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John Schwartz.

John S. Schwartz

Director of Tennessee Water Resources Research Center and Professor


Schwartz has over 40 years of experience in academics and professional engineering practice. His research interests include: water quality monitoring and analysis, watershed hydrologic modeling and management practices, river mechanics and sediment transport, ecological engineering, ecohydraulics, and stream restoration.

He joined the faculty of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee in August 2003. He has a PhD in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MS in fisheries science (water resources) from Oregon State University, and a BS in civil engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Professional experience includes private consulting in the State of Oregon as a licensed engineer, US Environmental Protection Agency Reg. XI (NPDES compliance), and US Peace Corps. Schwartz is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Environmental and Water Resources Institute serving on the Urban Water Resources Research Council and River Restoration and Sedimentation committees.


Over the 20 years at UT, I have taught undergraduate courses in water resources engineering I and II; and graduate-level courses in open channel hydraulics, watershed management, ecological engineering for stream rehabilitation, stream restoration design, sediment transport, and advanced hydrodynamic modeling.


My research at UT has primarily focused on five thematic areas: 1) watershed hydrologic, soil erosion, pollutant transport processes on disturbed land surfaces including urban development, agriculture, and surface mining; 2) fluvial geomorphic processes focused rapid channel adjustments, sediment transport, and streambank erosion; 3) impacts of excessive fine sediment on stream ecosystems; 4) stream restoration methods applying ecohydraulics for sustainable habitat; and 5) water quality impacts from acid pollutant deposition and associated biogeochemical processes in forested watersheds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To make advancements in understanding impacts to watersheds and streams, my research integrates engineering tools, i.e., hydraulic, hydrological and pollutant transport models, with field-based monitoring and assessment applications. Laboratory-based analysis and experiments are included in my research program forming a triad approach with computer modeling and field monitoring. Uniquely,x I assimilate ecological principles into studies with my background in both engineering and biology.


Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2002

Master of Science, Fisheries Science (Minor in Water Resources), Oregon State University, Corvallis, 1990

Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1982


Stream Restoration

Tullos D., Baker D., Curran J., Schwar M., and Schwartz J. 2021. Enhancing resilience of river restoration design in systems undergoing change. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 147(3): 03121001.

Schwartz, J.S. 2016. Use of ecohydraulic-based mesohabitat classification and fish species traits for stream restoration design. Water 8, 520. DOI 10.3390/w8110520.

Schwartz, J.S., K.J. Neff, F.J. Dworak, and R.R. Woockman. 2015. Restoring riffle-pool structure in an incised, straightened urban stream channel using an ecohydraulic modeling approach. Ecological Engineering 78:112-126.

Niezgoda, S.L., P.R. Wilcock, D.W. Baker, J. Mueller Price, J.M. Castro, J.C. Curran, T. Wynn Thompson, J.S. Schwartz, and F. D. Shields. 2014. Defining a stream restoration body of knowledge as a basis for national certification. ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 140(2): 123-136.

Schwartz, J.S., and E.E. Herricks. 2008. Fish use of ecohydraulic-based mesohabitat units in a low-gradient Illinois stream: implications for stream restoration. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 18(6): 852-866.

Slate, L.O., F.D. Shields, J.S. Schwartz, D.D. Carpenter, and G. Freeman. 2007. Engineering design standards and liability for stream channel restoration. ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 133: 1099-1102.

Schwartz, J.S., and E.E. Herricks. 2007. Evaluation of pool-riffle naturalization structures on habitat complexity and the fish community in an urban Illinois stream. River Research and Applications 23: 451-466.

Water Quality and Hydrology

Simpson, I.M, Schwartz, J.S., Hathaway, J.M., & Winston, R.J. 2023. Environmental regulations in the United States Lead to Improvements in Untreated Stormwater Quality over Four Decades. Water Research. DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2023.120386.

Thompson, J., J.M. Hathaway, and J.S. Schwartz. 2018. Linking regenerative stormwater conveyance design with hydraulic function and channel stability through 3D modeling. ASCE J. of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment 4(3): 04018008.

Mahalder, B., J.S. Schwartz, A.M. Palomino, and J. Zirkle. 2018. Relationships between streambank erosion and physical-geochemical properties of cohesive soils among physiographic regions of Tennessee, USA. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 43: 401-416. DOI: 10.1002/esp.4252.

Hoomehr, S., J.S. Schwartz, and D.C. Yoder. 2015. Future change in rainfall erosivity under climate change in the southern Appalachian region, USA. Catena 136: 141-151. DOI 10.1016/j.catena.2015.01.012

Jones, J.R., J.S. Schwartz, K.N. Ellis, J.M. Hathaway, and C.M. Jawdy. 2014. Temporal variability of precipitation in the upper Tennessee Valley. Journal of Hydrology – Regional Studies 3: 125-138. DOI 10.1016/j.ejrh.2014.10.006.

Grove, M.K., G.S. Bilotta, R.R. Woockman, and J.S. Schwartz. 2014. Suspended sediment regimes in contrasting reference-condition freshwater ecosystems: implications for water quality guidelines and management. Science of the Total Environment 502: 481-492. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.09.054.

Hoomehr, S., J.S. Schwartz, D.C. Yoder, W. Wright, and E.C. Drumm. 2014. Erodibility of low-compaction steep-sloped reclaimed surface mine lands in the southern Appalachian region, USA. Hydrological Processes 29: 321-338.

Schwartz, J.S., A. Simon, and L. Klimetz. 2011. Use of fish functional traits to associate in-stream suspended sediment transport metrics with biological impairment. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 179: 347-369.

Schwartz, J.S., M. Dahle, and R.B. Robinson. 2008. Concentration-frequency-duration curves for stream turbidity: possibilities for use assessing biological impairment. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 44(4): 879-886.

Schwartz, J.S., and E.E. Herricks. 2005. Fish use of stage-specific fluvial habitats as refuge patches during a flood in a low-gradient Illinois stream. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 62: 1540-1552.

Impacts to Streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Brown, J.R., J.S. Schwartz, M.E. Essington, Q. He, M.A. Kulp, and I. Simpson. 2024. Dissolved organic carbon in Great Smoky Mountains National Park streams impacted by long-term acid deposition. Science of the Total Environment (in review).

Schwartz, J.S., A. Veeneman, M.A. Kulp, and J. Renfro. 2022. Throughfall deposition chemistry in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Landscape and seasonal effects. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution 233:107. DOI: 10.1007/S11270-022-05575-z.

Baldigo, B.P., M.A. Kulp, and J.S. Schwartz. 2018. Response of fish assemblages to acid-base chemistry in streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Ecological Indicators 88: 465-484. DOI 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.01.021.

Fakhraei, H., C.T. Driscoll, J.R Renfro, M. A. Kulp, T.F. Blett, P.F. Brewer, S.E. Moore, and J.S. Schwartz. 2016. Critical loads and exceedances for nitrogen and sulfur atmospheric deposition in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. Ecosphere 7(10): e01466. DOI 10.1002/ecs2.1466.

Neff, K.J., J.S. Schwartz, S.E. Moore, and M.A. Kulp. 2013. Influence of basin characteristics on episodic stream acidification in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. Hydrological Processes 27: 2061-2074. DOI 10.1002/hyp.9366.

Cai, M., A.M. Johnson, J.S. Schwartz, S.E. Moore, and M.A. Kulp. 2011. Response of soil water chemistry to simulated changes in acid deposition in the Great Smoky Mountains. ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering. 137(7): 617-628.

Cai, M. J.S. Schwartz, R.B. Robinson, S.E. Moore, and M.A. Kulp. 2010. Long-term effects of acidic deposition on water quality in a high-elevation Great Smoky Mountains National Park watershed: use of an ion input-output budget. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 209: 143-156. DOI 10.1007/s11270-009-0187-5.

Deyton, E.B., J.S. Schwartz, R.B. Robinson, K.J. Neff, S.E. Moore, and M.A. Kulp. 2009. Characterizing episodic stream acidity during stormflows in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 196: 3-18.

John Schwartz.

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