Alexandra Konings receives NSF CAREER Award
The assistant professor of Earth system science received a 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award to explore new ways of understanding how plants respond to the weather in order to improve models of carbon dioxide uptake, plant growth and soil decomposition.
Alexandra Konings, an assistant professor of Earth system science, recently received a 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The grant supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.
Konings leads the Remote Sensing Ecohydrology Group in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth). The interdisciplinary research team primarily uses remote sensing data analysis and model development to understand how ecosystems and the carbon cycle respond to variations in water availability, and how ecosystems will change under future climate scenarios.
Konings’ CAREER Award proposal, Elucidating Large-Scale Spatial Patterns of Ecosystem Traits with Data Assimilation, aims to explore new ways of understanding how plants respond to the weather in order to improve models of carbon dioxide uptake, plant growth and soil decomposition. Using a new modelling framework and satellite data, it will involve the creation of a map of worldwide plant-weather relationships in regions where field measurements are scarce. The research also aims to improve predictions of how ecosystems respond to climatic changes.
The educational elements of the project include the development of instructional modules on ecosystem processes and climate change topics for middle and high school biology, chemistry and physics teachers, as well as a bi-annual workshop on data assimilation with the integrative CARbon DAta MOdel fraMework (CARDAMOM).
The NSF CAREER Award grants faculty members five years of financial support to foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of the participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and national goals, and highlight the importance of science and technology for the Nation’s future.
Konings is also an assistant professor, by courtesy, of geophysics, and a center fellow, by courtesy, at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.