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11-04-2016

Syracuse University Distinguished Professor to Speak on Everglades Restoration Challenges, Dec. 2 at Clarkson University

The New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at Clarkson University is proud to announce that Charles T. Driscoll, University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering and Distinguished Professor at Syracuse University, will speak on "The Everglades and Challenges for Restoration."

Charles T. DriscollHis presentation will take place on Friday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. in Clarkson's Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213 (#20 on the map at http://www.clarkson.edu/about/clarkson_map.pdf). A reception will precede the lecture at 1:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

An abstract of Driscoll's lecture reads:

"The Everglades is one of the most unique and important ecosystems on Earth. Historically it was drained and has been controlled by water management infrastructure to facilitate flood protection, urban water supply and agriculture. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) was started in 2000 as a state and the federal initiative to reverse the decline of the Everglades. The overall goal of this $16.4 billion project to be implemented over 30 to 40 years is to reestablish the hydrologic characteristics of the Everglades, where feasible, while developing a water system that serves both the natural and built systems of South Florida.

"After 16 years of CERP, several projects have been initiated and ecosystem restoration is underway. Despite this progress, there are challenges. Additional water is needed to restore the remnants of the original Everglades but water quality restrictions limit water supply due to contamination from agricultural and urban runoff. Changing climate was not anticipated as a driver in the original CERP plan, but is playing out over the long time frame of the restoration. Sea level rise is impacting the urban and natural ecosystem. Temperature will likely increase and with it water losses associated with evapotranspiration. Future rainfall is likely to become more variable.

"As a result, more storage is likely needed to accommodate changes in the quantity and intensity of runoff. Unfortunately, storage that was envisioned for the original CERP and is critical for restoration has been lost. The history of degradation, plans for CERP and challenges for the future will be discussed."

Driscoll’s scholarly work addresses the effects of disturbance on forest, freshwater and marine ecosystems, including air pollution (acid and mercury deposition), land-use, and climate change.

His current research focuses on recovery of eastern forest watersheds from elevated acidic deposition; atmospheric deposition, watershed and surface water transport and transformations, and biotic exposure of mercury; co-benefits of carbon dioxide emissions controls from power plants; ecosystem restoration; and ecosystem response to changing climate.

Driscoll uses field measurements, large-scale field experiments and models to address research questions. He has been a principal investigator of the Hubbard Brook Long-Term Ecosystem Research project since 1987.

He has testified at Congressional and state legislative committee hearings, and served on many local, national and international committees, including the National Research Council committee on Everglades restoration for the past 10 years.

Driscoll is currently co-chair of the International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant to be held in Providence, R.I., in July 2017. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous awards and honors.

He received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Maine and master of science and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Cornell University.

Driscoll will be the 14th Distinguished Lecturer in Clarkson University's New Horizons in Engineering series, which is dedicated to improving the understanding of important issues facing engineering and society in the 21st century.

Read more about the New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/2010/news-release_2010-08-20-3.html.

For more details, please contact Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering Liya Regel, New Horizons in Engineering founder and chair, at lregel@clarkson.edu.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/cdriscoll.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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