Puneet Srivastava, an ecological engineering professor in Auburn University’s Department of Biosystems Engineering and the Butler-Cunningham Eminent Scholar on Agriculture and the Environment in the College of Agriculture, has taken the reins of the interdisciplinary Water Resources Center at Auburn.
Srivastava was tapped as center director following a national search. He assumed the position July 1.
The Water Resources Center, under the auspices of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, facilitates collaboration among Auburn faculty and staff on research, education and outreach related to water quality and the sustainable and equitable use of this crucial natural resource. The center administers four programs, including Alabama Water Watch, Global Water Watch, the Auburn University Center of Excellence for Watershed Management and the Alabama Water Resources Research Institute.
“Puneet Srivastava is a highly accomplished scientist and educator whose work has focused on the development of scientifically sound and economically feasible approaches for protecting water resources and the environment,” Arthur Appel, interim College of Agriculture dean and AAES director, said in announcing Srivastava’s selection. “He is highly qualified to lead Auburn’s Water Resources Center in its mission to ensure that water resources in Alabama and the Southeast are managed in the most informed and enlightened manners possible.”
Srivastava said that, in his new role with the center, his three immediate objectives will be to bring faculty from across the campus together to develop new, fundable, interdisciplinary research projects; to initiate the development of new interdisciplinary minors and certificate programs that provide top-notch education to our graduate and undergraduate students; and to enhance the Alabama Water Watch and Global Water Watch outreach programs.
“I plan to strengthen and highlight water-related research, teaching and outreach activities at Auburn and, in the next five years, take the Water Resources Center to a level where it can be seen as a model for other universities to follow,” he said.
Srivastava holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees in biological and agricultural engineering, the former from the University of Arkansas and the latter from Pennsylvania State University. He joined the Auburn faculty in 2004 as assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 2009 and in 2013 was awarded professor status. He was named the Butler-Cunningham scholar in February.
At Auburn, Srivastava has conducted extensive research on short- and long-term climate forecasts and projections to reduce risks to water resources and on the development of a fundamental understanding of hydrologic and pollutant fate and transport processes. Over the course of his career, he has been awarded more than $15.9 million in research grants and contracts and almost $224,000 in teaching grants.
Srivastava succeeds former Water Resources Center Director Sam Fowler, who retired May 31. The center is located in the Hubbard Center for Advanced Science, Innovation and Commerce in the Auburn Research Park.