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Katharine (Kate) Maher

Professor of Earth System Science, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Kate’s research examines the carbon cycle through multiple lenses, from the history of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its impact on the evolution of life to strategies for sequestering carbon today. By combining computer models with field and laboratory measurements, her research links together hydrologic, chemical and biological processes to understand our unique planet. Her current research projects include soil carbon cycling, water quality and carbon dioxide storage in volcanic basins. In 2015, Kate was awarded the James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union; in 2012 she was awarded the Allan Cox Medal for Mentoring of Undergraduate Research. She is also a featured scientist in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History exhibit on Deep Time. Kate was recently selected as a Helmholtz International Fellow and will travel to Germany to conduct research and teach design to scientists.


Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley, Earth and Planetary Sciences (2005)
M.S., U.C. Berkeley, Civil and Environmental Engineering (Fluid Mechanics/Hydrology) (2001)
B.A., Environmental Earth Sciences, Dartmouth College (1999)


(650) 736-3238
(650) 736-3238
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