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Penn State Research Team Receives Grant
Focusing on Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Penn State Research Team Receives Grant

A research team from Penn State, led by assistant professor of landscape architecture, Hong Wu (front right), has received funding through a grant program at the university. The team will research the effects of green stormwater infrastructure in Pennsylvania.

A proposal that will support the development of a living laboratory for green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) research, education and innovation at Penn State is among the latest initiatives to receive funding through the university's Strategic Plan Seed Grant program. The project, titled "Greening our stormwater: using campuses as living labs for green stormwater infrastructure," supports the strategic plan theme of "Stewarding Our Planet's Resources."

The research team is led by Hong Wu, assistant professor of landscape architecture, whose vision is to position Penn State as a national leader in GSI by building a campus community with the capacity to implement long-term cost-effective solutions to water quality and quantity. Wu has assembled an interdisciplinary team of researchers for the project, with faculty from the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Agricultural and Biological Engineering; the Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories; the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education; and the Department of Landscape Architecture.

According to Wu, most of Pennsylvania's GSI practices are currently concentrated in a few hotspots such as Philadelphia and Lancaster. This, she says, is in part due to the lack of expertise and uncertainty in the benefits of GSI practices.

Expanding the current relevant courses at Penn State on stormwater management to include GSI practices is one of the priorities of this project, but the researchers believe it is vital for the students to engage in all phases of stormwater management so they are working with Penn State to gain access to the current facilities and the Sustainability Institute to establish a living laboratory that engages students.

In addition to the educational aspects of the project, the researchers will be measuring the water management effectiveness of current GSI installations on campus. They will also be measuring the perception faculty, staff and students have of the features by asking the following questions:

  • Do the GSI features offer any educational opportunities?

  • Are they considered aesthetically pleasing?

  • Are they a worthy effort in stewardship?

  • Initial funding that led to the project proposal was provided by the Ecology + Design initiative in the Stuckeman School.

    To read the full news release, click HERE.

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    February 23, 2020, 6:54 am PDT

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