This area of emphasis integrates the physical and natural sciences into the engineering sciences for the purpose of solving problems related to food, wastes and our natural environment. Graduates are prepared to design hydraulic structures and specify approaches for controlling runoff and erosion for rural and urban landscapes as well as designing systems to control odors associated with animal production in rural areas and bioconversion operations in urban locations.
The educational goal of this area of emphasis is to prepare graduates who can apply technology for economic development while maintaining environmental sustainability.
Faculty / Student Activities
- Atmospheric Sciences. The atmospheric sciences group emphasis research in applied meteorology and climatology with a special interest in understanding the interactions between the atmosphere and other environmental systems.
- Watershed assessment is the use of chemical, physical and biological properties to determine the current health of a watershed. Also included in a watershed assessment are predicting future watershed conditions and suggesting management practices that will maintain and improve health of a watershed.
- Bioprocessing program is focused on providing technical assistance research, enhancing technology transfer and deployment to industry for the purpose of reducing pollution.
- Decision Support System. This program includes crop simulation models, data base management programs, crop model application programs for tactical and strategic decision making, as well as yield forecasts.
- Sustainable Systems. This program involves development of sensors, sustainable practices, and management assistance aids for precision and sustainable farming. It has been recently discovered that plants play produce volatile chemicals in response to some insect feeding. Researchers are also developing new technologies for agricultural water use and for interfacing of water quality models for agricultural and riparian areas.
As engineers, graduates with this specialization pursue careers in land and water resource management, wildlife resource management, environmental management and park management, just to name a few. Work conducted by these graduates include:
- Development of solutions for environmental restoration,
- Management of storm water and water transfers,
- Solving problems in natural resources conservation and utilization,
- Monitoring and control of solid waste, waste water, aquifers and storage waters (lakes),
- Design of recreational areas for national, state and county parks.