Senior Scientist Ken Williams has received a Director’s Award for Stewardship this year in recognition of the role he’s played in creating first-of-their-kind, world-class experimental field observatories, including North America’s first atmosphere-to-bedrock field study site hosting the DOE Watershed SFA Project and SAIL campaign, as well as Earth’s foremost subsurface microbial observatory at Rifle, Colorado.
Following a Bachelor’s degree in Geology from UC Berkeley (UCB), Ken began working at Berkeley Lab as an undergraduate research assistant under former Directors Tom McEvilly and Ernie Majer, before receiving his Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy & Management from UCB. He now serves as program domain lead for the Environmental Remediation and Water Resources Program within EESA and Chief Field Scientist for the Watershed SFA. He is a pioneer in the field of biogeophysics, with a particular emphasis on developing minimally invasive techniques for characterizing the subsurface activity of microbial communities and the end products of their metabolism.
As stated in the Director’s Award citation, Ken is being honored for “his creation of world-class, first-of-their-kind field experimental community observatories that have yielded unprecedented insights into microbial, geochemical, and hydrologic processes benefitting DOE’s Offices of Science and Legacy Management, and for his advocacy of stewardship.”
The Director’s Awards program recognizes the significant achievements of Berkeley Lab employees. Each year, these awards are given for accomplishments, leadership, collaboration, multi-disciplinary science, cross-divisional projects, and commitment to excellence supporting the Lab’s mission and strategic goals. Berkeley Lab employees submit nominations of individuals and teams, which are then reviewed by a Lab-wide Director’s Awards committee. Read more about the awards program.