Dr. Abra Atwood studies how changing climate and land use over decades affects river chemistry, using long-term records and remote sensing. Her research is motivated by an appreciation for water as a critical resource at local and global scales, where small changes to the water system can have large implications for communities.
Dr. Atwood has expertise in hydrology and geochemistry. Her studies have focused on the “critical zone”—the layer of Earth between the tree canopy and groundwater aquifers. As part of her Ph.D. research, Atwood determined the chemistry and age of groundwater in the Nepal Himalayas, a major local resource, to understand its susceptibility to climate change. She has also studied how wildfire affects the water sources flowing into rivers in small catchments (natural drainage areas).