WC-18 Best Practices in Teaching at the Nexus

This session will focus on the current status of education about the Food-Energy-Water Nexus. It will be a great opportunity for interested participants to share experiences on the current best practices, discuss what has worked, and present problems which have been encountered. Also it will be an opportunity to discuss new ideas and examine new strategies to counter challenges in teaching the Nexus.

The session will consider teaching the Nexus at different scales and focus on where we can leverage our collective capacity to build new strategies and present the complexities of the nexus to a variety of audiences. We will evaluate where the best opportunities are for partnerships with sharing resources, research collaborations, papers, grants and funding sources.

Moderator: Laura Lindenfeld, Director, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine


  • Kathleen Bell, Professor, University of Maine
  • Henderson Pritchard, Associate Professor, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Hossein Noorian, Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Anna Aguilera, Simmons College
  • Gayle Zydlewski, University of Maine

Laura Lindenfeld’s work draws inspiration from the idea that we can make better, more informed decisions about how we shape our collective future. As a researcher of communication, her work focuses on how we can advance meaningful, productive interactions with communities, stakeholders, and decision makers by advancing linkages between knowledge and action. The Smith Policy Center is a nonpartisan, independent research unit which serves as the state’s premier resource for applied public policy research. It informs public policy processes and societal decision-making through timely research and applied public policy activities focused on critical issues facing Maine and the nation. Much of her work has focused on environmental communication, especially in the area of sustainable food systems. 207-949-3679 laura.a.lindenfeld@maine.edu

Professor Kathleen Bell employs economics to address environmental, public health, and economic development issues. Dr. Bell studies the attitudes and behaviors of individuals and organizations to improve management of land and water resources. She has advanced novel interdisciplinary coursework and training to facilitate scientific innovations and improve the alignment of research with societal needs. Dr. Bell has served as a leader on several large interdisciplinary research programs. Her economics expertise, interdisciplinary research experience, connections to stakeholders, and leadership skills have greatly benefited these programs. Kathleen’s current focus is innovations at the food-energy-water nexus in coastal systems. 207-581-3156 kpbell@maine.edu

Henderson Pritchard’s work is primarily in sustainable materials, as well as sustainable resources, such as water, energy and food. He works with sustainable building materials, strategies for resilient building construction and land use planning. For the past few years, Pritchard has been involved with interdisciplinary teaching about the topics of food, water and resources and sustainability in the face of shifting climate. He is also interested in working with a variety of teaching strategies for presenting Food, Water, Energy topics to interdisciplinary students. 617-989-4180, Pritchardh@wit.edu

Hossein Noorian is a professor at the Department of Business Management at Wentworth Institute of Technology. His areas of teaching are accounting and financial management. He has been involved with the NCSE in the last 9 years and actively utilizing the conference findings in his courses. Prof. Noorian was granted the “2104 Excellence in Teaching Award” by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). IACBE is one of the leading national accrediting agencies which recognizes the business programs in the United States and other selected countries in the world. Prof. Noorian is the recipient of many teaching awards; among them the “Gold Leopard Award” by the Wentworth Alumni Association and the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; the “Grant Johnson Award”. 617-989-4376, noorianh@wit.edu

Gayle Zydlewski studies conservation of marine resources, focusing on fish populations. She approaches this work from an interdisciplinary perspective, recognizing the need for input from natural and social sciences to reach conservation goals that balance human need for food, energy and water. She believes the points of intersection among coastal FEW systems, institutions, and disciplines, can be used to link fundamental scientific knowledge to evidence-based decisions. Such linkages need to be incorporated in graduate training so the next generation can solve the developing problems of this nexus. Gayle works with others to involve key stakeholders in the center of research to infuse real-world experience in graduate education to move beyond the challenge of conventional disciplinary graduate programs. 207-581-4365, gayle.zydlewski@maine.edu

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