In the modern world, contaminants in sediments, soils, and groundwater have become a chronic global environmental and economic challenge. Well-educated professionals and novel solutions are needed to responsibly resolve the impacts of past, current, and future practices. Primary activities driving subsurface environmental concerns include energy, agriculture, manufacturing, defense, and pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, growing global use of groundwater for water supply, driven by population growth and climate change, is making responsible resolution of subsurface environmental issues all the more urgent.
Our mission is twofold. First, to provide the next generation of scientist and engineers with the fundamental intellectual skills needed to address current and future subsurface environmental challenges. Secondly, to work with our sponsors and colleagues to advance solutions that are more effective, lower cost, and more sustainable, than current options.
Our approach centers on first-principles interdisciplinary education, hands on experience, collaboration with leaders in our field, and promotion of well-rounded professional skills including communications.
Pillars of our research activities include:
- Discretionary Funds – Much of our funding is acquired as discretionary gifts and patent revenue. Discretionary funding provides the opportunity to efficiently innovate by rapidly pursuing nascent questions and solutions.
- Collaboration – Close collaboration with our sponsors and academic colleagues in the University Consortium for Field-Focused Groundwater Research (since 1987). Good research is about knowing the important questions and brings the best resources to bear to solve problems.
- Field-Focused Research – Experience has shown us that the key to advancing solutions for subsurface contamination is to focus on field sites. Our best mentor has been the real world.