Global Rivers Group
@Texas A&M

We use satellites, models, and fieldwork to study Earth's inland waters


Recruitment Announcement
The Global Rivers Group is moving to
Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences Fall 2022!

GRG is recruiting 2 funded graduate students and a postdoc. If you are interested in joining our research group, please fill out this Google Form and George will email you within one month of your submission if your application looks like a good fit.


We're an academic research group in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University. Founded in 2018 by Dr. George H. Allen, we are recruiting students and postdocs who are interested in using emerging technology to solve problems involving freshwater resources. 

What we do

We study freshwater resources using remote sensing, fieldwork, and models. We seek to understand how climate change and land use are altering the global water cycle, in particular river and lake hydrology. With rapid advancements in satellite technology, computing power, and model sophistication, it is an exciting time to be studying the global water cycle.


Why we do it

Water is widely considered to be the world’s most vital natural resource, yet freshwater systems are directly endangered by human activities. Our work is motivated by a desire to promote the conservation, management, and understanding of Earth's surface water resources.



Updated June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022—John Morgan successfully defended his Master's thesis entitled "Characterizing River Width Across Spatial Scales in the Mississippi River Basin". He will be spending his summer in Aggieland ("the most wonderful place on Earth") before starting his PhD with Dr. Kevin McGuire and JP Gannon at Virginia Tech this fall.  Congratulations, John! 

May 24, 2022—The Global Rivers Group is moving to Virginia Tech! GRG is recruiting 2-3 funded graduate students and a postdoc starting Fall 2022. If you are interested, please fill out this Google Form and George will contact you within a month if you could be a good fit from the research group. 

May 16, 2022—NASA Advanced Information Systems Technology (AIST) proposal selected for funding, "3D-CHESS: Decentralized, distributed, dynamic and context-aware heterogeneous sensor systems" (PI: Dani Selva, Co-I: George Allen). 


Apr 25, 2022—Paper published in Nature Sustainability entitled "Assessing placement bias of the global river gauge network", which identifies which river environments are systematically undermonitored by the global gauge network. George co-led this project with NSF Dry River RCN members, Corey Krabbenhoft (University at Buffalo) and Julian Olden (University of Washington). Global Rivers Group alumni Catherin Franklin also conducted analysis for the study and coauthored the paper: and a news article covering the study. 


Apr 21, 2022Paper led by Jida Wang at Kansas State University published in Earth Systems Science Data entitled, "GeoDAR: georeferenced global dams and reservoirs dataset for bridging attributes and geolocations". This work geolocates much of the ICOLD World Register for Dams database:

Mar 7, 2022—Paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) entitled "The importance of hydrology in routing terrestrial carbon to the atmosphere via global streams and rivers". Led by Shaoda Liu at Yale (now at Beijing Normal University), this paper presents the first global climatology of river CO2 emissions and monthly river and stream surface area estimates. It was great working with this collaborative group.

Feb 11, 2022—PhD student, Emily Ellis, submits a Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) proposal entitled "Remote Sensing of River Temperature and Discharge: Defining Connections and Assessing Changes." Fingers crossed, Emily!  

Feb 11, 2022—NASA Water Resource Applications proposal selected for funding, "Satellite Assisted Operational Reservoir Evaporation Monitoring and Forecasts for the Western U.S." (PI: Huilin Gao, Co-I: George Allen).