Healthy Air, Land and Water

Pursuing integrated research and modeling to ensure the current and future sustainability of air, water and land systems and the ecosystems and communities that depend on these systems

Land and water systems interact in many ways. Land-based activities such as agriculture and forestry depend upon water. Water quality depends on land use and management. We investigate how urbanization, climate change, and industrial and agricultural land uses impact water systems and the implications for human health and ecosystem services. We examine how individuals and communities make decisions about land and water use and management, the use of green and gray infrastructure, and planning and policies aimed at improving water quality and sustainable land patterns.

SI Research Lead 

Jay Martin (, Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering 

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Surface water-groundwater exchange impacts ecosystem health by influencing the movement of nutrients, contaminants, and heat in watersheds. Through computer modeling of surface-groundwater exchange, Ohio State researchers are determining the influence of lakebed sediments on surface water quality and algal toxins and how the flow of water mediates geologic and ecologic processes near the earth’s surface. 


We are improving our understanding of the interactions among environmental, engineered, social and economic systems and how these systems impact the sustainability and resilience of cities, rural areas, and regions. We are advancing the science of integrated modeling at regional scales, including the integration of land management and watershed models to better understand the interdependencies of food, energy and water systems in the Great Lakes region. Current work includes projects supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture examining the effects of global policy changes on regional food, energy and water systems. Researchers are creating dynamic models to help policy makers consider robust policies for our region and others. Read more at


Our researchers are developing new technologies for water systems that optimize drinking water and protect human health. We are investigating the feasibility of utilizing plastics as a mycrocystin-adsorbing material during peak harmful algal blooms season in water resources used for recreation, agriculture, aquaculture and drinking water.