The research track offers WSSS students an opportunity to work on self-directed projects around water-related issues and topics. Topics may address local or international challenges and warrant the opportunity to travel to study locations. Students may undertake their research individually or in small, interdisciplinary groups and may align their WSSS research project with their other graduate degree requirements. The goal of the research track is for students to gain presentation and publication experience which equips them for pursuing future research activities and careers in the water field.
Past Research Topics
Sea Level Rise
Rising sea levels have the potential to drastically reduce shoreline and threaten coastal communities across New England. Cape Cod, currently one of the most vulnerable areas in the U.S., must innovate its resiliency plans in order to sustain its shoreline community. Brooke’s thesis focuses on the ability of Cape Cod’s commerce lifeblood (shore-front businesses) to plan cost-effective flooding and erosion management techniques.
Public Water Supply
Across the U.S., communities are impacted by water shortages and degrading infrastructure. Unable to invest in critical infrastructure repairs, communities suffer from insufficient utility resources, leading to deficiencies. Amanda’s thesis investigated how community engagement can be used as a tool to strengthen the financial security of water utilities in order to implement infrastructure adaptations.
With food security being one of the most critical global challenges, the intersection between food and water insecurity requires a unique, multi-faceted approach that accounts for a variety of stakeholders and resiliency responses. Greg's thesis looked at the role of innovation in agriculture water management to help to mitigate this issue.