STARKVILLE, Miss.—Early-bird registration ends soon for the 2017 SEC Academic Conference examining “The Future of Water” March 27-28 at Mississippi State University.

Headlined by three renowned keynote speakers, the event also will feature more than 60 speakers and panelists representing all 14 SEC institutions.

Organizers are encouraging participants to register by Feb. 15 to receive the early-bird discount. Regular online registration continues through March 26.

Best-selling author John M. Barry, who wrote the 1998 book, “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America,” speaks March 27, as does Dennis Dimick, former executive environment editor of National Geographic magazine. Jay Famiglietti, professor of earth system science and civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, will speak March 28. “The Future of Water: Regional Collaboration on Shared Climate, Coastlines and Watersheds” is the theme of this year’s conference.

Anna Linhoss, MSU assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering and chair of the conference organizing committee, said the event will help researchers collaborate in numerous areas of water research.

“Water is a resource that plays a role in a vast number of aspects of our society and world from energy to agriculture, drinking water, sanitation, coastlines, climate and the environment. This conference will bring together the best researchers and policy makers in the Southeast to discuss state-of-the-art water related research,” she said.

Mary Love Tagert, another conference planner and an MSU assistant extension professor in agricultural and biological engineering, said Southeastern states are dealing with similar water issues, so coming together to learn from each other will greatly benefit participants.

“Neighboring states are teaming up to tackle some issues that cross state lines. Water does not follow political boundaries, so cooperation is key. We as scientists and engineers can work together to help our states find solutions to these water concerns,” Tagert said.

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