World class researchers and practitioners engaged with the MSU community on cutting-edge environmental topics related to water.
The series was sponsored by the Environmental Science and Policy Program, Center for Water Sciences, and Michigan AgBio Research as part of MSU’s new Global Water Initiative. An initiative to advance innovative science and policy to address major water problems facing society across the globe. More about the Global Water Initiative.
Abstract: We have been living through a 100-year-long golden age of water. We never think about water's availability, we never hesitate to run a bath because of the water bill, and we never worry about whether our tap water will make us sick. But that golden age of water -- where water is unlimited, safe, and free -- is over.
We are at the dawn of a new age of high-stakes water, an era in which supplies and systems are under pressure from growing populations, surging economic growth, and dramatic swings in weather. In this new age of water, we'll pay more, but we'll waste less. And we'll have to be much smarter about every drop. And those with abundant water will suddenly discover that water security is a great economic development asset.
We'll learn to tap a wave of innovation in water management, water use and water technology that is sweeping the world.
Award-winning investigative journalist Charles Fishman delivers a persuasive, fascinating, and urgent primer on the history and future of water. He takes you from a factory in Vermont with water so clean it is considered poisonous, to villages in India that have 24-hour-a-day cell phone service but no water service at all. Fishman has spent the last three years circling the globe -- from Las Vegas to New Delhi -- to uncover how the world of water is changing, and what the enormous implications are for each of us, no matter where we live.
Biosketch: Charles Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism.
Robert Glennon Jr., Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Arizona
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Abstract & Biosketch
Abstract: Deep in the Mojave Desert sits Las Vegas. The desert is a dry, torrid place that can quickly kill a person without water, but in Sin City a torrent of water flows freely in massive fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and casinos. Meanwhile, across the United States in places that are not particularly dry or hot, communities, farmers, and factories are struggling to find water, and even running out altogether.
America's self-inflicted water crisis is coming.
Our water woes will get worse before they get better because we are slow to change our ways, and because water is the overlooked resource. It's happening again: Washington's love affair with biofuels will turn to heartbreak once America realizes that thousands of gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of fuel. Glennon tells how a celebrated, new ethanol plant in Minnesota—The Land of 10,000 Lakes!—is already sucking local wells dry.
Glennon argues that we cannot engineer our way out of the problem with the usual fixes or the zany—but very real—schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska or divert the Mississippi River to Nevada. America must make hard choices—and Glennon's answer is a provocative market-based system that values water as a commodity and a fundamental human right.
Biosketch: Robert Glennon is the author of Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It, which was published in April 2009 by Island Press. His previous books include the highly-acclaimed Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters (2002). Glennon’s funded research activities have included two National Science Foundation grants. He had held many administrative positions, such as trustee, director, or chair for various institutional organizations. His professional activities include serving as Water Policy Advisor to Pima County, Arizona; as a member of American Rivers’ Science and Technical Advisory Committee; and as a commentator and analyst for various television and radio program
Ronnie Green, Harlan Vice Chancellor, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Friday, November 2, 2012
Videos, Abstract, & Biosketch
Biosketch: Ronnie Green serves as University of Nebraska Vice President. Green was previously Global Technical Services senior director at Pfizer Animal Health. From 2003-08, he was national program leader in Food Animal Production at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service after serving as vice president of cattle operations and assistant vice president and director of genetic operations for Future Beef Operations. From 1994-2000 he was professor of animal science at Colorado State University and assistant professor of animal science at Texas Tech University (1988-94). He also is the incoming 2010-11 president of the American Society of Animal Science.
Abstract: Growing more food while using less water is one of the greatest challenges facing the global community. Today, agriculture is responsible for 70 percent of water withdrawals. By 2050, the human population is expected to increase by 40 percent, resulting in a doubling in the demand for food. How do we feed the world and provide clean water at the same time?
Dr. Ronnie Green will discuss how the University of Nebraska is addressing critical questions about water and food security though the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute. The Water for Food Institute is a research, education and policy analysis institute committed to helping the world efficiently use its limited freshwater resources, with particular focus on ensuring the food supply for current and future generations.
Stephen Carpenter, Director of the Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Video, Abstract, & Biosketch
Abstract: Changes in climate, land use and cover, nutrient emission and habitat have altered freshwater ecosystems more than any ecosystem type on earth. Phosphorus plays an important role in these changes. Recent changes in global markets for phosphorus raise the possibility of conserving phosphorus with benefits for both agriculture and freshwater quality.
Biosketch: Stephen Russell (Steve) Carpenter is a leader of whole-ecosystem experiments and adaptive ecosystem management focused on freshwaters. Topics include trophic cascades and their effects on production and nutrient cycling, contaminant cycles, freshwater fisheries, eutrophication, nonpoint pollution, ecological economics of freshwater, and resilience of social-ecological systems.
Carpenter serves as the Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is the Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of Zoology. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Carpenter is the 2011 laureate of the Stockholm Water Prize. His other notable awards include a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Robert H. MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America, the Excellence in Ecology Prize from the Ecology Institute, and the Naumann-Thienemann medal of the International Society for Limnology.