Water and Biogeochemical Cycles

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Sustaining Life

Water is at the nexus of the energy-environment relationship, and water scarcity involves the inherent trade-offs between the production of food, goods, and services and the maintenance of natural ecosystems.

Flowing throughout the Earth

Water is essential to the health of people and communities, ecosystems, regional and national economies, and the security of nations, supporting personal health, food production, manufacturing, energy generation, recreation, and a spectrum of other socially-valued ecosystem services.

Likewise, the biogeochemical cycles, such as nutrients and carbon, which are circulated through water, terrestrial ecosystems, and the atmosphere are essential to our world's health.

Population growth, development, and environmental changes put increasing stresses on water resources throughout the world. The challenges of droughts, floods, and degraded water quality—which serve to underscore our dependence on a balanced quantity and adequate quality of water—exasperate population challenges. 

Additionally, changes to our ecosystem place stressors on biogeochemical cycles.

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 Olivia Mroczko, graduate student in agricultural and biological engineering, is evaporating filtered wastewater samples with a nitrogen gas generator in the Natural Resources Engineering Water Quality Laboratory in the Agricultural Engineering Building. She will then analyze the filtered water for pharmaceuticals.
Olivia Mroczko, graduate student in agricultural and biological engineering, is evaporating filtered wastewater samples with a nitrogen gas generator in relation to a project that uses wastewater to detect COVID-19 outbreaks.

Water and Biogeochemical Cycles Research

 

Featured IEE Researchers

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Meteorology and Atmospheric Science

Water and Biogeochemical Cycles News

Featured Stories

Research links shale gas, legacy energy development to groundwater contamination

| psu.edu

Fracking for natural gas in parts of Pennsylvania with a legacy of energy extraction may increase the risk of groundwater contamination, according to a team led by Penn State scientists.

Mentions: Susan Brantley

Materials faculty part of two new DOE Energy Frontier Research Centers

| psu.edu

Five faculty in Penn State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering are members of research teams selected for two recently funded Energy Frontier Research Centers. The awards are part of a $540 million initiative by the U.S. Department of Energy to invest in clean energy technologies and low-carbon manufacturing to help the U.S. achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
crashing ocean wave

Water Consortium

A new University-wide water initiative has been launched, called the Penn State Water Consortium, involving faculty and staff engaged in research, teaching, and outreach. The Consortium is currently in development. 

Penn State has a long and rich history of engaged, innovative, and impactful water and water-related research. This portfolio of work encompasses the natural, social, and health sciences, engineering, policy and law, communications, the arts, and more.

Learn More about the Water Consortium