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Danielle Touma

RELP Cohort: 2016

Danielle is a third-year PhD student in the Earth System Science program at Stanford University. Her research is focused on exploring the changes in extreme climate events in both the past and the future. She probes the existing gaps in understanding how trends in both droughts and extremely heavy rainfall events are related to the anthropogenic forcing through detection and attribution approaches.

Danielle has always been interested in how the world works. She loved her physical geography high school class where she learned the basics of hydrology, meteorology, geology and oceanography through classes and field trips. She then went on to obtain her BSc and MSc degrees in Civil Engineering at North Carolina State University, with a concentration in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. Her MSc thesis addressed the effects of climate and land-use change on a small hydrologic basin in North Carolina. As a research assistant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she remained in the hydro-climate field but was able to analyze larger regions and longer time scales with the supercomputers available to her.

Danielle also really enjoys outreach and community building. During her BSc and MSc, she was highly involved in Engineers Without Borders where she worked on a team that built a rainwater collection system for a community in Andean Bolivia. She now works with K-12 students by mentoring them in climate change, and empowering young girls interested in science. Danielle also has served on student advisory committees at North Carolina State University and Stanford, strengthening professional and social networks between students, postdocs, faculty and staff, and working with advisory boards and managers to tackle issues faced by students.