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.
Earth & Environment Research Assistant Professor Josh Gray and Professor Mark Friedl have been awarded funding from NASA. The three year long grant will create phenological indicators of climate impacts on ecosystems. Gray is the PI on the grant and Friedl is the Co-I.
To learn more about Gray and Friedl’s work, check out their profile pages by clicking on their names above.
Earth & Environment Associate Professor Mike Dietze was just awarded grant funding from the Department of Defense for a new project that will focus on the risks of Tick-borne diseases that could potentially result from the effects of climate change.
In the grant’s abstract, Dietze and his colleague describe the objectives of the project:
“1) Evaluate the interactions between fire and plant invasions spanning a gradient in fire management, invasive plant distribution and abundance, and climatic conditions across the southeastern U.S.
2) Quantify the effects of fire and plant invasions, and their interactions, for variation in wildlife abundance, tick abundance, tick infection rates, and TBD risk to humans.
3) Calibrate a spatially explicit model of TBD risk in response to fire-invasion interactions and incorporate simulations of climate change scenarios to examine the responses of fire, plant invasions, wildlife, TBD risk, and their interactions.”
Assistant Professor Rachael Garrett was recently awarded supplemental funding for her grant project titled “Improving agricultural practices for sustainable development.”
The project is funded by the Interactions of Food Systems with Water and Energy Systems program which is a part of the National Science Foundation’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability Fellows program.
To learn more about Assistant Professor Garrett’s work, check out her profile page.
To learn more about Prof. Dietze’s work, check out his profile page.
Earth & Environment Professor Duncan FitzGerald and his research team have been awarded a new grant from the Department of Interior and additional funding from the National Wildlife Federation.
With the grant funds, FitzGerald and his team will study the hydrodynamics and sediment transport in Plum Island Sound, MA. This two year study is aimed at providing data for a hydrodynamic model of the region and evaluating the long-term sustainability of the Great Marsh in a regime of accelerating sea-level rise.
Alan Strahler receives NSF grant for a Research Coordination Network to advance applications of terrestrial laser scanning for vegetation study
Prof. Alan Strahler has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “RCN-IDBR: Coordinating the Development of Terrestrial Lidar Scanning for Forest Carbon Inventory and Ecological Applications.” The award supports a Research Coordination Network to develop a simple, low-cost, tripod-mounted terrestrial laser scanner that can rapidly survey a forest stand and automatically provide an accurate measurement of the amount of aboveground biomass contained within the stand. Such information is essential for studies of the carbon cycle and measurement of mitigation of anthropogenic increases of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A second network activity identifies and develops other new applications of this and similar laser scanners in forest ecology and related fields.
The research network includes researchers from the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, and other nations who are presently working with commercial and research-built terrestrial lidar scanners to study vegetation and forest ecology. Network activities include workshops to bring lidar builders, users, and ecologists together; smaller technology developer’s meetings; exchanges of graduate students or researchers between laboratories; and laboratory and field standardization and intercomparison activities.
Co-investigators include EE Professors Curtis Woodcock and Lucy Hutyra; UMass Boston Professor Crystal Schaaf; and UMass Professor Supriya Chakrabarti. The project will run for five years, supported at about $100K/yr.
Earth & Environment Ph.D. Candidate Hollie Emery has just been award funding from the National Science Foundation under their Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG) program.
With the grant, Emery will continue to work on research related to her dissertation. In her proposal to seek DDIG funding, Emery writes, “This project will expand my ongoing research into the effects of precipitation change on salt marsh greenhouse gas emissions. DDIG funding will enable me to closely examine changes in the taxonomic diversity and functional gene expression of the microbial community responsible for trace greenhouse gas production and consumption. This approach will connect ecosystem scale gas flux measurements with microbial ecology.”
Emery is a PhD Candidate in Earth Sciences focusing on coastal biogeochemistry and ecology. To learn more about the work Emery and Prof. Fulweiler do, check out the Fulweiler Lab website or check out Prof. Fulweiler’s recent news and publications.