Sarah G. Evans, PhD Candidate, University of Colorado – Boulder

Education & Experience

2017-present  Assistant Professor of Hydrogeology, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Appalachian State University

2013-2017  Ph.D. Student in Geology at University of Colorado Boulder

2013  Ms.C. in Geology from University of Colorado Boulder

2011  B.A. from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington

My interests

My research interests are focused on quantifying the impact of climate change on groundwater flow in high altitude, headwater catchments. I love spending time outside and can often be found trail running, cross country skiing, climbing, and hiking. I also love cooking, talking about the Pacific Northwest, and puns.

How I became a scientist

I grew up on hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest and have always been interested in our natural world. My bachelor’s degree is in Geology and Environmental Studies with an emphasis on hydrology. During my bachelor’s, I was fortunate to be selected for the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates summer program, which I spent in the Mojave Desert studying isolation-related non-tectonic rock cracking. In addition to this opportunity, I spent two summers as a hydrographer, one with Washington Water Trust in Seattle, Washington, and the following summer with Friends of the Teton River (FTR), a nonprofit water trust in the Teton Valley of eastern Idaho. My time with FTR was my first exposure to the role of science in public policy, and motivated me to include the broader impacts of science in my career and research, and propelled me to pursue a higher degree in groundwater modeling. I have been a graduate student at the University of Colorado since 2011. My research is now focused on modeling the effects of climate change on water resources in high altitude, mountainous watersheds.

How my work benefits society

Although the scientific understanding of headwater recharge and mountainous groundwater systems is increasing, the impact of climatic warming on groundwater is just coming under rigorous study. Results of my research will elucidate the response of groundwater to warming, highlighting the influence of snowmelt on groundwater flow. This study has implications for water resource availability and its temporal variability in a warming global climate.