'The Global Water Crisis' is topic of Feb. 23 lecture

A free public lecture titled "The Global Water Crisis" will be given by Gregory Knight, professor of geography at Penn State, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, in room 100 of the Thomas Building on Penn State's University Park campus. The event is the fourth of six lectures in the 2010 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science, a free minicourse for the general public with the theme "Water: The Next Frontier." No registration is required. The lectures take place on six consecutive Saturdays More information can be found at http://www.science.psu.edu/alert/frontiers online.

Knight is known for his innovative approach to untangling the complexity of global water issues and for his work in revealing how climate change affects water resources on Earth. His lecture will describe many of the ways in which water has emerged from a regional or local issue to one of global proportions. His presentation will focus on water-related systems and issues including ownership, technology, geology, politics and the paradigms through which we think about the Earth's water resources.

Knight's research explores the impact of climate change in both the Mid-Atlantic Region of the United States and in southeastern Europe, with a particular focus on water resources. He is a co-editor of several books on climate change, most recently "Integrated Regional Assessment of Global Climate Change," published in 2009, and "Climate Change Impacts in Southeastern Europe," to be published this year. The 2009 book is a summary of Knight's research on the role of local and regional contributions to climate change and on responses to the threats and opportunities that climate change may bring. The volume is intended to advance theory and practice in bringing global change into decisionmaking at the local level.

Knight recently has extended his research to a broader look at global water issues. He is developing a new theoretical framework for viewing global water issues as not just a sum of local and regional challenges, but as globally overlapping systemic elements including people, processes and institutions.

Knight joined the Penn State faculty in 1971 and has served the University as head of the Department of Geography from 1982 to 1989, vice provost and dean for undergraduate education from 1989 to 1993, associate director of the Earth System Science Center from 1996 to 2002, and founding director of the Center for Integrated Regional Assessment from 1996 to 2002. He also served as acting dean of the faculty of American University in Bulgaria during 1995. His service to the international science community currently includes membership on the International Advisory Board of the Bulgarian Meterology and Hydrology Journal of the Bulgarian Academy of Science and on the editorial boards of the journals Problems in Geography, of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Annals of the Association of American Geographers; and Geographia Technica, a Romanian journal. He also is an honorary member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences governing council of the Scientific Coordination Center for Global Change.

Knight received a bachelor's degree in geography, with honors including cum laude and Senior Fellow, in 1963 at Dartmouth College. At the University of Minnesota, he earned a master's degree in geography in 1965 and a doctoral degree in geography with a minor in anthropology in 1970.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is a program of the Penn State Eberly College of Science. The 2010 Frontiers of Science series is sponsored jointly by the Penn State Eberly College of Science and the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. For more information or access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Media Relations and Public Information by telephone at 814-863-0901 or by e-mail at science@psu.edu.

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Last Updated February 10, 2011