Daniel Obenour, PhD, PE
Assistant Professor


My CCEE Departmental Website

Dan Obenour is interested in the development of quantitative models that improve our ability to understand and manage complex environmental systems.  His research has focused on the problems of hypoxia (low dissolved oxygen) and harmful algal blooms in lakes and coastal systems.  Dan also has considerable experience in the modeling of watersheds, streams, and reservoirs, related to the development of total maximum daily load (TMDL) studies and nonpoint-source pollution control plans.  Dan recognizes the inherent uncertainties involved with modeling coupled human-natural systems, and thus focuses on the development of advanced probabilistic (e.g., Bayesian and geostatistical) modeling frameworks.  He also aims to reduce model uncertainty through the assimilation of diverse sources of environmental information within these frameworks.


PhD Students:

Smitom Borah,

Smitom is a Ph.D. student in Civil Engineering focusing on Water Resources Engineering. He received his B.E. degree from Gauhati University (Assam, India) and M.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (Assam, India). In his Masters program, he worked on the development of an ecological model to study the extent of eutrophication in a Ramsar site in Northeastern India. His current research interest lies in understanding nutrient dynamics in lakes and reservoirs through Bayesian mechanistic modeling approaches. He is also a STEPS scholar.


Hector Fajardo,, co-advisee with Dr. Natalie Nelson

Hector received his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering from Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) in La Paz, Bolivia. As an undergraduate research assistant, he studied nutrient management and crop modeling. Before pursing his master’s degree in Soil Fertility & Precision Ag at Louisiana State University, Hector worked for several years as an irrigation extension consultant. His MS project focused on measuring the impact of cover crops on nutrient cycling and sugarcane yield, and developing a predictive model for cover crops biomass and nutrient content with the use of remote sensors. Hector’s PhD research combines precision agriculture, remote sensing, crop modeling, and hydrological modeling to develop a framework that can help forecast phosphorus fluxes through different agricultural management strategies, helping to improve productivity while minimizing phosphorus losses.  He is also a STEPS scholar.


Kimia Karimi,

Kimia is a PhD student in Center for Geospatial Analytics focusing on water resources. She received a B.S. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from University of Tehran, Iran. Her master research was focused on designing spatiotemporal water quality networks using geostatistics. Currently, she is working on spatio-temporal watershed nutrient load trend analysis and modeling for central North Carolina watersheds.  She is a STEPS scholar


Rohith Matli,

Rohith is a PhD student in Geospatial Analytics.  He received  Masters degree in Environmental Engineering from NC State and a Bachelors degree from Pondicherry University, India. His previous research focused on analyzing compositional variability of rainwater for long-term storage and utility. He is currently working on modelling hypoxia in Gulf of Mexico using geostatistical methods.


Master’s students:


Note at the moment.




None at the moment.


Undergraduate researchers:

  • Chiemerigo Ogboi (NC A&T, Chemical Engineering)


Former graduate students and post-docs:

  • Qicheng Tang (post-doc co-advisee, 2022-2023, now at UC ANR)
  • Alexey Katin (post-doc co-advisee, 2021-2022, analyst at NextEra Energy Resources)
  • Dario Del Giudice (post-doc 2018-2020, now senior data scientist at AllState)
  • Shiqi Fang (PhD student, 2016-2020, now post-doc at NC State)
  • Yue Han (PhD student, 2015-2020, now post-doc at Shanghai Jiao Tong University)
  • Kevin Li (lab researcher, 2015-2017, now post-doc at University of Michigan)
  • Jonathan Miller (PhD student and post-doc 2014-2019, now teaching assistant professor at NC State)
  • Yini Shangguan (lab researcher, 2019, now at US EPA)
  • Jeremy Smithheart (MS student, 2016-2018, now consulting engineer at Moffatt & Nichol)
  • Hayden Strickling (MS student, 2016-2017, now consulting engineer at AECOM)


Former undergraduate student researchers:

  • Laura Gomez Rodriguez (graduated 2022)
  • Wesley Hayes (graduated 2020)
  • Bright Elijah (Benedict College, graduating 2019)
  • Erick Saunders (graduating 2018)
  • Brianne Walker (graduating 2016)
  • Kristen McCahill (graduated 2016)
  • Jeremy Smithheart (graduated 2016, continuing for MS)