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Karen Kline

Senior Research Scientist
Karen Kline, Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering Faculty
400 Seitz Hall

Education

Ph.D., Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University, 1988

M.S., Agricultural Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1985

B.S., Agricultural Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1983

Experience

August 2007 - present – Research Scientist, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

May 2006 – August 2007 – Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Virginia Tech

October 2001 – April 2006 – Senior Environmental Engineer, MapTech, Inc., Blacksburg, VA

Selected Major Awards

  • 2009 – Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence presented to the Center for Watershed Studies, Virginia Tech

Program Focus

My research program focuses on improving water quality at the watershed level, particularly the development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for impaired waters. The development of TMDLs includes the comprehensive assessment of sources of pollutants, source pathways to the streams, and source loads impacting water quality. Watershed models are used to simulate existing conditions in the streams and to determine TMDL allocations that will meet water quality standards. The development of TMDL implementation plans includes modeling and participation with local stakeholders and decision-makers in working group meetings to select the best management practices that will achieve TMDL allocations.

Current Projects

“Bacteria and Benthic TMDL Studies for Twenty-eight Impaired Stream Segments in Virginia” – this project funded by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality focuses on development of TMDLs and implementation plans for impaired stream segments in ten watersheds grouped throughout five areas of Virginia.

Selected Recent Publications

(* undergraduate student, ** graduate student)

  • Liao, H.*, L. A. Krometis, and K. Kline. 2016. Coupling a continuous watershed-scale microbial fate and transport model with a stochastic dose-response model to estimate risk of illness in an urban watershed. Science of the Total Environment. 551-552: 668-675. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.02.044.
  • Liao, H.*, L. A. Krometis, K. Kline, and W. C. Hession. 2015. Long-term impacts of bacteria-sediment interactions in watershed-scale microbial fate and transport modeling. Journal of Environmental Quality 44(5):1483-1490. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2015.03.0169.
  • Coffey, R., B. Benham, K. Kline, M. Wolfe, and E. Cummins. 2015. Modelling the impacts of climate change and future land use variation on microbial transport. J. of Water and Climate Change. DOI: 10.2166/wcc.2015.049.
  • Coffey, R., B. Benham, K. Kline, M. Wolfe, and E. Cummins. 2015. Potential Microbial Load Reductions Required to Meet Existing Freshwater Recreational Water Quality Standards for a Selection of Mid-century Environmental Change Scenarios. Environmental Processes 2(4): 609-629. DOI: 10.1007/s40710-015-0114-2.
  • Liao H.*, L. Krometis, W. Hession, K. Kline, L. House, and B. Badgley. 2014. Hydrometeorological and physicochemical drivers of fecal indicator bacteria in urban stream bottom sediments. Journal of Environmental Quality 43: 2034-2043. DOI: 10.2134/jeq2014.06.0255.

Selected Recent Funding

  • “New River PCB TMDL: Data Analysis, Modeling and TMDL Development”, PIs: B. Benham, K. Kline and G. Yagow, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $338,000, 8/14 – 7/17
  • “Middle Fork Cunningham Creek Bacteria TMDL Study, Stony Run Stressor Analysis, and Hardware River Bacteria TMDL”, PIs: B. Benham, K. Kline, C. Mitchem and G. Yagow, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $85,100, 11/15 – 5/17
  • “Little Calfpasture River TMDL Implementation Plan Development”, PIs: B. Benham, G. Yagow and K. Kline, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $62,565, 7/16 – 5/17
  • “Woods Creek Benthic and Bacteria Impairment TMDL Development”, PIs: B. Benham, K. Kline and G. Yagow, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $63,250, 7/16 – 5/17
  • “2016 Statewide Non-Point Source Analysis Update”, PIs: G. Yagow, K. Kline and C. Mitchem, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $72,636, 2/15 – 9/16
  • “2016 DEQ TMDL Modeling Training Scope, Format, and Approach”, PIs: B. Benham, G. Yagow and K. Kline, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, $27,000, 3/16 – 8/16