Hi Morgan, thank you for taking the time out to talk with us. Let’s start by getting to know you a little.
I’m a student at Virginia Tech focusing on water systems engineering, with a research project in demand management, conservation and climate change impacts. In my research, I use statistical methods to evaluate large datasets, seeking underlying causes for changes in water supply. This work makes me think about how big data could be better communicated to the public, and inspired my Waterlogic essay about promoting water conservation. I am also very passionate about encouraging other women to pursue science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I recently launched an after-school curriculum on Long Island, New York to teach engineering topics including bridge design and computer coding to high schoolers, which has graduated more than 70 girls since founding in 2013.
What interested you in taking part in the Waterlogic clean water essay competition?
I became interested in water supply because of a community debate in my hometown. In response to shortages, the water company to proposed using river water as a drinking source. Despite the great need for a dependable supply, my community erupted against the new source. My high school research on the issue resulted in a New York state scholarship specifically to study Civil Engineering. Since then, I have been passionately studying water and the environment.
In your opinion, which strategies can a university implement to conserve water on campus?
Many universities have been making a conscious effort to Go Green - this conservationist mindset should extend to water use! Campus facilities should minimize the need for supplemental irrigation by:
- Employing xeriscape strategies, where landscaping is chosen based on the surrounding climate
- Using technology to monitor water use of dormitories & provide incentives for students to decrease their water use