Mr. Josh Kearns is the founder of Aqueous Solutions and serves as the organization’s Director of Science.
Josh holds bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and environmental engineering from Clemson University and a master’s degree in environmental biogeochemistry from the University of California-Berkeley. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Colorado-Boulder in environmental engineering, and a visiting researcher at North Carolina State University. His research explores the applicability of locally produced biomass char (biochar) as a low-cost adsorbent for drinking water treatment in developing communities.
Josh has previously studied and worked in the fields of ecological economics and sustainability science, both within academia and in the non-profit/NGO sector. A desire to promote health, livelihood security, environmental and economic sustainability, and local self-reliance led him to found Aqueous Solutions in 2007. As a founder’s prerogative, he assumed the vague and dubiously important-sounding title, “Director of Science.”
Through his work with Aqueous, Josh is able to learn from and with top-level University research scientists on one hand, and dedicated, creative, and brilliantly competent field practitioners of public health, rural livelihood security, sustainability and social justice, on the other.
Josh sees the future of Aqueous Solutions being increasing developed through the guidance of our indigenous directors, Naw Gay Pho and Khun Champee. “When the locals take the lead, the ‘technical’ people such as myself and Nate are increasingly delegated to the tasks we do best – design, construction, troubleshooting, problem solving, monitoring and field research.”
“This kind of division of labor makes our team powerful for carrying out low-cost water, sanitation and hygiene interventions that are practical, durable, environmentally sustainable, and technologically legible to the communities we work with.”