REU Faculty Members

Barry HibbsDr. Barry Hibbs
PI, Professor
Phone: 323-343-2414
Email: [email protected]

Professor within the Department of Geosciences and Environment is the principal director of the REU Site.  Dr. Hibbs earned a BS in Geology at Arizona State University (1986), MS in Hydrogeology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1989), and a Ph.D in Hydrogeology from the University of Texas at Austin (1993). He was then employed as research hydrogeologist at the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and Texas Water Development Board (1993-1997).  Dr. Hibbs’ expertise is the hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of groundwater basins and terrestrial watersheds. Dr. Hibbs has supervised 42 MS student theses to completion; 63% of these were Latinx, African American, and Pacific Islanders. He has also supervised 11 diverse undergraduate students in year-long research.  Most of the graduate and undergraduate students mentored by Dr. Hibbs published their research as first and secondary authors on over 200 conference abstracts, journal papers, and book chapters. Nearly all of Dr. Hibbs’ students are now gainfully employed in the hydrogeology industry or are enrolled in MS and Ph.D. programs.  Dr. Hibbs was elected Fellow of the Geological Science of America, cited in part on the basis of mentoring of students.  He is co-recipient of Cal State LA’s 2014 Outstanding Professor Award.  Dr. Hibbs’ work is further profiled at

Sonya LopezDr. Sonya Lopez
Co-PI, Associate Professor
Phone: 323-343-4455
Email: [email protected]

Associate Professor within the Department of Civil Engineering is the co-principal director of the REU Site. Dr. Lopez earned a BS, MS and Ph.D from UCLA in 2007, 2008, and 2012, respectively. She then received a post-doctoral research appointment at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Lopez interests include developing methods to ascertain the impacts climate variability has on long-term surface and subsurface water, water storage, ecosystems and water quality using novel modeling techniques and the integration of advanced observation data. This work involves performing modeling studies with the inclusion of local sustainable technologies using both physically-based and conceptually-based hydrologic models. She has supervised 7 undergraduates and 4 graduate students in fully-funded research projects that led to 30 conference abstracts and publications; 81% were Latinx and 5 were female. Dr. Lopez received the Cal State LA Graduate Faculty Mentor Award for the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology in 2018. All graduated researchers were either successfully accepted into MS and Ph.D programs or were offered full-time engineering appointments at government agencies and private-industry companies.

For more information about her work and her student projects visit: 


Steven LaDochyStephen LaDochy
Phone: 323-343-2222
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Steve LaDochy is Professor Emeritus of Geosciences & Environment at California State University, Los Angeles. His BA in Meteorology is from UCLA, his MS in Atmospheric Sciences is from Colorado State University and his PhD in Geography is from the University of Manitoba, Canada. His teaching and research interests include climate change, urban climatology, severe weather meteorology and air pollution meteorology. He has supervised 8 MA student theses and served on 2 PhD dissertation committees. Dr. LaDochy has collaborated on several climate-related projects with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories, NASA, where he spent 13 summers. Dr. LaDochy was co-PI on multi-year NSF C-CREST research grant supervising 10 students, while also a co-PI on a multi-year NOAA CREST research grant supervising another 8 students.  Dr. LaDochy continues research on western U.S. climate change publishing several articles, while also reviewing articles for several journals. For more information:

Jingjing LiDr. Jingjing Li
Associate Professor
Phone: 323-343-2224
Email: [email protected]

Associate Professor within the Department of Geosciences and Environment is the faculty participant of the REU Site. Dr. Li earned a BS in Environmental Engineering at Fuzhou University, China (2007), MS in Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine (2008), and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Irvine (2012).  She was then employed as an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University. Dr. Li's research interests focus on bridging hydrology and remote sensing to improve the understanding of hydrologic variables. She is interested in the application of satellite data, Geographic Information System (GIS), and information technologies in hydrology and water resources. She has supervised 4 undergraduate students on senior thesis and 10 graduate students on master thesis/project, among which 64% were Latinx, African American, and Pacific Islanders, and 12 were female. Most of the undergraduate and graduate students mentored by Dr. Li published their research results as first and secondary authors in 38 conference abstracts and publications. Nearly all of the graduated students from Dr. Li’s group are now enrolled in MS and Ph.D. programs or employed in the private and public sectors. For more information, please visit Dr. Li’s faculty page at


Gustavo MenezesDr. Gustavo Menezes
Phone: 323-342-4578
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Gustavo Menezes is a Professor of Civil Engineering at California State University, Los Angeles.  His teaching and research interests include modeling fate and transport of contaminants in the subsurface, analysis of vadose zone saturation dependent hydrology parameters using steady-state centrifugation, environmental justice and engineering education. For more information, please visit Dr. Menezes’s faculty page at

Mohammad Rezaie BoroonMohammad Rezaie Boroon
Research Scientist
Phone: 323-343-2406
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Hassan Rezaie Boroon, a Senior Lecturer and Research Scientist within the Department of Geosciences and Environment is the faculty participant of the REU Site. Dr. Rezaie Boroon earned his BS/MS in Geology (1992), and a PhD in Geology (1997) from the FA/University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany.  He was employed as a lecturer at Cal State LA in 2001. Dr. Rezaie Boroon’s expertise is the hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of surface and groundwater and coastal watersheds, including wetlands and lagoons. Dr. Rezaie Boroon mentored various students with diverse academic and cultural background including nine graduate and undergraduate students and been thesis advisor for four graduate students; served also six graduate students’ thesis committee and nine comprehensive exams (2001-present). Most of the graduate and undergraduate students mentored by Dr. Rezaie Boroon published their research as coauthors on various conference abstracts and journal papers. He is also an active CSU-COAST faculty mentor engaging undergraduate students in marine, coastal and coastal watershed related research. Dr. Rezaie Boroon was elected as the Fulbright Scholar in 2008. For more info please visit


Hengchun YeHengchun Ye
NSS Associate Dean, Professor
Phone: 323-343-2000
Email: [email protected]

Dr. Hengchun Ye is the associate dean and the Professor of Climatology at California State University, Los Angeles.  Dr. Ye received her Ph.D in Climatology from the University of Delaware.   Her research expertise is in climate variability and change, with special focus on precipitation characteristics and their connections to atmospheric Water Vapor and air temperatures.  She has brought in over 7.4millions research and training funding from government agencies including NSF, NASA, NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey, etc.  Dr. Ye has won many awards for her teaching, student mentoring, and services including the President’s Outstanding Faculty and Distinguished Women Award from Cal State LA. She was also the winner of the “Best Paper of the Year” from Climate specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.  For more info please visit:

Michael BelandMichael Beland
Assistant Professor
Phone: 310-270-3752
Email: [email protected]

Michael Beland is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Environment.  Dr. Beland earned a BS in Geography from East Carolina University, MA in Geography from California State University, Northridge and a PhD in Geography from San Diego State University and University of California, Santa Barbara.  His research combines in situ and remote sensing measurements along with GIS data processing and analysis to explore questions related to environmental change, with a specific interest in how coastal wetlands in urban and natural areas respond to disturbance.  Dr. Beland also has a burgeoning research interest in urban microclimates, intra-urban heat islands and issues of thermal inequity within cities.  He regularly teaches courses in Environmental Science, Applied Climatology and Environmental Applications of GIS.