Stanford University
Vegetation

Alexandra Konings receives early career award from AGU

The ecohydrologist has been recognized for her research, educational or societal impacts in the area of global environmental change.

BY Danielle Torrent Tucker
ClockSeptember 10, 2021

Assistant professor of Earth system science Alexandra Konings has been named a 2021 recipient of the Global Environmental Change Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The annual award “recognizes outstanding contributions in research, educational, or societal impacts in the area of global environmental change by honorees within ten years of receiving their PhD or highest terminal degree.”

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Alexandra Konings

Konings explores how ecosystems and the carbon cycle respond to variations in water availability at large scales. She leads the Remote Sensing Ecohydrology Group, which explores plant hydraulics, water-carbon coupling in the tropics and the role of spatial variability in plant traits primarily using remote sensing data analysis and model development. She has pioneered the use of remote sensing at microwave frequencies to measure vegetation water content for predicting plant health.

Her recent work has found that floods may be nearly as important as droughts for understanding carbon uptake, an important process for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In an analysis of the rate at which plants release water, or transpire, Konings showed that global warming will shift this process more than previously predicted. She also helped to develop a deep-learning model that maps live fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states in an effort to predict where wildfires could occur.

Konings will be presented the Global Environmental Change Early Career Award at the AGU Fall Meeting, which is being held in New Orleans Dec. 13-17.

Konings is also an assistant professor of geophysics, by courtesy, and a center fellow, by courtesy, of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

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