Dr. Karletta Chief is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. As an assistant professor, the goal of her research is to improve our understanding, tools, and predictions of watershed hydrology, unsaturated flow in arid environments, and how natural and human disturbances affect soil hydrology through the use of physically based methods. Dr. Chief's research also focuses on how indigenous communities will be affected by climate change. She has collaborated in an interdisciplinary group of scientists including hydrologists, system dynamic modelers, and social scientists to determine how hydrological models can be improved to identify and mitigate risks to these vulnerable populations.
Dr. Chief serves as the lead primary investigator for the "Climate change vulnerability of Native Americans in the Southwest" research project. She has worked on a number of grant-funded research projects with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe since 2008.