Water-energy-food research event to explore US-Colombian partnership

July 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of Penn State’s ongoing support of research in the water-energy-food (WEF) nexus, an online information session focused specifically on WEF nexus efforts in Colombia will be held from 9 to 11:45 a.m. on Aug. 6. Interested individuals must register for the online event.

“Penn State has a long history of successful research and collaboration in Colombia,” said Andrew Warner, director of the Penn State Water Initiative. “Opportunities exist now and in the coming years to build on that success, broaden Penn State involvement across colleges and disciplines, expand WEF-related research and education and have lasting impact in addressing WEF challenges in Colombia and globally.”

Researchers working in Chingaza National Natural Park, Colombia

Siela Maximova, research professor of plant biotechnology, working with the communities and UTadeo scientists at the Páramo ecosystem, Chingaza National Natural Park, Colombia. 

IMAGE: Courtesy Siela Maximova

Siela Maximova, a global faculty fellow for Latin America for the College of Agricultural Sciences; Rachel Brennan, director of the Penn State WEF Nexus Initiative; and Paige Castellanos, assistant research professor of international agriculture and rural sociology, along with Warner, are hosting the information session via Zoom.

The session will include an overview of the initiative as well introduction to Colombia and the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogota (UTadeo). Penn State and UTadeo joined efforts in 2019 to develop high-impact projects with a cohesive WEF nexus approach, and several of these projects will be presented and discussed during the session.

“The immediate goals of this event are to inform the Penn State community about different opportunities in Colombia, give our faculty and students a chance to meet our collaborators at UTadeo, and discuss collaborations on WEF nexus projects with potential for very high societal impact,” said Maximova, a research professor of plant biotechnology as well as a Land Grant University U.S.-Colombia Fulbright Scholar. “In the long term, we also would like to create an environment to support our teams to continue building and implementing projects in Colombia.”

In addition to leading the WEF Nexus Initiative, Brennan also served as a Fulbright Specialist in Colombia in November 2019 and February 2020 to help develop this partnership with Colombia.

“We need to be clear that Colombians are leading this effort — Penn State is only serving as a resource of expertise to assist them in attaining their vision,” said Brennan, an associate professor of environmental engineering. “The collaborative opportunities are outstanding, and there is truly a place for faculty, staff and students from all disciplines to contribute in a meaningful way to the preservation, restoration and management of one of the most culturally rich and biodiverse regions on the planet. Through this information session, we hope to attract some of Penn State’s tremendous talent to this multifaceted partnership.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 15, 2021