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What is USF-CMHAS?

The Center for Modeling Hydrologic and Aquatic Systems (CMHAS) is an interdisciplinary association of faculty, staff and students with interests in water resources research from various colleges and departments within the University of South Florida. CMHAS is a forum for facilitating the interaction of a diverse research community, with the University's top scientists and engineers working together to solve practical but often complex water resource problems requiring interdisciplinary expertise. The Center is presently supported by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the College of Engineering at USF. CMHAS is also associated with the USF Water Institute representing a computational branch focusing on water supply, natural systems (surface and groundwater) environmental impact assessment and evaluation of management alternatives.


The mission of the Center is to assist in the solution of water resource problems for local, state and federal governmental agencies, often working closely with or directly for private consulting firms with particularly challenging or specialized investigations. USF Researchers associated with the Center are constantly studying existing and emerging hydraulic, hydrologic and water quality models and the physical processes they are intended to represent;  collecting data; and developing, testing and applying new procedures to solve complex water resource problems.


The genesis for this research institute dates back to 1969 when research faculty at USF began to develop the first mathematical models of Tampa Bay waterways. Originally directed by Dr. Bernard E. Ross, now Professor Emeritus, initial funding and technical support were provided by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. At that time, the models were used as management tools for evaluating dredge plume impact and circulation studies of the Bay. Later the models were advanced to include water quality simulation of shallow estuaries which are typified by the Gulf Coastal system. Largely due to the early (1970's) and continued service provided to local and state regulatory agencies, and cooperation with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (TBRPC), CMHAS, then called the Center for Mathematical Models (CMM), was formally established by the State of Florida at USF in 1974. Research and management focus has progressed over the years further inland to consider the estuarine system to include the watershed and groundwater basin and CMHAS research has been a leader in advancing this concept. Thirty years and untold student and research man-hours have resulted in a comprehensive state-of-the-art facility for developing and housing models used for engineering design and management analysis of coastal, estuarine, inland and upland waterways involving interdependent hydrologic, hydraulic and aquatic systems. The CMM, and more recently, the Center for Modeling Hydrologic and Aquatic Systems (CMHAS), has maintained its directive to provide technical assistance, complex water resources management modeling capabilities, education and to serve as a repository of computational models and data for local, state and federal governmental regulatory agencies, private consultants and the general public.

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Last modified on Sunday February 28, 2005.
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