With a “Water Cluster Hire” advertised in early February 2013, Virginia Tech began a major investment in water resources teaching and research by seeking seven new water-related faculty positions. As stated in Virginia Tech’s online information about the hire, the expectation is that the new faculty members “will develop significant collaborative research, teaching, and outreach programs in water science, policy, and management.” The areas of concentration sought in the hire were Critical Zone Physics, Earth Systems Modeling, Human Ecology of Water, Hydroinformatics, Landscape Ecosystem Services, Water Resource Policy, and Watershed Modeling. (Information on the hiring process is available online at article written in http://cnre.vt.edu/faculty/positions-search/.)
As of the spring 2014 semester, six new assistant professors had been hired and begun their new duties, with interviewing for the seven position continuing in February 2014. The six new faculty members, their college and department affiliations, and the area for which each was hired are listed below.
College of Natural Resources and Environment
Kelly Cobourn, Dept. of Forest Resources and Conservation – Water Resource Economics and Policy.
Luke Juran, Virginia Water Resources Research Center/Dept. of Geography – Human Ecology of Water.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Zachary Easton, Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering – Watershed Modeling.
Venkat Sridhar, Dept. of Biological Systems Engineering – Earth Systems Modeling.
Meredith Steele, Dept. of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences – Landscape Ecosystem Services.
Ryan Stewart, Dept. of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences – Critical Zone Physics.
On February 5, 2014, the Virginia Water Resources Research Center hosted a reception to welcome the new faculty members and to provide an opportunity for introductions and conversation among some 30 Virginia Tech water-resources faculty members. The photos below are from that event.
For more information on this significant development in the academic capacity in water resources at Virginia Tech and in Virginia as a whole, please contact Water Center Director Stephen Schoenholtz at (540) 231-0711, or firstname.lastname@example.org.