Water-Society Reading Group

The Departments of Geosciences and Environmental Conservation are collaborating to launch an interdisciplinary reading group focused on the relationships between water and society. The first meeting will take place in mid-October. A description of the reading group is provided below. If you are interested in joining the group, please email Ben Warner (bpwarner@umass.edu) with answers to the following questions:

  • What is your general interest in water and society?
  • Would you be willing to commit to one meeting per month?
  • Are you able to meet off campus on Wednesday evenings; if not, what setting and day would you prefer?

After people have had a chance to reply, we will send out information on meeting locations and times. All faculty, postdocs, grad students, etc. with general interest in relationships between water and society are encouraged to apply!

Reading group description: Research on the relationships between water and society has increased in scope and scale over the last ten years. To date, multiple theoretical frameworks have been developed through which researchers attempt to "unpack" the complexity of these relationships. In the water and society reading group, we will work to understand these different approaches, and discuss the benefits of each.  Readings will be grounded in the social sciences but most will include discussions of hydrology, geomorphology, or other water-related sciences.  Readings will be theoretical, but care will be taken in their selection to ensure that they are accessible to different backgrounds.  

Regarding the structure of the meetings, one or two papers will be selected for each meeting.  A different group member will lead the discussion each week.  Meetings will typically last one to two hours.  

The first reading will be: Molle, F. (2008). Nirvana concepts, narratives and policy models: Insights from the water sector. Water Alternatives, 1(1), 131–156.