Dr. Kristine Stepenuck

Professional Experience: 

  • Extension Assistant Professor, University of Vermont
  • Associate Director, Lake Champlain Sea Grant


For more than 20 years, Kris Stepenuck has focused her career to build community connections to and understanding of the impact our actions have on the health of streams, rivers and lakes. In her role as Extension Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont and as Associate Director of Lake Champlain Sea Grant, she engages in outreach, research and teaching related to improving and protecting water resources for the future. Her research focuses on understanding behavior changes that result from watershed outreach programming, assessing impacts of land use on water quality, and understanding outcomes of programs that engage the public in scientific research. Kris holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a year-round bike commuter and enjoys hiking and skiing with her husband.  

Dr. Kristine Stepenuck

Research Interests:

  • Impacts of land use on water quality
  • Environmental behavior changes
  • Community science

Active Memberships:

  • North American Lake Management Society
  • Citizen Science Association

Notable Publications:

  • Stepenuck, K. F., and K. D. Genskow. 2019. Traits of Volunteer Water Monitoring Programs that Influence Natural Resource Management and Policy Impacts. Society & Natural Resources. 32(3), 275-291. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2018.1511022
  •  Stepenuck, K. F., and K. D. Genskow. 2018. Characterizing the Breadth and Depth of Volunteer Water Monitoring Programs in the United States. Environmental Management. 61(1): 46-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267- 017-0956-7
  • McKinley, D. C., A. J. Miller-Rushing, H. L. Ballard, R. E. Bonney, H. Brown, S. C. Cook-Patten, D. M. Evans, R. A. French, J. K. Parrish, T.B. Phillips, S. F. Ryan, L. A. Shanley, J. L. Shirk, K. F. Stepenuck, J. F. Weltzin, A. Wiggins, O.D. Boyle, R. D. Briggs, S. F. Chapin III, D. A. Hewitt, P. W. Preuss, and M. A. Soukup. 2017. Citizen Science Can Improve Conservation Science, Natural Resource Management, and Environmental Protection. Biological Conservation. 208, 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.015
  • Stepenuck, K.F., and L. Green. 2015. Individual and Community-Level Impacts of Volunteer Environmental Monitoring: A Synthesis of Peer-Reviewed Literature. Ecology and Society. 20(3):19. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss3/art19/
  • Stepenuck, K., L. Wolfson, B. Liukkonen, J. Iles, and T. Grant. 2011. Volunteer Monitoring of E. coli in Streams of the Upper Midwestern United States: A Comparison of Methods. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 174(1-4): 625-33. Epub 2010 May 8.
  • Stepenuck, K., R. Crunkilton, M. Bozek, and L. Wang. 2008. Comparison of Macroinvertebrate-Derived Stream Quality Metrics between Snag and Riffle Habitats. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 44(3): 670-678.
  • Overdevest, C., C. Huyck Orr, and K. Stepenuck. 2004. Volunteer Stream Monitoring and Local Participation in Natural Resource Issues. Human Ecology Review. 11(2): 177-185.
  • Stepenuck, K.F., R.L. Crunkilton, L. Wang. 2002. Impacts of Urban Land Use on Macroinvertebrate Communities in Southeastern Wisconsin Streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 38 (4): 1041-1052.