Stanford's Rosemary Knight wins 2017 Outstanding Educator Award

September 27, 2017 | Water in the West | Insights

Bea Gordon

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) honored Rosemary Knight with its 2017 Outstanding Educator Award at a ceremony during its 87th annual meeting this week in Houston, Texas.  Each year, SEG recognizes both individuals and organizations for contributions to the field of geophysics and to SEG.  In particular, the Outstanding Educator Award recognizes individuals who have provided extraordinary inspiration to the next generation of geophysics professionals.  Additionally, the award seeks to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to geophysical instruction at any educational level and have impacted education programs by a firm commitment to excellence in addition to providing advice, mentorship, and supervision for students.  When asked about Knight's impact on his own career, former postdoctoral scholar and current University of Wyoming assistant professor, Andrew Parsekian, had this to say: "Professor Knight is a pioneer and leader in geophysical science and a substantial part of her impact on the field has been her contribution to inspiring the next generation of near-surface geophysicists.  I think I can speak for many of her former students and postdocs when I say how important it was to learn from someone with boundless excitement and enthusiasm for the science as well as the technical depth to remain at the cutting edge of innovation. Professor Knight embodies the best traits of a scientific role model and is uniquely deserving of the SEG Outstanding Educator Award."


As the George L. Harrington Professor of Geophysics at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, Knight has put both graduate and undergraduate education at the forefront of her efforts.  Knight came to Stanford in 2000 after teaching at the University of British Columbia.  She has advised more than 35 graduate students and 13 postdoctoral scholars.  Additionally, she has led an effort known as iEarth (Introduction to Planet Earth), which is dedicated to producing “geo-literate” students through a suite of courses that explore intersections between human and natural systems.  Notably, eight of her 15 former PhD students have continued with careers in academia.  As an educator and mentor, her students note the infectiousness of her love for geophysics.  With respect to her impact as an advisor, one student commented: "I can say without reservation that working as a student with Dr. Knight reshaped my view of the world and not only allowed me to become a geophysicist, but also made me a better hydrologist and better person as well."


In addition to her role as an educator, Knight is also recognized for using near-surface geophysics to solve environmental problems.  She is most widely known for her contributions to rock physics on partially saturated samples and the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as a reliable groundwater characterization method.  Knight is the Director of The Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management, a Faculty Fellow at Stanford’s Water in the West program and an affiliate of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. A full write up of the award from SEG can be viewed here.


Knight discusses our Freshwater Future with students and the public at Tedx Stanford.



Knight’s work with graduate students on saltwater intrusion in Monterey Bay.