Water Insights is an interdisciplinary seminar series on water science, water management, and water policy sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES). Speakers include researchers, water managers, and water policy makers from Penn State, other universities, government agencies and non-governmental organizations.

The series engages the University and broader community in collaborative learning and discussion about critical water challenges from local to global scales.

All seminars are scheduled for Tuesdays from 12:00-1:00 pm and will be via zoom. Zoom room open from 11:45 for setup and log-in. Meetings (video, audio, and chat) will be recorded. No waiting room, and no passcode. Participants will be muted automatically upon entry.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://psu.zoom.us/j/98145879350

Spring 2023

January 24

Speaker: Peter Stempel, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, College of Arts and Architecture 
Talk Title: What can we learn from alternatives to flood visualizations?
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_dsnukimf

February 7

Speaker: Cibin Raj, Assistant Professor of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences
Talk Title: Circular Agricultural Systems: Potential of recycling organic nutrients in Pennsylvania and water quality benefits
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_we2jnob7

February 21

Speaker: Lisa Emili, Associate Professor of Physical & Environmental Studies, Penn State Altoona
Talk Title: Accumulation and Degradation of Microplastics in the Environment
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_kf7c4m45

March 21

Speakers: Lilliard Richardson, Professor of Public Policy & Director of the School of Public Policy & Pin Sun, Ph.D candidate Department of Economics, College of the Liberal Arts
Talk Title: Flood Zoning Policies & Residential Housing Characteristics in Texas
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_f4jfwlvr

April 4

Speaker: Jack Vanden Heuvel, Professor of Molecular Toxicology Pharmacology, College of Agricultural Sciences
Talk Title: Mechanism-based Biomonitoring for Examination of Human Impacted Surface, Ground and Drinking Water
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_3153wqs9

April 18

Speakers: Maurie Kelly, Director, Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access, Institute of Energy and the Environment
Talk Title: Flood Risk in PA: How the PA Flood Risk Assessment Tool Supports Flood Risk Mitigation Efforts in PA
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_w27oloc0

May 2

Speakers: Nathaniel Warner, Associate Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering
Talk Title: Students Dig Microplastics Research
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Water+Insights+Seminar/1_izfx0ipk

Fall 2022

September 6-Flood Talks

Speakers: Lara Fowler- Director, Penn State Sustainability Institute & Senior Lecturer, Penn State Law; Andrew Warner-Director, Penn State Water Initiative & Alfonso Mejia-Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
Talk Title: An Introduction to Flooding
Watch the Recording Here: https://psu.mediaspace.kaltura.com/media/Flood+TalksA+introductory+session/1_rdu8r07s
Link to Presentation Resources:

September 21- Emerging Issues

Speaker: Kim Van Meter, Assistant Professor of Geography, College of Earth & Mineral Sciences
Talk Title: Agricultural Wetlandscapes: Land-Use Legacies & Water Quality Futures
Watch the Recording Here: There is no recording for this session.
Link to Presentation Resources: Slide Show Presentation

October 5- Emerging Issues

Speaker: Kathy Brasier, Professor of Rural Sociology, College of Agricultural Sciences
Talk Title:
Building & Researching Stakeholder Engagement for Water Quality & Quantity Management: The Water for Ag Project
Watch the Recording Here:
Link to Presentation Resources:

November 16- Emerging Issues

Speaker: William Hunt, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished University Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University
Talk Title: Stormwater Management Evolution in 20 Years (since I left State College)
Watch the Recording Here:
Link to Presentation Resources:

Fall 2021

October 5 Greenlee.jpg

Lauren Greenlee
Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering

Nutrients from Wasterwater: Rethinking Contaminants as Resources to Recover

Click here to watch the recording. 

October 12 Sweetman.jpg

Jon Sweetman
Assistant Research Professor, Ecosystem Science Management

Water Insights into the Past: Extracting Environmental Information from Lake Mud

Click here to watch the recording. 

October 19 Jamie Colburn.PNG

Jamie Colburn
Joseph H. Goldstein Faculty Scholar, Professor of Law

Pathological Jurisdiction Splitting: The Phenomena of Jurisdictional Waters

Click here to watch the recording. 

October 26 Kirchhoff_WebPhoto.jpg

Christine Kirchhoff
Associate Professor
Civil & Environmental Engineering
University of Connecticut

Actionable knowledge production and improved governance to address water challenges

Click here to watch the recording. 

November  Christopher Scott.jpg

Christopher Scott
Goddard Chair and Professor, Dept. of Ecosystem Science & Management

Irrigation efficiency and water security: Promises, pitfalls and paradoxes

Click here to watch the recording.

November 9



Alfonso Mejia
Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering


Michael Gomez
Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Resilience and exposure of urban food supply systems to climate-induced food shocks

Click here to watch the recording.

November 16 K Van Meter.jpg

Kim Van Meter
Assistant Professor of Geography

Agricultural Wetlandscapes: Land-Use Legacies and Water Quality Futures

This talk was cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date. 

November 30 Headshot_11122021e.jpg

Margaret Kalcic
Associate Professor in Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Translational Data Analytics Institute Core Faculty

Lake Erie water quality goals and watershed modeling

Click here to watch the recording.

December 7 Suat Irmak.jpg

Suat Irmak
Professor, Department Head in Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Climate Change and Impacts on Agriculture and Natural Resources

Spring 2021

February 16 Swisher photo.png

Dave Swisher
Office of the Physical Plant
Water Sustainability: Penn State's Efforts – Past, Present and Future

Watch Dave's presentation here

February 23

Andy Cole.jpg

Andy Cole
Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Ecology,
Interim Department Head, Landscape Architecture
College of Arts & Architecture
Designing nature - the case of the weird wetlands

Watch Andy's presentation here

March 2

Karen Fisher Vanden.jpeg

Matt Royer.jpeg

Karen Fisher-Vanden
Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Public Policy
Director, Institute for Sustainable Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science (SAFES)
Co-Director, Program on Coupled Human and Earth Systems (PCHES)

Matt Royer
Associate Director of Partnerships & Engagement
Associate Research Professor
Director, Agriculture and Environment Center

Current and Future Water Activities in SAFES: how can SAFES help catalyze coordinated research in water?

Watch Karen & Matt's presentation here.

March 9 Warner-Nathaniel-819x1024.jpg

Nathaniel Warner
Civil & Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

Can freshwater mussels monitor water quality?

Watch Nathaniel's presentation here.

March 16 LiHeadShot.png

Li Li
Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

The shallow and deep hypothesis: linking flow paths, biogeochemical reactions, and stream chemistry in the Critical Zone

Watch Li's presentation here.

March 23




Paul Heinemann
Professor and Head
Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Scott Richardson
Associate Research Professor
Meteorology & Atmospheric Science

David Stensrud
Professor and Head
Meteorology & Atmospheric Science

The Pennsylvania Environmental Monitoring Network

Watch their presentation here.

March 30 m.shreve-1c.jpg

Michael Shreve
Postdoctoral Scholar in Bioconversion Engineering
Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering

Wastewater-based epidemiology and Covid-19 surveillance at Penn State

Watch Michael's presentation here. 

April 6 Ming Xiao PSU photo.jpg

Ming Xiao
Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Evaluation of erodibility of sand infill placed in synthetic grass using large flume testing

Watch Ming's presentation here.

April 13 Rotz.JPG

Alan Rotz
Agricultural Engineer, USDA/ARS and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering

An integrated assessment of farm management effects on air and water quality

Watch Alan's presentation here. 

April 20 Pakhtigian_headshot.jpg Emily Pakhtigian
Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy

Water use tradeoffs along development trajectories: Applications of hydro-economic modeling in international river basins

Hosted by Danny Brent

Watch Emily's presentation here.

April 27 Fetter Jennifer.jpg

Jenn Fetter
Extension Water Resources Program Team Leader, Penn State Extension

Identifying and Addressing Pennsylvania's Water Resources Education Needs Through Extension

Watch Jenn's presentation here.

May 4 This is the one for web.JPG

Jim Shortle
Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics Emeritus

Agriculture and Water Quality: Better Results Require Better Policy

Watch Jim's presentation here.

Fall 2020

Tuesday, September 22
Gerrad Jones, Oregon State University
Opening Pandora's box: machine learning applications for chemical forensics and non-target chemical analyses
Hosted by Heather Preisendanz

Tuesday, September 29
Tyler Groh
Nutrient Removal in Riparian Buffers: My Research Journey from Iowa to Pennsylvania
Hosted by Beth Boyer

Tuesday, October 27
Patrick Drohan
Ideas on a path for food production and society in the shadow of “big problems"
Hosted by Jon Duncan

Tuesday, November 3
Hongxing Liu, Lafayette College
Best Management Practices and Nutrient Reduction: An Integrated Economic-Hydrological Model of the Western Lake Erie Basin
Hosted by Danny Brent

Tuesday, November 10
Rob Brooks, Professor Emeritus Geography
Applying monitoring and assessment tools at multiple spatial and time scales on wetlands enforcement cases, with reflections on pending changes to the Clean Water Act
Hosted by Jim Shortle

Tuesday, November 17
John Tooker
Integrated Pest Management as a solution to a water quality challenge from neonicotinoid insecticides
Hosted by Jim Shortle

Tuesday, December 1
Michael Mashtare
Toilet to Field: Addressing Perceptions in the Age of Misinformation
Hosted by Cibin Raj

Tuesday, December 8
Herschel A. Elliott
Biosolids Land Application: Putting Risk in Perspective
Hosted by Jim Shortle

Spring 2020

Tuesday, January 21
Alfonso Mejia
The Multilayer Network Structure of Virtual Water Flows in the United States

Recording of Mejia Webinar- start at 1:00

Note: there is no sound in this recording

Tuesday, January 28
Heather Preisendanz
Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment: Understanding Occurrence, Risk, and Mitigation Strategies

Recording of Preisendanz Webinar - start at 1:30

Tuesday, February 4
Jeffrey Chanat
Exploring drivers of regional water-quality change using differential spatially referenced regression

Recording of Chanat Webinar - start at 3:18

Tuesday, February 11
Andrew Warner
What is Penn State Water?

Recording of Warner Webinar - start at 6:22

Tuesday, February 18
Rob Brooks & Tamie Veith
Riparian Forest Buffers of the Susquehanna-Chesapeake Watershed: Observations, Assessments, and Recommendations

Recording of Brooks & Veith Webinar - start at 4:13

Tuesday, February 25
Ben Hayes
Landscape Memory: The Legacy of Logging on Pennsylvania Streams and Implications for Adaptive Restoration Approaches

Recording of Hayes Webinar - start at 1:00