Symposium Series

Grand Challenges in Water Sustainability

This series of three symposia is focused on water sustainability issues in the 21st century. The goal of the series is to bring together students, faculty, and professionals in the mid-Atlantic region to share and discuss current knowledge and research in the field and expose students to potential career paths within water sciences.

This series is funded through the UD Office of Graduate and Professional Education’s Grand Challenges Program and organized by the DENIN Water Working Group and graduate students studying water across the University of Delaware.

Details for the first of the three symposia are below. Mark your calendars now for the other symposia in the series:

Symposium II: Water for Food and Energy
March 22 at Stroud Water Research Center, Avondale, PA

Symposium III: Science, Management and Policy for Water
June 7 at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve, Dover, DE


Symposium I: Dynamic Hydrology from Land to Sea
September 28

The first symposium in the series will focus on issues within nearshore environments, drawing speakers from NOAA Sea Grant, NOAA Coastal Management, the Chesapeake Research Consortium, and Aqua PA.

The symposium will include a keynote address, topical sessions, a career panel, and a poster session. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided.

When: Friday, September 28, 2018, 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where: Clayton Hall, University of Delaware, Newark

Register here by midnight on Monday, September 17!

Contacts for questions:
Margaret Capoocci, Julia Guimond, or Alma Vázquez-Lule

Symposium Schedule

8:00 Check-in, poster set-up, breakfast
9:00 Keynote: Dr. Robert Twilley, Executive Director
Louisiana Sea Grant
10:00 Coffee break
10:30 Topical session* — Coastal processes
11:15 Topical session — Watershed processes and management
12:00 Lunch, career panel*
1:00 Topical session — Social dynamics and water management
1:45 Topical session — Environmental networks and monitoring
2:30 Afternoon snack, poster session
3:30 Closing remarks

*Each topical session will be opened by a guest speaker (see bios below), followed by several short talks. The keynote speaker and topical session leaders will also take part in the lunchtime career panel

Speaker Bios

Keynote Speaker: Robert Twilley

Robert Twilley is executive director of Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science at LSU.  Presently, Dr. Twilley serves as past president of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, an international coastal science society. He has been a Distinguished Professor at both LSU and UL Lafayette. He is founder of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio and developed the UL Lafayette Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology. Most of Dr. Twilley’s research has focused on coastal systems ecology in the Gulf of Mexico, throughout Latin America, and in the Pacific Islands. He continues to update global estimates of blue carbon storage in mangrove ecosystems. More recently, Dr. Twilley has been involved in developing ecosystem models coupled with engineering and landscape designs to formulate adaptation strategies for coastal communities, known as ecosystem design. He received his BS and MS from East Carolina University, PhD from University of Florida, and post-doctoral studies at University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies.

Coastal Processes Session Speaker: Christian Hauser

Christian Hauser is the associate director of Delaware Sea Grant. His professional expertise is in restoration ecology. Prior to joining Delaware Sea Grant, Mr. Hauser was a senior scientist with AECOM, an international consulting firm, and the global co-lead of the AECOM Contaminated Sediment and Waterway Restoration Technical Practice Group. He has experience managing projects in freshwater, estuarine, and marine environments. Recent work has included designing and implementing science-based environmental assessment and restoration programs in conjunction with federal, state, and local governments, academic partners, industry, and nongovernmental organizations. Projects have included coastal stabilization, including “living shorelines,” dam removal, tidal and nontidal wetland mitigation, and stream restoration. He has also performed independent research focused on improving the design and construction of coastal green infrastructure. His research specifically investigated feedback mechanisms that may influence project success, including bathymetric response, substrate tensile strength, and wave attenuation. Mr. Hauser has a BS from Cornell University and MS from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.

Watershed Processes and Management  Session Speaker: William Ball

William Ball is the current director of the Chesapeake Research Consortium (CRC).  He holds this position through the Johns Hopkins University, where he was a full professor from 1992 to 2017 and where he now holds a position as research professor and continues to serve as the lead PI on a multi-university project under NSF’s Water, Sustainability and Climate program that focuses on linking climate change and changing agricultural practices to water quality impacts on the Chesapeake Bay. With a BS in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and MS and PhD degrees in environmental engineering and science from Stanford University, Dr. Ball has over 30 years of experience investigating physical-chemical processes controlling water quality and treatment, with applications to both natural aquatic systems and engineered processes, and has overseen over 50 major research projects since his first academic position, at Duke University, in 1989. In his position with the CRC, Dr. Ball fosters collaborative research and facilitates the application of science to management through cooperative programs and projects in collaboration with many of the government agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations involved in the Chesapeake Bay Program partnership.

Social Dynamics and Water Management Session Speaker: Matthew Miller

Mr. Miller is a treatment director for Aqua America, the second-largest investor owned water/wastewater utility in the country.  He is responsible for the treatment of drinking water and/or wastewater treatment for 1.5 million customers in Pennsylvania. Prior to Aqua, Mr. Miller spent 16 years with the city of Wilmington’s Public Works Department serving a variety of roles, the most recent of which was assistant director of the Water Division. He received both his BS in environmental and hazardous materials management and his MS in environmental safety and health management from the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. He is currently a graduate student at Wilmington University pursuing an MBA in organizational leadership.

Environmental Networks and Monitoring Session Speaker: Jeffrey L Payne

Jeff Payne is the senior executive service director for the Office of Coastal Management at NOAA, where he coordinates the nation’s coastal management activities. He previously served as the deputy director of NOAA’s Coastal Services Center. He was also deputy director of NOAA’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning in Washington, D.C., and served in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President as the budget examiner for NOAA and the Marine Mammal Commission. He also served a year in the U.S. House of Representatives as the American Geophysical Union Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. Dr. Payne is well respected among coastal and ocean science and management practitioners and serves as a subject matter expert on natural resource, community resilience, and climate adaptation issues. His current interagency appointments include the Federal Floodplain Management Task Force, Recovery Support Function Leadership Group, Mitigation Framework Leadership Group, Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology, and U.S.-Mexico Good Neighbor Environmental Board. Dr. Payne received his PhD in geophysical oceanography from Texas A&M University and his bachelor’s degree in geology from West Virginia University.