Published: May 14, 2015
Diane McKnight at the Mountain Research Station for CU-Boulder

Diane McKnight, professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering and fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) will deliver this year’s Distinguished Research Lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in the University Memorial Center, Room 235. This lectureship is among the highest honors bestowed by the faculty upon a faculty member at CU-Boulder.

McKnight will be speaking on “The McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica: Ecosystems waiting for water.” Her lecture is free and open to the public, though pre-registration is recommended. To register, please visit

Each year, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research requests nominations from faculty for the Distinguished Research Lectureship, and a faculty review panel recommends one faculty member as a recipient. Three faculty members were selected this year, with Diane McKnight from civil, environmental and architectural engineering and Doug Seals from integrative physiology also delivering lectures.

McKnight is director of the Center for Water, Earth Science and Technology, and Co-director Hydrologic Sciences Graduate program. Her research focuses on the biogeochemistry of natural organic material and trace metals in streams and lakes, and the consequences for water supplies. She has conducted research on stream ecosystems as part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long-Term Ecological Research (MCM-LTER) project and on alpine lakes and acid mine drainage streams in the Rocky Mountains. She has been President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and editor of Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences. She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 and was awarded the John Dalton Medal from the European Geophysical Union in 2015.