On Feb. 5, a reception was held at the Hahn Garden Pavilion for the new Water Cluster hires at Virginia Tech. The cluster of seven tenure-track faculty positions was created by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Natural Resources and Environment to establish a premier water resources program.
At the event, the faculty members of the cluster from CALS were Zachary Easton and Venkat Sridhar; both assistant professors in biological system engineering; and Meredith Steele and Ryan Stewart, both assistant professors in crop and soil environmental sciences.
The faculty members will complement Virginia Tech’s existing water science expertise by exploring interdisciplinary subjects as diverse and complex as water itself, including the effects of climate change on agriculture, management of water and natural resources, transport of chemicals to surface water and groundwater, and development of decision-support tools to mitigate the negative impacts of human activities.
“We currently have an exceptional group of scientists and engineers who are examining the many challenges facing the management of water resources and quality,” said Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean of research and graduate studies. These new positions will effectively integrate our research, education, and Extension programs and allow us to conduct interdisciplinary programs by bridging water science and engineering with social sciences to more effectively address global water issues.”
The number of people who live in areas with water scarcity is expected to rise from 1.6 billion today to 2.8 billion by 2025, according to the World Bank. Integrated approaches to water resources management are needed to meet the water shortage challenges and mitigate the anticipated impacts of climate change.