eNews September 2017

Meet the Researcher: Ethan Mamer, New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources (continued)

Recently, Ethan has been working with colleagues on estimating groundwater storage changes in the aquifers throughout New Mexico as part of the NM WRRI Statewide Water Assessment. Following methodology developed by Alex Rinehart (also with NMBG) in 2015 and 2016 to evaluate groundwater storage changes in unconfined aquifers, Alex and Ethan in 2017 further developed and applied the new methodology to quantify groundwater storage changes in variably confined aquifers in New Mexico. The method is described in a technical report for WRRI, and is under peer review and is scheduled to be published by the end of the year.

Ethan received a BS in geology from Beloit College in Wisconsin in 2010, and in 2013 he earned an MS in hydrogeology from The State University of New York at Buffalo. His master’s thesis was entitled, Two-dimensional quantification of groundwater flux using heat as a groundwater tracer: Applying amplitude shift methods to distributed temperature measurements. This involved building a giant sandbox to simulate a streambed. Using this physical model he was able to study the groundwater/surface water interactions that take place in the streambed, and then he applied the insights grained from the sandbox model to the same interactions in the real world.

In the four years that Ethan has lived in the Southwest he has learned to love New Mexico for all of its eccentricities, from the stark rugged, barren landscape, to a deep fondness for green chile. His favorite New Mexico activities include skiing in Santa Fe, hiking in the Magdalena Mountains, and camping at White Sands National Monument.