The WEFI team consists of active and distinguished OU faculty, US and international collaborators, and motivated graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral researchers representing a variety of disciplines and interests in natural resources, environmental economics, sustainability, geography, meteorology, geology, and other disciplines. Our students are affiliated with the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability, School of Meteorology, Department of Economics, School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, Department of International and Area Studies, School of Geology and Geophysics, and School of Computer Science.
We are working on a variety of real-life research project to expand knowledge about sustainable use of natural resources and help optimize decision-making processes.
We encourage prospective students to join our team and help make a change in our communities.

OU Faculty and Affiliates       Collaborators       Postdoctoral Researchers       PhD Students
MSc Students       Undergraduate Students       Alumni

OU Faculty and Affiliates

Jad Ziolkowska
Assistant Professor and Environmental Economist
Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability
Expertise: Water, renewable energy, food, environmental/ natural resource/ agricultural economics, sustainability, decision-support models

David Sabatini
David Ross Boyd Professor
Sun Oil Company Chair
Director, WaTER Center
Associate Director, Institute for Applied Surfactant Research
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science

Expertise: Civil engineering, environmental engineering, groundwater quality, water and wastewater treatment, sustainability, water-energy nexus

Robert W. Nairn
David L. Boren Professor
Viersen Presidential Professor
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science,
Expertise: Watershed biogeochemistry, ecological engineering, ecosystem restoration, wetland science, natural infrastructure/ environmental biology and ecology, hazardous and solid waste management, ecological engineering science, wetland science and management, environmental science and engineering capstone experience

Christopher A. Fiebrich
Executive Director, Oklahoma Mesonet
Associate Director, Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Adjunct Faculty, School of Meteorology
Expertise: Oklahoma Mesonet, laboratory calibrations, site maintenance to Mesonet websites, outreach to teachers and emergency managers; improving climate data through the use of automated weather stations, data quality assurance, history of weather observations, and meteorological instrumentation

Reuben Reyes
Manager of Software Development
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Oklahoma Mesonet
Expertise: Computer visualization, high-performance computing, digital signal/image processing, 3D scientific modeling, and geospatial predictive modeling

Bradley G. Illston
Senior Research Scientist
Oklahoma Mesonet
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Expertise: Surface and subterranean observational and climate data, urban/atmospheric interactions, boundary layer processes, and land surface interactions, soil moisture climatology of Oklahoma, impacts of drought on soil moisture, Long Term Averages of Oklahoma Mesonet

Jason Vogel
Director, Oklahoma Water Survey
School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science

Expertise: Biosystems engineering, agricultural engineering, biological systems engineering, stormwater and stream management, low impact development (LID) stormwater management systems, hydrology

Jim F. Chamberlain, PhD, P.E., BCEE
Co-Director for Education and Outreach
Water Technologies for Emerging Regions (WaTER) Center
The University of Oklahoma
Expertise: Environmental engineering, water-energy nexus, sustainability, life cycle assessment, water and wastewater treatment

Ying Wang
Assistant Professor
The University of Oklahoma
Department of Mathematics

Expertise: Applied mathematics, numerical analysis and scientific computing, mathematical modeling, ecological applications

Drew L. Kershen
Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus
College of Law

Expertise: Water law, agricultural law, agricultural biotechnology law and policy


Tracy A. Boyer
Associate Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics
Oklahoma State University
Expertise: Environmental economics, natural resource economics, conservation, climate change, water policy, valuation

Jeff Peterson
Director Water Resources Center
Professor at Department of Applied Economics
University of Minnesota
Expertise: Environmental policy analysis, agricultural land use and water resources, externalities in common pool groundwater use, water use and water quality impacts from agriculture

Guy Sewell
Robert S. Kerr Endowed Chair and Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director of Research for The Oka’ Institute at ECU
East Central University

Expertise: Water resources, groundwater and the subsurface environment, contaminant fate and transport, treatment of hazardous waste

Levan Elbakidze
Assistant Professor
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Division of Resource Management, School of Natural Resources
West Virginia University

Expertise: Natural resource economics, water resource economics, management of invasive species, pests and infectious animal diseases, and energy, applications of experimental economics, interdisciplinary modeling of human and biophysical systems

Justus Wesseler
Professor and Chair
Wageningen University
Department of Social Sciences, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy
Expertise: Biosafety, agricultural economics, biodiversity, biotechnology, environmental economics and policy, forest management and economics, risk analysis, cost benefit analysis, technology assessment, integrated pest management

Ani Melkonyan
Associate Professor
University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)
Executive Board Member of the Centre for Logistics and Traffic
Senior lecturer for the International Master Studies in Sustainable Urban Systems
Expertise: Sustainability in food supply chains, Sustainable Supply Chain Management, food security, climate change impacts in agricultural sector, developing economies, urban systems

Ros Cornforth
Professor and Director of the Walker Institute
University of Reading, UK
Follow on twitter: @WalkerInst
The Walker Institute exists to build climate resilience in Africa & South Asia by developing interdisciplinary research which is applicable, adaptable and adopted.
Expertise: Climate modelling and climate data products, climate change impact and resilience, forecasting, climate justice, climate ethics, water management, disaster management, early warning systems, policy-making, agri-environmental policy, social wellbeing, energy

Christian Schleyer
Senior researcher
University of Kassel (Germany)
Institute of International Agricultural Policy and Environmental Governance

Expertise: Water management, water policies, irrigation and drainage systems, agri-environmental policy, social-ecological systems, ecosystem services, institutional and ecological economics

Diana Bogueva
Director at Sydney Focus Groups
Curtin University (Australia)
Expertise: Sustainability, social marketing, health and climate change, co-benefits of dietary change, demarketing the myths around meat consumption

Manuel Pulido Velázquez
Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain)
Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Development
Expertise: Water-energy-food nexus, climate change impact and adaptation, economic instruments for water management, drought management, hydroeconomic modelling, decision support systems for water resources planning and management

Leonie Reins
Assistant Professor
Tilburg Law School (The Netherlands)
Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT)
Expertise: Climate change mitigation, (renewable) energy and environmental law, innovation, legal principles and risk regulation, regulation of new technologies, sustainable development, environmental labelling

Sabrina Kirschke
Research assistant
United Nations University (Germany)
Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)
Expertise: Public policy analysis, political sciences, water/ water quality management, resource nexus (water, soil, waste)

Bozydar Ziolkowski
Assistant Professor
Rzeszow University of Technology (Poland)
Department of Enterprise, Management and Ecoinnovation
Expertise: Innovations and ecoinnovations, effectitions, entrepreneurial and environmental management, foresight, public policy, regional development, information and communication technology, sustainable development, waste management, renewable energy

Sergio Villamayor Tomas
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA)
Expertise: Irrigation and energy management, common pool resources, climate change adaptation, environmental justice movements, polycentricity

Postdoctoral researchers

Dr. Jianhong Mu
Willingness-To-Pay for Ecosystem Services in the US Rio Grande Basin
Ecological Footprint Analysis for the Rio Grande Basin

PhD students

Dorothy Na-Yemeh
Value and Importance of OK Mesonet Information for Emergency Management in Oklahoma

Monica Mattox
Value and Importance of OK Mesonet Information for Wildfire Management in Oklahoma

Caroline Pavlowsky
Physical Hydrologic Processes of Groundwater and Institutional Regulations in the Ogallala Aquifer

Virginia Silvis
Market Analysis of Tornado Shelter Installations in Oklahoma

Constant Yaiy
Bilateral Investment Treaties and Institutional Quality

Ling Jin
Numerical Methods for Convection Dominated Equations

Kandace Steele

Wiebke Jander
Indicators for Sustainable Bioeconomy Assessment
(Humboldt University of Berlin)

MSc students

Nicholas Hardersen
Behavioral Analysis of Food Waste in Oklahoma

Sreenath Umagandhi
Environmental and Socio-Economic Analysis of Water Resources in the Rio Grande Basin

Ashley Ciarlante
Wind Energy and Wildlife Management with a Focus on Prairie Chickens

Undergraduate students

Kalila Clemente
Sustainability of Renewable and Conventional Energy Sources in Oklahoma and the US

Walter Chandler
Economic Aspects of Water Footprint of Meat Production in Selected Countries Around the World

Lisa Van Biber
Spatial Differences Between Traditional and Soilless Agriculture in California


Graduate students

Madeline Hinchliffe
Socio-Economic Analysis of Water Management in the Rio Grande Basin

Jesus Zubillaga
Importance of Weather Monitoring Information for Decision Making in Agricultural Production – A Case Study of Oklahoma

Brandon Holzbauer-Schweitzer
Evaluating Low Impact Development Best Management Practices as an Alternative to Urban Stormwater Management

Brandi Dittrich
Development of Environmental Guidelines for Habitable Structures on Grand Lake O the Cherokees

Erika Marrs
Economic and Environmental Costs of Agricultural Food Losses and Waste

Wiebke Jander
Economic Considerations Regarding Lignocellulosic Biofuels (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Lisa Conrads
Grid-connected Biomass and Biogas Power Investment in Indonesia: Implementation Barriers and Policy Options (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Enrique Ali Fernandez Flori
Intra-Industry Ethanol Trade between Brazil and the U.S. (Humboldt University of Berlin)

Undergraduate students

Lisa Fiedler
Misguiding Nature of Expiration Dates and Their Influence on Consumer Food Waste Behavior
Tornado Shelters in Oklahoma: Sources, Certifications, and Statistics

Reagan Metz
Tornado Shelters in Oklahoma: A Regional Economic Analysis

Morgan Ederer
Impact of Drought on Agricultural Production in Oklahoma

Alejandro Herrera
Measuring Land-Impacts of Major Electricity Generation Sources in Oklahoma: The Ecological Footprint of Production

Hannah Thurman
A Comparative Analysis of Urban Sustainability in Oklahoma City and Tulsa

Spencer White
Perspectives on Water Management in Clark County, Nevada

Michael Schulke
Impacts of Weather Variability on Wheat Yields in Oklahoma

Shequon Caruthers
The Real Food Calculator Research and Genetically Modified Organisms