John McCray

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Professor  McCray’s research focuses on chemical transport in hydrologic systems, and generally utilize some combination of field, laboratory, and modeling work. Current projects include: current and future sustainability assessment of important watersheds in southern Peru; green infrastructure for treating storm water in urban waterways and developed areas; characterization of urban water quality with application to urban planning; model development for PFAS fate and transport; nutrient pollution and mitigation in urban and rural waterways; interphase mass-transfer, transport, and remediation of groundwater pollutants, including PFAS transport in vadose zones and groundwater; model development for PFAS fate, transport, and remediation.


Chauvenet Hall 126

More Information


  • PhD Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, 1998.
  • MS Environmental Systems Engineering, Clemson University, 1994.
  • BS Electrical Engineering, West Virginia University, 1986.

Other Affiliations

  • U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board (Environmental Engineering), 2015-2018
  • Principal Investigator, ReNUWIt, the NSF Engineering Research Center for Urban Water Reinvention
  • Faculty Fellow, Payne Institute for Earth & Environmental Policy
  • Former Chair, ASCE National Ground Water Quality Committee
  • Associate Editor, Ground Water
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
  • Board of Directors, Western Alliance for Restoration Management

Awards and Honors

  • Fellow, ASCE Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI)
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • Fulbright Scholar, Chile, 2013
  • Rudolph Hering Medal from ASCE for top paper in Environmental Engineering, 2013
  • Shimizu Visiting Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2013, Stanford University
  • Professor of the year AY 12-13, Hydrologic Science & Engineering Program at Mines
  • Graduate Student Favorite Instructor, 2010

Selected Publications

Graduate-student and post-doctoral advisees are underlined.

  • Gefell, M.J., Huang, H., Opdyke, H., Gustafson K., Dimitri Vlassopoulos, D., McCray, J.E. Sam Best, S., Carey, M., 2022.  Modeling PFAS Fate and Transport in Groundwater, With and Without Precursor Transformation, Ground Water, 63(1), doi: 10.1111/gwat.13152

  • Pilone, F.G., Garcia-Chevesich, P.A., McCray, J.E., 2021 Urban Drool water quality in Denver, Colorado: pollutant occurrences and sources in dry-weather flows, Water13, 3436.

  • Gustafason, K.E., Garcia-Chevesich, P., Slinski K., Sharp, J.O., McCray, J.E., 2021.  Quantifying the effects of residential infill redevelopment on urban stormwater quality in Denver, Colorado, Water, 13(7), 988;

  • Spahr, K.M., Smith, J.M., McCray, J.E., Hogue, T.S., 2021.  Reading the green landscape: Public attitudes towards green stormwater infrastructure and the perceived non-monetary value of its co-benefits in three US cities. ASCE J. Sustainable Water Built Environ., in press.

  • Gilliom, R.L.; Bell, C.D.; Hogue, T.S.; McCray, J.E. 2019. A rainwater harvesting accounting tool for water supply availability in Colorado. Water, 11, 2205.
  • Wei, X., Garcia-Chevesich, P., et al., Krahenbuhl, R., McCray, J.E., 2021. Hydrologic analysis of an intensively irrigated area in southern Peru using a crop-field scale framework, Water, 13, 318.
  • Silva, J.K., Simunek, J., McCray, J.E., 2020.  A Modified HYDRUS model for simulating PFAS transport in the vadose zone, Water, 2(10), 2758.
  • Kanno, C.M., McCray, J.E., 2021.  Evaluating potential for groundwater contamination from surface spills associated with unconventional oil and gas production: Methodology and application to the South Platte alluvial aquifer,  Water, 13(3), 353.
  • Herzog, S.P., Eisenstein, W.A., Halpin, B.N., Portmann, A.C., Fitzgerald, N.J. Ward, A.S., Higgins, C.P., McCray, J.E., 2019, Co-design of engineered hyporheic zones to improve in-stream stormwater treatment and facilitate regulatory approval, Water, 11(12), 2543
  • Guelfo, J.L., Wunsch, A., McCray, J.E., Stults, J.F., Higgins, C.P., 2020.  Subsurface transport of perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs):  Column experiments and modeling, J. Contam. Hydrol., 233.
  • Herzog, S.P., Higgins, C.P., McCray, J.E., 2016. Engineered streambeds for induced hyporheic flow: Enhanced removal of nutrients, pathogens, and metals from urban streams, J. Environ. Engrng 142 (1), 04015053.
  • Peter, K.T., Herzog, S.P., Tian, Z., Wu, C., McCray, J.E., Lynch, K., Kolodziej, E.P. 2019.  Removal of emerging organic contaminants in an engineered hyporheic zone: Characterization using tracer tests and high-resolution mass spectrometry, Water Research, 150, 140-152
  • Ruybal, C. J.,  Hogue, T. S., &  McCray, J. E., 2019.  Evaluation of groundwater levels in the Arapahoe aquifer using spatiotemporal regression kriging. Water Resources Research, 55.
  • Panos, C.L., Hogue, T.S.; Gilliom, R.L., McCray, J.E., 2018.  High-resolution modeling of infill development impact on stormwater dynamics in Denver, Colorado, J. Sustainable Water Built Environ. 4(4).
  • Rust, A.J., Saxe, S., McCray J.E., Rhoades, C.C, Hogue, T.S., 2019.  Evaluating the Factors Responsible for Post-Fire Water Quality Response in Forests of the Western USA, International J. Wildland Fire, 28(10)
  • Rodríguez-Jeangros, N., A.S. Hering, J.E. McCray, 2018.  Analysis of anthropogenic, climatological, and morphological  influences on dissolved organic matter in rocky mountain streams, Water, 10(4), 534.
  • Gottschalk, I. P., T. Hermans, R. Knight, J. Caers, D. A. Cameron, J. Regnery, and J. E. McCray, 2017.  Integrating non-colocated well and geophysical data to capture subsurface heterogeneity at an aquifer recharge and recovery site. J. Hydrology, 555.
  • Bearup, L.A, Maxwell, R.M, Clow, D.W, McCray, J.E., 2014. Transpiration loss in beetle-impacted watersheds increases groundwater input to streamflow, Nature Climate Change, 4, 481–486.
  • Mikkelson, K.M., Dickenson, E., McCray, J.E., Maxwell, R.M., and Sharp, J.O., 2013. Water quality impacts from climate-induced forest die-off, Nature Climate Change, 3, 218-222.
  • Kopytkovskiy, M., Geza, M., McCray, J.E., 2014, Climate-change impacts on water resources and hydropower potential in the Upper Colorado River Basin, J. Hydrology: Regional Studies, 3, 473-493, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.02.014.
  • McKenzie, E.R., Siegrist, R.L., McCray, J.E., Higgins, C.P., 2015. Perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) fate and transport in NAPL-contaminated porous media with chemical oxidation remediation, Environ. Sci. Technol., 49, 1681−1689.
  • Lawrence, J.E., Skold, M.E., Hussain, F.A., Silverman, D.R., Resh, V.H., Sedlak, D.L., Luthy, R.G., McCray, J.E., 2013.   Hyporheic zone management in urban streams: A review and opportunities for enhancing water quality and improving aquatic habitat by active management, Environmental Engineering Sci., 30(8), 480-501.
  • Silva, J., Liberatore, M. McCray, J.E., 2013. Characterization of bulk fluid and transport properties for simulating polymer-improved aquifer remediation, ASCE J. Environ. Engr., 139(2), 149-159.  Winner of the Rudolph Hering Medal from ASCE for Best Paper in Environmental Engineering in 2013.