Research Assistant Professor Zoe Hughes, Professor Duncan FitzGerald, and the Coastal Lab have secured funding from the National Science Foundation to investigate sedimentation on marshes from Florida to South Carolina due to Hurricane Irma, and from the National Park Service to study the effects of sea level rise and increased storm severity on the Boston Harbor Islands.
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Research Associate Professor Pontus Olofsson has been awarded a three-year research grant from the NASA Land-Cover and Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Program for his proposal “Comprehensive analysis of thirty years of land change in Georgia: patterns, carbon dynamics and drivers.” Olofsson, together with co-investigators Rachael Garrett and Curtis Woodcock, will analyze the land change patterns and terrestrial carbon dynamics of the country of Georgia over the last 30 years. The study has a strong social science component and includes analyses of impacts of shifting policies, globalization, and of the economic and political turmoil of modern Georgia.
Diane Thompson receives NSF funding to investigate the link between tropical Pacific trade winds and global temperatures
Assistant professor Diane Thompson has been awarded a $342,652 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the recent history of tropical Pacific trade wind strength recorded in the skeleton of corals from equatorial atolls. These natural archives of tropical Pacific wind strength have the potential to dramatically improve our understanding of the impact of winds on the rate of global climate change.
This project will also contribute to broadening participation and diversity in science by supporting two early career female scientists (Thompson and co-PI Jessica Carilli), a postdoctoral researcher (H. Sayani) and two undergraduates, who will together develop programs to promote race, gender, and LGBTQ diversity, equity, and inclusion at Boston University.
Assistant professor Rachael Garrett has been awarded $400,000 from the National Science Foundation to study connections between deforestation and global supply chains.
“This project will provide new knowledge on the complex global telecouplings and public-private governance interactions of how zero-deforestation commitments influence land cover change,” Garrett and her colleagues propose. “The research will enhance our fundamental understanding about the conditions under which zero-deforestation commitments lead to ecosystem conservation.”
The Great Marsh Resiliency Partnership received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Merit Award in a ceremony on May 3rd at Faneuil Hall in Boston for their outstanding contribution to environmental restoration and protection. The team includes Earth & Environment Research Assistant Professor Alyssa Novak.
The “Partnership,” led by the National Wildlife Federation, received a $2.9M Hurricane Sandy Resiliency Grant in 2015 to reduce the vulnerability of communities within the Great Marsh to coastal storms, sea-level rise and other stressors. The project, entitled “Community Risk Reduction through Comprehensive Coastal Resiliency Enhancement for the Upper North Shore, Massachusetts,” takes a holistic approach that includes near-term restoration activities and long-term modeling and planning. Over the past two years the partnerships accomplishments have included: eradicating the invasive pepperweed and common reed from over 400 acres of saltmarsh; establishing 3,000 feet of dunes in front of vulnerable coastal infrastructure; reintroducing eelgrass to the subtidal waters; implementing a monitoring and management program for the invasive green crab; identifying and integrating 100 strategies into a comprehensive Great Marsh Coastal Adaptation Plan; identifying more than 1,200 barriers, including dams, water crossings and culverts for retro fits and upgrades. This project navigated the complex interconnections between natural resource conservation and economic and political priorities, jurisdictional authority, and diverse management values.
Congratulations to Earth & Environment PhD student Yaxiong Ma, recipient of BU’s 2017 Initiative on Cities Urban Research Award! Ma is building a VR simulation of urban green and gray infrastructure.
“To protect personnel on Southeastern military installations from tickborne diseases, a federal program has awarded a five-year, $2.45 million grant to a team of researchers with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and other institutions.” That includes BU and Associate Professor Michael Dietze.
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Associate Professor Michael Dietze and his colleagues at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been awarded a five-year, $2.45 million grant by the federal Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, an initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Defense. The goal is to protect personnel on Southeastern military installations from tickborne diseases. The research team will determine the effects of invasive plants, fire, and host animal density on tick populations, and assess how these factors could influence such disease risk under future climate conditions.
Research Associate Professor Rachel Abercrombie has received 3 new research awards in the last few months to continue her work in earthquake seismology. She is collaborating with scientists and graduate students at a number of different universities and institutions. The awards, their focus, and Prof. Abercrombie’s work on them are described below:
NSF Collaborative Award
The U.S.-led international experiment project titled Hikurangi Ocean Bottom Investigation of Tremor and Slow Slip or HOBITSS deployed an ocean bottom instrument array offshore New Zealand. The aim is to investigate the physical environment that hosts shallow slow slip and its relationship to destructive, seismic slip on the Hikurangi subduction thrust. Prof. Abercrombie is a PI with Prof. Schwartz (UCSC) and Prof. Sheehan (U Colorado) on a two-year project that will build on the initial data analysis from this experiment. Prof. Abercrombie is leading the analysis of earthquake source parameters to explore their spatial and temporal relationships with slow slip, geodetic coupling and physical properties of the plate interface.
The original deployment and early results featured in a recent EOS article titled “Investigations of Shallow Slow Slip Offshore of New Zealand.”
NSF Collaborative Award
Prof. Abercrombie and Prof. Chen (University of Oklahoma) received three years of funding to investigate earthquake stress drops, their uncertainties, and spatial and temporal changes using data from around Parkfield, California. This section of the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield, has a high rate of earthquakes, and is one of the best-instrumented sections of fault in the world.
Southern California Earthquake Center Award
For this one year award, Prof. Abercrombie is working with Prof. Shearer at UCSD to improve measurements of earthquake stress drop in Southern California.
Prof. Abercrombie also regularly visits scientists at MIT and Harvard with whom she works on a range of different projects. To learn more about her work, check out her profile page.
E&E Professor Bruce Anderson and BU Center for Remote Sensing Research Associate Professor Magaly Koch, along with School of Education Professors Peter Garik, Donald Derosa and Evangeline Stefanakis, were recently awarded $3 million as part of a $10 million multi-institutional NASA project called “MISSION EARTH: Fusing GLOBE with NASA Assets to Build Systemic Innovation In STEM Education.”
The project seeks to leverage the resources of both NASA and Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) in order to develop a K-12 progression of activities to get students out taking observations that they can compare with NASA satellite imagery and use to do real, hands-on science about their local environment within a global perspective. The unique contribution of the project will be to develop these activities such that they build upon each other as the students complete each grade so that the students are eventually able to use GLOBE and NASA resources to propose and answer their own original research questions.