Professor set to speak later in semester on importance of water in the world
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 03:09
On Nov. 12, research professor Paul Kirshen will be moderating a panel on water management as part of UNH’s “Water, Water Everywhere?: A University Dialogue on the World’s Most Critical Resource” series in MUB 338-340 at 12:40 p.m. This central question serves as the theme for the 2013-2014 University Dialogue, and will be revisited throughout the year.
The panel will be about integrated water resources management, a discipline that examines the water problem from social, economic and environmental points of view to find a solution that cuts across all issues.
The panel will discuss how this can be done. There will also be discussions on climate change, managing local water resources and water and public health.
Integrated water resources management isn’t Kirshen’s only area of interest; he is also interested in climate change issues.
“[Climate change is a] pressing problem that the world is facing,” Kirshen said.
Kirshen’s background in civil engineering caused him to realize that everything built is sensitive to climate change, and he became interested in the effect on infrastructure.
Kirshen has been working on climate change issues since 1998, when he was a professor at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
He has worked for the Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization that works to solve the planet’s problems. It was established in 1969 as a collaboration between students and faculty at MIT.
In 2005, Kirshen worked on a project through the Union of Concerned Scientists with UNH Research Scientist Cameron Wake. It was through Wake that Kirshen learned about UNH’s research; Kirshen has now been working at the university for two years in the Department of Civil Engineering, EOS (Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space) and the Carsey Institute.
For the last three years, Kirshen has been working with the Boston Harbor Association (BHA) studying the impact of climate change and the effects on the harbor. BHA is a non-profit organization that works to protect Boston Harbor and to provide access to the public, through projects like the walkway that runs along the harbor.
Kirshen became involved with the BHA due to his expertise on climate change and his knowledge of Boston Harbor.
Three years ago, he participated in a forum put on by the BHA about the impact of climate change.
The forum was meant to motivate both the public and the government, and was attended by federal, state and local officials as well as non-governmental organizations and private citizens.
In the spring of 2013, he presented research about the ways in which the harbor was impacted by climate change.
Kirshen is currently working on projects for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the city of Boston, the city of Cambridge and Mass Port on the impacts on infrastructure around Boston Harbor due to coastal rising.