Kara L. Nelson - Biography

Dr. Kara Nelson is a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.  She received her B.A. degree in biophysics from U.C. Berkeley, her M.S.E. degree in environmental engineering from the University of Washington, and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering from U.C. Davis.  Her research program addresses innovative strategies to increase the sustainability of urban water infrastructure, including technologies for potable and non-potable water reuse, nutrient recovery, decentralized systems, intermittent water supply, household water treatment, and low-cost sanitation.  In particular, Dr. Nelson focuses on the control of waterborne pathogens, including mechanisms of pathogen inactivation and new detection methods for pathogens.  Dr. Nelson has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including two invited reviews, and one book chapter. She is the Director of Graduate Education at the Engineering Research Center for Re-inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure (ReNUWIt).  She currently serves on the expert panel advising the State of California on the feasibility of direct potable water reuse.  Dr. Nelson was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) at a ceremony in the White House in 2004.  This award is the nation’s highest honor for scientists in the early stages of their career.  She currently conducts research in the United States, India, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Panama.