Emily K Read, Ph.D.

Dr. Emily K. Read is the Chief of Web Communications for the United States Geological Survey Water Resources Mission.


As Web Communications Branch Chief, Emily is responsible for the digital delivery of water data and information in accessible, discoverable, and interoperable formats. Emily oversees the digital marketing and promotion of USGS Water science and educational resources. Emily earned a B.S. from the University of Arizona, a M.S. from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. After completing her dissertation, Emily was a postdoctoral associate at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. At the U.S. Geological Survey, Emily is active in national-scale research on water quality, interactive data visualizations for water, and the promotion of interdisciplinarity for addressing water resources issues. Emily previously served as Science Advisor for the U.S. Geological Survey Office of Water Information. Emily lives in Madison, WI with her family.

Education and Professional Appointments

  • Chief, Web Communications Branch, United States Geological Survey, Water Mission Area, Middleton, WI. 2017 - present.
  • Civil Engineer, United States Geological Survey Water Mission Area, Middleton, WI. 2014 - 2017.
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY. 2012 - 2014.
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. 2013.
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI. Thesis Advisor: Dr. Katherine D. McMahon. 2007 - 2012.
  • Master of Science, Environmental Science, Indiana University - Bloomington, IN. 2005 - 2007.
  • Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science, University of Arizona - Tucson, AZ. 2000 - 2004.                    

Related Activities and Service

  • Duke University Internet of Water Advisory Group. 2018 - present. 
  • United States Geological Survey Water Availability and Use Science Program Leadership Team. 2018 - present. 
  • Aspen-Nicholas Water Forum Participant. 2017, 2018.
  • Aspen-Nicholas Dialog on Sharing and Integrating Water Data for Sustainability Participant. 2016 - 2017.
  • National Ecological Observatory Network - United States Geological Survey Powell Center Iterative Ecosystem Forecasting Working Group. 2016 - 2017.
  • National Science Foundation grant reviewer for Hydrologic Sciences Program and Macrosystems Biology. 2016, 2018.
  • Peer reviewer for Journal of Great Lakes Research, Science of the Total Environment, Journal of Geophysical Research Biosciences, Chemosphere, Environmental Science and Technology, Ecosphere, Environmental Modelling and Software, Science of the Total Environment, PLoS One, Water Research, and Hydrobiologia. 2007 - present. 
  • Associate Guest Editor for Ecological Applications. 2017.
  • Grant award panelist for the United States Geological Survey Community for Data Integration. 2015

Awards and Recognition

  • Recipient of the David T. McLaughlin Leadership Fund Scholarship. 2018
  • Article selected as Featured Research: “Water quality data for national‐scale aquatic research: The Water Quality Portal” by E.K. Read et al. (2017) in Water Resources Research Journal; and top-ten most downloaded article in that journal for 2017.
  • American Geophysical Union EOS Spotlight featuring article “Water quality data for national‐scale aquatic research: The Water Quality Portal” by E. K. Read et al. (2017).
  • United States Geological Survey Shoemaker Award for External Communications Excellence Winner. 2016. Awarded to E.K. Read, J. Walker, A. Adams, D. Bunk, C. Touton, N. Booth, A. Appling, A. Butler, D. Button, A. Danner, M. Hines, D. Pearson, J. Read, I. Suftin, F. Thompson, J. Van Den Hoek, J. Vrabel, M. Wernimont, L. Winslow for Drought in the Colorado River Basin: Insights Using Open Data in the category of Internet Communications.
  • National Science Foundation and Popular Science The Vizzies Visualization Challenge Finalist. 2015. Awarded to E.K. Read, M. Bucknell, M. Hines, J. Kreft, J. Lucido, J. Read, C. Schroedl, D. Sibley, S. Stephan, I. Suftin, P. Thongsavanh, J. Walker, M. Wernimont, L. Winslow, A. Yan for California Drought, Visualized with Open Data in the category of Games & Apps.
  • Recipient of the Anna Grant Birge Memorial Award, University of Wisconsin. 2009, 2010, 2012.
  • Recipient of the Becker Travel Grant, University of Wisconsin. 2009, 2010, 2011.
  • Recipient of the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, University of Arizona. 2000.


Download Emily's CV