Joshua Kearns

Assistant Professor

  • Mann Hall 315

Josh joined the CCEE faculty in January 2018 as Assistant Professor and member of the new NC State Global WaSH (Water-Sanitation-Hygiene) faculty cluster.

His goals for the WaSH cluster include employing state-of-the-art chemical analytical techniques combined with laboratory- and field- based research methods to solve the most pressing environmental health issues affecting communities in resource poor settings worldwide.

Josh’s research interests include field and laboratory methods for detection of pollutants in drinking water sources along with the development of affordable and locally managed treatment technologies. Josh pioneered the use of biochar – a charcoal material generated from local biomass – as an adsorbent to remove chemical toxins such as herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial pollutants in low cost water treatment.

Josh has nearly twelve years’ experience working in WaSH development with villages and community based organizations in southeast Asia. Josh also conducts ongoing field research with a WaSH nonprofit in central Mexico.

Beginning in 2019 Josh will lead a Maymester field course in Mexico titled Water Supply and Treatment in Low Resource Settings.

Learn more about Josh’s work at the Kearns Lab web page.



BS 2000


Clemson University

MS 2005

Environmental Biogeochemistry

University of California-Berkeley

PhD 2016

Environmental Engineering

University of Colorado