Kristina Hopkins


Krissy Hopkins studies the impacts of urbanization on rivers and streams, focused on understanding how the intensity and type of development impacts water quality and quantity. This includes examining the impacts of different types of stormwater management strategies, both conventional and infiltration-based (i.e., green infrastructure), on watershed hydrology and nutrient fluxes. Her work also focuses on translating ecosystem functions into ecosystem services and values by applying ecosystem services approaches to floodplain systems and green stormwater infrastructure.

Krissy received an undergraduate degree in biology/environmental science and geography from Syracuse University in 2007. She completed her Ph.D. in geology at the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland. She joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 2016 as a Research Physical Scientist.



  • Assessing water quality/quantity changes in aquatic ecosystems as watersheds undergo urban development.
  • Assessing the effectiveness of stormwater management practices (conventional and green infrastructure) to reduce the water quality/quantity impacts of development. Project page HERE.
  • Quantifying and valuing sediment and nutrient retention ecosystem services provided by floodplains in the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay watersheds. Project page HERE.



Ph.D. 2014, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Dissertation: From small watersheds to regions: Variation in hydrologic response to urbanization

B.S. 2007 Biology/Environmental Science (2nd Major Geography), Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY



2017 - Present, Research Physical Scientist, South Atlantic Water Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Raleigh, NC.

2016 - 2017, Research Physical Scientist, Eastern Geographic Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

2014 - 2016, Postdoctoral Fellow, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, University of Maryland, Annapolis, MD.



Bradley,  P.M., C.A. Journey, J.P. Berninger, D.T. Button, J.M. Clark, S.R. Corsi, L.A. DeCicco, K.G. Hopkins, B.J. Huffman, N. Nakagaki, J.E. Norman, L.H. Nowell, S.L. Qi, P.C. VanMetre, I.R. Waite, 2019. Mixed-chemical exposure and predicted effects potential in wadeable southeastern USA streams. Science of the Total Environment, 655: 70-83.

Rowley, T.H., Hopkins, K.G., and Terziotti, S., 2018, Geomorphological Features of North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Hopkins, K.G., G.B. Noe, F. Franco, E.J. Pindilli, S. Gordon, M.J. Metes, P.R. Claggett, A.C. Gellis, C.R. Hupp, D.M. Hogan. 2018. A method to quantify and value floodplain sediment and nutrient retention ecosystem services. Journal of Environmental Management, 220: 65-76.

Hopkins, K.G., N.B. Grimm, A.M. York. 2018. Influence of governance structure on green stormwater infrastructure investment. Environmental Science and Policy, 84: 124-133.

Hopkins, K.G. and D.J. Bain. 2018. Mapping spatial patterns in sewer age, material, and proximity to surface waterways to infer sewer leakage hotspots. Landscape and Urban Planning, 170: 320-324. 

Jefferson, A.J., A.S. Bhaskar, K.G. Hopkins, R. Fanelli, P.M. Avellaneda, S.K. McMillan. 2017. Stormwater management network effectiveness and implications for urban watershed function: A critical reviewHydrological Processes, 31 (23): 4056-4080.

Hopkins, K.G., J.V. Loperfido, L.S. Craig, G.B. Noe, D.M. Hogan. 2017. Comparison of sediment and nutrient export and runoff characteristics from watersheds with centralized versus distributed stormwater management. Journal of Environmental Management, 203 (1): 286–298.

Sparkman, S.A., D.M. Hogan, K.G. Hopkins, J.V. Loperfido. 2017 Modeling watershed-scale impacts of stormwater managment with traditional versus low impact development design. Journal of the American Water Resources Association,  53 (5): 1081-1094.

A.Y. Chan and K.G. Hopkins. 2017. Case study: Associations between socio-demographics and green infrastructure placement in Portland, Oregon. Journal of Sustainable Water in the Built Environment. 3 (3).

Utz, R.M., K.G. Hopkins, L. Beesley, D.B. Booth, R.J. Hawley, M.E. Baker, M.C. Freeman, K.L. Jones. 2016. Ecological resistance in urban streams: the role of natural and legacy attributes. Freshwater Science, 35 (1): 380-397.

Hopkins K.G., N.B. Morse, D.J. Bain, N.D. Bettez, N.B. Grimm, J.L. Morse, M.M. Palta, W.D. Shuster, A.R. Bratt, A.K. Suchy. 2015. Assessment of variation in stream flow responses to urbanization and the persistence of physiographyEnvironmental Science and Technology, 49 (5): 2724-2732.

Hopkins K.G., N.B. Morse, D.J. Bain, N.D. Bettez, N.B. Grimm, J.L. Morse, M.M. Palta. 2015. Type and timing of stream flow changes in urbanizing watersheds in the Eastern U.S. Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene, 3 (56): 1-14.

Hopkins, K.G., D.J. Bain, and E.M. Copeland. 2014. Reconstruction of a century of landscape modification and hydrologic change in a small urban watershed in Pittsburgh, PALandscape Ecology, 29 (3): 413 – 424. 

D.J. Bain, E. Copeland, M. Divers, M. Hecht, K.G. Hopkins, J. Hynicka, M. Koryak, M. Kostalos, L. Brown, E. Elliott, J. Fedor, M. Gregorich, B. Porter, B. Smith, C. Tracey, M. Zak. 2014. Characterizing a Major Urban Stream Restoration Project: Nine Mile Run (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 50 (6): 1608-1621.