Tell us how did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and interesting career?

Mahima is a master’s student with a concentration in water resources management at the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University. Her field trips, as a part of her undergraduate thesis, to remote parts of her home state of Karnataka to collect samples of water contaminated with arsenic and fluoride sparked her interest in water resources management.

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What is your background?

Mahima was born and raised in India. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysore, and worked for a non-profit in India before coming to Duke. Her work focused on solid waste, and water quality management in semi-urban areas around Pune, India. Her academic interests are water quality management, watershed management, and learning about the impacts of climate change on water availability in developing countries. Mahima also enjoys photography, singing, cooking, gardening, and cricket.

What do you do?

Mahima is working with the Conservation Trust for North Carolina and the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) as part of the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative to identify land parcels that have high conservation, restoration, and community access potential in the Ellerbe Creek watershed in Durham. She will conduct GIS analysis using criteria developed in the Upper Neuse Initiative 2015-2035 Conservation Strategy, refined by input from ECWA to prioritize land parcels in the Ellerbe Creek watershed. She will also assist ECWA staff in outreach and education events over the summer to increase awareness of water quality and land protection issues.