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As California—and many other parts of the world—are facing acute water shortages and misusing available resources, the future of the global water supply is bleak. Dr. William Tarpeh is one trailblazing scientist whose work grapples with how to innovate water conservation, filtering, and recycling. Reimagining liquid waste streams as resources, the Tarpeh Lab at Stanford University is researching how to recover valuable products like energy, water, nutrients, and metals through capturing pollutants and creating more efficient, less costly approaches to reducing harmful discharges to the environment. Exploring the electrochemistry behind recovering resources from “waste” waters, Tarpeh will discuss how these cutting-edge processes can change the infrastructure of future water systems.

Dr. William Tarpeh

Dr. William Tarpeh is an assistant professor of Chemic Engineering at Stanford. With a mission to solve major world sanitation problems, his lab develops and evaluates novel approaches to resource recovery the waste from wastewater and turn it into useful products. For example, for his dissertation he developed a method to extract nitrogen from urine, turn it into a gas, and combine it with water to make fertilizer. His work is recognized in the Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list.


Deborah Netburn

Deborah Netburn is a features writer at the Los Angeles Times. Endlessly curious, she’s covered a wide variety of topics since starting at the paper in 2006, including entertainment, home and garden, national news, technology and science. She’s hung out with Tibetan monks in the Pacific Palisades, seen seahorses at the bottom of Alamitos Bay and spent time with the working witches of Los Angeles. She is always looking for a good story.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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