Assistant Professor


Dr. Alia Khan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University. Dr. Khan applies environmental chemistry in the cryosphere – the frozen water domain – to document global change of glacier and snow melt in mountainous and polar regions. Her research explores the impact of aerosol deposition to the surface of snow and ice, and the resulting impacts on spectral albedo, melt and water quality.  She has conducted field campaigns to study glaciers, sea ice, snow packs, meltwater and lakes in the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as several major mountain regions including the Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, and New Zealand Southern Alps.  After completing her PhD in August 2016 in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Colorado – Boulder and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, she then worked as a Postdoc at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO on a USAID funded project to explore how variations in snow and ice melt influence downstream water quality in High Mountain Asia.  She started at WWU in March 2019 and is excited to begin local research on the cryosphere of the Pacific Northwest.