Katherine Moore Powell
Keller Science Action Center
Katherine joined the museum in November 2016 to develop a climate change adaptation/action plan for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. In addition, she is providing climate change expertise for natural resource management in Calumet and the Chicago Wilderness regions.
Katherine started her science career studying hydrogeology in Florida, participating in a carbon sequestration feasibility study for Tampa Electric Company (TECO). Her research continued with the ecohydrology of wetlands in West-central Florida, studying the impacts of groundwater pumping on the health of cypress domes. This research involved sampling soils and conducting stable isotope analysis of organic matter - and started her love of soil science that endures today. Next, she moved across the US to the Front Range of Colorado, where she worked with the USGS and the University of Colorado researching water and carbon fluxes from grasslands at Rocky Flats NWR and a montane forest site at Flying J. Ranch, Conifer, CO. The research in Colorado involved using eddy covariance techniques, measuring soil characteristics and belowground movement of CO2 using the soil gradient method, and characterizing aboveground changes in biomass and leaf area index. As an ecohydrologist, Katherine is interested in how water moves through the ecosystem, and specifically how fluxes of carbon, water, and energy respond to precipitation that is becoming characterized by seasonal shifts, larger events, and longer dry periods.
Prior to doing research, Katherine worked for over a decade as a software programmer and consultant, meeting with clients in diverse sectors and traveling world-wide. As a result, she has retained a strong interest in IT, especially ecosystem models and data analytics. In addition, she draws on her experience in consulting to work across science, government and communities developing climate-informed strategies.
Recent Blog Posts
B.S. Management Information Systems, USF, Tampa, FL
B.S. Geology, USF, Tampa, FL
M.S. Hydrogeology, USF, Tampa, FL
PhD Environmental Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Grants & awards
2013 National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Advance Study Program summer colloquium participant awardee, Boulder, CO
2012 University of Colorado Beverley Sears research grant, $1000 (Lead PI), Boulder, CO
2010 U. S. Geological Survey Special Thanks for Achieving Results (STAR), Denver, CO
2007 Best Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Geology, USF, Tampa, FL
2006 College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List of Scholars, USF, Tampa, FL
2016 Moore Powell, P. Blanken, D. E. Anderson, Precipitation Driven Carbon Cycling in a Semiarid Smooth Brome-Dominated Mixed grassland. Manuscript in preparation.
2016 Moore Powell, K., J. G. Wynn, M. Stewart, M. C. Rains, S. Emery, Comparison of Soil Properties between Cypress Domes of Different Hydrologic Impact in West-Central
Florida. Manuscript in preparation.
2016 The impact of changing precipitation on water and carbon cycling in semiarid grasslands of the Colorado Front Range (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from
2013 Moore Powell, K. Volume 3: The States Go Green - New Mexico. In Kim Kennedy White and Leslie A. Durham (Eds.) America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the United States (pages 1075-1081), Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, ISBN: 978-1-59884-657-7.
2008 Quantifying soil organic carbon changes in wetlands that have been impacted by groundwater withdrawals in West-Central Florida (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from Scholars Commons, USF: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/etd/456/
2015 Moore Powell, K., P. Blanken. Cool versus warm season grasslands: How precipitation drives carbon cycling two semiarid communities. Oral session presented at 9th Annual Graduate Climate Conference, November 6-8, 2015, Speck Auditorium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, MA.
2015 Moore Powell, K., P. Blanken, More rain, less often: Extreme precipitation events and the impact on carbon cycling in the grasslands of Rocky Flats NWR, Colorado. Poster session presented at the 21st Annual Front Range Student Ecology Symposium - Colorado State University, February 24-25, 2015, Fort Collins, CO.
2014 Moore Powell, K., P. Blanken, More rain, less often: Extreme precipitation events and the impact on carbon cycling in the grasslands of Rocky Flats NWR, Colorado. Poster session presented at American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 15-19, 2014, San Francisco, CA.
2013 Powell, K. Moore, D. E. Anderson, P. Blanken, Soil respiration in a semiarid grassland after a major precipitation event: How the 2013 Colorado floods affected ecosystem productivity at Rocky Flats NWR. Poster session presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 9-13, 2013, San Francisco, CA.
2013 Powell, K. Moore, D. E. Anderson, P. Blanken, Links between soil water availability and soil respiration in semi-arid ecosystems along the Colorado Front Range. Poster session presented at the NCAR Advance Study Program summer colloquium, “The Weather-Climate Intersection: Advances and Challenges”, August 7, 2013, Boulder, CO.
2012 Powell, K. Moore, P. Blanken, D. E. Anderson, D. I. Stannard2, and T. Thienelt. Soil Carbon Links to Soil Water Cycling in Ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range. Poster session presented at the 7th Annual Hydrologic Sciences Student Research Symposium, April, 2012, Boulder, CO.
2011 Powell, K. Moore, P. Blanken, D. E. Anderson, D. Stannard, and T. Thienelt, Soil Carbon Links to Soil Water Cycling in Ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range. Poster session presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 5-9, 2011, San Francisco, CA.
2010 D. E. Anderson, K. Moore Powell, G. Szanko, C. Mladinich, S. Curry, A. Griebel, and T. Thienelt, Carbon Sequestration Rates and the Energy Balance of Turf in the Denver Urban Ecosystem and in an Adjacent Native Grassland Under Contrasting Management Practices, Poster session presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 2010 13-17 December, San Francisco, CA.
2009 D. E. Anderson, K. Moore Powell, R. Kroodsma, A. Griebel, L. Nelson, E. Stieve, S. Norris, Estimates of Biogenic Greenhouse Gas Flux Components in the Denver Urban Ecosystem, Oral presentation at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, December 11, 2009, San Francisco, CA.
2007 NSF Chautauqua short course, Geothermal Systems of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
1998 Private Pilot, Aircraft Single Engine Land, Instrument, Tampa, FL.
Ecological Society of America (ESA)
Geological Society of America (GSA)
American Geophysical Union(AGU)
Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)