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Ph.D. student wins paper competition at AWRA Geospatial Water Technology Conference

Kimia Karimi

Ph.D. student Kimia Karimi, advised by CCEE’s Dr. Dan Obenour, won first place in the 2022 American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Geospatial Water Technology Conference Paper Competition in early May for her paper “A Data-Driven Model for Assessing Nutrient Management Efficacy at the Watershed Scale.” She will be featured in an upcoming issue of AWRA’s IMPACT Magazine and will receive a cash prize.

“I was actually a bit surprised when I received the award announcement but also so thrilled,” Karimi said. 

Karimi explained the paper focuses on extending a hybrid mechanistic/statistical approach leveraging a large spatial and temporal data to improve characterization of nutrient sources and stormwater measures. 

“Our approach includes detailed representation of buffers and stormwater control measures,” she said. “We found that these management practices are effective in reducing nutrient load and improving water quality in our study area — two developing watersheds in central North Carolina.” 

Kimia is a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Geospatial Analytics. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering and specializes in water quality modeling. 

Kimia has been a member of Obenour’s water quality modeling group since 2018. Her research focuses on developing data-driven watershed water quality models to quantify nutrient export and retention rates as well as their uncertainty.

“Kimia is a productive researcher with a strong background in water quality and watershed processes, statistics and geospatial analytics,” Obenour said. “She is focused on developing new methods to characterize nutrient loading dynamics and the efficacy of stormwater controls in order to protect downstream water quality.”