Leadership Team » People

Led by Laura Lautz, EMPOWER is a team of over 40 people, including the leadership team, affiliated faculty, staff, graduate students, and external advisors. Browse our full directory below, which includes the leadership team and our graduate student trainees, or check out the information about our affiliated faculty and external advisors.

Photo of Laura K. Lautz

Laura K. Lautz

EMPOWER Program Director and Professor, Department of Earth Sciences

Lautz is a hydrologist who aims to further understand how hydrologic processes influence water quality and movement through watersheds. She is particularly interested in how water moves through paired surface water and groundwater systems, and how nutrients and other solutes are processed and transported by streams. Her broad interest in exchange of water between surface and subsurface environments has led her to work on several interdisciplinary research projects, within which she has used field experiments coupled with computer modeling experiments.…

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Charles Driscoll

University Professor of Environmental Systems and Distinguished Professor

Driscoll’s teaching and research interests are in the area of environmental chemistry, biogeochemistry and water quality modeling. He has initiated a number of research projects and used a variety of approaches to study the biogeochemistry of forest, wetland, freshwater and coastal ecosystems, including field investigations, laboratory studies, long-term field measurements, whole-ecosystem manipulation studies, and the development and application of models.…

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Chris Johnson

Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Johnson is involved in a number of research projects in the broad area of environmental chemistry. He has ongoing research interests in the fate of trace metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Ni) in forest soils and landscapes; the effects of clear-cut logging on soils and drainage waters; and the changing acid-base chemistry of soils historically affected by acid rain.…

Photo of Christopher Junium

Christopher Junium

Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences

Junium is a sedimentary and organic geochemist. His research focuses on the redox evolution of the Earth, specializing in biogeochemical cycling. He uses a range of geochemical tools, but focuses on the stable isotopes of nitrogen, carbon and sulfur, with a particular interest in compound-specific, stable isotope techniques. His research interests span the spectrum of geologic time from the Archean to modern systems.…

Photo of Tara Kahan

Tara Kahan

Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Tara Kahan is an environmental chemist. Her research uses techniques from physical and analytical chemistry to understand reactions in the natural environment. Current research areas include: Investigating the effect of water composition (e.g. saltwater vs. freshwater) on the fate of anthropogenic pollutants; measuring reaction rates at ice surfaces; investigating the role of surfaces such as buildings and roads on chemistry in cities; and monitoring important chemical reactions indoors.…

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Christopher Scholz

Professor, Earth Sciences

Scholz’s research focuses on recovering records of past climate from lake basins, and on the sedimentary basin analysis of extensional systems, with emphasis on lacustrine basins. Current research efforts are concentrated on the large lakes of tropical Africa and the Finger Lakes of Central New York. Lake basins contain some of the highest quality archives of climate change on the continents, and new drill core records from the low-latitude lakes of Africa are revealing new details about the Pleistocene record of climate change.…

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Donald Siegel

Emeritus Professor, Earth Sciences

Donald Siegel’s career spans over 40 years of doing research, consulting and teaching on problems related the aqueous geochemistry and hydrogeology of natural and contaminated waters. He earned his BS in Geology from the University of Rhode Island, his MS in Geology at Penn State University, and his PhD in Hydrogeology from the University of Minnesota.…

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Donald Torrance

Director, Science Communications, and Associate Professor, Broadcast & Digital Journalism

Don Torrance is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and producer whose science journalism has appeared in broadcast, online and print outlets. Over a 30-year career he produced content for PBS; “Science Times,” the New York Times science television news magazine; National Public Radio; Science Magazine; and Nature Conservancy Magazine. He has produced several documentary films and environmental science television programs.…

Photo of Peter Wilcoxen

Peter Wilcoxen

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs

Peter J. Wilcoxen is an economist whose research focuses on the design and analysis of environmental and energy policies, especially those connected with national or international measures to address climate change. He is a professor in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, co-director of the Brookings Climate and Energy Economics Project, and is a member of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board.…