Photo of Christine J. Kirchhoff

Christine J. Kirchhoff

Associate Professor and Associate Director of Law, Policy, and Engineering
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering


  • School of Engineering Design and Innovation
  • Law, Policy, and Engineering
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

221 Engineering Design and Innovation Building


Research Areas:

Water Resources Engineering




  • BA, Art History, Trinity University, 1993
  • BS, Civil Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
  • MS, Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 2002
  • Other, Graduate Teaching, University of Michigan, 2010
  • Other, Science, Technology & Public Policy, University of Michigan, 2010
  • Ph.D., Natural Resources & Environment / Resource Policy & Behavior, University of Michigan, 2010


Journal Articles

  • Craig Pearce, Daan van Knippenberg and Christine Kirchhoff, 2024, "The Civil Engineering Leadership Dilemma: Is Calibrated Paradoxical Leadership the Answer?", Journal of Management in Engineering, 40, (3)
  • Mirit B Friedman, Sara Hughes, Christine Kirchhoff, Eleanor Rauh, Chesney McOmber, Davis J. Manshardt and Jayln M Prout, 2024, "Broadening Resilience: An evaluation of policy and planning for drinking water resilience in 100 US cities", Global Environmental Change, 84
  • Jan Petzold, Tom Hawxwell, Kerstin Jantke, Eduardo Goncalves Gresse, Charlotta Mirbach, Idowu Ajibade, Suruchi Bhadwal, Kathryn Bowen, Alexandra Page Fisher, Elphin Tom Joe, Christine J. Kirchhoff, Katharine J. Mach, Diana Reckien, Alcade C. Segnon, Chandi Singh, Nicola Ulibarri, Donovan Campbell, Emilie Cremin, Leonie Farber, Greeshma Hegde, Jihye Jeong, Abraham Marshall Nunbogu, Himansu Kesari Pradhan, Lea S. Schroder, and Matthias Garschagen, 2023, "Who is adapting and how? Identifying actors and roles in climate change adaptation", Nature Climate Change, 13
  • Sara Hughes, Christine J. Kirchhoff, K Conedera and M Friedman, 2023, "The Municipal Drinking Water Database", PLOS Water, 2, (4)
  • Chesney McOmber, Christine Kirchhoff, Yan Zhang and Rosa Raudales, 2023, "Understanding Greenhouse Growers’ Willingness to Use Municipal Recycled Water on Food Crops: The Need for Tailored Outreach Coupled with Deep Engagement to Increase Adoption", HortTechnology, 33, (2), pp. 161-167
  • K Jagannathan, G Emmanuel, J Arnott, K J Mach, A Bamzai-Dodson, K Goodrich, R Meyer, M Neff, K Dana Sjostrom, KMF Tim, E Turnhout, G Wong-Parodi, A T Bednarek, A Meadow, A Dewulf and Christine Kirchhoff, 2023, "A research agenda for the science of actionable knowledge: Drawing from a review of the most misguided to the most enlightened claims in the science-policy interface literature", Environmental Science & Policy, 144, pp. 174-186
  • Matthew Bizer and Christine Kirchhoff, 2022, "Regression Modeling of Combined Sewer Overflows to Assess System Performance", Water Science and Technology, 86, (11)
  • Weston Eaton, Morey Burnham, Tahnee Robertson, J.G. Arbuckle, Kathryn J Brasier, Sarah Church, Georgia Hart-Fredeluces, Douglas Jackson-Smith, Grace Wildermuth, Katherine Canfield, Carolina Cardova, Casey Chatelain, Lara Fowler, Mennatullah Hendawy, Mark Burbach and Christine Kirchhoff, 2022, "Advancing the scholarship and practice of stakeholder engagement in working landscapes: A co-produced research agenda", Socio-Ecological Practice Research, 4, pp. 283–304
  • L Miralha, R Muenich, D Scavia, K Wells, A Steiner, M Kalcic, A Apostel, Samantha Basile and Christine Kirchhoff, 2021, "Bias correction of climate model outputs influences watershed model nutrient load predictions.", Science of the Total Environment
  • Don Scavia, Y Wang, Dan Obenour, A Apostel, S Basile, M Kalcic, Christine Kirchhoff, L Miralha, R Muenich and A Steiner, 2021, "Quantifying uncertainty cascading from climate, watershed, and lake models in harmful algal bloom predictions", Science of the Total Environment
  • Chesney McOmber, Yan Zhuang, Rosa E Raudales, Timothy M Vadas and Christine Kirchhoff, 2021, "What is recycled water, anyway? Investigating greenhouse grower definitions, perceptions, and willingness to use recycled water", Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • Guiling Wang, Christine Kirchhoff, Anji Seth, John Abatzoglou, Ben Livneh, David Pierce, Lori Fomenko and Tengyu Ding, 2020, "Projected Changes of Precipitation Characteristics Depend on Downscaling Method and Training Data: MACA versus LOCA the U.S. Northeast as an Example", Journal of Hydrometeorology
  • James C Arnott, Christine Kirchhoff, Ryan M Meyer, Alison M Meadow and Angela T Bednarek, 2020, "Sponsoring actionable science: What public science funders can do to advance sustainability and the social contract for science.", Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 43, pp. 38-44
  • Cristina Mullin, Christine Kirchhoff, Guiling Wang and Epapante Vlahos, 2020, "Future projections of water temperature and thermal stability in Connecticut reservoirs and possible implications for cyanobacteria.", Water Resources Research, 56, (11)
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, Nicole Klenk, Christine Kirchhoff, T Morrison, Scott Bremer, AP Fischer, MB Soares, R Torres and JM Olwoch, 2020, "Grand challenges for Climate Risk Management", Frontiers in Climate, 2
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, Kimberly S Wolske, Laura V Rasmussen, James C Arnott, Margaret Kalcic and Christine Kirchhoff, 2019, "The closer, the better? Untangling scientist-practitioner engagement, interaction, and knowledge use", Weather, Climate and Society
  • Christine Kirchhoff and Peter L Watson, 2019, "Are wastewater systems adapting to climate change?", Journal of the American Water Resources Association
  • Lucas Bair, Charles Yackulic, John Schmidt, Denielle Perry, Christine Kirchhoff, Karletta Chief and Benedict Colombi, 2019, "Incorporating social-ecological considerations into basin-wide responses to climate change in the Colorado River Basin", Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Julia Flagg, Yan Zhang and Berdakh Utemuratov, 2019, "Understanding and Improving Enforcement and Compliance with Drinking Water Standards", Water Resources Management
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Joseph J Barsugli, Gillian L Galford, Ambarish V Karmalkar, Kelly Lombardo, Mathew Barlow, Anji Seth, Guiling Wang and Austin Frank, 2019, "Climate assessments for local action", BAMS
  • Margaret Kalcic, Rebecca Logsdon Muenich, Samantha Basile, Allison L Steiner, Christine Kirchhoff and Donald Scavia, 2019, "Climate change and nutrient loading: warming can counteract a wetter future", Environmental Science & Technology
  • Julia A Flagg and Christine Kirchhoff, 2018, "Context matters: Context-related drivers of and barriers to climate information use", Climate Risk Management, 20, pp. 1-10
  • Cristina Mullin and Christine Kirchhoff, 2018, "Marshalling Adaptive Capacities Within an Adaptive Management Framework to Enhance the Resiliency of Wastewater Systems", Journal of the American Water Resources Association, pp. 1-14
  • Laura VangRasmussen, Christine Kirchhoff and Maria Carmen Lemos, 2017, "Adaptation by Stealth: understanding climate information use across scales and decision spaces in water management in the United States", Climatic Change, 140, (3), pp. 451-465
  • Margaret Kalcic, Christine Kirchhoff, Nathan Bosch, Rebecca Muenich, Jacob Gardner and Donald Scavia, 2016, "Engaging Stakeholders to Define Feasible and Desirable Agricultural Conservation in Western Lake Erie Watersheds", Environmental Science & Technology, 50, (15), pp. 8135-8145
  • Christine Kirchhoff and Lisa Dilling, 2016, "The role of U.S. states in facilitating effective water governance under stress and change", Water Resources Research, 52, (4), pp. 2951–2964
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Francisco Lara-Valencia, Julie Brugger, Paula Mussetta and Nicolas Pineda-Pablos, 2016, "Towards joint consideration of adaptive capacity and water security: Lessons from the arid Americas", Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 21, pp. 22-28
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Rebecca Esselman and Daniel Brown, 2015, "Boundary Organizations to Boundary Chains: Prospects for Advancing Climate Science Application", Climate Risk Management, 9, pp. 20-29
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Maria Carmen Lemos and Scott Kalafatis, 2015, "Creating synergy with boundary chains: Can they improve usability of climate information?", Climate Risk Management, 9, pp. 77-85
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Maria Carmen Lemos and Scott Kalafatis, 2015, "Narrowing the gap between climate science and adaptation action: the role of Boundary Chains", Climate Risk Management, 9, pp. 1-5
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, Christine Kirchhoff, Scott Kalafatis, Donald Scavia and Richard B. Rood, 2014, "Moving Climate Information off the Shelf: Boundary Chains and the Role of RISAs as Adaptive Organizations", Weather, Climate and Society, 6, pp. 273-285
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, Yuj-Jia Lo, Christine Kirchhoff and Tonya Haigh, 2014, "The role of crop advisors as climate information brokers among farmers in the US", Climate Risk Management, 4-5, pp. 32-42
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Maria Carmen Lemos and Suraje Dessai, 2013, "Actionable knowledge for environmental decision making: Broadening the usability of climate science", Annual Review of Environment and Natural Resources, 38, pp. 393-414
  • Christine Kirchhoff, 2013, "Understanding and enhancing climate information use in water management", Climatic Change, 119, (2), pp. 495-509
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Maria Carmen Lemos and Nathan Engle, 2012, "What influences climate information use in water management? The role of boundary organizations and governance regimes in Brazil and the U.S.", Environmental Science & Policy, 26, pp. 6-18
  • Maria Carmen Lemos, Christine Kirchhoff and Vijay Ramprasad, 2012, "Narrowing the climate information usability gap", Nature Climate Change, 2, (11), pp. 789-794
  • Sara Hughes and Christine Kirchhoff, , "A New Database for Municipal Drinking Water Systems", Journal of the American Water Works Association


  • Anji Seth, Guiling Wang, Christine Kirchhoff, Scott Stephenson, Kelly Lombardo, Richard Ahnya and Junya Wu, 2019, "Connecticut Physical Climate Science Assessment Report (PCSAR): Observed trends and projections of temperature and precipitation"
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Amy Burnicki and Alejandro Cifuentes, 2019, "Flood Recurrence Analysis for Milford, CT"
  • Christine Kirchhoff, Cristina Mullin, Berdakh Utemuratov and Azamat Tashev, 2019, "Wastewater System Resilience: Learning from Connecticut Wastewater Systems"
  • Maria Carmen Lemos and Christine Kirchhoff, 2015, "Boundary Organizations"
  • Maria Carmen Lemos and Christine Kirchhoff, 2015, "Climate information and water management"
  • James O'Donnell, Christine Kirchhoff and David Murphy, , "Drinking Water Vulnerability and Resilience Plan Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties"

Research Projects

Honors and Awards

  • CAREER, NSF, June 2020 - May 2025
  • German American Frontiers in Engineering, National Academies of Engineering, March 2023 - March 2023
  • Penn State Emerging Academic Leaders (PSEAL), PSU Faculty Affairs, August 2023 - December 2023
  • Contributing Author, IPCC 6th Assessment Report, Cities, Settlements and Key Infrastructure (Ch 6), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2022
  • CGCA Advanced Panel Fellow, NSF CMMI Game Changers Academy (CGCA), 2022
  • Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) in the Biodiversity and Climate Change Assessment, United States Geological Survey (USGS) / Department of the Interior (DOI), September 2023


Service to Penn State:

  • Assistance to Student Organizations, Advisor, Science Policy Society, August 2022

Service to External Organizations:

  • External Examiner, Committee Member, SC CASC ERT, March 2024 - March 2024
  • Service to Public and Private Organizations, Committee Member, Member of NASEM Committee for 1-day workshop on the role of public infrastructure in effective climate mitigation and adaptation, NASEM, April 2024
  • Service to Public and Private Organizations, Committee Member, Member - Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), Chesapeake Bay Program’s (CBP), September 2023 - September 2027