About Me

165211_bloomhardt01Dr. Doran is an environmental engineer and scientist with expertise and experience in engineering, research, sustainability, modeling, small scale governance, and organizational leadership. Her research employs systems thinking and an engineering approach to address challenges at the human-nature interface. Examples include urban climate and the built environment, energy use and efficiency, production and consumption in mega urban systems, and the influence of land use and land cover on freshwater systems. She completed her dissertation work at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in the Division of Earth and Ocean Science, and she holds a masters in mechanical engineering from the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. In addition, she completed an environmental engineering degree from the Tufts University School of Engineering. Dr. Doran currently holds a post doctoral position at the University of Vermont with the Vermont EPSCoR Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) Project where her research is focused on the role of diverse actors in affecting downstream water quality using both agent-based and integrated modeling approaches. She is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Gund Institute for the Environment. Her latest book, Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook for Behavior Change is available from Amazon or by request.


I bring a systems thinking and engineering approach to various research topics that fall at the interface of human and natural systems. Several of my research lines include energy efficiency, climate and built environment, and land use change and freshwater systems. Each is described in more detail below.

Select Publications

Research is a journey of curiosity and problem solving, discovery and learning, and publications are the milestones we leave along the way to capture and share those moments. As an engineer, I believe in the translation of science and research findings to practice and use and have structured the effort of my publication approach accordingly. Below is a selection of recently published work that has appeared in scientific journals, books and blogging platforms alongside several in-progress publications.



Doran, Elizabeth M. B., Jay S. Golden, and Billie Turner, II. (Accepted) Coupled Systems and Challenge Nexus: Two Emerging Approaches to Sustainability Science. Invited by the Editors, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Golden, J. S., L. Lebel, K. Matus, V. Timmer, A. Tukker, E. Doran, M. van’t Zelfde, and A. de Konig. (In Progress) The emerging role of mega-urban regions in the sustainability of global production-consumption systems. PNAS.

Doran, Elizabeth M. B. (In Revision) Sustainability and the Anthropocene: The Emergence of a Global Ambition for the Human-Nature Relationship.

Doran, Elizabeth M. B. and Jay S. Golden. (Submitted) Multi-method Local Scale Characterization of the Urban Heat Island in Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Doran, Elizabeth M. B., and Jay S. Golden (Submitted) Multi-method Interdisciplinary Urban Form Characterization and Correlation with Urban Heat Island Intensity in Durham, North Carolina, USA.


Doran, Elizabeth M. B. and Jay S. Golden. (2016) “Climate and Sustainability Implications of Land Use Alterations in an Urbanizing Region: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.” Journal of Environmental Protection, 7(7):1072-1088. DOI: 10.4236/jep.2016.77096.


Southwell, Brian G., Elizabeth M. B. Doran, and Laura S. Richman, Eds. (2015) Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook of Ideas for Behavior Change, Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press.

Doran, Elizabeth M. B. “Leverage Points for Achieving Sustainable Consumption in Homeowner Energy Use.” in Southwell, Brian G., Elizabeth M. B. Doran, Laura S. Richman, Eds. (2015) Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook of Ideas for Behavior Change, Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press. Reviewed in Energy Research and Social Science


Doran, Elizabeth M. B. and Brian G. Southwell. (2016) Rev. of Fact and Fiction in Global Energy Policy: 15 Contentious Questions, by Benjamin K. Sovacool, Marilyn A. Brown and Scott V. Valentine. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. DOI 10.1007/s13412-016-0417-2.


Doran, Elizabeth. Priority Intervention Points to Mitigate Urban Heat in the Context of Planning for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Project. 4th International Conference on Countermeasures to Urban Heat Island, National University of Singapore, Singapore. May 30-31 and June 1, 2016.

Doran, Elizabeth, Jay S. Golden and Douglas P. Nowacek. Sustainable Systems Analysis Framework for Oceans: Scenarios for Conventional and Bio-based Energy Commodities. Conference Poster, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 9-13, 2013.

Gibbs, S. Chad, Ivan Wang, Elizabeth Bloomhardt and Earl H. Dowell. Aeroelastic Behavior of Noise-Reducing Membranes for Aircraft Lifting Surfaces Part I: Theory. Conference Proceedings, 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 23-26, 2012.

Wang, Ivan, S. Chad Gibbs, Elizabeth Bloomhardt, and Earl H. Dowell. Aeroelastic Behavior of Noise-Reducing Membranes for Aircraft Lifting Surfaces Part II: Experiment. Conference Proceedings, 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 23-26, 2012.

Bloomhardt, Elizabeth and Earl H. Dowell. Study of the Aeroelastic Behavior of Flat Plates and Membranes with Mixed Boundary Conditions in Axial Subsonic Flow. Conference Proceedings, 52nd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ACS Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Denver, CO, April 4-7, 2011.


Bloomhardt, L. (2012). Environmental Health Summit: Incorporating Public and Environmental Health into Sustainable Solutions: Recommendations from the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative. http://environmentalhealthcollaborative.org/images/2011_Environmental_Health_Summit_Recommendation_FINAL.pdf


Envirobites blog, “Environmental science research for everyone.” Bimonthly contributor, August 2017 – Present. Available online: envirobites.org.

Green Devil Column, “Following the journey toward a greener Duke,” The Chronicle, biweekly, January 2010 – December 2011. Archives can be found at http://www.dukechronicle.com or http://www.dukegreendevil.wordpress.com.

Other Projects & Affiliations



I currently contribute periodic blog posts to the envirobites.org website on topics related to land use, water quality and freshwater pollution. The site is a collaborative initiative that aims to bring environmental science research to the general public in a digestible form that is easy to read and understand. Sister sites include astrobites and chembites. Each website features founders and contributors from the graduate and post doctoral scholar communities who are committed to effective science communication and have participated in the flourishing ComSciCon series of workshops.

Bass Connections: LIT HoMESInnovations_Cover

Over the course of the 2014-15  academic year, I was part of a unique experiential learning experience made possible through the Duke University Bass Connections Program in Energy. Together, my colleagues from across the university and I spent the year planning a one day summit that took place in late February. The focus of the summit was: Leveraging Individual Transitions to Home Ownership to Motivate Energy Savings (LIT HoMES). Participants attending the summit have since contributed time and effort to fleshing out the ideas presented there for inclusion in a source book titled Innovations in Home Energy Use: A Sourcebook of Ideas for Change, published by RTI Press in December, 2015. The book is currently available on Amazon.

Duke Green Devil

The Duke Green Devil project was a regular bi-weekly column I wrote for the Duke student newspaper The Chronicle for two years from January, 2010 to December, 2011. The column covered the University’s efforts to meet the Climate Action Plan goal of becoming a climate neutral campus by 2024 as well as efforts to tackle other issues related to sustainability. An archive of past columns can be found here or here.



Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont

I am currently honored to be an affiliated postdoctoral scholar at the newly formed Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont. The Gund brings together a diverse population of scholars from across campus and around the world that are each interested in addressing the global sustainability challenges of our day. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the community as the mission and future directions of the Gund take shape.

Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce

During my time at Duke, I had the privilege to be affiliated with the research group at the Duke Center for Sustainability & Commerce. Led by Director Jay Golden, the Center leverages partnerships, research and education to address the complex challenges arising from global commerce to provide governments and industry with innovative strategies, tools and solutions.

Lake Meddybemps Association

The Lake Meddybemps Association (LMA) is a volunteer based, citizen science organization based in Meddybemps, Maine, USA that is focused on the preservation and well-being of the water and lake quality of Meddybemps Lake. The lake is located in Washington County, Maine. For three years from 2012-2015, I was honored to lead this dedicated group of volunteers and citizen scientists in their mission of ongoing lake monitoring, education, and outreach. Prior to my tenure as President and Vice President of the organization, I served as a board member, a position to which I returned and now continue to serve the organization. More information can be found here.



Contact Me

Do you have a question or comment about the site, my research, or the topics covered here? Send me a message! I’ll be in touch as soon as possible.