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Ultimately I plan to pursue science communication work to inspire better climate change adaptation efforts in the private sector. My background in teaching, leadership development, and performing will help me to leverage a technical degree in the hydrologic sciences and engineering program at Colorado School of Mines to encourage change. My PhD was funded by multiple interdisciplinary fellowships from the National Science Foundation– first as an IGERT trainee studying the intersection of climate change, water, and society, and second as a Blue Waters Fellow exploring the cutting edge of super computing applications– to help prepare for a career beyond the ivory tower. In 2017, to gain experience in the private sector during my PhD, I moved to Kampala, Uganda and developed an Impact Department for the startup and NGO SPOUTS of Water. I plan to finish my PhD in December 2018 and am excited for the next chapter.

My dissertation research, supervised by Dr. Reed Maxwell, is focused on using integrated modeling and high performance computing to understand the processes driving environmental change in Rocky Mountain headwaters. These regions provide 85% of the water to the Colorado River and Southwestern United States, but they are so complex that climate models and regional hydrologic models do not accurately simulate their behavior. In order to prepare water supplies for a changing climate it is critical to better understand dynamics in these alpine regions. Beyond the United States, one-sixth of the world’s population depends on similar systems for their water supply, making research on complex terrain, snowpack, and climate important across the globe.

 

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Email: lfoster@mines.edu
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