Save the Ocean!


Location: 136 DeBartolo Hall Map

The oceans cover most of the planet and the majority of the world's population lives along the coast. Oceans provide immense benefits to society, including climate regulation, fisheries, and recreation. The oceans are threatened by stressors including pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Engineers have an important role to play in understanding and addressing these threats. 

Professor Boehm will provide examples of applied, interdisciplinary research and engineering projects focused on ocean health, including projects to improve coastal water quality and the Nationa's beach water quality policies, and develop new technologies to detect marine life using environmental DNA to address the problem of declining biodiversity. 

Alexandria (Ali) Boehm is a professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at Stanford. She received her B.S. with honors in Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California Irvine. Her primary research areas are coastal water quality and sanitation. These research areas are linked by a focus on waterborne pathogens and use of molecular methods.

The work on coastal water quality addresses the sources, transformation, transport, and ecology of bio-colloids as well as sources and fate of nitrogen. The work on sanitation aims to understand how pathogens are transmitted to humans through contact with water, feces, and contaminated surfaces. Field sites are in both developed and developing countries. 

Boehm has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers and eight book chapters. She received an NSF career award in 2007 and the ASCE Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize in 2016. She serves on the editorial advisory board of Environmental Science & Technology Letters and Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts. She teaches classes on coastal contamination, mass transport, environmental health microbiology, and water, sanitation, and health. One of her favorite courses she co-teaches with a Stanford Law professor is The California Coast: Science, Policy, and Law; the course was featured on the game show, Jeopardy. 

This event is hosted by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences.