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School of Natural Resources Seminar Series

Why Soils Matter

3:30 pm
Hardin Hall Room: 107 South (Auditorium)
3310 Holdrege St
Lincoln NE 68583
Additional Info: HARH
John Benson,
Presentation by Rabi Mohtar, TEES Research Professor, Texas A&M University and American University of Beirut

The presentation will introduce the global water and food security challenges, the interconnectedness of the water-energy-food-health system and shed light on soils as a key system to achieve water-energy-food-health security. The presentation will discuss applications of the “pedostructure” - a concept based on soil water thermodynamics- to soil and water management including water reuse and the impact of nontraditional irrigation water on soil structural properties using a thermodynamics and accurate characterization of soil/ water dynamics. The quantification of soil water properties such as permanent wilting point and field capacity will lay the foundation for precision irrigation and soil management practices. Concluding remarks will address the future challenges in water and food security and ways in which soil can play a role in those targets.

Biographical Sketch
Professor Rabi H. Mohtar, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University. Mohtar’s research focuses on global resource challenges and the development of a Water-Energy-Food Nexus framework for linking science and policy; on characterizing the soil-water medium using thermodynamic modeling and the efficacy of non-traditional water, and on applications for sustainable integrated water management such as implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mohtar serves as a Governor of the World Water Council and is an Executive Board member of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA), a Distinguished Alumnus of the American University of Beirut (AUB), Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, and a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He founded the Texas A&M Water-Energy-Food Nexus Initiative (2015) and served as dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (2018-2021) at the AUB, where he also established the Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative (WEFRAH). While at Purdue University (1996-2014), Mohtar was the inaugural director of Purdue’s Global Engineering Programs (2008) and a founding member of Purdue’s Division of Environmental and Ecological Engineering (2006). In 2011, he founded the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute. Throughout his career, Mohtar has received a number of awards. Most recently, he received the PRIMA WEFE Nexus award and was honored at the American Chemical Society Division of Environmental Chemistry Symposium. He received the 2010 Kishida International award and was inducted as an ASABE Fellow in 2018.

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This event originated in SNR Seminars & Discussions.