Ahmed Lachhab Small Susquepedia image

Ahmed Lachhab, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

As a hydrologist, I study groundwater to see its dynamics below the earth’s surface. For example, when Target, Starbucks, Kohl’s and other stores wanted to build a marketplace in the Selinsgrove area, the neighbors were concerned the water level in their wells would drop. Using groundwater modeling—taking measurements and making a model of the conditions—I studied the area. I predicted well levels would not drop, and they didn’t.

Water is the future. Countries without water have to import it, and some countries fight wars over it. It is a natural resource that is filtered and clean. So we need to know where it comes from, how it moves and what we can do to keep it free of contamination. The work is important. More than 50 percent of Americans drink groundwater. At Susquehanna, we’re surrounded by one large outdoor lab that is part of the watershed for the Chesapeake Bay. The work I do and the work my students do has an impact on the local area and all areas downstream.

I teach at Susquehanna because the size of a class matters. I have a maximum of 14 students in every course, so I can work closely with them in the classroom and in the field. The quality of teaching is better in an environment like this. I like to prepare my students—both for future employment and for graduate schools—by challenging them. I want them to learn through a variety of research tools so they are confident and prepared to perform more advanced work. Undergraduates pick up knowledge quite fast and can be very productive if you know how to work with them.

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