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Speaker: Brett F. Branco, Ph.D. Director, Science & Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay – Brooklyn College
Title: Science and the Challenge of Managing Water Quality in Urban Watersheds
Abstract: Maintaining or improving the water quality to support desired ecosystem functions and human well-being is a difficult if not wicked problem. Taking action and assessing the impacts of those actions with respect to water quality can’t happen without the help of science. There have been significant advances in our understanding of the dynamics of urban waters, and in the technological advances to support research, monitoring, and modeling. In spite of these advances, there are still limitations on the science that society needs with respect to water quality. Using Jamaica Bay as an example, we will review the significant improvements in water quality that have occurred since the Clean Water Act, and discuss some of the remaining challenges, and opportunities for research in support of decision making.
Bio: Dr. Brett Branco is an Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Director of the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, located at Brooklyn College. Dr. Branco is a marine scientist specializing in the physical and biogeochemical processes in estuaries and lakes. His research focuses on drivers of water quality changes in the aquatic ecosystems of urban watersheds, and works primarily within the New York metropolitan area. Dr. Branco also conducts and directs research in the area of coastal resilience and climate adaptation. After receiving his Ph.D. in Oceanography at the University of Connecticut, Dr. Branco was an NSF International Research Fellow in the School of Environmental Systems Engineering at the University of Western Australia before arriving at Brooklyn College.