soil and water engineering) from Cornell University (2003), a M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi (1995), and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Mississippi (1991).
Early career research focused on evaluating infiltration and surface geometry characteristics of cracking (shrink/swell) soils. Research interests later shifted to river classification and channel evolution modeling followed by his current focus on concentrated flow erosion. Dr Wells has applied numerical modeling, laboratory experimentation, and field observations into a comprehensive program to understand the complex problem of ephemeral gully erosion mechanics.
Specific research objectives include:
Critically assessing the controlling variables of soil erodibility.
Determining the interactions between concentrated flow, soil properties, and sediment.
Quantify the effectiveness of conservation practices at controlling rill and gully erosion.