Dr. Chief's research focuses on how indigenous communities will be affected by climate change. She collaborates with 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.
Associate Professor, University of Arizona, Department of Environmental Science, Tucson, AZ, 2011−present
Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Desert Research Institute (DRI), Division of Hydrologic Sciences, 2007−2011
Hydrologist, Brown and Caldwell Consulting, Division of Water Resources, Tucson, Arizona, 2007
Graduate Research Assistant, Univ. of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, 2003−2007
Graduate Assistant, Univ. of Arizona Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA), 2002
Research Intern, Navajo Nation, Department of Water Resources, 2002
Environmental Engineering Intern, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington D.C., 1999
Ornelas Van Horne, Y., K. Chief, P.H. Charley, M.G. Begay, N. Lothrop, M.L. Bell, R.A. Canales, N.I. Teufel-Shone, and P.I. Beamer. 2021. Impacts to Dine activities with the San Juan River after the Gold King Mine Spill. J. Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00290-z
Bair, L.S., K.Chief, B.J. Colombi, T.S. Melis, and D.M. Perry, C. 2021. Tribes and water management in the Colorado River, US. In (J. Laufer, E.E. Marques, S. Athayde, A.C. Swanson, and A.D.A. Zagallo) Rivers, lands and cultures: learning from Tocantins social-ecological system, pgs 106-126. https://www.editorafi.org/19rios
Chief, K. 2020. Water in the Native world. J Contemporary Water Research and Education 169: 1-7.
Bair, L.S., C.B. Yackulic, J.C. Schmidt, D.M. Perry, C. Kirchoff, K. Chief, and B.J. Colombi. 2019. Incorporating social-ecological considerations into basin-wide responses to climate change in the Colorado River Basin. Current opinion in environmental sustainability: 37:14-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2019.04.002