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Photo courtesy of Rafa Muñoz-Carpena,
Tour of a natural wetland experimental site in Costa Rica, near the Tempisque Basin.


A preliminary program is now available for the 2012 Water Institute Symposium. Click here for more information about registering.

Upcoming Events:

January 18, 2012 – Distinguished Scholar Seminar: Andrea Rinaldo, Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources; 3:00 p.m., Reitz Union, Room 282

March 01, 2012 – Dr. Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Professor for Resources Management and Endowed Chair of the German Environmental Foundation – 3:00 p.m., 209 Emerson Alumni Hall

More information about speakers and events

December 6, 2011

Volume I, Issue 2

A word from the Director:
I am pleased to announce a new feature of the UF Water Institute website. In addition to a comprehensive and searchable database of Water Institute Affiliate Faculty Expertise and Projects, our website now has a searchable Publications database featuring Water Institute Affiliate Faculty documents. This growing collection of peer reviewed publications, final reports, working papers, and other publications provides access to the unique interdisciplinary research that the Water Institute and its affiliate faculty members conduct, with topics spanning the WI research thrust areas. Please help us expand this database by emailing citations and/or PDFs of water-related publications from your research group that you would like to include to [log in to unmask]. Explore the current database at Water Institute Publications and let us know if there are publications that you would like to include.

Wendy Graham, Ph.D.
Water Institute Director

New NSF grant funds collaborative effort in the Tempisque Basin, Costa Rica

This fall, a group of Water Institute affiliate faculty, with Rafa Muñoz-Carpena as PI, were awarded a National Science Foundation planning grant to assess water sustainability in the Tempisque Basin, in NW Costa Rica. The site, in the dry Guanacaste western area of Costa Rica, contains a wetland of international importance and is stressed by both increasing water use and degrading water quality. The goals are to conduct in-depth quantitative analysis of the sustainability of water supply and demand, explore model-based scenarios of climate impacts on ecosystems services through changing biodiversity and land use, and investigate potential to maintain and improve water availability, water quality and ecosystem services. Project personnel from Environmental Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Food and Resource Economics, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Geography, Levin College of Law and Anthropology at UF are working with researchers at Duke University/Organization for Tropical Studies, Arizona State University, the University of South Florida, Columbia University in New York as well as multiple universities and Institutions in Costa Rica. During this one-year project, Kathleen McKee will assist working groups to define common research goals, agree on mechanisms for coordination and to write a full proposal to the National Science Foundation next Fall. Two workshops will be held during the year, in Gainesville (December 2) and in Palo Verde National Park (April 2012).

EPA designates the UF Water Institute as a Center of Excellence
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 has named the UF Water Institute as a Center of Excellence in Watershed Management (CEWM) with a memorandum of understanding among UF, the EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The UF Water Institute was designated a Center of Excellence based on demonstrated technical expertise to address water quality issues on a watershed-scale. "We are pleased to be named as a Center of Excellence for Watershed Management", said UF Water Institute Director Wendy Graham. "This designation highlights the Water Institute's strong commitment to partner with watershed-based stakeholder groups and state and local agencies to tackle critical water issues requiring holistic interdisciplinary approaches." Faculty from IFAS Extension and the Law School’s Conservation clinic initiated the idea and are working with stakeholders in the Lower St. Johns River, Orange Creek Basin and the Blackwater River. The center maintains a listserv of interested staff and faculty and meets periodically to share watershed improvement efforts and to pursue funding opportunities. See the new website for more information. If you would like to get involved with the CEWM, contact Kathleen McKee.

HSAC elects new chair; website redesigned
The Hydrologic Sciences Academic Cluster (HSAC), administered by the Water Institute, provides an interdisciplinary curriculum for graduate students pursuing careers in water-related science, engineering, policy, planning and management. Water Institute affiliate faculty member Jim Jawitz, Professor in the Soil and Water Science Department, was elected as the chair of the HSAC program for 2011-2012. Past chairs include Matt Cohen of the School of Forest Resources & Conservation and Rafael Munoz-Carpena of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. The program currently includes 26 students from eight departments in three colleges.

The HSAC website has recently been redesigned with the addition of detailed information on the program, and it now reflects all alumni as well as current students. If you are interested in participating in the program, more information can be found on the HSAC Website.

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