AGU23 Presentations

This week our research group joined ~27K attendees from around the world for the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Our group contributed to 11 presentations/abstracts and organizing two sessions in Hydrology and Global Environmental Change sections. Incredibly proud of all our students !


H13J-1576 Internal feedback mechanisms driving shrub-grass dominance: from shrub encroachment to exotic grass invasions in North American deserts. Sujith Ravi

ED11C-0773 Developing an Inclusive Learning Community Focused on Agrivoltaic Research: Sofia Taboada

H13J-1571 Salinity and soil water retention: The compounding effects of osmotic and matric potential: Lucy Archibald


GC211-1039A Global Synthesis of Multi-use Solar Energy Projects: Synergies and Tradeoffs: Caroline Merheb

GC211-1049 Multi-year field study on the impacts of managed sheep grazing on soil health at solar energy sites: Natalie Thomas

GC211-1045 Evaluating the environmental co-benefits and tradeoffs of urban agrivoltaics in Philadelphia: Cara Rydzewski

GC21I-1048 Multi-Year Analysis of Physical Interactions between Solar PV Arrays and Underlying Soil-Plant Components in Vegetated Utility-Scale Systems: Chong Seok Choi


GC53J-0936 Preferential Emission of Microplastics from Biosolid-applied Agricultural Soils: Field Evidence and Theoretical Framework: Dona Jamie Leonard,

A53N-2465 Wind Erodibility and Particulate Matter Emissions of Dry Salt-Affected Soils Under Diverse Atmospheric Humidity Conditions Ganesh Khatei

EP53C-1678Salinity Effects on Soil Surface Erodibility and Dust Emissions: Robert S Van Pelt

Session on Monday
H12C – Advances in Ecohydrology of Water-Limited Environments 
(Co-organized by S. Ravi)

Session on Tuesday
GC211- Dual-Use Renewable Energy and Agrivoltaics for Climate-Resilient Landscapes and Food-Energy-Water Security
(Co-organized by Chong Seok Choi )

New publication on multi-use solar (Agrivoltaics) featured on the cover of AGU’s Earth’s Future.

New publication by Chong Seok Choi (PhD, EES) and Dellena Bloom (ES major) in American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Earth’s Future on the benefits and tradeoffs of multifunctional solar PV projects. Agrivoltaics in agricultural areas with carbon debt can be an effective climate mitigation strategy along with revitalizing agricultural soils, generating income streams from fallow land, and providing pollinator habitats. Our findings provide foundational data for site preservation and for optimizing agrivoltaic designs by targeting site specific co-benefits.

Choi, C.S., J. Macknick, Y. Li, D. Bloom, J. McCall, and S. Ravi, (2023) Environmental co-benefits of maintaining natural vegetation with solar photovoltaic infrastructure. Earth’s Future, 10.1029/2023EF003542

New NSF GEO-REPS funding 

Lucy Archibald, Geology major, received NSF GEO-REPS funding – to support up to one year of research training for students who did not have access to opportunities due to pandemic-related interruptions. Funding includes a competitive stipend (up to one year), research supplies and conference travel.

Lucy’s work focuses on how water is transported and retained in saline and sodic soils. Soil salinization is a major environmental issues with impacts on global food security and environmental quality. Saline soils present significant challenges to soil and water quality, soil biodiversity, soil erosion and economic crop production, creating significant challenges for more than 1.5 billion people around the world. Lucy will develop a novel experimental methodology to create soils with different salinity levels in the laboratory and will investigate and model water retention properties for agriculturally important soils in the US, which are prone to salinization. The GEO-REPS supplemental funding will enable her to continue this project for up to one year after graduation.

PhD position – Spring/Fall 2023

PhD position at Temple University

We have a graduate student opening (PhD) for studying sustainable engineering solutions to lower the environmental and economic cost of solar energy development by providing novel analysis methodologies and field data on solar energy – agriculture colocation approaches from multiple sites. The project will create research, educational and public outreach opportunities related to environmental sustainability by – training graduate students with novel tools and analysis, creating test sites for technology demonstrations of sustainable solutions, providing opportunities for public outreach, science communication and teaching (including international), and broadening participation of underrepresented groups.

The student will be advised by Sujith Ravi (Temple University, PA Learn more about our work on colocation of solar energy and agriculture: Ravi et al 2012, 2014, 2016, Choi et al, 2020, 2021, Bertel et al 2021, Towner et al 2021.

Master’s degree in geology, hydrology/water resources, civil or environmental engineering is preferred. The graduate student will be fully funded by research and/or teaching assistantships. Experience or interest in quantitative data analysis, sensor networks, science education/outreach activities is preferred.

Temple University is a comprehensive public research university located in Philadelphia, PA. Temple University is a dynamic urban university with around 40,000 students and provides one of the nation’s most comprehensive and diverse learning environments. Temple is classified as a university with the highest research activity (R1) and is ranked by the National Science Foundation as among the top 100 universities in the country for research expenditures. More information about our department is available at .

For more information contact Sujith Ravi, Associate Professor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (

New Publication in Global Change Biology

Ravi et al. (2022) in Global Change Biology: Biological invasions and climate change amplify each other’s effects on dryland degradation.

We made it to the cover !

Higher temperature regimes compounding the effects of frequent droughts is shifting the competitive advantage of plant functional groups, and is increasing the probability of vegetation “crash” states. Thus, two major drivers of global environmental change, biological invasions and climate change, can be expected to synergistically accelerate desertification. Thus, the two major drivers of global environmental change, biological invasion and climate change, can be expected to synergistically accelerate ecosystem degradation unless large-scale interventions are enacted.