GSS fosters transdisciplinary study of the dynamic interplay between natural and social systems.  Faculty in this area collaborate to discover creative solutions to critical social problems emergent from human activity and environmental change, in areas such as freshwater and coastal water systems, rural environments, infectious disease, and food production and safety. Work in this area also embraces equity in the human condition by seeking the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, respect for human dignity, and access to crucial material and social resources throughout the world’s diverse communities.  

Recent Submissions

  • Sustainable Water through Innovation in Membranes & Materials (SWIMM) 

    Martin, Stephen; Baird, Donald; Achenie, Luke; Deshmukh, Sanket; Foster, Johan; He, Jason; Vikesland, Peter; Edwards, Marc; Deitrich, Andrea; Dillard, David; Lesko, Jack; Moore, Robert; Long, Tim; Riffle, Judy; Morris, Amanda; Cheng, Shengfeng; Edgar, Kevin; Moeltner, Klaus; Xia, Kang; Stewart, Ryan; Badgley, Brian; Hedrick, Valisa; Gohlke, Julia M.; Duncan, Susan (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Water scarcity is mainly caused by overwhelming human consumption and contamination, from production of water-thirsty meats and vegetables, biofuel crop production, industrial uses, and rapid urbanization.2 The scale of ...
  • Sustainable provision of food and water using an interdisciplinary, system-ofsystems framework 

    Bosch, Darrell; Clark, Susan; Cobourn, Kelly; Easton, Zach; Godrej, Adil; Hession, W. Cully; Hester, Erich; Hull, Bruce; Little, John; Marche, Achla; McGinnis, Sean; O'Rourke, Megan; Schmale, David; Schoenholtz, Stephen; Shortridge, Julie; Swecker, Terry; Thomason, Wade; Vullikanti, Anil; White, Robin (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Although sustainability is an essential concept to ensuring the future of humanity and integrity of the resources and ecosystems on which we depend, identification of a comprehensive approach to assess and enhance ...
  • SmartPlants and SmartFarms for Global Food, Feed, and Fiber Security 

    Abaye, Ozzie; Balota, Maria; Bombarely Gomez, Aureliano; Clark, Susan; Evanylo, Greg; Fox, Thomas; Grabau, Elizabeth; Haak, David; Holliday, Jason; Kroehler, Carrie; Lowman, Scott; McDowell, John; Raun, Patty; Maroof, M.A. Saghai; Schmale, David; Tholl, Dorothea; Thomason, Wade; Tokekar, Pratap; Veilleux, Richard; Vinatzer, Boris; Westwood, James; Wynne, Randolph; Zhao, Bingyu (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Meeting the food, feed, and fiber needs of a growing world population represents one of the signature challenges of this century. The UN FAO estimates that food production alone must increase by 70 percent by 2050 to meet ...
  • One Health Approach to Emerging Viral and Vector-borne Diseases 

    Bertke, Andrea; Paulson, Sally; Rist, Cassidy; Kolivras, Korine; Hungerford, Laura; Alexander, Kathleen; Ragan, Valerie; Gohlke, Julia (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Understanding the spatial and temporal distribution of novel infectious diseases is among the most important and challenging tasks for the coming century. Emerging viral and vector-borne diseases are a significant threat ...
  • Microbiology at the Nexus of Food, Energy, Water and Health 

    Badgley, Brian D.; Boyer, Renee R.; Dufour, Monique; He, Zhen (Jason); Hungerford, Laura L.; Kiechle, Melanie A.; Kuhn, David D.; Lawrence, Christopher; Marr, Linsey C.; Melville, Stephen B.; Pierson, F. William; Popham, David L.; Senger, Ryan S.; Sumner, Susan S.; Vinatzer, Boris A.; Schmale, David G., III; Stevens, Ann M. (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Microorganisms are absolutely critical to myriad aspects of the human existence. As a field of study, microbiology could and should serve a greater role on our campus, as it has key connections with many of the Destination ...
  • Managing Landscapes to Meet Emerging Global Challenges 

    Badgley, Brian; Daniels, W. Lee; Day, Susan; Eick, Matt; Ervin, Erik; Steele, Meredith; Stewart, Ryan; Strahm, Brian; Xia, Kang; Zipper, Carl (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Our vision is to create a program dedicated to accelerating innovation that improves the quality, efficiency, and resilience of human dominated landscapes, including our cities, farms, and industrial lands. Humans dramatically ...
  • Integrative Analyses of Environmental Factors Impacting Animal and Human Health Through Perturbations of Microbial Communities 

    Caswell, Clayton; Ahmed, Ansar; Sriranganathan, Nammalwar; Allen, Irving; Luo, Xin; Meng, Xiang-Jin; Theus, Michelle; Yuan, Lijuan; Hungerford, Laura; Pierson, Bill; Rist, Cassidy (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    The term ‘microbiome’ defines the vast microscopic communities collectively composed of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and eukaryotic protozoans that inhabit myriad niches, including environmental locales, as well as the surfaces ...
  • Ecological and Human Health in Rural Communities 

    Gohlke, Julia M.; Kolivras, Korine Nicole; Krometis, Leigh Anne Henry; Marmagas, Susan West; Marr, Linsey C.; Satterwhite, Emily; Angermeier, Paul L.; Clark, Susan F.; Ranganathan, Shyam; Schoenholtz, Stephen H.; Swarup, Samarth; Thompson, Christopher Kirk (2017-05-15)
    Environmental exposures to chemicals and microbes in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the objects we touch are now recognized to be responsible for 90% of all human illness. This suggests that ...
  • Antimicrobial Resistance Mitigation [ARM] Concept Paper 

    Vikesland, Peter; Alexander, Kathleen A.; Badgley, Brian D.; Krometis, Leigh Anne Henry; Knowlton, Katherine F.; Gohlke, Julia M.; Hall, Ralph P.; Hawley, Dana M.; Heath, Lenwood S.; Hession, W. Cully; Hull, Robert Bruce, IV; Moeltner, Klaus; Ponder, Monica A.; Pruden, Amy; Schoenholtz, Stephen H.; Wu, Xiaowei; Xia, Kang; Zhang, Liqing (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    The development of viable solutions to the global threat of antimicrobial resistance requires a transdisciplinary approach that simultaneously considers the clinical, biological, social, economic, and environmental drivers ...
  • Advancing the Global Land Grant Institution: Creating a Virtual Environment to Re-envision Extension and Advance GSS-related Research, Education, and Collaboration 

    Hall, Ralph; Polys, Nicholas; Sforza, Peter; Eubank, Stephen; Lewis, Bryan; Krometis, Leigh Anne Henry; Pollyea, Ryan; Schoenholtz, Stephen; Sridhar, Venkataramana; Crowder, Van; Lipsey, John; Christie, Maria Elisa; Glasson, George; Scherer, Hannah; Davis, Jack; Dunay, Robert; King, nathan; Muelenaer, Andre; Muelenaer, Penelope; Rist, Cassidy; Wenzel, Sophie (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    The vision for this project has emerged from several years of research, teaching, and service in Africa and holds the potential to internationalize education at Virginia Tech and in our partner institutions in Malawi. The ...
  • Integrative Science and Solutions for Freshwater Systems Concept Paper - A plan to build a signature-strength in Freshwater Systems 

    Benham, Brian L.; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Hession, W. Cully; Krometis, Leigh Anne Henry; Scott, Durelle T.; Stephenson, Kurt; Thompson, T. W.; Bork, Dean R.; Hester, Eric Todd; Polys, Nicholas Fearing; Ivory, James Dee; Angermeier, Paul L.; Castello, Leandro; Dolloff, C. Andrew; Emrick, Verl Roy, III; Jones, Jess Walter; McLaughlin, Daniel L.; Meyers, R. B.; Orth, Donald J.; Schoenholtz, Stephen Hanley; Snodgrass, Joel W.; Hotchkiss, Erin R.; Smith, Eric P. (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    Virginia Tech is poised to become a global leader in the pursuit and application of new knowledge to inform management and restoration of waterbodies and their watersheds. Despite our notable strengths in specific disciplines, ...
  • Stresses and Instability in Coastal Systems: Sustaining Prosperity, Increasing Diversity and Achieving Resilience 

    Weiss, Robert; Bukvic, Anamaria; Dayer, Ashley; Fraser, Jim; Karpanty, Sarah; Catlin, Daniel; Juran, Luke; Wynne, Randy; Gohlke, Julia; Boyle, Kevin; Irish, Jennifer; Leon, Roberto; Zobel, Christopher; Rees, Loren; Zhang, Yang; Schenk, Todd; Dixit, Priya (Virginia Tech, 2017-05-15)
    More than half of the world’s human population lives within 40 miles of the sea. Coastal cities are the backbone of global finance, trade, manufacturing, and transportation. Millions of people worldwide travel to beaches ...