Alexandria B. Boehm, PhD

Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment
Stanford University
Jerry Yang & Akiko Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building RM. 189
650 724 9128

Courses Peer Reviewed Papers Projects Students


Research Interests
My primary research areas are coastal water quality and sanitation. These two research areas are linked by a focus on waterborne pathogens. The work on coastal water quality addresses the sources, transformation, transport, and ecology of biocolloids - specifically fecal indicator organisms, DNA, pathogens, and phytoplankton - as well as sources and fate of nitrogen. This knowledge is crucial to formulating new management policies and engineering practices that protect human and ecosystem health at the coastal margins. The work on sanitation aims to gain a better understanding of how pathogens are transmitted to humans through contact with water, feces, and contaminated surfaces. My research is focused on key problems in both developed and developing countries with the overarching goal of designing and testing novel interventions and technologies for reducing the burden of waterborne disease. Details of current projects can be found here.
Environmental science and engineering, by its very nature, is multi-disciplinary. In order to be successful, students must be grounded in fundamental sciences and also have the know-how to apply the fundamentals to real, complex problems. Because there are also regulatory, political, and social components to real environmental problems, the most successful environmental science and engineering problem-solvers will have a background in these broader domains as well. With these challenges in mind, I have developed four multi-disciplinary classes that aim to supply the fundamentals for applied environmental problem solving: CEE 175A/275A California Coast: Science, Policy, and Law, CEE 272 Coastal Contaminants, CEE 271M Transport Phenomena, CEE 274E Pathogens in the Environment, and CEE 274P Environmental Health Microbiology Lab. CEE 175A/275A is an iEarth class at Stanford that I co-teach with two law professors (Deborah Sivas and Meg Caldwell). The class is popular with students from the Law School, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Earth Systems Science. For more information about these courses, please follow this link.
Participant in National Academy of Engineers' Frontiers of Engineering Symposium 2008
NSF Career Award 2007
Pacific Rim Center for Oceans and Human Health Visiting Scholar 2007
Excellence in Teaching Award at Univ. California Irvine 2001
Faculty Fellow Award at Univ. California Irvine 2000-2002
State and National Service
Member State of California Clean Beach Task Force (2007-present)
Member State of California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisor Team (2008 - present)
Participant on National Experts Workshop of Recreational Water Quality Criteria held by USEPA (2007)
Stanford University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental and Water Studies
Environmental Science, Engineering, and Policy at Stanford
Email aboehm at  

CEE VPUE Summer 2015 Research Opportunities