CEE graduate students Casey Finnerty and Gabriel Lobo were selected to attend Tsinghua University's first Student Forum on Climate Change.
Based on essays submitted by students from the 12 universities that form the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC),Tsinghua selected (through a blind two-stage referee process) these two students.
Casey wrote about how personal experiences with climate change informed his decision to pursue environmental engineering. He also discussed his interfacial solar vapor generation research and how it could be used as a climate change adaptation strategy to increase water access for island communities under threat of sea level rise.
Gabriel described how abrupt changes in water quality are the most common cause of lead leaching in lead-based drinking water distribution systems around the world, resulting in chronic exposure to lead from drinking water. The problem is only expected to worsen due to climate change because water quality is sensitive to changes in weather patterns, and climate change-induced water scarcity has forced water utilities to search for new water sources, often with a different water quality that could result in lead leaching.