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Karen Boykin




Dr. Karen Boykin has served as the Assistant Director of the Environmental Institute (EI) at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa over the past nine years and is officially classified as a Research Engineer. Through the Environmental Institute, Dr. Boykin has prepared a number of successful federally funded research proposals and administered programs through the Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Projects managed have totaled more than $26 million. During her time with the EI, Dr. Boykin has seen major changes in the federal programs, particularly with respect to accountability and the broader impacts researchers are required to make as part of regulatory federal funding obligations. In 2004, Dr. Boykin developed innovative outreach program for the Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ALEPSCoR) that introduces engineering students to environmental responsibility while providing basic mathematics instruction and recently established the Green Studios program for sustainability education and community service. Recently, Dr. Boykin was appointed as the Education Research Outreach Coordinator for the ALEPSCoR and collaboratively developed the first Alabama EPSCoR Outreach Initiative (AEOI). Prior to serving the EI and ALEPSCoR, Dr. Boykin worked as an environmental engineer for industry and permit writer for the U.S. EPA. Dr. Boykin received an Environmental Pillar award from Chemical Waste Management, Inc., Charles H. Peterson Prize, National Historic Building Survey-Historic American Engineering Record and Burhardt Prize from the Alabama Institute of Architects, as well as outstanding dissertation from the University of Alabama. She received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Alabama, an M.C.P. in Community Planning from Auburn University and J.D. from the Birmingham School of Law in 1997. 


Dr. Boykin prepares and performs outreach environmental teaching programs for K-12 schools and environmental technical organizations in Alabama as part of her duties for with the Engineering Math Advancement Program (EMAP), the Environmental Institute, the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, and Alabama EPSCoR.

Dr. Boykin's personal research interests involve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic sources. Prior work that included the focus of her dissertation involved detailed study of landfill emissions using varied cover materials and environmental conditions for optimal design. Results were assessed using an EPA emissions model with recommendations for kinetic model modification as a project outcome. The model was modified to include applications for soil amendments. Recent efforts have focused on methane emissions from wetlands and runoff from large confined animal and feedlot operations. Dr. Boykin's other research interests are directed toward developing and analyzing multi-disciplinary classroom and field demonstration methods for basic science and engineering education and distributing research results to K-14 classrooms.  


K. Whitaker, P. Johnson, K. Boykin, S. Wood, L. Bowen and Z. Wu, "Integrated Engineering Math-Based Summer Bridge Program for Student Retention", Accepted, American Society Education Engineers, 2007.
R. Reck, S. Verma, J.C. Randolph, S. Wofsy, K. Boykin, E. Michailides, R.W. Pearcy, S.L. Ustin, D. Johnson, F. S. Rowland, D. Blake and C.Taylor, "Can a network of carbon flux sites across the U.S. aid policy makers in defining the country's future goal for maintaining the carbon balance in the atmosphere?", Submitted, Science, 2007.
K. Boykin, K. Spokas and R. Griffin, "Diffusive and
Advective Gas Flux Characteristics of Fiber
Amended Soils", In preparation, J. of Geotechnical Engineering, 2007.
K. Boykin, K. Spokas and R. Griffin, "Automated
Laboratory Equipment for Soil Diffusive and
Advective Gas Flux Testing", In Revision, American Society of Civil Engineers Journal, 2006.
R. Griffin and K. Boykin, "Alabama EPSCoR:
Increasing Research Competitiveness and the Rate of Return on Alabama's Investment", Alabama Commission on Higher Education, 2004.

Site Contributions
04/09/14Tuskegee MSP - A Success Story