Rainforests, frequently called the planet's lungs, are often thought of as a single collection of ecosystems. Researchers now find that rainforests across the globe vary greatly in the amount of rainfall they receive, yet all require the same minimum amount of rain to thrive.
Leaders from industry and academia met at Princeton University to discuss three big questions surrounding the broad theme of "water": infrastructure, the water/energy nexus, and industrial water.
The Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-PU) travels to La Pitajaya, Peru, to construct the first phase of a potable water system.
This short film examines the confluence of Maasai farmers who rely on the Ewaso Ng'iro river for virtually all their water needs, the scientists who study and forecast water flows in the region, and policymakers who work to bring reliable water to local populations.
Climate change is likely to push nations to adjust their trading patterns to make more efficient use of water, according to new research from a team that integrated separate models of hydrology, climate change and trade policy.
Professor James Smith writes how a trip to Nevada's Lake Mead in 2008 provided him a stark reminder of dramatically changing drought patterns and the importance of a broad-based effort to understand and manage water resources.
Tropical storms in the Atlantic are likely to increase as the Earth’s climate warms in the first half of this century, but not for the reason that many people think.
A decade ago, a shockwave raced through the world’s agricultural markets. China opened its borders to foreign-grown soy. Ranchers in Argentina plowed under their pastureland and Brazilian farmers opened new acreage for planting. Almost overnight, the economies of those countries changed. Why did this happen? And why does it make sense to grow food and ship it around the world rather than raise crops close to home? A Princeton-led research team has found that one of the primary
A massive expansion of hydropower planned for the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia could have a catastrophic impact on the river’s fishery and millions of people who depend on it, according to a new study by researchers including scientists from Princeton University. The researchers analyzed a number of scenarios for dam construction along the river and its tributaries. In an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they found that, in the most extreme
Mark Zondlo and his research team frequently find themselves 45,000 feet above the Earth looking for water vapor in the upper reaches of the atmosphere. From a seat in a National Science Foundation (NSF) research jet, the engineers can search a slice of the sky for pollutants and gases that play a role in climate change. Zondlo, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, said that water plays a greater role in climate change than many people imagine. “If we want to un
Under a microscope, a tiny droplet slides between two fine hairs like a roller coaster on a set of rails until — poof — it suddenly spreads along them, a droplet no more. That instant of change, like the popping of a soap bubble, comes so suddenly that it seems almost magical. But describing it, and mapping out how droplets stretch into tiny columns, is key to understanding how liquids affect fibrous materials, from air filters to human hair. That knowledge could allow scientists
Pablo Debenedetti studies water at the smallest possible scales — zooming in on molecule-to-molecule interactions — but the implications for large industrial processes and many scientific fields could hardly be greater. Take water quality. Debenedetti and Sankaran Sundaresan, both Princeton engineers, are attempting to find a clean, new way to desalinate water by using hydrates, or crystalline solids in which hydrocarbon molecules are trapped in water cages. When hydrates form in
Drought is often the precursor to disaster, but getting leads on its stealthy approach through remote or war-torn areas can be so difficult that relief agencies sometimes have little time to react before a bad situation becomes a calamity. The problem is that there is often no easy way to get data about water supplies in these areas — water monitoring stations don’t exist, or they don’t work, or their locations are simply too dangerous. Groups such as AGRHYMET, an intergover
In the course of studying water and its impact on communities, Peter Jaffe and his students have waded through the marshes of New Jersey’s Meadowlands and worked with villagers in India to remove toxins from their drinking water. Their travels represent the wide range of interests that Jaffe, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has pursued in water-related research. In India, fluoride contamination in well water is common in parts of the country. In small amounts, fluor
If recent Princeton graduate Ida Posner’s senior thesis project works the way she hopes, scientists could answer critical questions about how much water plants use without expensive, bulky laboratory equipment.
There is pressure, and there is pressure. Paul Hsieh (BSE ’77) mostly deals with the physical type, the stresses and forces of underground water and rock. Understanding that type of pressure is a daily task for Hsieh, a hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, Calif. But after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, Hsieh learned about pressure of an entirely different kind. Engineers worked for 87 days to cap the stricken well and staunch the oil fl
The Princeton chapter of Engineers Without Borders is working to build a pipeline to bring clean drinking water to residents of La Pitajaya, a small community in the Peruvian Andes.
A study led by researchers at Princeton University has yielded insights into how liquid spreads along flexible fibers, which could allow for increased efficiency in various industrial applications.
Two Princeton engineering groups hope to use technologies based on inexpensive, easily available materials to give villagers in developing countries access to safe drinking water and help create local jobs.
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, an environmental engineer and pioneer in the field of ecohydrology, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors in all areas of science.
Princeton civil and environmental engineering graduate student Luke MacDonald is designing a sustainable strategy to defluoridate the groundwater drinking supply in rural areas in the state of Jharkland, India.
Researchers may be able to "freeze" water into a solid, not by cooling but by confining it to narrow spaces less than one-millionth of a millimeter wide, according to new results from an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers.
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers has selected Pablo Debenedetti to receive the 2008 William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature.
Professor Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe and a group of Princeton researchers have invented a method for turning data about rainfall and river networks into accurate assessments of fish biodiversity.
Researchers were surprised to find a highly simplified model molecule that behaves in much the same way as water, a discovery that upends long-held beliefs about what makes water so special.
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been named a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
With the goal of saving lives and preventing environmental and structural damage during real tsunamis, Princeton Engineering researchers created experimental mini-tsunamis in Oregon this summer.
Summer thunderstorms become much more fierce when they collide with a city than they would otherwise be in the open countryside, according to research led by Princeton engineers.
A little clay and sawdust went a long way at Princeton this month when a group of Trenton-area high school students used the simple materials to create effective, low-cost water filters.
Sara Piaskowy, a senior majoring in civil and environmental engineering, recently solved a mystery: Why does Bayview Avenue, one of the main roads in Seaside Park, N.J., flood regularly despite working storm sewers and a two-foot barrier wall separating it from the waters of nearby Barnegat Bay.
The National Ground Water Association has chosen Michael Celia as the 2008 Henry Darcy Distinguished Lecturer. The prestigious honor supports the travel of one expert to share his or her work in lectures at universities throughout the world.
Two of the world's worst natural disasters in recent years stemmed from different causes on opposite sides of the globe, but actually had much in common, according to researchers who are part of a large National Science Foundation-funded research initiative that has been studying both the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 and the Hurricane Katrina of 2005.
Since her arrival at Princeton, junior Ishani Sud has made a difference by thinking inside the box. Not just any box, but rather a solar-powered oven she designed her freshman year with classmate Lauren Wang, under the guidance of Wole Soboyejo, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.
The European Geosciences Union has chosen Princeton engineer Eric Wood to receive the 2007 John Dalton Medal.
Just a few years ago, Bernice Rosenzweig wasn’t quite sure what engineers did and never encountered them. Now a second year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rosenzweig is seeking to engineer a new approach to improving water quality.