Kara L. Nelson

Kara L. Nelson
Blum Chancellor's Chair in Development Engineering
Environmental Engineering

Detection, removal, and inactivation of pathogens in water and sludge; Water reuse; Nutrient recovery; Drinking water and sanitation in developing countries.

Office 663 Davis Hall
Email karanelson@berkeley.edu
Phone (510) 643-5023

Office Hours:

Fall 2021

Tues 3:10-4:00 PM in person (663 Davis)


Dr. Kara Nelson is the Blum Chancellor's Chair in Development Engineering and a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.  Prof. Nelson teaches courses and conducts research on critical issues at the intersection of public health and the environment.  Her research program investigates practices for water reuse, disinfection, nutrient recovery, and international WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), which draw on her expertise in a wide range of treatment processes including filtration, membrane processes, ion exchange, and disinfection with UV, sunlight, and ammonia.  She has advised 23 PhD dissertations (completed) and published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals.  Prof. Nelson teaches courses on innovation in the water sector, drinking water and wastewater treatment processes, pathogen detection and inactivation, and natural treatment systems.  She currently leads the Engineering Research Thrust at ReNUWIt (www.renuwit.org) and since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has led a regional program to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater (COVID Wastewater Based Epidemiology for the Bay Area; www.covid-web.org).  Prof. Nelson is passionate about creating a climate in which everyone belongs and can reach their full potential, and previously served as Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion in the College of Engineering.


Ph.D. - Environmental Engineering, University of California at Davis, 2001
M.S.E. - Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, 1996
B.A. - Biophysics, University of California at Berkeley, 1992