TU Law faculty member part of team awarded major NSF grant

The University of Tulsa College of Law’s Warigia Bowman is a widely published expert on public policy, infrastructure, water and energy. Bowman is, therefore, a natural fit for the team of 34 interdisciplinary researchers recently awarded a $20 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, administered by the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

The focus of this five-year award is the development and testing of science-based solutions for complex problems at the intersection of land use, water availability and infrastructure in Oklahoma. Bowman is a sub-principal investigator and the only member from TU. She is also the College of Law’s first recipient of an NSF grant.

Professor Warigia Bowman seated at a library table with a book and a laptop computer
Professor Warigia Bowman

“On behalf of the entire TU Law community, I commend Warigia Bowman for contributing to this vital research endeavor,” said Dean Lyn Entzeroth. “She brings valuable expertise in both public policy and groundwater, as well as an understanding of the regulatory issues facing both water and renewable energy to the grant team.”

At the intersection of science and society

“Professor Bowman has academic expertise concerning the interface between science and society, and practical background in stakeholder participation and engagement,” remarked Hank Jenkins-Smith, a co-lead researcher on the grant and a public policy professor at the University of Oklahoma. “Both of these will be at the heart of the EPSCoR project. We are very pleased that she has agreed to be a part of our research team.”

“This project is novel in both its design and vision,” explained Bowman. “It creates a social science-led, multidisciplinary collaboration among social, physical, biological, engineering and computational scientists that aims to provide socially sustainable solutions to emerging problems caused, in part, by changing weather patterns, gaps in sustainable energy infrastructure and declining water supplies.”

Wide-ranging goals

Joining Bowman on this NSF-funded project are researchers from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Langston University, East Central University and the Noble Research Institute. The group anticipates accomplishing several objectives:

  • Education and workplace development as well as the creation of a resilience model that can guide Oklahoma stakeholders
  • Broadening of participation in STEM by women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and first-generation college students
  • Enhanced STEM training for K-12 teachers as well as non-traditional STEM educators, including 4-H and Oklahoma museums
  • Enhancements in K-12 student STEM education, such as a Native American student STEM competition and teacher conference, and the creation of a Tinkerfest at the Science Museum of Oklahoma
  • Expansion of Oklahoma’s Citizen Science Network
  • Support for higher education faculty and students involved in STEM

Bowman’s participation on the grant will also contribute to her personal research agenda. In addition, it will support training of her graduate research assistants at TU Law on projects focusing on risks posed by declines in state groundwater storage. Bowman and her research assistants also plan to study threats and opportunities posed by renewable energy to Oklahoma communities.


Earning your JD at TU Law will bring you in contact with faculty members at the forefront of their fields, such as Warigia Bowman, who are both excellent teachers as well as scholars. Learn about this vibrant, welcoming community.