Michael Campana wants OSU’s new Institute for Water and Watersheds to lead the way in resolving Oregon’s water problems.
Despite its reputation for abundant rain, Oregon faces a myriad of water-related challenges, from water rights issues in the Klamath basin to pollution concerns in the Willamette River.
To coordinate the far-flung water research efforts, involving 80 faculty members in six colleges, the university has established the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds.
The institute involves a statewide network of resources, including research laboratories, classrooms, Extension offices and experiment stations, which will allow OSU scientists to connect with decision makers at state, federal and local levels to develop solutions to water problems.
A multidisciplinary team of researchers helped build the water initiative into reality, and now it is ready to take the next step forward with the hiring of Michael Campana, a hydrogeologist and international expert on complex water management issues, as the first director of the institute.
Campana says he hopes to focus the institute’s efforts on large, multidisciplinary, long-term projects and significantly increase external funding for water research activities at the university.
“Oregon is facing a variety of water and environmental problems,” he says. “OSU’s water expertise must be brought to bear in solving these problems, and the Institute for Water and Watersheds needs to reach a point where it is the first organization Oregonians think of when water issues arise.”
The institute is one of six strategic initiatives for investment that will bring OSU new centers for research and outreach, outstanding faculty and students, and scholarship, fellowship, internship and educational opportunities.
The other initiatives are:
- A Center for Healthy Aging Research, linking individuals, families and environments
- Computational and genome biology
- Ecosystem informatics, involving mathematics, computer science and ecology
- Subsurface biosphere education and research
- Sustainable rural communities