Abstracts

Introducing the Mississippi Water Security Institute (MSWSI)

Author(s): Ochs, C.; Sullivan-González, D.; Young, D.

Through a generous grant from the Robert M. Hearin Foundation, The University of Mississippi Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has established the Mississippi Water Security Institute (MSWSI). MSWSI is developing an intensive two-week workshop on water security issues in the state, which will be offered to a select group of undergraduate students in honors programs in Mississippi. With abundant natural resources and a growing population, Mississippi is an increasingly favorable place to invest, start a business, and raise a family. MSWSI recognizes that with population and economic growth there will be increasing demand on our freshwater resources. The term “water security” refers to challenges inherent in promoting and linking strong business development with community health with natural resource protection. Clearly, this is a challenge requiring communication among multiple fields and interests - the business community, agriculture, law and public policy, urban planning, engineering, and conservation. Reflecting this complex mosaic of water security concerns, the workshop will facilitate interdisciplinary study and problem solving, and include travel, guest speakers, and independent research. Students in the workshop will become knowledgeable in the availability and quality of freshwater resources in Mississippi, learn to assess how these resources can be used wisely in support of business and community development, and environmental stewardship, and work on skills to effectively communicate what we learn to a broad constituency. In this talk, we will present the framework of our first workshop in May, 2016.

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