facebookpixel
Select Page
SAR Logo

Innovative Approaches to the Global Water-Energy Nexus

Co-chaired by E. Christian Wells & Linda M. Whiteford. Photo courtesy of SAR.

February 23–25, 2016

Innovative Approaches to the Global Water-Energy Nexus

The global water‐energy nexus paradigm is a complex arena that has direct consequences for both environmental and human health in the 21st century and beyond. While scientific assessments and engineering solutions are necessary to address coupled water and energy challenges, anthropological research increasingly demonstrates that cultural and political contexts must also be understood and integrated with long-term solutions. This seminar convened a panel of engineers and anthropologists which sought to break down these intellectual barriers and disciplinary silos, and expand on the emerging conceptual synthesis. The greater goal of this effort was to stimulate new, cross-disciplinary dialog about how seminarians might design convergent research, in which anthropology and engineering (and potentially other perspectives) meet on global change problems surrounding water and energy.

Seminarians determined that there are three main tasks for moving forward:

First, developing the specific message—that sustainable solutions to water/energy challenges are multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and multivocal;

Second, concluding that public engagement is crucial to this effort and developing a list of specific products designed to take the discussion to the broader public; and

Third, growing their research network of engineers and anthropologists by continuing the conversation at future meetings and by developing a website to document the goals and activities of the network.

Update – July 2018

As reported by Dr. Wells:

Our 2016 SAR seminar was the first of two formal meetings between anthropologists and engineers to develop strategies for continuing our collaboration established through our NSF ‘Partnerships for International Research and Education’ grant. The second seminar was held at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, UK in May 2017.

The SAR seminar resulted in two successful applications to the National Science Foundation to support our research on interdependent infrastructures.

We also collaborated on a major review article for the journal Environmental Engineering Science: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/ees.2015.0334

Finally, we documented our collaborations in a short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Iw1-xry3Y

E. Christian Wells, Chair
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida

Linda M. Whiteford, Chair
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida

James Mihelcic
Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida

Arthur D. Murphy
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Riall Nolan
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University

Diego Rosso
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Veronica Strang
Professor, Department of Anthropology, Durham University

Rebecca Zarger
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of South Florida

Qiong (Jane) Zhang
Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of South Florida

Julie Zimmerman
Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University

Generous funding provided by the National Science Foundation

Pin It on Pinterest