Panel Discussion on Water in the 21st Century on Feb 12th at NU’s Chicago Campus

C2ST Water pic 2015-02-12This panel discussion at Northwestern University’s Chicago Campus on 12 Feb 2015, presented by the Chicago Council on Science and Technology, will feature a policy expert, an environmental expert, and a technologist who take you through the ways we must change our relationship with water, and the opportunities that come with a changed mindset.

Panel Theme

Lake Michigan is Chicago’s pride and joy. Chicago and the region have a long relationship with our lakefront and the Chicago River. Our water has driven our economy, made us a destination for visitors, and ensured we have an adequate water supply. From reversing the Chicago River to building the deep tunnel, managing water has been a driver for Chicago to innovate and reinvent our world.

The world is increasingly recognizing that our relationship with water is changing. This is driven by urbanization, climate change, use of energy, intensification of agriculture, and aging infrastructure. As the West is suffering from severe droughts, Chicago has experienced increased flooding.

Using science, technology, public policy, social networks, and investment, we can develop solutions that both improve our quality of life and enhance our economy. In the future, we will reuse water. This will create opportunities to attract industry that requires a reliable water supply. This is a job creator. We will develop new technologies to support water-intensive industries. This will help us create new companies from our great research institutions. We will improve our environment by recovery value from what is perceived as waste stream, and by decreasing discharges.

Featured Panelists

Debra Shore is a Commissioner on the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Shore has been a strong advocate for cleaning up the Chicago waterways and for resource recovery, including the reuse of treated water and the generation and use of biogas. Shore serves on the board of the Great Lakes Protection Fund, was the founding editor of Chicago Wilderness Magazine, is an active volunteer restoring prairies and oak woods in the forest preserves, and was a founding board member of Friends of the Forest Preserves. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD with a degree in Philosophy & Visual Arts, and earned Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Columbia College (Chicago).

Aaron Packman is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Northwestern University. His research focuses on water resources and the interaction of water, sediments, and microorganisms. Important applications of his work include nutrient and carbon dynamics, water quality and contamination, ecosystem degradation and restoration, and waterborne disease transmission. Dr. Packman has received several major awards for his work, including Career awards from the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, the Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Fulbright Distinguished Chair award for research and teaching at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

Seth Snyder is the leader of a new water initiative at Argonne National Laboratory. He has developed and worked on leading technology and engineering in renewable energy, water, and energy efficiency. Snyder has published over 50 papers and 17 patents, and has received three R&D100 awards and an FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He has adjunct and fellow appointments at Northwestern University and University of Chicago.

Program Details 

Thursday, February 12, 2015, Northwestern University Downtown Campus, Hughes Auditorium, 303 E. Superior St., Chicago. Program begins at 6 p.m. $12 general admission, $5 for students, free for C2ST members. Discounted parking is available to the first 50 attendees, at the 202 E Huron parking garage. Ask at the C2ST registration table, and you can purchase a ticket to exit the garage at a discounted rate. Register at:

Contact Andrea Poet at or 312-567-5795 with any questions.

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization that brings researchers and scientists out of the lab, directly to you. We work with national laboratories, leading academic institutions and museums to educate the public on issues of critical scientific importance. In an age when barely one in four voting adults meet a basic level of scientific literacy, we aim to reignite an excitement and passion for science and technology, and remind Chicagoans of the quality and quantity of R&D that takes place in their backyard.

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