Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering Science, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 1997
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 1993
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Stanford University, 1991
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Civil, California, #66554
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers—ASCE
  • National Ground Water Association
  • German
  • Italian

Dr. Paulsen has more than 25 years of experience with projects involving hydrodynamics, hydrology, aquatic chemistry, and the environmental fate of a range of constituents. She has provided expert testimony on matters involving the Clean Water Act, state water quality regulations, hydraulics and hydrology, and water rights. Dr. Paulsen also provides scientific and strategic consultation on matters involving Superfund (CERCLA) and Natural Resources Damages (NRD), and she has expertise designing and implementing field and modeling studies of dilution and analyzing the fate and transport of organic and inorganic pollutants, including DDT, PCBs, PAHs, copper, lead, selenium, salinity, and indicator bacteria, in surface and groundwater and in sediments.

Dr. Paulsen's expertise includes evaluating storm flows, flood events, and associated sediment transport and changes in geomorphology. She has designed and implemented field studies in reservoir, river, estuarine, and ocean environments using dye and elemental tracers to evaluate the impact of pollutant releases and treated wastewater, thermal, and agricultural discharges on receiving waters and drinking-water intakes. Dr. Paulsen has designed studies using one-, two-, and three-dimensional hydrodynamic and CFD models, longitudinal dispersion modeling, Monte Carlo analysis, and hydrologic and hydraulic models. She has designed and managed modeling studies to evaluate transport and mixing, including the siting and design of diffusers, and has evaluated water quality impacts of stormwater runoff, irrigation, wastewater and industrial process water treatment facilities, and desalination brines.

Dr. Paulsen also has extensive knowledge of water supply and water rights issues, including expertise in California's Bay-Delta estuary, the development of alternative water supplies, and integration of groundwater basins into supply and storage projects. She has worked on matters involving California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and evaluated the impacts of oil-field operations on drinking-water aquifers.

Dr. Paulsen has broad expertise with water quality regulation through the Clean Water Act and state regulations in California, Washington, Hawaii, and other states, and has worked on temperature compliance models, NPDES permitting, permit compliance and appeals, third-party citizens' suits, and TMDL development. She has evaluated the importance of background and natural sources on stormwater and receiving-water quality, the development of numeric limits for storm flows and process-water discharges, and factors affecting storm flow volumes and flow rates. Dr. Paulsen is the author of multiple reports describing the history and development of water quality regulations and has provided testimony on regulatory issues, water quality, water rights, and water management.