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Preparing passionate leaders driving change in sustainability and stewardship of the environment.

  —Our Mission

Dr. Bwalya Malama

Dr. MalamaDr. Bwalya Malama

 (Soil Science Graduate Coordinator)

Phone: (805) 756-2971
Office: 180-516

Google ScholarResearch Gate



Office Hours: MF 1-3pm

Dr. Malama's Areas of Focus

Soil Biophysics · Groundwater Hydrogeology · Hydrogeophysics · Contaminant Transport

About Dr. Bwalya Malama

Dr. Bwalya Malama holds a PhD in Hydrology, an MS in Geological Engineering, and a BS in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona. Before joining Cal Poly, he was a senior member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico where he investigated groundwater flow and contaminant transport related to geologic disposal of nuclear waste. He also conducted research in innovative methods for characterizing near-surface fluid flow and solute transport systems. Prior to his work at Sandia, he held an Assistant Professor position in Geological Engineering at Montana Tech and a research position at Boise State University. Dr. Malama's research interests are in quantitative (analytical and numerical) modeling of groundwater flow and transport of contaminants in the subsurface, lab- and field-scale investigation of innovative physics based methods for characterizing flow in the near-surface and very low permeability environments, and development of empirical models for soil moisture.

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Student comments about Dr. Malama


Dr. Malama is a bright, devoted, and good-spirited professor. He made me excited to go to this class everyday even though it was in the morning. He was great at presenting the material clearly and was very welcome to students' questions and concerns.

Dr. Malama makes ERSC more fun than it already is! He makes a genuine effort to get to know each student by name and answer every question in great detail. He tries to explain things in multiple ways and repeats them to ensure everyone knows the material and is not lost. He also is super funny and wears awesome hats. The labs are very helpful because they really capture the "learn by doing" aspect of this course.

Dr. Malama is an amazing instructor. He explains everything very well and organizes the lectures in a way that is easily understandable and perfect to take notes from.

Professor Malama is very knowledgeable and has lots of experience in this subject. He is very open for office hours, understandable, and always willing to help.

Dr. Malama is the most fair teacher I have had at Cal Poly. Unlike most professors that I have encountered, Dr. Malama actually respects his students and is willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.


Selected Publications

Malama, B.; Pritchard-Peterson, D.; Jasbinsek, J.J.; Surfleet, C. Assessing Stream-Aquifer Connectivity in a Coastal California Watershed. Water 2021, 13, 416.

Malama, B., Montgomery, M., Aurelius, S. (2020) Theory and practice of slug tests for aquifer characterization, Encyclopedia of Water: Science, Technology, & Society.

Kuhlman, K.L., Malama, B. "Uncoupling Electrokinetic Flow Solutions." Mathematical Geosciences (2020).

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L., Brauchler, R., Bayer, P. (2016) Modeling cross-hole slug tests in an unconfined aquifer, Journal of Hydrology, 540, 784-796.

Kuhlman, K.L., Malama, B., Heath, J.E. (2015) Multiporosity flow in fractured low-permeability rocks, Water Resources Research, 10.1002/2014WR016502.

Malama, B. (2014) Theory of transient streaming potentials in coupled unconfined aquifer-unsaturated zone flow to a well, Water Resources Research, 50, 2921-2945, doi:10.1002/2013WR014909.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L. (2014) Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity models based on truncated lognormal pore-size distributions, Groundwater, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12220.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L. James, S. (2013) Core-scale solute transport model selection using Monte Carlo analysis, Water Resources Research, 49, 1-15, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20273.

Malama, B., Revil, A. (2014) Modeling transient streaming potentials in falling-head permeameter tests, Groundwater, 52(4), 535-549, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12081.

Johnson, B., Malama, B., Barrash, W., Flores, A.N. (2013) Recognizing and modeling variable drawdown due to evapotranspiration in a semiarid riparian zone considering local differences in vegetation and distance from a river source, Water Resources Research, 49, 1030-1039.

Malama, B. (2013) Measurement of streaming potentials generated during laboratory simulations of unconfined aquifer pumping tests, pp. 127-157, Chapter 7 in Advances in Hydrogeology, Mishra, P.K. & Kuhlman, K.L. (Ed.), Springer New York.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K. L., Barrash, W., Cardiff, M., Thoma, M. (2011) Modeling slug tests in unconfined aquifers taking into account water table kinematics, wellbore skin and inertial effects, Journal of Hydrology, 408(1-2), 113-126.

Malama, B. (2011) Alternative linearization of water table kinematic condition for unconfined aquifer pumping test modeling and implications for specific yield estimates, Journal of Hydrology, 399(3-4), 141-147.

Michael C., Barrash, W., Thoma, M., Malama, B. (2011) Information content of slug tests for estimating hydraulic properties in realistic, high-conductivity aquifer scenarios, Journal of Hydrology, 403(1-2), 66-82.

Malama, B. & Johnson, B. (2010) Analytical modeling of saturated zone head response to evapotranspiration and river stage fluctuations, Journal of Hydrology, 382(1-4), 1-9.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L., Revil, A. (2009) Theory of transient streaming potentials associated with axial-symmetric flow in unconfined aquifers, Geophysical Journal International, 179, 990-1003.

Malama, B., Revil, A., Kuhlman, K.L. (2009) A semi-analytical solution for transient streaming potentials associated with confined aquifer pumping tests, Geophysical Journal International, 176, 1007-1016.

Malama, B. & Barrash, W. (2009) Flow in the neighborhood of a confined aquifer observation well, Journal of Hydrology, 364 (1-2), 107-114.

Riva, M., Guadagnini, A., Neuman, S.P., Janetti, E.B., Malama, B. (2009) Inverse analysis of stochastic moment equations for transient flow in randomly heterogeneous media, Advances in Water Resources 32(10) 1495-1507.

Jardani, A., Revil, A., Barrash, W., Crespy, A., Rizzo, E., Straface, S., Cardiff, M., Malama, B., Miller, C., Johnson, T. (2009) Reconstruction of the Water Table from Self-Potential Data: A Bayesian Approach, Ground Water, 47(2), 213-227.

Cardiff, M., Barrash, W., Kitanidis, P.K., Malama, B., Revil, A., Straface, S., Rizzo, E. (2009) Potential-Based Inversion of Unconfined Steady-State Hydraulic Tomography, Ground Water , 47(2), 259-270.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L., Barrash, W. (2008) Semi-analytical solution for flow in a leaky unconfined aquifer toward a partially penetrating pumping well, Journal of Hydrology, 356(1-2), 234-244.

Malama, B., Kuhlman, K.L., Barrash, W. (2007) Semi-analytical solution for flow in leaky unconfined aquifer-aquitard systems, Journal of Hydrology, 346(1-2), 59-68.

Jardani, A., Revil, A., Bolève, A., Crespy, A., Dupont, J-P., Barrash, W., Malama, B. (2007) Tomography of the Darcy velocity from self-potential measurements, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L24403.

Kulatilake, P.H.S.W., Park, J., Malama, B. (2006) A new rock mass failure criterion for biaxial loading conditions, Geotechnical and Geological Engineering, 24(4), 871-888.

Malama, B., & Kulatilake, P.H.S.W., (2003) Models for normal fracture deformation under compressive loading, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 40(6), 893-901.

Kulatilake, P.H.S.W., Malama, B., Wang, J. (2001) Physical and particle flow modeling of jointed rock block behavior under uniaxial loading, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 38(5), 641-657.

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