BAE Seminar: Sean Woznicki, Ph.D. ; Land use and climate change as drivers of water scarcity in the Serbian Danube River Basin.

December 5, 2023 3:00PM - 5:00PM

Zoom or Farrall Hall room 208


Sean Woznicki                                         

Sean Woznicki, Ph.D.

Annis Water Resources Institute    

Grand Valley State University




“Land use and climate change as drivers of water scarcity in the Serbian Danube River Basin.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Farrall Hall room 208



Abstract: Water scarcity is increasing throughout the world’s agricultural regions as demand outpaces availability. This is a recurring problem in the middle Danube River Basin, where growing season precipitation is scarcer and more unpredictable and warmer temperatures are increasing crop water requirements. Simultaneously, agricultural markets within the region are increasingly integrated with the rest of Europe through formalized relationships with the European Union (EU), leading to increased exports. This includes Serbia, an EU candidate where agriculture contributes to 10% of GDP and 21% of employment. Farmers in Serbia respond to climatic and market changes in a multitude of ways, from shifting acreage to investing in irrigation infrastructure. These decisions play out across 630,000 farms averaging less than 25 acres in size, creating a dynamic landscape mosaic from growing season to growing season. Given the uncertain effects of climate change and market integration on land use and water resources in the region, there is a critical need to quantify changing water demand and availability in the region. Without understanding these effects, the “business as usual” crop choices and water use in a warmer and drier future will exacerbate water scarcity. This presentation will highlight ongoing NASA-funded research using an interdisciplinary approach that integrates hydrological modeling, remote sensing, and economic analysis to identify drivers of land use change in the Serbian Danube and their relative influence on water availability. In addition, I will share my experiences as a postdoctoral researcher in the US EPA and advice for pursuing research positions within the federal government.


Bio: Sean Woznicki, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of water resources at the Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute. His research focuses on the influence of climate and land use change on extreme hydrological events and their feedback on land use decision-making. Sean earned his BS, MS, and PhD in Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University. Sean was a postdoctoral environmental engineer in the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Research and Development - National Exposure Research Laboratory from 2015-2019 and has been at GVSU since 2019. At the EPA he was a member of the EnviroAtlas team, where he developed methods for large-scale, rapid mapping of floodplains across the US using machine learning and remote sensing. Sean has continuing research with EPA in quantifying pollutant transport at Superfund sites during fluvial and coastal flooding using coupled hydrodynamic-water quality models.

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