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

Assistant Professor, Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education
Assistant Professor, Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME)

Water and Biogeochemical Cycles News

Featured Stories

Software tool that finds spots for water-quality devices will work in Northeast

| news.psu.edu

A computer software package widely used in the Midwest to strategically position riparian buffers and other structures aimed at protecting water quality on agricultural land can be used effectively in the eastern United States, with some limitations, Penn State researchers report in a new study.

Algorithm helps probe connections between stream chemistry and environment

| news.psu.edu

Researchers say their novel application of a machine learning algorithm can analyze how the chemical makeup of a stream changes over time, which could help with environmental modeling and understanding.

Mentions: Susan Brantley

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