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2017 Spring | Global Change II: Conservation, Remediation and Sustainability of Resources

SPRING 2017 | Global Change II: Conservation, Remediation and Sustainability of Resources 

  • Feb 9.  Balancing Public Health with Water Sustainability goals in an Era of Global Change.  Amy Pruden-Bagchi, Prof., Civil and Environmental Engineering, VT
  • Feb 16.  Growing Population Demand for High-quality Resources.  Julie Shortridge, Asst. Prof. & Extension Specialist, Biological Systems Engin, VT
  • Feb 23.  Disease Ecology in a Changing World.   Cassidy Rist,  Asst. Prof, Population Health Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, VT
    Mar 2.  The Hidden Cost of Clean Air. William Hopkins, Prof., Fish and Wildlife Conserv.; Director, Global Change Ctr, VT
  • March 16.  Genetics of Adaptive Tradeoffs by Plants. David Haak, Asst. Prof, Plant Physiology, Pathology & Weed Science, VT
  • Mar 23.  Energy Alternatives.  David Roper, Prof. Emeritus, Physics, VT


Abstracts for sessions led by GCC Faculty Affiliates:

Balancing Public Health with Water Sustainability Goals in an Era of Global Change

Led by Amy Pruden-Bagchi.

The development of antibiotics and water infrastructure are two of the greatest achievements in human history. Both laid the foundation for a quality of life that our ancestors could have never imagined. However, the rapidly changing world that we live in challenges this foundation: our infrastructure is aging, water availability and quality are diminishing, the climate is changing, and antibiotic resistance and the threat of emerging infectious disease is rising. Here we consider the example of antibiotic resistance in recycled water and how new technologies and new ways of thinking may serve to advance both water sustainability and public health.


Growing Population Demand for High-Quality Resources

Led by Julie Shortridge.

Sustainable provision of water in the future is not only threatened by climate change, but also by increasing demand, land use evolution, and reductions in water quality. It is urgentthat water infrastructure be designed in a way that can accommodate these pressures, but predicting their long-term impacts remains a challenge. This talk will discuss key challenges and approaches for sustainable water provision under global change, and how these issues vary in di erent regions of the world.


The Hidden Cost of Clean Air

Led by William Hopkins.

History reminds us that some practices intended to solve one environmental issue can unintentionally contribute to creating undesirable side effects. For example, technologies designed to protect air quality from coal combustion emissions ultimately contributed to a solid waste stream that impairs surface and groundwater around the world. Several case studies will be used to illustrate these broader conservation and human health concerns resulting from unintended consequences of new technologies as we transition to alternative energy sources.


Genetics of Adaptive Tradeoffs by Plants

Led by David Haak.

Food security remains challenging for both developed and developing nations, particularly in light of a changing climate. Plant pathogens alone account for an estimated10–16% of global harvest losses, and the additional e ects of droughtstress and annual crop losses are estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars. Mitigating these effects via sustainably adapted crops relies on altered management practices and suitable genetic variation for novel resistance or tolerance. We will explore the use of natural genetic variation in developing resources that will allow the introduction of stable traits in high performing cultivars, with an aim toward meeting the grand challenge of providing sustainable, secure food for a predicted population of 9 billion by 2050.