As people around the globe seek to deal with increasing urbanization, energy constraints, climate worries, unsustainable food supplies, ecosystem loss and economic hardship they are increasingly turning to natural systems for answers and solutions. Scientists and engineers in the Environmental Science and Technology Department are investigating new ways that humanity with its various agricultural, industrial and urban systems can more closely mimic the sustainability and beauty of natural ecosystems.
For over three decades ecological engineers have proven that wastewater can be purified by the natural processes found in wetlands, such as swamps and marshes. Now researchers are asking what other wastes can ecosystems with their diverse flora and fauna treat? Can natural systems turn wastes into valuable products like energy? What does it take to have natural bacteria clean up a toxic waste site? How can wildlife be managed in the new ecosystems found in cities? How do you restore a wetland in a city covered with parking lots, roads and massive buildings? What roles can natural systems play in sustainable, healthy food production systems?
Discoveries and technological innovations in Ecological Design and Engineering are helping to repair the growing disconnect between humanity and its ecological life support. Re-establishing this connection will help to sustain economic prosperity, improve the quality of life, and preserve natural systems. Find out more about what our engineeirng-scientists are doing by looking below.
Ecological Technology Design Researchers
|Lowell Adams, Adjunct Associate Professor
Wildlife Ecology, Urban Wildlife, Urban Ecosystems
|Andrew Baldwin, Associate Professor Plant Ecology of Natural, Restored, and Treatment Wetlands, Ecological Engineering
|Gary Felton, Associate Professor
Extension Water Quality Specialist
|Pat Kangas, Associate Professor
Ecological Design, Ecological Engineering, Tropical Ecology and Sustainability
|Stephanie Lansing, Assistant Professor
Research Focus: Renewable Energy and Ecological Waste Treatment
|David Ross, Professor
Extension Horticultural Engineering, Water and Nutrient Management, Greenhouse Environment
|David Tilley, Associate Professor
Ecological Engineering, Wetland Health Assessment, Energy-based Environmental Accounting
|Richard Weismiller, Professor
Soil and Water Resources, Nutrient Management, International Programs
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Last updated: 06/16/2011