Samuel Munoz

Associate Professor,  Marine and Environmental Sciences
Associate Professor,  Civil and Environmental Engineering



  • 781.581.7370

Research Focus

Sedimentary records of environmental change, paleoclimate and climate change, rivers and fluvial processes, hydroclimatic extremes


  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015

Honors & Awards

Research Overview

Sedimentary records of environmental change, paleoclimate and climate change, rivers and fluvial processes, hydroclimatic extremes

Earth Surface Systems Lab

The Earth Surface Systems Lab of Assistant Professor Samuel Muñoz studies hydrologic and climatic variability and its connections to the natural and built environment.

We are interested in how floods, droughts, and other climate-related hazards shape landscapes and societies across the land-sea interface.

Our interdisciplinary research combines geological and historical perspectives with statistical and Earth system models to improve societal preparedness and response to natural hazards.

Earth Surface Systems Lab

Selected Research Projects

Selected Publications

  • Muñoz, Samuel E, Dee, Sylvia G, Luo, Xinyue, Haider, M Rezaul, O’Donnell, Michelle, Parazin, B, Remo, Jonathan W F (2023). Mississippi River low-flows: context, causes, and future projections. Environmental Research: Climate, 2(3),031001. 10.1088/2752-5295/ACD8E3
  • Wiman, Charlotte, Hamilton, Brynnydd, Dee, Sylvia G., Muñoz, Samuel E. (2021). Reduced Lower Mississippi River Discharge During the Medieval Era. Geophysical Research Letters, 48(3). 10.1029/2020GL091182
  • S.E. Muñoz, T.J. Porter, A. Bakkelund, J. Nusbaumer, S.G. Dee, B. Hamilton, L. Giosan, J.E. Tierney, Lipid Biomarker Record Documents Hydroclimatic Variability of the Mississippi River Basin During the Common Era, Geophysical Research Letters, 47(12), 2020, e2020GL087237
  • J.R. Walsh, J.R. Corman, S.E. Muñoz, Coupled Long-Term Limnological Data and Sedimentary Data Reveal Novel Control on Water Quality in a Eutrophic Lake, Limnology & Oceanography, 64(S1), 2019, S34-S48
  • S.E. Muñoz, L. Giosan, J. Blusztajn, C. Rankin, G.E. Stinchcomb, Radiogenic Fingerprinting Reveals Anthropogenic and Buffering Controls on Sediment Dynamics of the Mississippi River System, Geology, 47(3), 2019, 271-274
  • S.E. Muñoz, L. Giosan, M.D. Therrell, J.W. Remo, Z. Shen, R.M. Sullivan, J.P. Donnelly, Climatic Control of Mississippi River Flood Hazard Amplified by River Engineering, Nature, 556(7699), 2018, 95-98
  • S.E. Muñoz, S.G. Dee, El Niño Increases the Risk of Lower Mississippi River Flooding, Scientific Reports, 7, 2017, 1772
Samuel Munoz


Oct 18, 2023

Here’s Why Salt Water Is Invading the Mississippi and Whether It Will Happen More Often

MES/CEE Associate Professor Samuel Munoz was featured in the Scientific American article “Here’s Why Salt Water Is Invading the Mississippi and Whether It Will Happen More Often.”

Samuel Munoz


Aug 02, 2023

How Low-Flow Events Are Affecting the Mississippi River

MES/CEE Associate Professor Samuel Muñoz’s research on “Mississippi River low-flows: context, causes, and future projections” was published in Environmental Research: Climate.


Jul 25, 2023

Predicting River Floods in New England

MES/CEE Associate Professor Samuel Muñoz is using satellite imagery and AI to develop a predictive model for river flooding in New England.

Samuel Munoz


Mar 27, 2023

NSF CAREER Award to Improve Flood Hazard Assessments

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Muñoz was awarded a $718,000 NSF CAREER award for “Sedimentary signatures of large riverine floods to constrain risk and build resiliency.”


Jan 18, 2023

Atmospheric Rivers can Lead to Massive Flooding and Deaths

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz and CEE Professor Auroop Ganguly explain how atmospheric rivers can lead to devastating floods. What are atmospheric rivers? Will climate change make them worse? Main photo: In an aerial view, a car and a pickup truck are seen inside a sinkhole as another storm created by a series of atmospheric […]

Samuel Munoz

In the Media

Dec 05, 2022

Are Volcanoes Impacted by Climate Change? Or Is it the Other Way Around?

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz was featured in the article “Are volcanoes impacted by climate change? Or is it the other way around?“


Oct 25, 2022

Using Natural Barriers to Help Prevent Flooding

For those areas devastated by Hurricane Ian, Northeastern experts encourage residents to build in natural buffers to protect against flooding when rebuilding. With storms threatening to intensify, should Floridians stay or should they go? With hundreds of Floridians remaining in shelters weeks after Hurricane Ian devastated swathes of the Sunshine state, the question many residents […]


Jul 22, 2022

Record Temperatures Impacting Health and Infrastructure

CEE Professor Auroop Ganguly and MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz have been predicting that climate change would lead to record-breaking temperatures that would affect people’s health and dangerous environmental conditions.

Samuel Munoz, Ed Beighley, and Aron Stubbins


Jul 14, 2022

Investigating the Accumulation of Microplastics in the Environment

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz, CEE Professor Edward Beighley, and MES/COS/CEE Professor Aron Stubbins were awarded a $530K NSF grant for “Evaluating Patterns and Controls on Microplastic Accumulation in Floodplains.”


Apr 26, 2022

Exploring the Dangers of Microplastics

MES/CEE Assistant Professor Samuel Munoz and MES/COS/CEE Professor Aron Stubbins are exploring how microplastics are accumulating in areas such as floodplains. Microplastics are everywhere, but their dangers largely remain a mystery, experts say Main photo: Samuel Munoz, Northeastern professor of marine and environmental sciences and civil and environmental engineering. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University They […]

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