Welcome to the Water-Energy-Food Institute (WEFI)

WEFI is a research group hosted at the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma, and led by Dr. Jad Ziolkowska.

WEFI’s goal is to serves as a research venue for students and scholars and an outreach venue to other teaching and research institutions, professional organizations, and decision-makers in an effort to establish collaborations on different aspects of water-energy-food interactions.

We research economic, environmental, and social aspects of Water, Energy, and Food availability, distribution, decision-making, and policy design.

Our research and teaching are proudly supported by the National Science Foundation (Oklahoma EPSCoR Program), US Geological Survey, European Comission, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW).

More about the WEFI...


Our research encompasses, among others, economic and sustainability evaluations of water, energy, and food resources, sustainable water management, socio-economic analyses of drought, geospatial and spatio-temporal evaluations of water resources, sustainability of biofuels and other renewable energies, economics of food waste, as well as economic benefits provided by weather monitoring and the Oklahoma Mesonet.


  • GEOG 4970/5970 – OU Presidential Dream Course ‘Water for a Thirsty World’
  • GEOG 4963/5963 – Natural Resource Economics
  • GEOG 5253 – Economics of Sustainability
  • GEOG 5143 – Ecosystem Services
  • GEOG 3563 – Geography of Natural Resources
  • GEOG 3890 – Honors class
  • GEOG 4990/5990 – Independent Study
  • GEOG 4953-2 – Capstone class


Our team consists of graduate and undergraduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers with interest in natural resources and environmental economics, sustainability, geography, and meteorology. We are working on a variety of real-life research projects to improve sustainable use of natural resources and help optimize decision-making processes. Are you passionate about environment and would you like to make a change in your community? We encourage you to join our team!


Our publications address a multitude of intertwined environmental issues regarding water, energy, and food resources, and their sustainability. Our students are active with presenting their research at conferences, professional meetings, and strive to publish their results in scientific peer-reviewed journals.