George M. Hornberger
Distinguished University Professor
Craig E. Philip Professor of Engineering
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Ph.D., Hydrology, Stanford University, 1970
- M.S.C.E., Hydrology, Drexel University, 1967
- B.S.C.E., Drexel University, 1965
"I am interested in how hydrological processes are affected by humans and in how human behavior is affected by hydrological processes. As risks of both flooding and water scarcity become more acute over time, there is grave concern that our infrastructure systems—water treatment facilities, pipelines, sewers, highways, bridges, dams, hydroelectric facilities, irrigation systems and other aspects of the built environment—will become more vulnerable and less resilient, leading to potentially catastrophic consequences. Furthermore, under conditions of water scarcity, vulnerability can be exacerbated by approaches to allocate water among competing demands. For example, tradeoffs between hydropower and irrigation, or between biofuels and food, may lead to badly suboptimal adaptation. My current work on climate change and drought in Sri Lanka is aimed at understanding how adaptation decisions can be informed by interdisciplinary research."
Understanding how hydrological processes affect the transport of dissolved and suspended constituents through catchments and aquifers is one of the main aims of studies of Earth surface processes. I have long-standing research interests in studying questions related to such processes, including current projects on the transport of dissolved organic carbon through catchments in collaboration with colleagues at Stroud Water Center.
VIEE research is aimed at multidisciplinary assessments of the environmental impacts of individual, institutional, and societal choices related to energy, water, and climate. In this vein, I have current projects on nitrogen fertilizer use and fate as influenced by individual behavior, on life-cycle analyses of environmental footprints for an inland water transport company, and on the water-energy nexus in collaboration with a number of colleagues at Vanderbilt.