My name is Josh Kearns and I hold bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering from Clemson University and a master’s degree in environmental biogeochemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. I am currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder in environmental engineering, and a visiting researcher at North Carolina State University. My research explores the applicability of locally produced biomass char (biochar) as a low-cost adsorbent for drinking water treatment in developing communities.
I have previously studied and worked in the fields of ecological economics and sustainability science, both within academia and in the non-profit/NGO sector. A desire to promote health, livelihood security, environmental and economic sustainability, and local self-reliance led me to found Aqueous Solutions in 2007 – a non-profit organization dedicated to research, development, and deployment of appropriate technologies in water and sanitation. As a founder's prerogative, I gave myself the vague and modestly important-sounding title, "Director of Science."
My work allows me to learn from and with top-level University research scientists on one hand, and dedicated, creative, and brilliantly competent field practitioners of public health, rural livelihood security, sustainability and social justice, on the other. For this I am fortunate and grateful.
As far as hobbies go, I enjoy trail running, cycling, swimming, backpacking and bicycle touring. I am an enthusiastic beer homebrewer, and an equally enthusiastic craft beer drinker. Rumor has it that I am also a decent bluegrass mandolin player. Most of all, I like to spend time with my wife, Rachael, who is training to be a farm animal veterinarian.