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various pictures from ISSE projects

The University of Tennessee’s Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment (ISSE) seeks to promote the development of policies, technologies, and educational programs that cut across multiple disciplines, engage the university’s research faculty and staff, and grow in response to pressing environmental and security issues facing the state, the nation, and the globe. ISSE’s specialized centers, programs, and initiatives address a range of issues that fall under the broad rubric of sustainability.



orange bullet John Schwartz, an ISSE researcher in UT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was nominated and is serving on a committee with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) comprehensively evaluating the Watershed Protection Plan for New York City’s drinking water supply. Read more here.

orange bullet Watch a video about the new propane autogas station in Greenville, TN. The new station is the result of a public-private partnership between Alliance AutoGas and NET Trans fleet (the regional public transit provider for the upper eight counties of northeast Tennessee). Alliance AutoGas works closely with ET Clean Fuels to improve alternative fuels infrastructure across the state.

orange bullet A new three-year study involving University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Environmental Biotechnology Terry Hazen will look at how aquatic microbial communities are impacted by biocides associated with hydraulic fracking. Dr. Hazen is the director of ISSE's Methane Center. Read the story here.

orange bullet ISSE's TNCleanFuels co-hosted (along with TDEC and TDOT) the 4th Annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum on September 17-18, 2018, at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville, TN. The forum, titled “Where Innovation Meets Implementation,” highlighted new research and technologies that improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all Tennesseans. The forum featured a showcase of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as a recognition ceremony for a new class of certified Tennessee Green Fleets. This year’s inductees were: Greater Dickson Gas Authority; WeGo Public Transit, Downtown Nashville Service; Athens Utilities Board, Natural Gas Division; Great Smoky Mountains National Park; NET Trans, Carter County Fleet; and City of Knoxville, Mower Fleet.

orange bullet ISSE has a new Director! Dr. Mingzhou Jin, Professor and Associate Department Head of Industrial and Systems Engineering, directs ISSE as of August 1st. Many thanks to Dr. Terry Hazen for his past three years of service!!

orange bullet ISSE Researchers Cat Wilt and Tim Ezzell presented the findings from their report, "Hurdles to Healthcare: Overcoming Health Access Barriers in Haywood County, Tennessee," to officials in that county.

orange bullet ISSE Researcher Joshua Fu was awarded the prestigious 2018 Lyman A. Ripperton Environmental Educator Award for his education efforts related to controlling air pollution. [Read More Here]

orange bullet ISSE Director Terry Hazen is part of a research team that has come up with a novel way of testing water. Read "UT’s Hazen Teams Up on Water Quality Breakthrough."

orange bullet An ISSE 2016-17 seed grant, "Appalachian Dark Skies Network," has generated further funding for improvements to Calhoun County Park, WVA. Read the story: Calhoun County officials reaching for stars with park improvements (in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, April 14, 2018)

Upcoming Events

orange bullet ISSE's Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TNWRRC) is searching for a Director, and we would like to invite you to attend a 45-minute open forum for each of the three candidates selected. The forum will consist of a 30-minute presentation on the candidate’s vision for the Water Center, followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. All of the forum sessions will be held in Room 219 Perkins Hall, and are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018; Time: 10:15 – 11:30a – Dr. Forbes Walker, Professor and Environmental Soils Specialist, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  • Wednesday, November 14, 2018; Time: 12:00 – 1:15p – Dr. Thanos Papanicolaou, Professor, Henry Goodrich Chair of Excellence, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Wednesday, November 21, 2018; Time: 11:00 – 12:30p – Dr. John Schwartz, Associate Department Head of Undergraduate Studies and Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Publications & Presentations

orange bullet Mason, Lisa Reyes, Jennifer Erwin, Aaron Brown, Kelsey N. Ellis, and Jon M. Hathaway. 2018. Health Impacts of Extreme Weather Events: Exploring Protective Factors with a Capitals Framework. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work 15:5: 579-593 (DOI: 10.1080/23761407.2018.1502115).

orange bullet He, Z., P. Zhang, L. Wu, A. M. Rocha, Q. Tu, Z. Shi, Y. Qin, J. Wang, D. Curtis, D. Ning, J. D. Van Nostrand, L. Wu, Y. Yang, D. A. Elias, D. B. Watson, M. W. W. Adams, M. W. Fields, E. J. Alm, T. C. Hazen, P. D. Adams, A. P. Arkin, and J. Zhou. 2018. Microbial functional genes predict groundwater contamination and ecosystem functioning. mBio 9:e02435-17.

orange bullet Danso, D., C. Schmeisser, J. Chow, W. Zimmermann, R. Wei, C. Leggewie, X. Li, T. C. Hazen, and W. Streit. 2018. New Insights into the Function and Global Distribution of Polyethylene Terephtalate (Pet) Degrading Bacteria and Enzymes in Marine and Terrestrial Metagenomes. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. doi:10.1128/AEM.02773-17

orange bullet Lewis, A. J., M. F. Campa, T. C. Hazen, and A. P. Borole. 2018. Unraveling Biocomplexity of Electroactive Biofilms for Producing Hydrogen from Biomass. Microbial Biotechnology DOI: 10.1111/1751-7915.12756.

orange bullet Paradis, C. J., L. D. McKay, E. Perfect, J. D. Istok, and T. C. Hazen. 2018. In situ characterization of hydraulic conductivity and effective porosity utilizing single-well testing methods. Hydrogeology Journal 26: 381–393. DOI 10.1007/s10040-017-1672-3.

orange bullet Qiuming Yao, Zhou Li, Yang Song, S. Joseph Wright, Xuan Guo, Susannah G. Tringe, Malak M. Tfaily, Ljiljana Paša-Tolić, Terry C. Hazen, Benjamin L. Turner, Melanie A. Mayes & Chongle Pan. 2018. Community proteogenomics reveals the systemic impact of phosphorus availability on microbial functions in tropical soil. Nature Ecology & Evolution (doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0463-5).