Karletta Chief

Research Focus Group Membership: 
Research Focus Group 1
  • Ph.D., Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, 2007
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2000
  • B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 1998
College Affiliations: 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Research Interests: 
Ecosystems, Extension Programs, Hydrology/Watershed, Environmental Systems Modeling, Contaminant Fate & Transport, Science & Society, Climate Adaptation
Environmental Health Research & Expertise: 

Dr. Karletta Chief is an Assistant Professor and Assistant Specialist in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. As an assistant professor, the goal of her research is to improve our understanding, tools, and predictions of watershed hydrology, unsaturated flow in arid environments, and how natural and human disturbances affect soil hydrology through the use of physically based methods. Dr. Chief research also focuses on how indigenous communities will be affected by climate change and collaborated in an interdisciplinary group of scientists including hydrologists, system dynamic modelers, and social scientists to determine how hydrological models can be improved to identify and mitigate risks to these vulnerable populations. As an extension specialist, she works to bring relevant science to Native American communities in a culturally sensitive manner by providing hydrology expertise, transferring knowledge, assessing information needs, and developing applied science projects.