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Kristin Burkholder is a physical oceanographer and educator focused on both understanding our natural environment and on sharing her passion for our environment with her students. Upon completion of her Ph.D. at Duke in 2011, Dr. Burkholder returned to her hometown of Boston to accept a post-doctoral teaching fellowship at Stonehill College, a small liberal arts school located just south of the city. There, Dr. Burkholder had the opportunity to join a small group of educators working to build an environmental science program and was instrumental in creating the new Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science major at the college. In 2016, Burkholder was offered a tenure-track position at Stonehill and remains in that role today.
Along with the undergraduate researchers in her lab, Dr. Burkholder focuses on understanding how her “oceanic backyard,” the Gulf of Maine, is being impacted by warming global temperatures. Specifically, she is using a regional model of ocean circulation in order to investigate both the composition and distribution of the nutrient-rich deep waters that enter the Gulf of Maine. In addition to her oceanographic research endeavors, she has served as a co-PI of a recently funded NSF S-STEM grant supporting at-risk students in the sciences and has co-authored a paper on designing an undergraduate curriculum that effectively alters student knowledge and attitudes about climate change.
Finally, Dr. Burkholder continues with her interest in supporting women in science by serving on the steering committee of MPOWIR (Mentoring Physical Oceanographic Women to Increase Retention), a group that she has valued since her days as a Duke graduate student.