Christa Kelleher

I study: “I’m a hydrologist who studies how human activity shapes water quantity and quality within rivers and watersheds. A lot of my work is aimed at understanding, observing, and quantifying how water moves through urban areas, and what this means for the magnitude and timing of streamflow we observe at locations that drain extensive impervious areas. I also study how urban areas shape water quality, including stream temperature, which can be used as a tracer for water pathways and also an indicator of ecosystem health. More broadly, I also am very interested in scientific visualization. We use scientific figures to communicate our conceptual models of how systems ‘work,’ our key findings from scientific studies, and our observations of the world around us. At Lafayette, I am excited to continue thinking about this topic, both as related to my work in urban watersheds as well as in developing best practices for communication of complex ideas with visualization.”

Why: “Up until a few years ago, I hadn’t done much work with hydrology in cities. However, I kept finding myself living in urban areas, including Durham, North Carolina, Syracuse, New York, and now Easton, Pennsylvania. I think it’s fascinating that we don’t really understand the way form (e.g., how we develop cities) influences function (e.g., how much water we find in streams) in cities, because it is so complex, and reflects not only biophysical drivers but also decades of human decision-making. Spending so much time running and walking around the cities where I have lived has led to curiosity and, eventually, research on these topics that I’m excited to continue at Lafayette.”

What students can expect from me: “Above all: enthusiasm. I think the world is a fascinating place, and teaching is my way to share my excitement in learning about how the world works with my students. Within my classroom, my top priority is to create an inclusive and welcoming space where all students can be successful.”

I’m excited to be here because: “As a Lafayette graduate, I am thrilled to be returning to the College as an educator. As a student at Lafayette, I benefited from amazing classes, superb mentoring, and transformational research experiences. Now, as a professor, I look forward to creating these experiences for new generations of Lafayette students.”

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil engineers are stewards of our natural resources and—using sustainable and ethical practices—design, construct, maintain, and improve the facilities, services, and systems that support modern society.

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Categorized in: Academic News, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty and Staff, News and Features

1 Comment

  1. Chris says:

    Yay Dr K!

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