Penn State Water New Year Event

Join Penn State faculty, staff, and student colleagues working on water and water-related initiatives across research, education, and outreach and engagement. This event is an opportunity to learn about key Water Consortium initiatives such as funding and faculty hires, the Water Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), the new water student club – the Penn State Association of Water Students (PAWS) – and related and upcoming opportunities for both students and faculty. Work sessions also will be held during which you can provide input on university-wide water research priorities and the Water Intercollegiate Graduate Degree Program (IGDP). And you will have the chance to meet and welcome new faculty and network through speed networking.

This event is for current Penn State faculty, staff, and students, and registration is required. It is supported by the Water Council.

A "water year" is a term commonly used in hydrology to describe a period of 12 months for which precipitation totals are measured. It is comparable to the concept of a fiscal year in that it is different from a calendar year. Its beginning differs from the calendar year because part of the precipitation that falls in late autumn and winter accumulates as snow and does not drain until the following spring or summer's snowmelt.


1:00-1:05 pm    WELCOME [Andy Warner]
1:05-1:30 pm    WATER SOCIAL [Laura Guertin & Devon Kerins] The following two sessions will run concurrently:

  • NEW FACULTY WELCOME – This session will highlight Water Faculty who are new to Penn State since 2019 (or prior if they still feel new!).  This is an opportunity to welcome these colleagues to the university and get to know a bit about them and their professional passions.
  • OPEN HOUSE: Penn State Association of Water Students (PAWS)
    • This Open House is a session for students who are interested in learning more about Penn State’s new university-wide water club, formally established as the Penn State Association of Water Students (PAWS) in February 2021.  Meet graduate and undergraduate members of PAWS, learn about the club’s ongoing and planned activities, find out ways to get involved, and share your ideas.

1:30-1:50 pm    SPEED NETWORKING
Two-minute networking sessions to get to know other water faculty and students.  Open Format, with topics completely undefined (e.g., study or research focus, favorite music or food, whether you prefer your recreation to involve fresh, salt, or frozen water, other?)


  1. WATER CONSORTIUM STATUS – Update on where the proposal stands [Andy Warner]
  2. WATER RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATES – Overview of the submitted NSF Water REU proposal and potential future opportunities for faculty to engage [Nat Warner]
  3. IEE SEED GRANT – Overview of current IEE Seed Grant call for proposals [Lara Fowler]
  4. WATER SCHOLARS PROGRAM – Overview of the Water Scholars Program and associated funding for students provided by the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center [Beth Boyer]
  5. IEE CO-FUNDED WATER FACULTY CLUSTER HIRE – Overview of application call for co-funded water faculty positions [Andy Warner]
  6. VISITING WATER VISIONARY PROGRAM – Introduction of an emerging program to bring global water leaders to Penn State for collaboration and knowledge sharing [Andy Warner]
  7. WATER INTERCOLLEGIATE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM (IGDP) – Status and next steps for the Water IGDP (to be the focus of a subsequent work session) [Ken Davis]
  8. PENN STATE WATER PRIORITY RESEARCH AREAS – Brief overview of the four areas of emphasis and efforts to refine and advance university-wide priorities (to be the focus of a subsequent work session) [Shirley Clark, Hong Wu, Andy Warner]

2:20-3:15 pm WORK SESSION: WATER IGDP WORK SESSION [Ken Davis, Lauren McPhillips, Michael Mashtare, Jon Duncan]

Brief overview presentation will cover the draft Water Intercollegiate Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) proposal, to be followed by facilitated discussions to solicit input from faculty and students.  This is a work session focused on improving the draft Water IGDP proposal, and specifically an opportunity to provide input on program design, such as required course core sequence, course distribution and disciplines, committee composition, dissertation requirements, advising, and cohort building and other non-curricular components.


3:25-4:15 pm WORK SESSIONS: WATER CONSORTIUM PRIORITY RESEARCH AREAS OF EMPHASIS Brief presentations on the refined Areas of Emphasis for Penn State Water research, followed by breakout sessions for faculty Q&A, input, and future steps.  This is a work session focused on bringing additional specificity to university-wide priorities on water-related research and enhancing related coordination. Format will allow faculty from across a broad spectrum of disciplines to provide input on both areas of emphasis:

  • Water, Health, and the Environment – [Shirley Clark]
  • Water, Climate, and Resilience – [Hong Wu]


  • All: Provide additional input on the Water IGDP…Oct 15th deadline!
  • Faculty:
    • Research Areas of Emphasis work sessions…Watch for Dates!
    • Co-Funded Water Faculty Cluster Hire…Watch for the RfP!
    • Visiting Water Visionary Program…Help Develop!
    • Update your PURE profile and be sure you’re on the Water Faculty listserv
  • Students:
    • Become involved in PAWS, and bring a classmate!
    • Water Scholars Program…Watch for Call!
    •  Josh is coming tomorrow (Oct 1st) to talk about Water Careers!
  • Student & Early Career Faculty: Grant writing workshop…Watch for the Notice!