Dr. Noel Aloysius - Managing Water Resource Challenges in the Mississippi River Basin

Stephen K. Boss, professor of environmental dynamics and sustainability in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, launched the Coastlines & People (CoPe) Virtual Symposium Project on September 14, 2022. Boss presented “Far-Field Effects of Sea-Level Rise and Ocean-Climate Processes on the Heartland: An Overview.” This project was cosponsored by the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History in Fulbright College.

The sixth CoPe presentation entitled "Managing Water Resource Challenges in the Mississippi River Basin" was delivered December 7, 2022, by Noel Aloysius, professor of atmospheric sciences at Missouri State University.

Land and water resources in the Mississippi River Basin are shared by 33 U.S. States and Canada. The River Basin’s food, feed and fuel production, and the services provided by the water infrastructure – reservoirs and flood control structures – are pillars of economic backbone and national security. These economic drivers face challenges including stresses due to severe weather, the need to preserve water supply source areas, the lack of coordination among stakeholders related to water sharing and conservation. Many areas within the River Basin are subject to the impacts of recurrent droughts and floods compounded by degraded soils, and poor water quality.

In this talk, Aloysius explored how water and land management could be improved in the context of managing floods and droughts, soil erosion and pollution runoff into the aquatic ecosystems and coastal zones.

Aloysius is an assistant professor jointly at the Department of Biomedical, Biological and Chemical Engineering, and the School of Natural Resources at Missouri State University. Aloysius received a BS in civil engineering from the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, an MS in earth system science and policy from the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. (with Jim Saiers) from Yale University. He completed postdoctoral work (with Jay Martin and Stu Ludsin) at The Ohio State University and joined the faculty at MU.

Aloysius's research and teaching focus on terrestrial hydrology, watershed biophysical processes and environmental informatics. His research group investigates how climate and weather, land management drive precipitation-runoff processes and pollution transport at field-, watershed- and continental-scale river basins. His group utilizes field observations, long-term hydro-climate data, numerical and statistical models to examine the movement of water, solutes, and sediments in response to environmental change and human management.

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