Katherine Swensen headshot

Katherine Swensen

2018 Fellow Washington State University


Katherine Swensen is a second year Ph.D. student at Washington State University, Vancouver, pursuing a degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Science. Originally from California, Katherine studied soil science at University of California, Davis for her undergraduate education. Katherine also holds a M.S. degree in Geology from the University at Buffalo, where she studied soil-plant-water interactions in both natural (wetland) and modified (phytoremediation) ecosystems. When she’s not hiking or camping on Mt. Adams (to collect data), you can find Katherine in a river, on a rock wall, at a local brewery, or with her nose in a classic sci-fi book.

Katherine’s general research interest is founded in soil-plant-water interactions. Regardless of the ecosystem she’s working in, she is drawn to understanding how various physical conditions and processes impact water availability for vegetation under a changing climate. In both her M.S. and Ph.D. research, Katherine incorporates field data collection with statistical and physics-based models to forecast how plant water availability may be impacted under a future climate.

Learn More About Katherine’s Research