Three experts from across campus will each discuss their work related to water and respond to questions from attendees during the #FunkPanel2023. Their work includes research to improve and maintain water quality by reducing runoff from agricultural systems, long-term monitoring of sediment load and nutrients in Illinois waterways, and research on water decision-support systems within the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems. This hybrid panel presentation on April 11th, 2023 2:30-3:30 p.m CT will be an opportunity for people to come together with the Funk ACES Library to learn about and discuss water initiatives and research led by members of our campus community.
Dr. Davidson is an Associate Professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He conducts research in the areas of water resources, water quality, and treatment of agricultural wastewater. More specifically, his work aims to improve our understanding of how contaminants are transported in surface water and through soil, and then develop ways to remove these contaminants. His work with wastewater treatment includes investigation of physical, biological, and chemical methods in hopes of utilizing the treated wastewater to grow crops in hydroponic systems.
Laura Keefer holds a B.S. in Geology and M.S. in Geography-Fluvial Geomorphology both from the University of Illinois at U-C. She is also a Certified Professional Hydrologist. Laura has been with the Illinois State Water Survey for over 37 years, is the head of the Watershed Science Section, and the Illinois State Hydrologist. Her research interests cover watershed-scale studies on hydrology, sediment and nutrient transport in Illinois, concentrating on quantifying the effectiveness of best management practices and landscape alterations on sediment and nutrient loading at the watershed scale. Additional interests focus on fluvial geomorphology as related to erosion and sedimentation processes in agricultural landscapes and developed a multi-scale geomorphic assessment protocol to evaluate stream channel stability. She has served on numerous federal, state, local and stakeholder technical committees, published 50 technical research reports and just as many presentations at professional and local conferences and symposiums.
Dr. Chloe Wardropper is an assistant professor of natural resources policy and social science in the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at UIUC. Before coming to Illinois in 2022, she was an assistant professor at University of Idaho, a postdoctoral fellow with Purdue University and The Nature Conservancy’s reThink Soil Health initiative, and received a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Wardropper studies how, and with what information, people and organizations take actions that affect water quality and quantity in working landscapes. Her work advances knowledge of how trust, risk perception, and public policy design shape decision spaces for conservation and adaptation.