Dr. Karen Knee

kneeMy research focuses on how human activities, including extractive industries, urbanization, and agriculture, affect water quality. For example, I have studied how groundwater flow transports pollutants in to the coastal ocean in Hawai`i and how land use affects stream water chemistry in the rural Ecuadorian cloud forest. I am also investigating the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on water quality in the Marcellus Shale region and developing new ways to quantify watershed-scale denitrification. I earned an Sc.B. in Environmental Science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University, and I was also a Fulbright scholar in Ecuador and a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD, where I continue to hold a research affiliation.

At American University, I teach classes including Sustainable Earth (ENVS 150), Introduction to Environmental Science (ENVS 160), Environmental Methods (ENVS 396), Water Resources (ENVS 470/670), and Ecohydrology (ENVS 500). My classes incorporate a mix of lectures, discussions, interactive activities, and field trips to places like Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the Schooner Sultana, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Station, DC Water’s Bryant Street Pumping Station, and Rock Creek Park. I have also been involved in outreach activities such as National and West Virginia Youth Science Camp, The Scientist is In, and mentoring local high school students on research projects.

When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, cooking, traveling locally and internationally, creating visual art, and spending time with my daughter and my dog Moby. Although, luckily, working and spending time with Moby are not mutually exclusive!