Dr. Sarah Evans never wants her lectures to be dry — particularly since her subject is water: its movement, quality and interactions on and below the Earth’s surface.

“My job, as a professor, is to get students excited about the topic,” Evans said. “Why do we care about water? No matter what our education level is or whether or not we’re interested in science, water is something that affects everyone.”

Evans joined Appalachian State University’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences as an assistant professor in 2017.

In her introductory courses, Evans might have students examine the flood risk at various campus buildings, or perhaps at their own homes. She incorporates current news stories — such as the aftermath of hurricanes or the water shortage crisis in Cape Town, South Africa — in her classes to engage students in real-world applications of environmental geology.

During her lectures, Evans also offers examples from her own research — studying the relationship between climate change and groundwater flow systems.

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Originally published Feb. 14, 2019.