USF-UNESCO Partnership Unites Water Researchers

Tampa, Fla. (May 12, 2010) – The university’s continuing relationship with the world’s leading water authorities at UNESCO-IHE means a new group of USF students are in the Netherlands learning about how to mitigate and adapt community’s to rising waters, while a group of water managers from around the world will soon be headed to Tampa.


Led by Daniel Yeh, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, the six-student USF contingent arrived in the Netherlands last week to begin a 10-week water research program. On May 27, a group of 12 water managers from China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Mongolia and Vietnam will begin their work studying water resource management and infrastructure in the Tampa Bay region.


The research programs stem from USF’s three-year relationship with UNESCO-IHE in an effort to help coastal areas adapt to the rising seas and unpredictable weather patterns brought on by global climate change.


 In 2007, USF became the first - and still only - American university to sign a memorandum of understanding with IHE to collaborate on research and education.


The USF students will spend their summer in the Netherlands examining the Dutch flooding mitigation efforts and conducting their own research.


“The students will see some incredible sites around Holland, including the Delta Works, a series of storm surge barriers to protect the Dutch from threats of flooding,” Yeh said. “We will also visit Rotterdam and see the Rotterdam Climate Proof Project in action.  The emphasis on reducing vulnerability and enhancing resiliency is evident everywhere. “


Readers can follow their journey and research at Profiles of the students participating in the program can be found at:


The students also have initiated a YouTube channel where over the summer they will be interviewing people Dutch and American professionals, citizens, IHE faculty and staff on key water issues.



The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.