UM to Host NSF-Funded Workshop on Food-Energy-Water Systems

July 27, 2018

MISSOULA – The University of Montana BRIDGES graduate training program – in collaboration with the University of Iowa and University of California, Berkeley – will host a National Science Foundation-funded workshop at UM July 30-Aug. 1. 

 The workshop will focus on identifying best practices for training leaders and scientists in Innovations at the Nexus of Food-Energy-Water Systems (INFEWS). Titled “Building a collaborative vision and diverse community to support the emerging FEWS workforce,” the event will bring together faculty and graduate students from universities across the nation that host NSF National Research Traineeships.

The goals of the workshop include identifying best practices in training INFEWS leaders to conduct actionable science and to pursue a range of career paths that transform FEW systems. Participants in the workshop also will draft a blueprint for building a nationwide community of INFEWS leaders to share knowledge and experiences across institutions.

Keynote speakers include Sandra Begay, principal member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories for Tribal Technologies; and Ryan Shelby, foreign service engineering officer from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Faculty and graduate students from the University of Iowa; UC, Berkeley; University of South Florida; University of the Virgin Islands; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of Arizona; UC, Los Angeles, Purdue University, University of Chicago and Florida A&M University also will attend.

 “This is the first-ever workshop of its kind, bringing more than 100 faculty and graduate students together to think deeply about how we retool graduate education to meet the grand challenges of systems critical to human well-being: food, energy and water systems,” said Alisa Wade, UM BRIDGES program coordinator.   

“The interdisciplinary and cross-institutional nature of INFEWS research highlights the ways that we are moving past disciplinary silos to train a cadre of leaders who can connect science and practice to transform food, energy and water systems,” said Laurie Yung, UM BRIDGES program director.

UM BRIDGES is an interdisciplinary, cross-campus initiative that is co-led by faculty in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, and the College of Humanities and Sciences. Learn more at


Contact: Alisa Wade, program coordinator, UM BRIDGES, 406-529-9722,; Laurie Yung, program director, UM BRIDGES, 406-370-7335,