Course Description

Geography 431 is designed to further understanding of the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity. Develop awareness and appreciation of the perspectives about water as a precious resource, commodity, and sometimes hazard. Learn how and why water is distributed unevenly around the Earth. Examine how resource management decisions are strongly related to water availability, quantity, and quality. The course examines water resources management; dams and dam removal; provision of safe potable water; threats to water quantity and quality; land use changes; the water economy; water laws and policy; institutions for water management at the global, national, regional, and local scale; and issues of water security and climate change.

This course is part of the following programs: Geography Minor and Renewable Energy and Sustainable Systems Degree (RESS).

Online Course

You can view the entire course here: Geography of Water Resources (GEOG 431)

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Rob Brooks

As Professor of Geography and Ecology in the Department of Geography at the Pennsylvania State University, and Director and Founder of Riparia, a Center where science informs policy and practice, I have worked in wetlands science and wildlife ecology for over 30 years, developing a widely recognized and integrated program of education, research and outreach. I have taught over a dozen different undergraduate wildlife courses and graduate courses in the ecology and management of wetlands, physical geography, field geography, wildlife management and conservation, and restoration ecology. Since 1978, I have published over 125 technical papers, books, and book chapters and presented over 165 technical presentations at conferences and meetings.

As a member of Riparia - formerly the Penn State Cooperative Wetlands Institute- I'm part of a research group that focuses on science to inform policy and practice. My education, background, and current research projects all center around hydrology, but frequently branch off into other related topics. This spring and summer I'll be finishing up or continuing work on the following projects within Riparia and with other interdisciplinary groups at Penn State:

I graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Biology in 2012. Afterwards I worked as a field technician on multiple research projects in Northern Minnesota, Equatorial Guinea, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest. Being immersed in these landscapes fostered my current interests in landscape ecology, fire ecology, and disturbance ecology. In particular, I became aware of how certain areas of a forest would rebound from fire, while recovery in other areas seemed compromised. I began to wonder during long days in the field: What drives spatial patterns of forest regeneration? How do we know if these forests will ever fully recover? It was these questions (which are very geographical!) that encouraged me to enroll as a graduate student in the Geography Department.

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