Ecohydrology Research Group University of South Florida - School of Geosciences

Mark Rains
Professor, USF School of Geosciences; Chief Science Officer of the State of Florida, FDEP

I am an ecohydrologist with a B.A. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, an M.S. in Forestry, and a Ph.D. in Hydrologic Sciences. My research is focused on hydrological connectivity from ridges to reefs, especially between hillslopes, wetlands, and headwater streams; the roles that hydrological processes play in governing ecosystem structure and function; and the roles that science plays in informing water-related law, policy, and decision-making. I have extensive experience in consensus building at the intersection of science and policy in wetland regulatory programs, including past and ongoing work providing the scientific justification underlying the federal definition of “waters of the US” subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act. I routinely contribute to this scientific debate in the legal arena, including two cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (i.e., Borden Ranch Partnership and Angelo K. Tsakopoulos, Petitioners v. United States Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency, 537 U.S. 99 [2002]; County of Maui, Petitioner, v. Hawai’i Wildlife Fund; Sierra Club-Maui Group; Surfrider Foundation; West Maui Preservation Association, Respondents [2019]).