Spotlight Scholars

Our Spotlight Scholars offer inspiring stories of our faculty who are investigating some of the most pressing societal challenges of our time. Their research is adaptative and innovative.  Learn about our scholars, their innovative approaches, and discoveries.


David Boutt

December 2020

David Boutt is a Professor of hydrogeology in the Department of Geosciences. David Boutt provides expert commentary on issues related to groundwater and hydrology. He has been featured in publications including the Boston Globe and ScienceNews.

Boutt's work focuses on how water becomes groundwater and the sub-surface processes that impact it along its journey. This includes understanding how groundwater contributes to streamflow generation and springs. He also works to understand how much water is available for a region at a given time in geologic history and where the source of this water is located.

Featured Project: Lithium Water Sustainability

Boutt is currently working as a principal investigator on sustainable lithium extraction commissioned by the BMW Group. In partnership with a research team from the University of Alaska-Anchorage, Dr. Boutt is investigating the impacts of lithium extraction on the hydrologic environment in Latin America.

Boutt states, “This project represents a critical next step in advancing the understanding of hydrologic functioning of lithium brine-fresh water aquifer systems with the goal to reduce uncertainty in environmental impacts.”


To learn more about the project, including the partners and research team, click here.