Combining research, education, technology and outreach capabilities, the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research (IWR) is committed to addressing our most pressing water problems and providing smarter water management for a multitude of stakeholders.
The Institute of Water Research returned to the Michigan State University Science Festival this year, highlighting the importance of groundwater through an interactive "Edible Ice Cream Aquifers" session. Roughly 100 participants made their own "aquifer" out of ice cream, cookies and gummies and simulated pumping with a straw. In addition to creating ice cream aquifers, Ruth Kline-Robach presented a groundwater model, demonstrating how pollution can move through a groundwater system.
A bulletin on A Guide to Home Water Treatment is now available. The 8-page Extension bulletin discusses various home treatment systems to help reduce contaminants such as heavy metals, inorganic compounds, and pathogens. The bulletin discusses the pros and cons of systems such as Reverse Osmosis and membrane filtration, granular activated carbon, distillation, Ozonation and chlorination, ultra-violet radiation, bulk water systems, and water softeners. It also provides a buyer’s checklist and a link to state certified labs. The bulletin was updated and revised from an older Extension bulletin and was authored by Ruth Kline-Robach, Lois Wolfson, Susan Masten, Darren Bagley, Terry Gibb, and Bindu Bhakta. Click here to download the bulletin.
Darrell W. Donahue, chair of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering since July 2015, has been named director of the Michigan State University’s Institute of Water Research (IWR). His appointment is effective immediately.
He replaces Jon Bartholic who retired Jan. 31, after having served as IWR director since 1983 and IWR acting director since 1978.
Donahue, who will continue his role as department chair in addition to IWR director, has recently worked in the realm of food safety, lending his expertise in statistics, modeling and simulation to issues related with chemical and microbial risk assessment. He served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2007-2008 at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he focused on security and health affairs. He continues to consult with the government on security issues related to risk assessment.
Additionally, he has served on three National Academy of Sciences and international panels addressing food safety and currently serves as a consultant on two World Health Organization food safety committees.
Prior to coming to MSU in 2015, Donahue served as vice president of operations and research director at Maine Maritime Academy.
He began his academic career in 1995 at the University of Maine where he served as professor of chemical engineering, associate director of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute and was affiliated with the Maine Water Research Institute. Prior to that, he was a process engineer with a private company for nine years while earning his graduate degrees.
Donahue earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from North Carolina State University. He is an outdoors person who grew up on a farm in North Carolina.
In January 2017, Jon Bartholic retired as Director of the Institute of Water Research. Dr. Bartholic joined the Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Resource Development, and the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station in 1978 as Professor. He later became Director of the Institute of Water Research and Coordinator for the Center for Remote Sensing. Previous to coming to MSU, Dr. Bartholic was Professor of Climatology at the University of Florida. Dr. Bartholic received his B.S. in Soil Science from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in Soil Physics from South Dakota State University.
Dr. Bartholic has worked closely with MSU colleagues, state and federal agencies, and internationally on water quality and quantity issues and has authored many publications and presented at conferences. He testified before Congress in support of the federally mandated Water Resources Research Institutes Program. He has received numerous awards during his career including the Education and Public Service Award presented by the Universities Council on Water Resources; the John Hannah Award for Program Excellence; and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District, “Commitment to Excellence” award. He contributed significantly to the design and implementation of a series of MSU Virtual University Watershed Courses and has mentored numerous students as chair or member of theses and dissertation committees.
Jon will continue to work with the Michigan Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as President and facilitate networking among the Institute, University and Society members. He and his wife, Elaine plan to spend time at their upstate New York cottage and spend time traveling and enjoying family.
We wish Jon all the best in his retirement and greatly appreciate his many years of service to IWR.