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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 study the exchanges of energy, 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) understanding the consequences of land-cover and climate change on ecosystem water and carbon cycling, 2) improving models of ecosystem fluxes, 3) determining the role that vegetation plays on vadose zone soil water redistribution and carbon dioxide respiration, and 4) partitioning water vapor and net carbon dioxide flux 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)


Scott, R.L. and Biederman, J.A. 2017. Partitioning evapotranspiration using long-term carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 6833-6840. doi: 10.1002/2017GL074324

Scott, R.L., Biederman, J.A., Hamerlynck, E.P. and Barron-Gafford, G.A. 2015. The carbon balance pivot point of southwestern U.S. semiarid ecosystems: Insights from the 21st century drought. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 120, 2612-2624. doi: 10.1002/2015JG003181

Scott, R.L., Huxman, T.E., Barron-Gafford, G.A., Darrel Jenerette, G., Young, J.M. and Hamerlynck, E.P. 2014. When vegetation change alters ecosystem water availability. Global Change Biology, 20, 2198-2210. doi:10.1111/gcb.12511

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.

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., 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.