Scott Wells, Department Chair and Professor
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1990
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Due to the increased use of fresh water by the growing populations of Israel and Jordan the Dead Sea is shrinking by a meter per year. The two countries agreed to build the "Peace Conduit," bringing water from the Red Sea to replenish the Dead Sea. Yet, the countries face a delicate ecological challenge in maintaining the Dead Sea's chemical balance.
Professor Scott Wells' work with the Israeli Geologic Survey strives to save the Dead Sea. In addition, he will teach a class on computer modeling of water bodies at the Earth Institute at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
His main area of expertise is developing computer models for the temperature, oxygen levels, algae, plants, and fish in reservoirs, lakes, and rivers in order to maintain their quality. His models are widely used by public agencies responsible for maintaining drinking water supplies. He recently completed a project in which he and his research group modeled the entire Willamette River basin to help governments manage the river's temperature regime which affects the fish population.
"In college, I loved chemistry, biology, physics, math, and computer science," says Wells. "This is the only field I could find that uses all of them."