Stanford University Geological and Environmental Sciences Ph.D., 2010

Brown University Environmental Science Sc.B., 2002

School for Int’l Training Ecuador-Comparative Ecology Program Spring 2001

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

2012-Present Assistant Prof., Environmental Science, American University, Washington, DC

2012-Present Affiliated Researcher, Smithsonian Environmental Res. Center, Edgewater, MD

2011-2012 Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Environmental Res. Center, Edgewater, MD

2010-2011 Fulbright Scholar, Ecuador

2009 AAAS Science and Engineering Mass Media Fellow, Philadelphia Inquirer, PA

2004-2010 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Stanford University, Stanford, CA


Current:  Preston Pisano (B.S., Environmental Science), Gwynn Pollard (B.S., Environmental Science), Hossein Kharazi (M.S., Environmental Science), Jalen Jones (B.S., Environmental Science), Abigail Dias (B.S., Environmental Science), Melissa Knapp (M.S., Environmental Science).

Former: Keeli Howard (M.S. Environmental Science, American University, 2018), Anna Spiller (Agricultural Sciences and Resource Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, University of Bonn, Germany, 2017), Emil Bayramov (Fulbright postdoctoral scholar from Azerbaijan), Colin Casey (M.S., Environmental Science, primary thesis advisor, 2017), Heather Gilbert (M.S., Environmental Science, committee member, 2017), Jenna Keany (M.S., Environmental Science, 2016), Sydney Mucha (M.S., Environmental Science, 2016), Jacob Melone (M.S., Environmental Science, 2015), John Gardner (M.S., Environmental Science, University of Maryland). Undergraduates: Melanie Friedel, Alexandra Hitchens, Alexa Bolden, Robin Winz, Rebecca Wolf, Gabriel Santos, Anna Robinson, Heather Delucia, Hizaam Haris, Raquel Freitas, Jessica Balerna, Jesse Weinstein, Nikita Mukherjee, Harrison “Mac” Hyde

Outreach, Education and Professional Activities

    • Invited speaker for Richard Montgomery High School Enviro-thon Team, 2017
    • Expert judge at Maret School Climate Conference, 2017
    • Maryland Sea Grant Review Panel, 2015
    • Grant proposal reviewer for Maryland Sea Grant, Hawai’i Sea Grant, and German Research Foundation (DFG)
    • Advised high school students on senior research projects, 2015-2016
    • Science fair judge in DC and Maryland
    • Invited Presenter and Directed Study Instructor, National Youth Science Camp and West Virginia Youth Science Camp, 2011-2014.
    • The Scientist is In volunteer, American Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, 2011-2013.
    • Requested Reviewer for Marine Pollution Bulletin, Water Research, Journal of Environmental Management, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Marine Chemistry, Limnology and Oceanography, Estuaries and Coasts, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, G3, Hydrology Journal, Marine Chemistry, Science of the Total Environment

Selected talks and presentations

2018 Oral presentation at Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting (Detroit, MI), oral presentation at National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium (Washington, DC)

2017 Oral presentation at Society of Freshwater Science Annual Meeting (Raleigh, NC), oral presentation at National Capital Region Water Resources Symposium (Washington, DC)

2016 Invited talk at University of Delaware, presentation at Sixth International Radium-Radon Workshop (Girona, Spain).

2015 Invited talk at University of Alabama; Co-author on invited presentation at Amercian Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting; Oral presentation at Ecological Society of America; Poster presentation at Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Fall Meeting (Portland, OR).

2014 Two poster presentations (one first author, one co-author) at AGU

2013 Poster presentation at American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, co-author on one poster and one oral presentation at AGU, invited speaker at Fort Johnson Marine Laboratory (Charleston, SC).

Peer-Reviewed Publications

18 publications, 16 in peer-reviewed journals, 546 citations, h-index 11, i-10 index 11 (Google Scholar, accessed 4/22/18)

* indicates a student or postdoc mentored by K. L. Knee

In preparation

  1. Casey, C.*, N. Dimova and K.L. Knee. Investigating the potential risks of hydraulic fracturing to streams in the Potomac River watershed. In preparation for Environmental Science and Technology.
  2. Duque, C.*, K.L. Knee, C. Russoniello, M. Sherif, O. Aborisha, N.C. Sturchio, and H.A. Michael. Characterizing small-scale variability of radium isotopes in submarine groundwater discharge. In preparation for Marine Chemistry.

In review

  1. Knee, K.L., D. Brenner, J. Miklas, J. Gardner*, T. Fisher and T. Jordan. Assessing the concentration and evasion rate of biogenic N2 gas in streams: Comparison of natural and artificial dissolved gas tracers. In review for Limnology and Oceanography: Methods.
  2. Keany, J.*, M. Christman, M. Milton, K.L. Knee, H. Gilbert, and D. Culver. Distribution and structure of shallow subterranean aquatic arthropod communities in the parklands of Washington, D.C. In review for Ecohydrology
  3. Knee, K.L. and A. Masker*. Association between unconventional oil and gas (UOG) development and water quality in small streams overlying the Marcellus Shale. In revision for Freshwater Science


  1. Bayramov, E.*, K.L. Knee, M. Kada, and M. Buchroithner. 2018. Using multiple satellite data sources to monitor and model oil spills in the Caspian Sea. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 8:1-14.
  2. Gardner, J.*, T. Jordan, K.L. Knee, and T. Fisher. 2016. Balancing watershed nitrogen budgets: accounting for biogenic gases from streams. Biogeochemistry 127(2-3): 231-253.
  3. Knee, K.L., E.D. Crook, J.L. Hench, J.J. Leichter, and A. Paytan. 2016. Assessment of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) as a source of dissolved radium and nutrients to Moorea (French Polynesia) coastal waters. Estuaries and Coasts 39(6): 1651-1668.
  4. Null, K.A., K.L. Knee, E.D. Crook, N.R. de Sieyes, M. Rebolledo-Vieyra, L. Hernández-Terrones, and A. Paytan. 2014. Composition and fluxes of submarine groundwater along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Continental Shelf Research 77: 38-50.
  5. Knee, K.L. and A. C. Encalada. 2013. Land use and water quality in a rural cloud forest region (Intag, Ecuador). River Research and Applications, doi: 10.1002/rra.2634.
  6. Knee, K.L. and T.E. Jordan. 2013. Spatial distribution of dissolved radon in the Choptank River and its tributaries: Implications for groundwater discharge and nitrate inputs. Estuaries and Coasts Online First, doi:10.1007/s12237-013-9619-y
  7. Null, K.A., N.T. Dimova, K.L. Knee, B.K. Esser, P.W. Swarzenski, M.J. Singleton, M. Stacey and A. Paytan. 2012. Submarine groundwater discharge-derived nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay: Implications to future ecosystem changes. Estuaries and Coasts 35:1299-1315.
  8. Knee, K.L. and A. Paytan. 2011. Submarine Groundwater Discharge: A Source of Nutrients, Metals, and Pollutants to the Coastal Ocean. Chapter 8 in Treatise on Estuarine and Coastal Science 4: 205-233.
  9. Knee, K.L., E. Garcia-Solsona, J. Garcia-Orellana, A. Boehm, and A. Paytan. 2011. Using radium isotopes to characterize water ages and coastal mixing rates: A sensitivity analysis. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 9: 380-395.
  10. Knee, K.L., J.H. Street, E.E. Grossman, A.B. Boehm, and A. Paytan. 2010a. Nutrient inputs to the coastal ocean from submarine groundwater discharge in a groundwater-dominated system: Relation to land use (Kona Coast, Hawai`i, USA). Limnology and Oceanography 55: 1105-1122.
  11. Knee, K.L., R. Gossett, A.B. Boehm, and A. Paytan. 2010b. Caffeine and agricultural pesticide concentrations in surface water and groundwater on the north shore of Kauai (Hawaii, USA). Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 1376-1382.
  12. Boehm, A.B., K.M. Yamahara, S.P. Walters, B.A. Layton, D.P. Keymer, R.S. Thompson, K.L. Knee, and M. Rosener. 2010. Dissolved inorganic nitrogen, soluble reactive phosphorus, and microbial pollutant loading from tropical rural watersheds in Hawai`i to the coastal ocean during non-storm conditions. Estuaries and Coasts 34: 925-936.
  13. Black, F.J., A. Paytan, K.L. Knee, N.R. de Sieyes, P.M. Ganguli, E.T. Gray, and A.R. Flegal. 2009. Submarine groundwater discharge of total mercury and monomethyl mercury to central California coastal waters. Environmental Science and Technology 43: 5652-5659.
  14. Knee, K.L., B.A. Layton, J.H. Street, A.B. Boehm, and A. Paytan. 2008a. Sources of nutrients and fecal indicator bacteria to nearshore waters on the north shore of Kaua`i (Hawai`i, USA). Estuaries and Coasts 31: 607-622.
  15. Knee, K.L., R.L. Leopold, E.R. Madsen, and A. Paytan. 2008b. Assessing the importance of sand as a source of fecal indicator bacteria (Escherichia coli and Enterococcus). Oceanography 21: 72-80.
  16. Knee, K.L., J.H. Street, E.E. Grossman, and A. Paytan. 2008c. Submarine ground-water discharge and fate along the coast of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, island of Hawai`i. Part 2, Spatial and temporal variations in salinity, radium-isotope activity, and nutrient concentrations in coastal waters, December 2003-April 2006. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5128, 38 pp.
  17. Street, J.H., K.L. Knee, E.E. Grossman, and A. Paytan. 2008. Submarine groundwater discharge and nutrient addition to the coastal zone and coral reefs of leeward Hawai`i. Marine Chemistry 109: 355-376.

Derse, E., K.L. Knee, S.D. Wankel, C. Kendall, C.J. Berg, Jr., and A. Paytan. 2007. Identifying sources of nitrogen to Hanalei Bay, Kauai, utilizing the nitrogen isotope signature of macroalgae. Environmental Science and Technology 41: 5217-5223.