James O'Neil Knighton

Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Primary Research Theme

Social-Ecological Systems

Secondary Research Theme

Economic and Community Development

Research Interests

I study water resources challenges, specifically flooding and water quality. My recent research on flooding has investigated the relationship between urban hydrology, social demographics, and participation in flood insurance programs. I am also carrying out research on the installation of green stormwater infrastructure for mitigation of water quality problems.

Recent Cities-Related Projects

  • How do Social Demographics Shape Our Relationship with Flooding Risk? Societal flooding “risk” is a complex function of hazards (high water elevations), our exposure and vulnerability to those hazards, and our resilience (how well we recover and learn from past floods). Our group is currently studying how participation in the US National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) varies along both hydrologic (e.g. stream flashiness) and social dimensions (e.g. poverty, race, age of housing stock) in US metropolitan areas.
  • Water Transit Times in GSI Installations: I am investigating the time water takes to move through green stormwater infrastructure installations using stable isotopes in water. This research will allow us to better design urban stormwater control structures.