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

Evan Pugh University Professor and Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Water and Biogeochemical Cycles News

Featured Stories

Institutes partner on seed grants to promote computational climate research

| psu.edu

Penn State faculty investigating the climate are encouraged to apply for the IEE-RISE 2022 Climate Seed Grant Program to receive consulting time from the RISE (Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineers) team.

Mentions: Erica Smithwick

Hydropower's future is clouded by droughts, floods and climate change – it's also essential to the US electric grid

| theconversation.com

Globally, drought has already decreased hydropower generation. How climate change affects hydropower in the U.S. going forward will depend in large part on each plants’ location.
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