Dr. Kate Brauman is a globally recognized thought leader in water resources and ecosystem services. She served as a coordinating lead author for the global assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), released in 2019, and as a lead author for the 2021 United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Global Synthesis Report, “Making Peace with Nature.” Her paper, “The Nature and Value of Ecosystem Services: A focus on hydrology” in the 2007 Annual Reviews of Environment and Resources, has over 1,000 citations and is a widely used reference for both research and implementation of green infrastructure and ecosystem services projects. Broadly, Brauman’s research quantifies how changes in nature affect human wellbeing, with a particular focus on water resources.
In addition to research, Brauman is committed to and skilled at science communication. Following the 2019 release of the IPBES Global Assessment, Brauman spoke with a broad range of international television, radio, and print news outlets. In addition, in 2019 Brauman testified to the US Congress about the findings of the IPBES Global Assessment. In recognition of her commitment to public engagement, in 2017 Brauman was named an American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Leshner Leadership Fellow in Science Engagement.
Brauman most recently served as the lead scientist for the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment Global Water Initiative, where she was a member of the Natural Capital Project science team. Her projects include payments for watershed services, global variation in “crop per drop,” and worldwide trends in water consumption and availability. From 2020-2021, Brauman was the Water and Climate Resilience Fellow at the US Department of Defense through a Science Technology Policy Fellowship with AAAS. She received her doctorate from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Columbia University.