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The 2017 Water Institute Graduate Fellows have begun their program research ,

The 2017 Water Institute Graduate Fellows (WIGF) have arrived on campus, and their program is underway. The goal of their research focuses on the interbasin transfer of surface water into the Tempisque River watershed in Costa Rica. For decades, water has been pumped from the wet eastern side of the country to the dry western side. The five Fellows, all doctoral students, will analyze the alteration of hydrology, land use, economic structure, and health of the downstream Palo Verde wetland, and identify strategies to achieve watershed resilience and correct some of the unintended consequences for the Tempisque River watershed.

With an interdisciplinary mix of professional and academic experience, the 2017 WIGF cohort is made up of five highly qualified and driven individuals. Over the next four years of their Fellowship, they will be working and learning together to achieve their program goals.

With a B.S. in Biological Sciences and an M.S. in Civil Engineering, Matt Fosterís research interest centers on water quality in river basins and coastal zones, as well as environmental management in agriculture and aquaculture. Matt is a doctoral student of Dr. Rafael MuŮoz-Carpena.

A doctoral student of Dr. Peter Waylen, Caroline Hugueninís research interests include climate-change scenarios, remote sensing, hydrology, and working with youth on water issues. Caroline received her Bachelorís degree in Civil Engineering and her Masterís degree in Water Science and Engineering.

Oswaldo Medina-RamŪrez is interested in research centered on public policy, social network analysis, governance, agriculture, and rural and urban socioeconomic development. Oswaldo is a doctoral student of Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, and received his Bachelorís degree in Socioeconomic Development and Environment and his Masterís degree in Sustainable Development Practice.

Daniel Penniman received his Bachelorís degree in Food and Resource Economics and his Masterís degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology from UF. Daniel is a doctoral student of Dr. Greg Kiker and Dr. Christine Angelini, and his research interests include watershed management, ecological restoration, and addressing the failures of environmental regulations in bringing about intended ecological outcomes.

Beginning in January 2018 as a doctoral student of Dr. Rachata Muneepeerakul, Katie Vazquez earned her Bachelorís degree and is currently completing her Masterís degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at UF. Her research interests center on links between hydrology and humans, tradeoffs in environmental policy, and water quantity and quality issues.

The 2017 WIGF cohort meets every other week to discuss and develop research ideas. As progress is made in their research, the students will be publishing their findings.