UM BRIDGES co-hosts successful Cross-INFEWS Workshop

Over 100 attendees came to UM to talk about best practices in INFEWS graduate training

The University of Montana BRIDGES graduate training program (, in collaboration with the University of Iowa and University of California Berkeley, co-hosted a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded workshop July 30-August 1.  The workshop focus ed on identifying best practices for training leaders and scientists in Innovations at the Nexus of Food-Energy-Water Systems (INFEWS). The workshop, entitled “Building a collaborative vision and diverse community to support the emerging FEWS workforce”, brought together  over 100 faculty and graduate students from universities around the nation hosting NSF National Research Traineeships.

 During the workshop, participants identified best practices in training INFEWS leaders to conduct actionable science and to pursue a range of career paths that transform FEW systems. Participants in the workshop also drafted a blueprint for building a nationwide community of INFEWS leaders to share knowledge and experiences across institutions.

Attendees came from: the University of Iowa, UC Berkeley, University of South Florida, University of the Virgin Islands, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Arizona, UC Los Angeles, Purdue University, University of Chicago, and Florida A&M, in addition to UM.

According to Alisa Wade, UM BRIDGES Program Coordinator: “This was the first-ever workshop like this, bringing more than 100 faculty and graduate students together to think deeply about how we retool graduate education to meet the grand challenges of systems that are critical to human well-being: food, energy, and water systems.”  Laurie Yung, UM BRIDGES Program Director, added: “The interdisciplinary and cross-institutional nature of INFEWS research highlights the ways that we are moving past disciplinary silos to train a cadre of leaders who can connect science and practice to transform food, energy, and water systems.”