Annual Newsletter: May 2011 Page 3
Dear WSSS Alumni, Faculty, Students & Colleagues,
Welcome to the second annual WSSS newsletter. Water problems abound globally,nationally, regionally and even locally. It takes a university (this year’s WSSS motto)to address many interdisciplinary water issues. Here we describe several new WSSSinitiatives in the areas of (1) water diplomacy, (2) water and health, (3) integratedwater resources planning and management, and (4) a new practicum project in theMystic River watershed. These initiatives are in addition to numerous other ongoingprograms outlined on our website.We are very excited to announce our new Interdisciplinary Graduate Educationand Research Training (IGERT) grant in the area of water diplomacy. Over the next 5 years, this $4.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation will support 25 PhD students as they train to be the next generation of water diplomats. WSSSparticipating faculty member Shafiqul Islam, the principal investigator of this grant,is also working with faculty from Harvard, MIT and colleagues at Tufts to organize awater diplomacy workshop for international water professionals to be held at Tuftsthis June. This new field, pioneered by Professor Islam, blends two areas of trueexcellence at Tufts: water and diplomacy. No other university has such strength inboth areas.One of our most exciting water diplomacy initiatives, led by visiting scholarAnnette Huber-Lee, is titled, “Collaborating Versus Competing for Survival: Waterand Livelihood Security in the Middle East.” Dr. Huber-Lee’s joint research witheconomist Franklin Fischer at MIT has shown that three-way cooperative watermanagement among Jordan, Palestine and Israel would generate enormous monetarybenefits for all; however, it takes a university to figure out how to implement thiscooperative strategy. Participants in this effort include faculty from Fletcher,Engineering, Biology, Anthropology, Economics, Nutrition, and Biomedical Sciences,as well as colleagues from the Stockholm Environment Institute and the TuftsPositive Deviance Institute.Second-year WSSS students are charged with organizing our annual symposium.This year’s symposium, “Water in 2050: The Infrastructure to Get There,” took place on April 1st. With keynote lectures by Gene Stakhiv, the senior internationalwater advisor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Dan Sheer, the founderand president of Hydrologics, the symposium advanced our understanding of acentral challenge of water management and environmental policy. The symposiumfeatured three panels with faculty from Harvard, MIT, Tufts, and the University of Massachusetts, as well as colleagues from Massachusetts Water Resources Authority(MWRA), Geosyntec, the Cadmus Group and Oxfam International.
Letter from the Faculty Steering Committee
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