News & Events



Julie Greenwald (Environment Studies and Geography, ’19) is among a group of five students selected by Crop Science, a division of Bayer, to represent the United States at the third Youth Ag–Summit!  The summit will take place in Brussels, Belgium, from October 9-13, 2017.  The five U.S. representatives are part of a delegation of 100 students from 49 countries selected to participate in a week-long think tank focused on identifying innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to address global food security challenges.  Themed "Feeding a Hungry Planet," this year's summit aims to address the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals of ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture.  Julie is from Wellesley, Mass., and spent five weeks living and working on organic farms in three Belgian cities this past summer.  Field experience at home and abroad, coursework and personal research have all inspired her to focus her efforts—alongside peers—to discover solutions to one of the most complex problems of our time.  Congratulations, Julie!


This summer, two GEV students assisted Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with humanitarian aid work in Madagascar. Ashley Seyfried ('17, left) and Kristen Black ('18, right) performed geospatial analyses as a part of CRS's Fararano Project. Malagasy for "harvest," this project seeks to provide food, water, and medical treatment to the most underserved populations on the island nation. Their contributions are a part of 12-year partnership between Villanova and CRS, and is a multidisciplinary approach with business, nursing, French, and engineering students. Read more about this exciting work here. We look forward to sending more students next summer!


Devin Smith (’17, Environmental Science), presented her research at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (in Denver Colorado) and won the outstanding student poster award at the conference.  The GSA is one of the major international conferences in the natural and physical sciences with about 15,000 attendees.  Devin competed against undergraduate and graduate students in the Environmental and Engineering Division Geology Student Research Competition.  Devin’s poster, titled Evaluating the Relationship Among Land Use Change, Sediment and Nutrient Export, with Nearshore Coral Health in Southwestern Puerto Rico, was funded (in part) this summer as a VURF.  She did the fieldwork in Puerto Rico with Drs. Steve Goldsmith and Lisa Rodrigues in July and August. Devin is completing a senior thesis under the direction of Dr. Steve Goldsmith’s student.


Kremer.  P., Hamstead Z., McPhearson T., Frantzenkaki, N., et al. 2016.  Key research–based insights for the future of urban ecosystem services research.  Society and Ecology 21 (2): 29.

Wieder, R. K., Vile, M., Albright, C., Scott, K., Vitt, D., Quinn, J., and Burke–Scoll, M. 2016.  Effects of altered atmospheric nutrient deposition from Alberta oil sands development on Sphagnum fuscum growth and C, N and S accumulation in peat.  Biogeochemistry 129 (1): 1–19.

Kerns, P. J., Weston, N. B., Bowen, J. L., Zivkovic, T., and Vile, M. V. 2016.  Tidal Freshwater Marshes Harbor Phylogenetically Unique Clades of Sulfate Reducers That Are Resistant to Climate-Change-Induced Salinity Intrusion.  Estuaries and Coasts, 1-11.

Galgano, F. A., 2016.  Environmental Security and Trans-Boundary Water Resources, pp 169–191.  In Military Geosciences and Desert Warfare, McDonald, Eric, Bullard, Thomas (Eds.).  New York: Springer-Verlag, 321 pp. [978-1-4939-3427-0].

Harmon, R.S., Worner, G., Goldsmith, S.T., Harmon, B.A., Gardner, C.B., Lyons, W.B., Ogden, F.L., Pribil, M.J., Long, D.T., Kern, Z., and Forizs, I., 2016, Riverine geochemistry of Panama: Silicate weathering and CO2 consumption in a mountainous tropical setting, Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B31388.1.

Kremer P., Hamstead Z., Hasse D., McPhearson T., Frantzeskaki N et al. (2016). Key research-based insights for the future of urban ecosystem services research. Ecology and Society 21(2):29.

Kremer P., Hamstead Z., McPhearson T. (2016). The Value of Urban Ecosystem Services: A Spatially Explicit Multicriteria Analysis of Landscape Scale Valuation Scenarios in NYC. Environmental Science & Policy. 62:57-68

Gittleman, M., Farmer, C. J. Q., Kremer, P., & McPhearson, T. (2016). Estimating stormwater runoff for community gardens in New York City. Urban Ecosystems, 5.

Shakya, K.M., Noyes, A., Kallin, R., Peltier, R.E. (2016). Evaluating the efficacy of cloth facemasks in reducing particulate matter exposure. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1038/jes.2016.42

Shakya,  K.M., Rupakheti, M., Aryal, K., Peltier, R.E. (2016). Respiratory effects of high levels of particulate exposure in a cohort of traffic police in Kathmandu, Nepal. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 58(6): 218-225.

Grant Award: Drs. Rodrigues and Steven Goldsmith, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($125,454) for a two–year project to quantify the impacts of land use change on nearshore coral reefs. 

Grant Award: Dr. Nathaniel Weston is the lead principal investigator for a grant ($665,660) awarded by the NSF in June 2016, which includes co–PIs James Morris (University of South Carolina), Scott Neubauer (Virginia Commonwealth University), and Chris Craft (Indiana University). 

Grant Award: Dr. Nathaniel Weston is co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation funded Plum Island Ecosystems Long Term Ecological Research (PIE-LTER) grant “Dynamics of coastal ecosystems in a region of rapid climate change, sea-level rise, and human impacts” awarded in August 2016, which includes co–PIs Anne Giblin, Linda Deegan, Joseph Vallino (Marine Biological Laboratory) and Wilfred Wollheim (University of New Hampshire). 

Grant Award: Dr. Steven Goldsmith is a co-principal investigator on a Pennsylvania Sea Grant ($72,891) focused on evaluating non-traditional sources of the antimicrobial agent triclosan in a southeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Goldsmith and Dr. Grannas (Villanova Department of Chemistry) initial work is the first to show the existence of this compound in portions of streams located above municipal wastewater treatment plants.

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Department of Geography and the Environment
Suite G67, Mendel Science Center
Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Tel: (610) 519-3337
Fax: (610) 519-3338

Dr. Francis A. Galgano

Graduate Program Director:
Dr. Lisa J. Rodrigues

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