Katherine Milla


Contact Information

geology and geospatial sciences (Center for Water Resources)

Dr. Katherine Milla is a professor of geology and geospatial sciences in the Center for Water Resources at Florida A&M University, where she has been a faculty member since 1999. She is a fellow of the FAMU Digital Learning Initiative and serves as a faculty liaison for the FAMU Writing Across the Curriculum initiative. Dr. Milla completed her Ph.D. in geology at Florida State University, and a graduate certificate in Geospatial Intelligence from Penn State University. Her research interests include dynamics of interchanges between natural and human hydrologic systems. She has secured research funding from a number of agencies, including the USDA, NOAA and NASA. She is also devoted to research on the challenges of science teaching and learning in the digital age, and she actively collaborates with faculty in this area across the FAMU campus. Dr. Milla enjoys working actively with students. She teaches courses in geographic information systems and geospatial technologies, and supports undergraduate students in developing geospatial research projects. Outside of academia Dr. Milla enjoys kayaking, fishing and being in nature.

Ph.D. Geology, Florida State University, 1999
M.S. Geology, Florida State University, 1990
B.S. Geology, University of South Florida, 1985
Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence, Penn State University, 2020

Dynamics of Natural and Human Systems Hydrological Interactions, Applications of Geospatial Technologies in Natural Resource Sciences


  • American Council on Education Certificate in Effective College Instructions, Awarded July 2021
  • FAMU Digital Learning Initiative Fellow, 2018
  • Faculty Affiliate of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Resilient Infrastructure & Disaster Response (Rider) Center


  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, GIS 1040
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, AGR 4430C
  • GIS Research Applications for Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, AGG 5330C


  • Milla, K., 2020. Geospatial thinking and the digital revolution. Online peer-reviewed lesson on Carleton University’s Teach the Earth web portal, https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activities/211737.html
  • Jain, A., Rasmussen, A., Milla, K., Pescador, M., Richard, B., 2020. Water Chemistry and Aquatic Insect Assemblages of Ephemeral Ponds in the Munson Sand Hills Region of the Apalachicola National Forest, Florida, USA. Southeastern Naturalist, v. 19, 205-232.
  • Milla, K., 2019. Crossing the digital divide: Metacognition for learning in the digital age. In Cases on Digital Learning and Teaching Transformations in Higher Education, Blankenship, R. and Baker, C. eds., IGI Global, 35-49.
  • Jihn, Zhijun, Zhang, L., Wang, Y., Cui, Y. and Milla, K., 2009. Using carbon, hydrogen and helium isotopes to unravel the origin of hydrocarbons in the Wujiaweizi area of the Songliao Basin, China. Episodes, v. 32, no. 3, 175-184.
  • Hacisalihoglu, G. Milla, K., Ji, P., Mochena, T., Olson, S. and Momol, T. M., 2007. Spectral changes associated with bacterial wilt stress in tomato leaves. Proceedings of the Soil and Crop Science Society of Florida, Tampa, Florida, June 4-6, 2006, vol. 66, pp. 1-5.
  • Wang, H., Huang, W., Hladik, C., and Milla, K., 2008. Detecting the spatial and temporal variability of chlorophyll-a concentration and total suspended solids in Apalachicola Bay, Florida using MODIS imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing.
  • Wang, H., Huang, W., Harwell, M., Edmiston, L., Johnson, E., Hsieh, P., Milla, K. Christensen, J., Stewart, J., and Liu, Xiaohai, 2008. Modeling oyster growth rate by coupling oyster population and hydrodynamic models for Apalachicola Bay, Florida, USA. Ecological Modeling. v. 211, 77-89.
  • Xiao, H., Gwede, C., Kiros, G., and Milla, K., 2007. Analysis of prostate cancer incidence using geographic information system and multilevel modeling. Journal of the National Medical Association, v. 99, pp. 218-225.
  • Milla, K. and Kish, S., 2006. A low-cost microprocessor and infrared sensor system for automating water infiltration measurements. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, pp. 122-129.
  • Milla, K. and Reitz, S., 2005. Spatial/Temporal Model for Survivability of Pea Leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) in South Florida, USA. European Journal of Scientific Research, v. 7, no. 5, 65-73


  • Crandall C., Milla K., Jain, A., Bottcher, D. and James, A., 2017. Farm and sub-basin-scale BMP implementation for Row Crops and Ability to meet Total Maximum Daily Load Criteria: A case study in Attapulgus Creek Basin, Southwest Georgia and North Florida. Abstract of presentation delivered at Energy, Food, Water Nexus International Summit, Oct 19-20., Orlando, FL.
  • Crandall, C., Milla, K., 2016. Meeting TMDL Criteria in Florida and Nutrients from Upstream States. Abstract in proceedings of the annual ESRI International User Conference, June 2016, San Diego, California.
  • Crandall, C., Milla, K., Jain, A., Mbuya, O. and Bottcher, D., 2014. A Decision Support Module for Evaluating the Effects of Alternative Land Management Practices on Florida Surface Water Quality. Poster presentation for 2014 annual Soil and Water Conservation Society Conference, July 27-30, Chicago, Illilnois.
  • Gitau, M., Li, C., Milla, K. and Cooper, A., 2013. Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Natural Resources Conservation Engineering and the Geosciences, abstract of presentation at The Association of 1890 Research Directors biennial meeting, April 6-10, 2012, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Kish, S., Milla, K., and Means, R., 2012. Dynamics of Water Levels in Ephemeral Ponds of the Munson Sandhills, Lower Coastal Plain of Northwest Florida. In Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 44, No. 7 (pp. 436). Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America.
  • Jain, A., Milla, K., Mbuya, O. and Pancholy, S., 2011. Evaluation of water quality for ephemeral ponds in the Apalachicola National Forest, abstract of poster presented at Association of Research Directors 16th biennial research symposium, April 10-13, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Milla, K., Kish, S. and Edwards, A. 2011. Investigation of hydrodynamics of seasonal ponds in the Apalachicola National Forest, Florida. Poster presented at the USDA National Water Conference, 2011.
  • Gitau, M.W., Milla, K., Brown, R., Bottcher, D. and Pancholy, S. 2010. Enhancing NASA’s Coastal On-line Assessment and Synthesis Tool as a visual interface for model-based assessments. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International Meeting. Jun 20-23. Pittsburgh, PA. Paper # 1009384.


  • Nutrient Reduction to Surface and Groundwater by Replacing Synthetic Fertilizers, Pilot Project, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, $487,200, Odemari Mbuya, PI, Katherine Milla, co-PI, Amita Jain, co-PI, Lucy Ngatia, co-PI.
  • Spatial Mapping Education and Outreach to Limited Resource Farmers, USDA 1890 Land Grant Universities Foundation Center of Excellence for Innovative and Sustainable Small Farms, Ranches, and ForestLands, $30,000, 2020/01-2021/05, Katherine Milla, PI.
  • Building Research, Extension and Education Capacity in Hydrologic Exchanges Between Natural and Human Systems, U.S. Department of Agriculture NIFA 1890s Capacity Building Grant, Grant Number 2019-38821-29151, $582,000, 2019/03-2022/02, Katherine Milla, PI, Amita Jain, co-PI, Odemari Mbuya, co-PI.
  • Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Engagement in Research in Natural Resource Sciences, 2016-2017, USDA Forest Service, Amita Jain, PI, Katherine Milla, co-PI, Odemari Mbuya, co-PI, $23,000.
  • Developing an Education Partnership with the FAMU Developmental Research School to Establish an Outdoor Classroom for Teaching Environmental Sampling Techniques, 2013-2015, USDA Forest Service, Alfredo Lorenzo, PI, Kimberly Davis, PI, Katherine Milla, co-PI, $22,000.
  • From the Sky to the Sea: Investigating the Hydrologic Cycle in a Coastal Watershed, an Exemplary Pilot Program for K-12 Environmental Literacy, 2013-2015, NOAA, Alfredo Lorenzo, PI, Katherine Milla, co-PI, $75,000.
  • Evaluation of Land-Use Effects and Management Alternatives on the Quality and Quantity of Surface Waters Entering Florida, 2012-2014, USDA Forest Service, Katherine Milla, PI, Odemari Mbuya, co-PI, $350,000.
  • Developing a Decision Support Interface System for Selection and Implementation of Agricultural Best Management Practices in Florida, USDA NIFA, 2011-2014, Katherine Milla, PI, Odemari Mbuya, co-PI, Margaret Gitau, co-PI, $600,000.
  • An Environmental Education Program for Expanding Conservation and Stewardship of the Gulf of Mexico, 2010-2013, EPA, Katherine Milla, PI, Alfredo Lorenzo, co-PI, $500,000.
  • Study of Impacts to Ephemeral Pond Habitats in the Apalachicola National Forest for Management Decisions, 2011-2013, USDA Forest Service, Katherine Milla, PI, Odemari Mbuya, co-PI, $300,000.
  • Enhancing NASA's COAST Online Application for Agricultural Best Management-Practices Decision Support, 2009-2011, NASA, Katherine Milla, PI, Margaret Gitau, co-PI, Sunil Pancholy, co-PI, $400,000.