Headshots of Christa Court and Sam Smidt. Congratulations to the 2022 Water Institute Faculty Fellows

2022 UF Water Institute Faculty Fellows Announced

We are pleased to announce Drs. Christa Court (Assistant Professor, Food and Resource Economics Department) and Sam Smidt (Assistant Professor, Soil, Water, and Ecosystems Sciences) as the 2022 UF Water Institute Early Career Faculty Fellows!

Drs. Court and Smidt are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to interdisciplinary water research, extension, and education programs, as well as their strong support of UF Water Institute Programs.

Dr. Christa Court’s research and extension program focus on regional economic modeling and integrated modeling of human and natural systems. She follows a systems-thinking approach to understand and solve complex water challenges and collaborates with researchers from a wide range of disciplines and extension faculty from around the state. Dr. Court’s water related projects focus on understanding the socioeconomic impacts of harmful algal blooms, modeling the bi-directional relationships between human activity and water quality in the State of Florida, and estimating the economic contributions of human activities that are supported by water resources. These projects use advanced, interdisciplinary technologies such as artificial intelligence and geographic information systems to help inform water related decision making in Florida. The outputs of her research are being referenced by media and state and local-level policymaking agencies in Florida, such as an recent article published in Tourism Economics.

Dr. Sam Smidt’s research focuses on coupled human and natural systems with applications in sustainable agriculture and land management, water resources management, food and water development, and applied hydrology and hydrogeology. He currently leads interdisciplinary projects on sustainability theory, global inland fisheries, and historical irrigation use in the continental US. Over pother impacts, his research has created groundwork to advance sustainability science by introducing a new conceptual framework for applied sustainability theory. While producing impactful outputs from research, Dr. Smidt dedicates much of his time teaching, directing his efforts to reach a broad and diverse audience of water-related students while working to democratize the path to water-based employment and data literacy. He has established a reputable water-related teaching program with UF Online and turned his data repository into custom teach and learning materials for K-12 classrooms.

We will be celebrating their selection at the Earl and Christy Powell University House on November 3rd.

August 29, 2022