Dr. William P. Anderson Jr.

Dr. William P. Anderson, Jr., has been a member of the Appalachian faculty since 2004 and was chair of the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences from 2012-2021. He is broadly trained as both a hydrogeologist and a civil engineer, and has established a research program that uses groundwater modeling techniques and field data collection to quantify the controls on groundwater flow and solute and heat transport through unconfined aquifers. He studies this general problem in a variety of settings, from coastal barrier and barrier-island aquifers of the Outer Banks, southwestern England, and Wales, to the alluvial aquifers adjacent to mountain streams in northwestern North Carolina. Much of his work focuses on the effects of storm events, such as the inundation of coastal aquifers during hurricane and tropical storm surges or the effects of individual storm events on urban aquifers, especially those that occur along Boone Creek.

Anderson works extensively with undergraduate students on this research, from simple field data collection to more complex groundwater modeling projects, and he considers this undergraduate research mentorship to be some of the most important teaching that he does. Many of his students give talks or present posters at professional meetings and several have published their findings in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Hydrology, the Hydrogeology Journal, and the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. He also brings much of his research into the classroom, whether in introductory courses like Water: Mountains to Sea (GES 1104) or in upper-level classes like Engineering Geology (GES 4705).  He won a Board of Governors / Appalachian Excellence in Teaching Award in 2018.


  • B.C.E. (Civil Engineering) - University of Dayton
  • B.S. (Geology) - University of Dayton
  • M.S. (Geological Sciences) - University of Maine
  • Ph.D. (Earth Sciences) - North Carolina State University

Courses Taught

  • GES 1104 - Water: Mountains to Sea
  • GES 4705 - Engineering Geology

Website and CV

 Recent Publications

Visit Dr. Anderson's profile on Google Scholar.

  • Fiori N, WP Anderson Jr (2022) The impact of sea-level rise on saltwater intrusion for barrier-island aquifers in North Carolina, Continental Shelf Research 244, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2022.104789.
  • Maas CM, WP Anderson Jr, K Cockerill (2021) Managing stormwater by accident: A conceptual study, Water 2021, 13, 1492. doi:10.3390/w13111492. (Published in the Special Issue Urban Hydrogeology Studies)
  • Groothuis P, T Mohr, JC Whitehead, K Cockerill, WP Anderson Jr, C Gu (2021) Measuring the direct and indirect effect of scientific information on valuing stormwater management programs with a hybrid choice model, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1029/2020WR027552.
  • Gu C, K Cockerill, WP Anderson Jr, F Shepherd, PA Groothuis, TM Mohr, JC Whitehead, AA Russo, C Zhang (2019) Modeling effects of low impact development on road salt transport at watershed scale, Journal of Hydrology, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.04.079.
  • Rushby GT, GT Richards, WR Gehrels, WP Anderson Jr, MD Bateman, WH Blake (2019) Testing the Mid-Holocene highstand hypothesis in North Wales, The Holocene, doi:10.1177/0959683619854513.
Title: Professor: Hydrogeology, (he/him/his)
Department: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7540