Manageable or Wicked Problems? Covid 19, Viral Contaminants, and Protection of our Water Supply

DATE
Thu, 10/22/2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
LOCATION
Webinar
DETAILS

Join Water UCI for its first panel discussion of the 2020/2021 academic year on the links between COVID-19 and our water systems, featuring experts in the field.   

The panel discussion will conclude with a Q&A during which time we will take questions from attendees. 

Panelists:

  • Mark D. Sobsey, Research Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Mark D. Sobsey is currently a part-time research professor and previously a distinguished tenured professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health University of North Carolina  at Chapel Hill, since 1974.  His 50+ year academic career in environmental health microbiology has addressed a broad range of issues in health-related environmental microbiology and technology research, policy, practice and service.  His recent work focuses on point-of-use household water treatment, wastewater disinfection of pathogens, environmentally related antimicrobial resistance, microbial detection methods, water reuse and environmental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  He is an advisor to the World Health Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Environmental Protection Agency and others.
     
  • Andrew Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University

    Andrew Whelton, Ph.D. is a Purdue University associate professor of civil, environmental, and ecological engineering nationally recognized for water infrastructure safety. His team’s discoveries have positively changed how government agencies (EPA, CDC, NRC, NIOSH, NIST, ARMY), water utilities, nonprofit organizations, health departments, state legislatures, and building owners approach their responsibilities. After the 2018 Camp Fire, his team was called-in to assist survivors and government agencies respond to and recover from widespread drinking water and plumbing contamination. His team’s discoveries resulted in briefings to the Oregon Legislature, Indiana Senate, the National Academies of Sciences Standing Committee on Disaster Science, and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. In 2015, the National Science Foundation created a 2015 “Science Nation” video to highlight his team’s work as benefiting U.S. public safety and welfare. In 2014, he was called in by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin after the 2014 Charleston chemical spill. Dr. Whelton’s teams have organized and presented town hall public meetings, examined building water safety, and provided Governor’s staff feedback on evidence-based public messaging, and participated in press conferences. At present, he’s leading a nationally funded drinking water plumbing safety initiative with multiple universities and industrial collaborators. Before joining Purdue University, he served on the faculty at the University of South Alabama, and worked for the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) Building Fire Research Laboratory, Virginia Tech, U.S. Army, and private engineering consulting firms. A hallmark of his work is direct engagement with communities at risk. His teams have established websites (www.PlumbingSafety.org; www.CIPPSafety.org) to make discoveries accessible to communities of interest. He earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering, M.S. in Environmental Engineering, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech.

     
  • Jim Colston, Director of Water Quality and Regulatory Compliance at the Irvine Ranch Water District

    Jim Colston is the Director of Water Quality and Regulatory Compliance for the Irvine Ranch Water District. His expertise includes regulations and permitting under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act as well as the companion State of California requirements. He has 30 years of public agency experience in wastewater, recycled water and more recently in potable water. Jim has his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, and he has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1994. Jim’s professional responsibilities include IRWD’s ELAP certified laboratory, all facility monitoring, and regulatory compliance with the Division of Drinking Water and IRWD’s Master Recycling Permit.Jim Colston is the Director of Water Quality and Regulatory Compliance for the Irvine Ranch Water District. His expertise includes regulations and permitting under the Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act as well as the companion State of California requirements. He has 30-years of public agency experience in wastewater, recycled water and more recently in potable water. Jim has his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, and he has been a member of the State Bar of California since 1994. Jim’s professional responsibilities include IRWD’s ELAP certified laboratory, all facility monitoring, and regulatory compliance with the Division of Drinking Water and IRWD’s Master Recycling Permit.
     
  • Daniel Gerrity, Principal Research Microbiologist at Southern Nevada Water Authority, Water Quality R&D

    Dr. Daniel Gerrity earned his Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at Arizona State University. After graduation, he worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Southern Nevada Water Authority and as a Senior Engineer for Trussell Technologies focusing on implementation of potable reuse. Dr. Gerrity then spent 7 years as an Assistant and tenured Associate Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UNLV. Dr. Gerrity is now a Principal Research Scientist in Water Quality R&D at SNWA, leading the Research Microbiology division.

 

 

 

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