Kevan Moffett, assistant professor of environmental hydrology at WSU Vancouver, has earned a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Program award from the National Science Foundation. Highly competitive, ‘CAREER’ awards emphasize the importance of developing academic careers in which the excitement of research is enhanced by inspired teaching and dissemination of new knowledge.
Moffett’s research explores how the urban water cycle interacts with the heat generated by urban areas. Most hydrological research takes place in “natural” areas, but a majority of the world’s people live in cities where humans have reconfigured the landscape into alternating patterns of pavement and vegetation.
Moffett will explore how lessons from natural science conducted in rural natural areas might apply to urban environments. She also will consider whether understanding urban heat and water balances could have applications for making cities more livable even in the face of global change.
As part of the award, Moffett also plans to design outdoor laboratory science modules to help students from preschoolers to WSU undergraduates appreciate that they can learn about the environment wherever they are. She is particularly interested in making environmental science studies accessible to more students, including those with different mobility needs.
This CAREER award joins Moffett’s two currently active NSF research awards — one on river chemistry and one on the hydrology of forest restoration after a wildfire. The grant, nearly $700,000 over five years, will support graduate students working with Moffett as well as materials, supplies, data management, communication, education development and overhead costs.
Moffett earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University and joined the WSU Vancouver School of the Environment faculty in January 2015.
Originally posted in WSU Insider.