Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Laura C Bowling

Committee Member 1

Phillip R Owens

Committee Member 2

Ronald F Turco


The effects of nutrient overloading have been well identified in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, where agricultural drainage from the Midwest is considered a main contributor to the hypoxic zone. Amongst the suite of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs), managed wetlands may present a more cost effective approach to assimilate pollutants and improve water quality at the scale of small watersheds. However, previous research has yielded varying results. Mathematical models have become a tool used to characterize components and predict behaviors of a given process. Model results can then be used to analyze multiple management options, improve decision making, and potentially reduce costs. This research evaluates multiple management options at a natural wetland by developing and implementing a wetland water quality algorithm within the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) model.