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IWSS Establishes Climatic Geosciences Program

The Institute of Water Security and Science (IWSS) recently established a Climatic Geosciences program that will help identify current and emerging climate-influenced, socio-economic opportunities, and improve awareness and preparation for extreme weather events that threaten human lives and property in the state and region.

The IWSS installed a series of climate stations, including this one near the WVU Organic Agriculture Research Farm, as part of a larger study of the West Run Watershed.

“This is an area of great need in terms of expertise at WVU and in the state of West Virginia and thus an opportunity to provide leadership and solutions,” said Dr. Jason Hubbart, Director of the IWSS. “The Climatic Geosciences program is a natural extension of the Institute as we invest in areas of strength, growth and prosperity, and recognize the importance of climate in terms of extreme weather, agriculture and property loss across the state.”

The initiative will be led by Dr. Evan Kutta, the newly-hired IWSS Climate Sciences Program Manager. Dr. Kutta will investigate interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere and develop educational opportunities (teaching, workshops, etc.) to prepare the next generation of professionals for opportunities and challenges posed by a variable and changing climate.

“The IWSS’ Climatic Geosciences program will generate advanced climate knowledge, including science, and policy by improving the quality and quantity of climate monitoring infrastructure in West Virginia,” said Kutta. “The program will facilitate investigations that advance understanding of how changing climate variables may alter exchanges of energy and mass between the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere; raise awareness of emerging climate-influenced, socio-economic opportunities to increase prosperity of the state’s citizens; and prepare the next generation of professionals through integrated, interdisciplinary education and research opportunities.”

“Challenges and opportunities brought by climate change requires sustainable, interdisciplinary innovations to enhance predictability of agricultural and hydrologic risks,” said Hubbart. “This initiative is a critical and timely investment by West Virginia University in the future of agricultural production, extreme event predictions, economic progress and human health advancements in the state of West Virginia and Appalachian Region.”