Gund Affiliate, Lead Scientist, University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment

Kate Brauman is the Lead Scientist for the Global Water Initiative at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. Kate also leads IonE’s impact goal on achieving safe water for all Minnesotans.

Brauman’s research integrates hydrology and land use with economics and policy to better understand how water use by people affects the environment and our ability to live well in it. Through projects as diverse as payments for watershed services, global variation in “crop per drop”, and worldwide trends in water consumption and availability, Brauman works with the Global Water Initiative to find sustainable solutions to pressing water issues.

Kate was a Coordinating Lead Author for the global assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and a Lead Author for United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Synthesis Report on the State of the Environment. Brauman was a 2018 AAAS Leshner Leadership Fellow for Public Engagement in their food and water cohort and is a 2020 AAAS Science Technology Policy Fellow.


  • Brauman KA, AL Goodkind, T Kim, R Pelton, J Schmitt, T Smith. “Unique water scarcity footprints and water risks in US meat and ethanol supply chains identified via subnational commodity flows.” Environmental Research Letters. (in press)
  • Bremer, LB, P Hamel, A Ponette-Gonzalez, P Vieira Pompeu, S Saad, KA Brauman. “Who are we measuring and modeling for? Supporting multi-level decision-making in watershed management”. 2020. Water Resources Research. 56(1). DOI: 10.1029/2019WR026011.
  • C Ramirez-Reyes, KA Brauman*, R Chaplin-Kramer, GL Galford, SB Adamo, CB Anderson, C Anderson, GRH Allington, KJ Bagstad, MT Coe, AF Cord, LE. Dee, RK Gould, M Jain, VA Kowal, F Muller-Karger, J Norriss, P Potapov, J Qiu, JT Rieb, BE Robinson, LH Samberg, N Singh, SH Szeto, B Voigt, K Watson, and TM Wright. 2019. “Reimagining the Potential of Earth Observations for Ecosystem Services Assessments.” Science of the Total Environment. 665.
  • Brauman, KA, B Richter, S Postel, M Malby, M Flörke. 2016. “Water Depletion: An improved metric for incorporating seasonal and dry-year water scarcity into water risk assessments.” Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene 4:000083. DOI: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000083.
  • Brauman, KA. 2015. “Hydrologic ecosystem services: Linking ecohydrologic processes to human well-being in water research and watershed management.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 2(4): 345-358. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1081.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Water resources, ecohydrology, ecosystem services, hydrology, agricultural water use, water scarcity


  • PhD, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources, Stanford University
  • BA, Independent Major in Science and Religion, Columbia University


  • 612-626-9502