As Director of the Watershed Sciences and Engineering (WSE) Program, Ben gives leadership to shepherding the vision, mission, and vitality of the program. He has a diverse teaching background in geomorphology and hydrogeology and research strengths in fluvial processes, aquatic habitat restoration, and erosion and sediment transport. He collaborates with faculty in Biology, Geology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Computer Sciences and helps with grant writing and project management. He's always looking for ways to connect faculty teaching and scholarship to the Susquehanna watershed and to the Watershed Sciences and Engineering program.

Ben has also worked as a river guide and has years of experience working on large rivers, including the Kennebec and Penobscot in New England, the Nooksack and Skagit Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, and the Colorado and San Juan rivers in the Southwestern United States. He began working at Bucknell in 1996 as a faculty member in the Geology Department and continues to collaborate with faculty and students on a number of projects in the Susquehanna watershed and the Chesapeake Bay region. His work has also taken him to watersheds in Iceland, South Africa, Costa Rica, Canada, Tennessee, and Hawaii.


  • Ph.D., Colorado State University (1995), Fluvial Geomorphology
  • M.S., Southern Illinois University (1987), Hydrogeology
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University (1983), Geosciences

Research Interests

  • impact of historic logging on rivers
  • wetlands hydrology and restoration
  • impacts of land use and climate change on the Susquehanna River
  • bedload transport and pool/riffle formation in nearby streams
  • improving trout habitat in gravel bed streams

Teaching Specialties

  • Stream restoration
  • Hydrogeology and groundwater modeling
  • Fluvial processes and river mechanics

Selected Publications

Recent Publications

Newlin, J.T., and B.R. Hayes (2015), Hydraulic modeling of glacial dam-break floods on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania. Earth and Space Sciences, 2, 229-243, DOI: 10.1002/2015EA000096.

Wilson, M. J., M. McTammany, M.D. Bilger, S.P. Reese, and B.R. Hayes (2015), Combining data from multiple agencies to assess benthic macroinvertebrate communities in a large gravel-bed river, Freshwater Science, 34 (2), 593-605.

Recent Conference Presentations With Students and Faculty

Reese, S.P., B.R. Hayes, and J.T. Newlin (2015), Reach- and catchment-scale determinants of the distribution of freshwater mussels in a tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River.4th Biennial Symposium of the International Society for River Science (ISRS), August 23-28, 2015, Lacrosse, WI.

Kabis, S., M. Gutelius, R.C. Kochel, and B.R. Hayes (2014), Undergraduate Course Flume Experiments to develop physical models useful for interpreting field studies of fluvial processes and channel evolution in response to climate and land use change in the Susquehanna watershed, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Paper #38-4, October 2014, Vancouver, BC.

Cottrell, T., J.T. Newlin, B.R. Hayes, S.P. Reese (2014), River Bed Characterization on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River With Side Scan Sonar and Photogrammetry Methods,American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting, , November 2014, Tysons Corner, VA.

Cox, E., J.T. Newlin, B.R. Hayes, S.P. Reese (2014), Water Temperature Variability in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and Its Tributaries - , Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA (co-authors: )American Water Resources Association Annual Meeting, , November 2014, Tysons Corner, VA.

Hayes, B.R., J.T. Newlin, R.C. Kochel, R.W. Jacob, M. Gutelius, M. Sirianni, and S.P. Reese (2013), Geomorphic investigation of the lower West Branch of the Susquehanna River, north-central Pennsylvania, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Paper #246-12, October 2013, Denver, CO.

Hayes, B. R., J.T. Newlin, M.E. McTammany, K. Langdon, and S.P. Reese (2012), Monitoring of Water Quality and Flow Hydraulics on the Susquehanna River in Central Pennsylvania, American Society of Civil Engineers Hydraulic Measurement and Experimental Methods Conference, Snowbird, UT, August 12-15.

Wilson, M.J.; M.E. McTammany; B.R. Hayes; S.P. Reese; and M. Bilger (2012), Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Benthic Invertebrate Communities in the Susquehanna River Revealed Using Data from Twenty Years of Surveys by Multiple Agencies, Abstract ID 7010, Annual Meeting of the Society of Freshwater Sciences, Louisville, KY, May 20-24.


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