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INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

 

 

RESILIENT WATERSHEDS & ECOSYSTEMS

Water and land development has been a keystone of civilization, providing critical resources for agriculture, industry, urbanization, recreation, and public safety. Over history, development in watersheds has been centered on human needs without sufficient consideration of natural ecosystem requirements. This has caused the degradation of aquatic systems in the form of aquifer drawdown, modified river and lake hydrology, water pollution, and habitual destruction — all impacting aquatic organisms and food webs. Stressed environmental systems in turn have threatened human societies by reducing ecosystem services on which they depend. This situation has become even more pressing as the climate changes, and it has attracted wide interests in research communities to develop harmonious relationships between human and natural systems.

 

Areas of Research Focus

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has competitive research capacities and strengths in developing an integrated scientific framework to understand the complexity in human-interfered watersheds and to exploit policies and engineering solutions for ecosystem restoration, as well as reliable water supply and quality needed to support human societies. This includes but is not limited to:

  • engaging communities and developing decision support systems and policy-making processes to provide effective information to stakeholders and water users, giving them a voice and ensuring sustainability of human and environmental systems;
  • examining regional and national water and ecosystem impacts resulting from existing energy, agricultural, and land uses — and identifying potential solutions;
  • understanding linkages between land and water use, groundwater, surface and sub-surface water flow, and watershed resistance and resilience — to help define restoration and protection targets for all ecoystems;
  • improving understanding of risks and impacts to water supplies and the environment from extractive uses, carbon sequestration technologies, and extractive technologies; and
  • conducting economic and social science research that identifies decision-making processes that are necessary for watershed and ecosystem sustainability.

Researchers

Brian Allan

Brian Allan

Entomology and disease ecology

Entomology Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Alison Anders

Alison Anders

Land-water surface processes and geomorphology

Geology Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Amy W. Ando

Amy W. Ando

Economics and water resources

ACE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Craig Bethke

Craig Bethke

Hydrogeology

Geology Dept profile

Rabin Bhattarai

Rabin Bhattarai

Hydrology and water resources engineering

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Trevor Birkenholtz

Trevor Birkenholtz

Water resources and GIS

Geography & GIS Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Matthew Browning

Matthew Browning

Nature-based recreation

RST Dept profilee

Illinois Experts page

Orville V. Burton

Orville V. Burton

History and rivers

History Dept profile

Greg Byard

Greg Byard

Flood risk analysis

Illinois State Water Survey profile

Carla Cáceres

Carla Cáceres

Evolutionary ecology

Animal Biology Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts profile

Maria L. Chu

Maria L. Chu

Soil and water resources engineering

ABE Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Piotr Cienciala

Piotr Cienciala

Ecohydrology and geomorphology

Geography and GIS Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Richard Cooke

Richard Cooke

Biological engineering

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Jennifer Druhan

Jennifer Druhan

Hydrogeology and groundwater

Geology Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Jennifer Fraterrigo

Jennifer Fraterrigo

Ecosystem ecology

NRES Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Becky Fuller

Becky Fuller

Fish ecology and evolution

Animal Sciences Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Elias Getahun

Elias Getahun

Hydrology, water resources, and irrigation

Illinois State Water Survey profile

 

Thomas Johnson

Thomas Johnson

Geochemistry and hydrogeology

Geology Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Jamie Jones

Jamie Jones

Literature, oceans, and whaling

English Dept profile

Prasanta Kalita

Prasanta Kalita

Hydrology and water quality

ABE Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Laura Keefer

Laura Keefer

Fluvial geomorphology

Illinois State Water Survey profile

Illinois Experts page

Jeff Levengood

Jeff Levengood

Fish and wildlife toxicology

Illinois Natural History Survey profile

Illinois Experts page

Mary Pat McGuire

Mary Pat McGuire

Water-based landscape architecture and urban water networks

Landscape Architecture Dept profile

 

Stephen Nesbitt

Stephen Nesbitt

Hydrometeorology

SESE profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Emily Poynter Jenkins

Emily Poynter Jenkins

Stream restoration and water resources engineering

Illinois State Water Survey profile

Gary Rolfe

Gary Rolfe

Environmental science

College of ACES 4-H Foundation profile

D. Fairchild Ruggles

D. Fairchild Ruggles

Architectural and environmental history

Landscape Architecture Dept profile

Rob Sanford

Rob Sanford

Environmental microbiology and hydrogeology

Geology Dept profile

Lab page

William Stewart

William Stewart

Social sciences and surface hydrology

RST Dept profile

Illinois Experts page

Cory Suski

Cory Suski

Ecological physiology

NRES Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Al Valocchi

Al Valocchi

Hydrology

CEE Dept profile

Lab page

Carena van Riper

Carena van Riper

Marine and freshwater environmental management

RST Dept profile

Lab page

Illinois Experts page

Zhenxing Zhang

Zhenxing Zhang

Hydrology

Illinois State Water Survey profile

ONGOING GRANTS & GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

Coming soon.

STUDENT-LED WEBSITE: FISHES OF BONEYARD CREEK

Ichthyology students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created a website on aquatic life in the Boneyard Creek, a local landmark body of water. The students intend to continue adding more ecosystem and water quality information.

Visit the website >>>

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