Moos Family Speaker Series


Since 2010, Freshwater and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-hosted a free stimulating lecture series on water and the environment. The lectures, known as the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resources, honor the late Malcolm Moos, president of the university from 1967 to 1974. The series brings together influential experts on a broad array of topics and pairs a nationally known speaker with a panel of regional experts. They present the latest research on timely and important issues through an accessible—and often entertaining—presentation.

Our 2022-23 Moos Family Speaker Series: The Critical Zone

Through the next two Moos Family Speaker Series events, we will be framing our current work, especially our focus on soil health and hydrology, by amplifying the study of the Critical Zone (CZ) – the zone at Earth's land surface extending from the top of the vegetation canopy to the depths of groundwater. The critical zone supports terrestrial life through complex interactions between water, soil, rock, air, and life near Earth's surface but humans have accelerated its erosion by 3 to nearly 10-fold in parts of Minnesota.

Earth's critical zone. Illustration by Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) based on a figure in Chorover et al. 2007.
Earth's critical zone. Illustration by Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) based on a figure in Chorover et al. 2007.

Fall 2022 Webinar: What is the Critical Zone?

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

This fall we will feature two critical zone experts who will provide a strong foundation of knowledge and help answer the questions, what is the critical zone and why is it so important?

Dr. Alison Anders, Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign focuses on anthropogenic influences on landscape evolution. Her active areas of research include analysis of sediment sources and fluxes in agricultural landscapes in the Midwest where glacial geology and geomorphology form the template for the current state and future evolution of the CZ. She will highlight the importance of hot spots in the critical zone including the near surface, root zone and river corridors.

Dr. Pamela Sullivan, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Pamela is an ecohydrologist who focuses on how groundwater storage and quality is affected by land cover and land use. Her work in Kansas grasslands and montane wetlands expands our understanding of processes across different biomes.


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Thank you to our sponsors!


Board of Water and Soil Resources logo

Great Lakes

Metropolitan Council
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

River Keeper

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

If you would like to learn more about becoming a sponsor for the Moos Family Speaker Series, please contact Alex Van Loh at 

Coming in Spring 2023: Water, the Critical Zone, and You


Dr. Kamini Singha, professor and associate Dean of Earth and Society Programs, Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. Her research interests are in hydrogeology and environmental geophysics including groundwater-surface-water interactions and water quality degradation from human behavior. 

Genevieve Ali

Prof. Genevieve Ali,  From West Africa, Europe and Montreal, who works on hydrological connectivity for both process understanding and science-driven watershed management. Genevieve is known for her eco-hydrological research in human-impacted landscapes.