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Katharine Graham Dahm, Ph.D.

Dr. Katharine Graham Dahm is the Senior Scientist for the Rocky Mountain Region and Chief of the Colorado River Basin: Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology (ASIST) Project

Career History and Highlights

Katharine Dahm is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Rocky Mountain Region Senior Scientist. This position serves to link the Water Science Centers and Biological Science Center to the Region, working closely with leadership, partners, and science staff in the centers. Katharine leads the USGS Colorado River Basin Actionable and Strategic Integrated Science and Technology (ASIST) efforts for the bureau. This group is responsible for the landscape scale effort to accelerate USGS interdisciplinary science and application of advanced information management technology for complex stakeholder driven challenges related to the extreme drought conditions in the Colorado River Basin.

In addition to her role as Senior Scientist, from November 2021 to September 2022, Katharine served as Acting Director of the USGS Utah Water Science Center. The center collaborates with over 50 partners at Federal, state, tribal, non-governmental, academic, and private organizations within the State of Utah to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources. The Utah Water Science Center provides real-time discharge at more than 150 gages statewide, monitors water levels across a statewide network annually, and engages in many relevant and unbiased scientific studies and modeling efforts. The center is the USGS lead for science and data collection fundamental to the management of Utah water resources including the Great Salt Lake, the Great Basin of western Utah, and the Colorado River Basin of eastern and southern Utah.

Katharine’s prior Federal experience includes managing the Water Infrastructure Operations and Maintenance Branch in the Bureau of Reclamation's Dam Safety and Infrastructure Directorate, Asset Management Division. Her team served as the bureau-lead and advisor for Reclamation's western water operations and water infrastructure facility management. For the Bureau of Reclamation, she also worked in operations, planning, design, and research including serving as the program manager for the WaterSMART West-Wide Risk Assessment Program and Reservoir Operations Program. Prior to joining the Department of the Interior, Katharine worked in the private industry as a consultant for the energy and mineral industries.

Education and Certifications

  • BSc, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Environmental Engineering

  • MSc, Colorado School of Mines in Environmental Science and Engineering.

  • PhD, Colorado School of Mines in Environmental Science and Engineering

  • Licensed professional engineer in the State of Colorado

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