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Karen MacClune, Ph.D. 

Chief Executive Officer & Senior Staff Scientist


Ph.D. in Geophysics

Dr. Karen MacClune has over 25 years of experience working within the fields of hydrology, climate change adaptation and resilience. In her work she applies her passion for integrating learning across disciplines, scales and cultures to a broad range of policy, practice and influence agendas.


Karen has worked at ISET-International since 2008 on projects around the world, most recently in Vietnam, Peru, Nepal, and the United States. In this work, Dr. MacClune has conducted post-flood forensic analyses, served as scientific advisor for flood and water operations modeling, built and run hydrologic models, developed training materials for and facilitated resilience building projects, and built capacity of decision-makers and practitioners on how to design their communities for a future of uncertainty. An ongoing theme throughout her work is the combination of technical analysis with stakeholder outreach, discussion and process facilitation in support of planning and policies for climate change adaptation.


Dr. MacClune holds a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Colorado. Her graduate work combined micro-meteorology and hydrology of the Antarctic Dry Valleys, where she spent six field seasons, with some of the first high resolution imagery of the Martian polar caps from the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor. Upon graduation and prior to joining ISET-International, Dr. MacClune spent 9 years as a hydrologic consultant with S. S. Papadopulos & Associates, Inc., where her work focussed on water resource and groundwater modeling to support water operations, policy decisions, and litigation. 

Profile Summary

  • Institutional Leadership

  • Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Climate Change Adaptation

  • Climate Resilience

  • Flood Resilience

  • Hydrology

  • Training and Capacity Building

  • Facilitation

  • Cross-disciplinary and Systems Analysis


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Flood Damage Survey and Assessment: New Insights from Research and Practice

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