Dolenc, M.R.; Hull, L.C.; Mizell, S.A.; Russell, B.F.; Skiba, P.A.; Strawn, J.A.; Tullis, J.A.
The Raft River Geothermal Site has been evaluated over the past eight years by the United States Geological Survey and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory as a moderate-temperature geothermal resource. The geoscience data gathered in the drilling and testing of seven geothermal wells suggest that the Raft River thermal reservoir is: (a) produced from fractures found at the contact metamorphic zone, apparently the base of detached normal faulting from the Bridge and Horse Well Fault zones of the Jim Sage Mountains; (b) anisotropic, with the major axis of hydraulic conductivity coincident to the Bridge Fault Zone; (c) hydraulically connected to the shallow thermal fluid of the Crook and BLM wells based upon both geochemistry and pressure response; (d) controlled by a mixture of diluted meteoric water recharging from the northwest and a saline sodium chloride water entering from the southwest. Although the hydrogeologic environment of the Raft River geothermal area is very complex and unique, it is typical of many Basin and Range systems.
Dolenc, M.R.; Hull, L.C.; Mizell, S.A.; Russell, B.F.; Skiba, P.A.; Strawn, J.A.; Tullis, J.A.
The following are included in these appendices: lithology, x-ray analysis, and cores; well construction data; borehole geophysical logs; chemical analyses from wells at the Raft River geothermal site; and bibliography. (MHR)
Hansen, Henning; Hlawatsch, Sylke; Lucken, Markus
Trying to implement interdisciplinary geoscience curriculum materials in geography and science education we asked how they fit into teachers' existing practices, their needs for support and strategies to plan instruction. The focus of our case study has been the identification of the goals teachers pursue with the materials, of strategies for…
Iverson, E. A.; Lee, S.; Ormand, C. J.; Feiss, P. G.; Macdonald, H.; Manduca, C. A.; Richardson, R. M.
Begun in 2005, the Building Strong Geoscience Departments project sought to help geoscience departments respond to changes in geosciences research, academic pressures, and the changing face of the geosciences workforce by working as a team, planning strategically, and learning from the experiences of other geoscience departments. Key strategies included becoming more central to their institution's mission and goals; articulating the department's learning goals for students; designing coordinated curricula, co-curricular activities, and assessments to meet these goals; and recruiting students effectively. A series of topical workshops identified effective practices in use in the U.S. and Canada. These practices were documented on the project website and disseminated through a national workshop for teams of faculty, through activities at the AGU Heads and Chairs workshops, and in a visiting workshop program bringing leaders to campuses. The program has now involved over 450 participants from 185 departments. To understand the impact of the program, we engaged in ongoing discussion with five departments of various sizes and institutional types, and facing a variety of immediate challenges. In aggregate they made use of the full spectrum of project offerings. These departments all reported that the project brought an important new perspective to their ability to work as a department: they have a better understanding of how their departments' issues relate to the national scene, have more strategies for making the case for the entire department to college administrators, and are better poised to make use of campus resources including the external review process. These results were consistent with findings from end-of-workshop surveys. Further they developed the ability to work together as a team to address departmental challenges through collective problem solving. As a result of their workshop participation, two of the departments who considered their department to be
Achieving geoscience literacy of the general population has become increasingly important world wide as ever more connected and growing societies depend more and more on our planet's limited natural resource base. Building citizen understanding of their dependence on the local environment, and the geologic processes which created and continue to change it, has become a great challenge to educators at all levels of the education system. The Special Place Project described in this presentation explores use of a place-based case study approach combining instruction in geoscience content with development of observation, reasoning, writing and presentation skills. The approach allows students to select the locations for their individual case studies affording development of personal connections between the learner and his environment. The approach gives instructors at many grade levels the ability to develop core pedagogical content and skills while exploring the unique geologic environments relevant to the local population including such critical issues as land use, resource depletion, energy, climate change and the future of communities in a changing world. The geologic reasons for the location of communities and key events in their histories can be incorporated into the students' case studies as appropriate. The project is unique in placing all course instruction in the context of the quest to explore and gain understanding of the student's chosen location by using the inherently more generalized course content required by the curriculum. By modeling how scientists approach their research questions, this pedagogical technique not only integrates knowledge and skills from across the curriculum, it captures the excitement of scientific thinking on real world questions directly relevant to students' lives, increasing student engagement and depth of learning as demonstrated in the case study reports crafted by the students and exam results. Student learning of topics
Ciavarella, Veronica C.
This exploratory qualitative case study investigated the use of lab-type activities in an online graduate geoscience course. Constructivism is the theoretical framework used to explain how learning happens in lab-type activity, and provided the goals to which successful learning in lab-type activity is compared. This study focused on the learner-instructor, learner-learner, and perceptions of the learner-content interactions that occurred related to lab-type activities in an online graduate geoscience course to determine: if the instructor appeared as a facilitator of the learning process in the interactions over the activities; if students engaged in discussion and reflection about the activities; if students perceived the activities as meaningful and authentic; and if students perceived using higher order thinking and prior knowledge while interacting with the content. Ten graduate students from three offerings of the course participated in this study, as well as the instructor and designer of the course content and lab-type activities. Data were collected through interviews, and observation and analysis of the lab-type activities, instructor feedback to students in their graded activities, and discussion that occurred between the instructor and students and among students about the lab-type activities in discussion forums. The nature of the instructor's interactions in discussion forums, in feedback to students on graded activities, and reported by students' in interviews supported that, in the learner-instructor interactions, the instructor of this course was a facilitator who guided and scaffolded the students towards successfully completing the activities. Students engaged in discussion and reflected on the activities, but most learner-learner interactions in discussion forums about the lab-type activities appeared to occur for the purpose of comparison of results, support, and empathy. Students' success at higher order thinking type questions in lab
Campbell, Karen; Overeem, Irina; Berlin, Maureen
The United States faces a crisis in education: a dire shortage of students sufficiently prepared in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines to competitively enter the workforce (National Education Technology Plan, 2010). At the same time, there is increasing demand for well-trained geoscientists in a variety of careers related to the environment and natural resources. Many efforts, including the recently released Earth Science and Climate Literacy Principles, seek to promote better Earth science education, as well as to strengthen the Earth science literacy of the entire US population. Yet even those undergraduate students who choose to major in geology or related geoscience disciplines rarely acquire sufficient quantitative skills to be truly competitive graduate students or professionals. Experience with modeling, during their undergraduate careers, could greatly increase the quantitative literacy of geoscience majors and help them appreciate the real world applicability of mathematics and computational methods in their future careers in the geosciences.
Leahy, P. P.; Keane, C. M.
Maintaining an adequate global supply of qualified geoscientists is a major challenge facing the profession. With global population expected to exceed 9 billion by midcentury, the demand for geoscience expertise is expected to dramatically increase if we are to provide to society the resource base, environmental quality, and resiliency to natural hazards that is required to meet future global demands. The American Geoscience Institute (AGI) has for the past 50 years tracked the supply of geoscientists and their various areas of specialty for the US. However, this is only part of the necessary workforce analysis, the demand side must also be determined. For the past several years, AGI has worked to acquire estimates for workforce demand in the United States. The analysis suggests that by 2021 there will be between 145,000 to 202,000 unfilled jobs in the US. This demand can be partially filled with an increase in graduates (which is occurring at an insufficient pace in the US to meet full demand), increased migration of geoscientists internationally to the US (a challenge since demands are increasing globally), and more career placement of bachelor degree recipients. To understand the global workforce dynamic, it is critical that accurate estimates of global geoscience supply, demand and retirement be available. Although, AGI has focused on the US situation, it has developed international collaborations to acquire workforce data. Among the organizations that have contributed are UNESCO, the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), the Young Earth-Scientists Network, and the Geological Society of Africa. Among the areas of international collaboration, the IUGS Task Group on Global Geoscience Workforce enables the IUGS to take a leadership role in raising the quality of understanding of workforce across the world. During the course of the taskforce's efforts, several key understandings have emerged. First, the general supply of geoscientists is quantifiable
Wolff, E. A. (Editor); Mercanti, E. P.
Geoscience instrumentation systems are considered along with questions of geoscience environment, signal processing, data processing, and design problems. Instrument platforms are examined, taking into account ground platforms, airborne platforms, ocean platforms, and space platforms. In situ and laboratory sensors described include acoustic wave sensors, age sensors, atmospheric constituent sensors, biological sensors, cloud particle sensors, electric field sensors, electromagnetic field sensors, precision geodetic sensors, gravity sensors, ground constituent sensors, horizon sensors, humidity sensors, ion and electron sensors, magnetic field sensors, tide sensors, and wind sensors. Remote sensors are discussed, giving attention to sensing techniques, acoustic echo-sounders, gamma ray sensors, optical sensors, radar sensors, and microwave radiometric sensors.
Dalbotten, D. M.; Berthelote, A. R.
The Geoscience Alliance is a national alliance of individuals committed to broadening participation of Native Americans in the geosciences. Native Americans in this case include American Indians, Alaska Natives and people of Native Hawai'ian ancestry. Although they make up a large percentage of the resource managers in the country, they are underrepresented in degrees in the geosciences. The Geoscience Alliance (GA) members are faculty and staff from tribal colleges, universities, and research centers; native elders and community members; industry, agency, and corporate representatives; students (K12, undergraduate, and graduate); formal and informal educators; and other interested individuals. The goals of the Geoscience Alliance are to 1) create new collaborations in support of geoscience education for Native American students, 2) establish a new research agenda aimed at closing gaps in our knowledge on barriers and best practices related to Native American participation in the geosciences, 3) increase participation by Native Americans in setting the national research agenda on issues in the geosciences, and particularly those that impact Native lands, 4) provide a forum to communicate educational opportunities for Native American students in the geosciences, and 5) to understand and respect indigenous traditional knowledge. In this presentation, we look at the disparity between numbers of Native Americans involved in careers related to the geosciences and those who are receiving bachelors or graduate degrees in the geosciences. We address barriers towards degree completion in the geosciences, and look at innovative programs that are addressing those barriers.
Jackson, Julia A.
Focuses on student awareness of careers in the geosciences. Provides an example of an instructional situation that motivated a student to pursue such a career. Includes a career-oriented poster and a list of geoscience careers. (DDR)
This paper is a case study of the Union of Raba River Communities in Poland. The City of Cracow receives 60% of its water from the Dobczyce Reservoir, which is located in the Raba River Watershed. The water quality in this reservoir is threatened by pollution from non-point sources and untreated sewage. Because the reservoir and watershed are located outside of Cracow, protecting the water quality falls to communities that do not use the Reservoir. To meet this responsibility, communities in the watershed formed the Union of Raba River Communities (the Union). The Union hired a Cracow consulting firm to conduct a study of watershed management options, which was completed in January 1996. The Union is now evaluating the plan and looking for funding for implementation. The Union is also addressing specific problems in the watershed, including the siting of a much needed but unpopular landfill. There are numerous sources of pollution in the watershed including: sewage; runoff from urban areas, roads, agriculture, logged areas, landfills and dumps, fertilizer and pesticide storage areas, and petrol stations; and air pollution.
Wandersee, J. H.; Clary, R. M.
In June, 2003, CNN reported that there were three US public fossil parks (in OH, NY, and IA) that embraced educational missions and allowed the public to collect and actually keep the fossils they found. The new parks moved beyond exhibiting fossils to allowing the park visitor to have a direct, tangible, and authentic geobiological field experience, typically culminating in the visitor's identification and ownership of a small number of personally collected fossils. Our site-based, qualitative, comparative geoscience educational analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the first three parks was presented at the 2004 International Geological Congress. We subsequently developed a fossil park design model for others contemplating the establishment or instructional use of such parks. Today there are five specially developed, public fossil parks in the US. All are owned and operated by city or county governments, or by non-profit organizations. Each considers its primary mission to be advancing geoscience education. In the current investigation, we conducted on-site, multiple case study research on the two newest US fossil parks. Both are located in small towns: Trammel Fossil Park in Sharonville, Ohio (population 13,000), and Fossil Beds Park in Fossil, Oregon (population 430). The former site is Ordovician in age, with four fossiliferous marine formations. The latter is an Oligocene lake bed and contains approximately 35 species of identified plant fossils. Our focus in both case studies was on identifying the steps of successful fossil park development that lead to a sound informal geoscience education program, based on principles of active, meaningful, and mindful learning (Langer, 1998; Michael and Modell, 2003; Mintzes, Wandersee, and Novak, 2000). We found that each town had developed a collaborative, community-driven, pedagogically innovative, field-based geotourism venue. Each was noteworthy in specific ways for its geoscience education potential as an
Wang, Juan; Wang, Yue; Yang, Haizhen; Lu, Zhibo; Xu, Xiaotian
methodology and experience of the urban river health evaluation illustrated in the paper can be good case study materials for other cities with the similar situation.
Kelso, P. R.; Brown, L. M.; Spencer, M.; Sabatine, S.; Goetz, E. R.
Lake Superior State University (LSSU) developed the GRANITE (Geological Reasoning And Natives Investigating The Earth) to engage high school students in the geosciences. The GRANITE program's target audience is Native American high school students and other populations underrepresented in the geosciences. Through the GRANITE program students undertake a variety of field and laboratory geosciences activities that culminates in a two week summer geoscience field experience during which they travel from Michigan to Wyoming. The sites students visit were selected because of their interesting and diverse geologic features and because in many cases they have special significance to Native American communities. Examples of the processes and localities studied by GRANITE students include igneous processes at Bear Butte, SD (Mato Paha) and Devil's Tower, WY (Mato Tipila); sedimentary processes in the Badlands, SD (Mako Sica) and Black Hills, SD (Paha Sapa); karst processes at Wind Cave, SD (Wasun Niye) and Vore Buffalo Jump; structural processes at Van Hise rock, WI and Dillon normal fault Badlands, SD; hydrologic and laucustrine processes along the Great Lakes and at the Fond du Lac Reservation, MN; fluvial processes along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers; geologic resources at the Homestake Mine, SD and Champion Mine, MI; and metamorphic processes at Pipestone, MN and Baraboo, WI. Through the GRANITE experience students develop an understanding of how geoscience is an important part of their lives, their communities and the world around them. The GRANITE program also promotes each student's growth and confidence to attend college and stresses the importance of taking challenging math and science courses in high school. Geoscience career opportunities are discussed at specific geologic localities and through general discussions. GRANITE students learn geosciences concepts and their application to Native communities and society in general through activities and
Hut, Rolf; Land-Zandstra, Anne M.; Smeets, Ionica; Stoof, Cathelijne R.
Geoscience communication is becoming increasingly important as climate change increases the occurrence of natural hazards around the world. Few geoscientists are trained in effective science communication, and awareness of the formal science communication literature is also low. This can be challenging when interacting with journalists on a powerful medium like TV. To provide geoscience communicators with background knowledge on effective science communication on television, we reviewed relevant theory in the context of geosciences and discuss six major themes: scientist motivation, target audience, narratives and storytelling, jargon and information transfer, relationship between scientists and journalists, and stereotypes of scientists on TV. We illustrate each theme with a case study of geosciences on TV and discuss relevant science communication literature. We then highlight how this literature applies to the geosciences and identify knowledge gaps related to science communication in the geosciences. As TV offers a unique opportunity to reach many viewers, we hope this review can not only positively contribute to effective geoscience communication but also to the wider geoscience debate in society.
Hut, Rolf; Land-Zandstra, Anne; Smeets, Ionica; Stoof, Cathelijne
Geoscience communication is becoming increasingly important as climate change increases the occurrence of natural hazards around the world. Few geoscientists are trained in effective science communication, and awareness of the formal science communication literature is also low. This can be challenging when interacting with journalists on a powerful medium like TV. To provide geoscience communicators with background knowledge on effective science communication on television, we reviewed relevant theory in the context of geosciences and discuss six major themes: scientist motivation, target audience, narratives and storytelling, jargon and information transfer, relationship between scientists and journalists, and stereotypes of scientists on TV. We illustrate each theme with a case study of geosciences on TV and discuss relevant science communication literature. We then highlight how this literature applies to the geosciences and identify knowledge gaps related to science communication in the geosciences. As TV offers a unique opportunity to reach many viewers, we hope this review can not only positively contribute to effective geoscience communication but also to the wider geoscience debate in society. This work is currently under review for publication in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS)
Geoscience educational publications are reviewed in seven areas to identify future directions for curriculum development, professional development and research. The review shows that: effective teaching methods encompassing broad geoscience study still need extensive research; whilst some valuable materials have been developed for the teaching of…
Level 6 (final-year BSc) students undertook case studies on between-site and temporal variation in river-water quality. They used professionally-collected datasets supplied by the Environment Agency. The exercise gave students the experience of working with large, real-world datasets and led to their understanding how the quality of river water is…
Zuber, Maria T. (Editor); Plescia, Jeff L. (Editor); James, Odette B. (Editor); Macpherson, Glenn (Editor)
Research topics within the NASA Planetary Geosciences Program are presented. Activity in the fields of planetary geology, geophysics, materials, and geochemistry is covered. The investigator's current research efforts, the importance of that work in understanding a particular planetary geoscience problem, the context of that research, and the broader planetary geoscience effort is described. As an example, theoretical modelling of the stability of water ice within the Martian regolith, the applicability of that work to understanding Martian volatiles in general, and the geologic history of Mars is discussed.
In this case study, we characterized the spatial and seasonal distribution and abundance of zooplankton within the hydrologically complex drowned river mouth of the St. Louis River, the second largest tributary to Lake Superior and an important fish nursery. We hypothesize that z...
This report, which updates the previous working group publication issued in February 1982, contains independent sections: (A) Summary Outline of DOE Geoscience and Related Studies, and (B) Crosscut of DOE Geoscience and Geoscience Related Studies. The FY 1985 funding levels for geoscience and related activities in each of the 11 programs within DOE are presented. The 11 programs fall under six DOE organizations: Energy Research Conservation and Renewable Energy; Fossil Energy; Defense Programs; Environmental, Safety, and Health; and Civilian radioactive Waste. From time to time, there is particular need for special interprogrammatic coordination within certain topical areas. section B of the report is intended to fill this need for a topical categorization of the Department's geoscience and related activities. These topical areas in Solid Earth Geosciences, Atmospheric Geosciences, Ocean Geosciences, Space and Solar/Terrestrial Geosciences, and Hydrological Geosciences are presented in this report.
Whalen, P J; Toth, L A; Koebel, J W; Strayer, P K
Channelization of the Kissimmee River transformed a 167 km meandering river into a 9 metre deep, 75 metre wide, 90 km drainage canal (C-38) that is compartmentalized with levees and water control structures into a series of five stagnant pools. Channelization dramatically changed water level and flow characteristics, drained 21,000 hectares of floodplain wetlands and severely impacted fish and wildlife populations. A $500 million dollar restoration project will restore the ecological integrity of the river-floodplain system by reconstructing the natural river channel and reestablishing hydrologic processes. Sixty expectations have been established to quantify the ecosystem's recovery. The first phase of reconstruction was completed in February 2001 and included movement of 9.2 million cubic metres of earth to backfill 12 km of C-38, the explosive demolition of one water control structure, construction of two sections (2.4 km) of new river channel, and reestablishment of 24 contiguous km of river. Numerous social, political, and technical challenges have been encountered during the project's evolution. Recommendations are provided for future restoration projects. PMID:12171366
This document outlines a strategy for oil and gas related research focused on optimizing the economic producibility of the Nation's resources. The Hydrocarbon Geoscience Strategy was developed by the Hydrocarbon Geoscience Research Coordinating Committee of the Department of Energy (DOE). This strategy forms the basis for the development of DOE Fossil Energy's Oil Research Program Implementation Plan and Natural Gas Program Implementation Plan. 24 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.
Petrovszki, J.; Székely, B.; Timár, G.
A new evaluation method is proposed to classify the multiple window-size based sinuosity spectrum, in order to minimize the possible human interpretation error. If the river is long enough for the analysis, the classification could be similarly useful as the sinuosity spectrum is, but sometimes it is more straightforward. Furthermore, for the classification, we did not need the main parameters of the river, e.g. the bankfull discharge. The river sinuosity values were studied in the Pannonian Basin in order to reveal neotectonic influence on their abrupt changes. The map sheets of the Second Military Survey of the Habsburg Empire were used to digitize the natural, pre-regulation meandering river thalwegs. 28 rivers were studied, and the connection between the known fault lines and the river sinuosity changes was detected in 36 points, along 26 structural lines. An unsupervised ISOCLASS classification was carried out on these data, and the sinuosity values were divided into 5 classes. Because of the sinuosity calculation method, 25 kilometer-long river sections are missing at the two endpoints of the channel. So sometimes the displayed section of the river does not cross to the faults represented on the neotectonic map. In the other cases, where the faults are crossing the rivers, the results are corresponding with the results of the sinuosity spectrum: the river-points on the two sides of the faults belong to different classes. The connection between these fault lines and the change of river sinuosity classes was detected in 23 points, along 16 structural lines The research is made in the frame of project OTKA-NK83400 (SourceSink Hungary). The European Union and the European Social Fund also have provided financial support to the project under the grant agreement no. TÁMOP 4.2.1./B-09/1/KMR-2010-0003.
Ferreira, A. J. D.
The world is facing overwhelming challenges with implications on the socio-economic performance and the quality of life around the planet. New solutions are needed to prevent, overcome or mitigate the turmoil processes caused by global change, resources exhaustion, and the procession of induced socio-economic impacts. To this end, solutions to optimize natural resources management, find new ways of using geophysical processes and properties as resources, and to use geosciences knowledge to find new, more sustainable ways to use earth resources, has to be sought for. This work is based on a literature review and on the building of a sustainable development strategy currently being prepared at the Portuguese Centro Region by the author, as part of a Research Centre strategy towards the improvement of environmental performance, of organizations, products and infrastructures. The strategy is based on the optimal use of environmental services, to which the role of geosciences and is a key element. Harnessing the abiotic milieu and processes and mimicking the multiple scale interactions of ecosystem to improve the organization and the productivity and value of man ventures. Geosciences provide the matrix where activities occur; therefore, their judicious management will optimise resources use, providing the best solutions. In addition, geosciences and their relation with ecosystem research can be managed to improve yields, by optimizing the agriculture and forestry practices. One way to proceed, that is in the forefront of research towards sustainability is by developing ways to include geosciences and ecosystems factors in novel Environmental Management tools such as Life Cycle Assessments or Environmental Management Systems. Furthermore, the knowledge on geosciences cycles and processes is of paramount importance in any planning process and in the design of infrastructures, which has a key direct or indirect role in the optimization of energy management.
Rogelj, Joeri; Knutti, Reto
The adoption of the Paris Agreement is a historic milestone for the global response to the threat of climate change. Scientists are now being challenged to investigate a 1.5 °C world -- which will require an accelerated effort from the geoscience community.
Buskop, J.; Buskop, W.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization recognizes 21 World Heritage in the United States, ten of which have astounding geological features: Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Olympic National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Canyon, Glacier National Park, Carlsbad National Park, Mammoth Cave, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and Everglades National Park. Created by a student frustrated with fellow students addicted to smart phones with an extreme lack of interest in the geosciences, one student visited each World Heritage site in the United States and created one e-book chapter per park. Each chapter was created with original photographs, and a geological discovery hunt to encourage teen involvement in preserving remarkable geological sites. Each chapter describes at least one way young adults can get involved with the geosciences, such a cave geology, glaciology, hydrology, and volcanology. The e-book describes one park per chapter, each chapter providing a geological discovery hunt, information on how to get involved with conservation of the parks, geological maps of the parks, parallels between archaeological and geological sites, and how to talk to a ranger. The young author is approaching UNESCO to publish the work as a free e-book to encourage involvement in UNESCO sites and to prove that the geosciences are fun.
Pringle, J. K.; Ruffell, A.; Jervis, J. R.; Donnelly, L.; McKinley, J.; Hansen, J.; Morgan, R.; Pirrie, D.; Harrison, M.
Geoscience methods are increasingly being utilised in criminal, environmental and humanitarian forensic investigations, and the use of such methods is supported by a growing body of experimental and theoretical research. Geoscience search techniques can complement traditional methodologies in the search for buried objects, including clandestine graves, weapons, explosives, drugs, illegal weapons, hazardous waste and vehicles. This paper details recent advances in search and detection methods, with case studies and reviews. Relevant examples are given, together with a generalised workflow for search and suggested detection technique(s) table. Forensic geoscience techniques are continuing to rapidly evolve to assist search investigators to detect hitherto difficult to locate forensic targets.
This paper organizes and analyses over 500 geoscience misconceptions relating to earthquakes, earth structure, geologic resources, glaciers, historical geology, karst (limestone terrains), plate tectonics, rivers, rocks and minerals, soils, volcanoes, and weathering and erosion. Journal and reliable web resources were reviewed to discover (1) the…
Allison, M. L.; Gundersen, L. C.
Geological surveys in the USA have an estimated 2,000-3,000 databases that represent one of the largest, long- term information resources on the geology of the United States and collectively constitute a national geoscience data "backbone" for research and applications. An NSF-supported workshop in February, 2007, among representatives of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) and the USGS, recommended that "the nation's geological surveys develop a national geoscience information framework that is distributed, interoperable, uses open source standards and common protocols, respects and acknowledges data ownership, fosters communities of practice to grow, and develops new web services and clients." The AASG and USGS have formally endorsed the workshop recommendations and formed a joint Steering Committee to pursue design and implementation of the Geoscience Information Network (GIN). GIN is taking a modular approach in assembling the network: 1. Agreement on open-source standards and common protocols through the use of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. 2. A data exchange model utilizing the geoscience mark-up language GeoSciML, an OGC GML-based application. 3. A prototype data discovery tool (National Digital Catalogue - NDC) developing under the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program run by the USGS. 4. Data integration tools developed or planned by a number of independent projects. A broader NSF-sponsored workshop in March 2007 examined what direction the geoinformatics community in the US should take towards developing a National Geoinformatics System. The final report stated that, "It was clear that developing such a system should involve a partnership between academia, government, and industry that should be closely connected to the efforts of the U. S. Geological Survey and the state geological surveys..." The GIN is collaborating with 1-G Europe, a coalition of 27 European geological surveys in the One
Employment in geology provides excellent preparation for writing mystery novels that teach geoscience. While doing pure research at the USGS under the mentorship of Edwin D. McKee, I learned that the rigors of the scientific method could be applied not only to scientific inquiry but to any search for what is true, including the art of storytelling (the oldest and still most potent form of communication), which in turn supports science. Geoscience constructs narratives of what has happened or what might happen; hence, to communicate my findings, I must present a story. Having developed my writing skills while preparing colleague-reviewed papers (which required that I learn to set my ego aside and survive brutal critiques), the many rounds of edits required to push a novel through a publishing house were a snap. My geoscience training for becoming a novelist continued through private industry, consultancy, and academia. Employment as a petroleum geologist added the pragmatism of bottom-line economics and working to deadlines to my skill set, and nothing could have prepared me for surviving publishers' rejections and mixed reviews better than having to pitch drilling projects to jaded oil patch managers, especially just before lunchtime, when I was all that stood between them and their first martinis of the day. Environmental consulting was an education in ignorant human tricks and the politics of resource consumption gone astray. When teaching at the college level and guest lecturing at primary and secondary schools, my students taught me that nothing was going to stick unless I related the story of geoscience to their lives. When choosing a story form for my novels, I found the mystery apropos because geoscientists are detectives. Like police detectives, we work with fragmentary and often hidden evidence using deductive logic, though our corpses tend to be much, much older or not dead yet. Throughout my career, I learned that negative stereotypes about scientists
Richard, Stephen M.; Pearthree, Genevieve; Aufdenkampe, Anthony K.; Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Joel; Daniels, Mike; Gomez, Basil; Kinkade, Danie; Percivall, George
Discoveries in the geosciences are increasingly taking place across traditional disciplinary boundaries. The EarthCube program, a community-driven project supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, is developing an information- and tool-sharing framework to bridge between disciplines and unlock the modern geosciences' transformative potential.
Wechsler, Suzanne P.; Whitney, David J.; Ambos, Elizabeth L.; Rodrigue, Christine M.; Lee, Christopher T.; Behl, Richard J.; Larson, Daniel O.; Francis, Robert D.; Hold, Gregory
An innovative interdisciplinary project at California State University, Long Beach, was designed to increase the attractiveness of the geosciences (physical geography, geology, and archaeology) to underrepresented groups. The goal was to raise awareness of the geosciences by providing summer research opportunities for underrepresented high school…
The growing public awareness that human activities can harm rivers is leading to rapid growth in efforts to restore river channels to some acceptable, if not natural, state. There is a corresponding increase in criticism from the scientific community that such projects are poorly designed and fail too often. Scientists also complain that design practice does not make use of the best available scientific information and feel that they are not listened to. Tension between scientist and practitioner is not new, unusual, or limited to river restoration projects. Practitioners may be inclined to dismiss criticism from those who do not leave their handiwork on the landscape for all to evaluate. This view, however, misses the point that the job of science is not to address particular cases, but to find the general principles that apply to all cases. Also, it is likely that much of the criticism is basically correct (given the advantage of hindsight). The problem is not faulty criticism, nor that scientists do not have the right to criticize. The problem is that the critique is ineffective, if effectiveness is measured in terms of injecting better ideas and reliability into practice.
Butler, John C.
Many universities are considering how best to meet the challenges of changing student characteristics (older students, more females, and increasing numbers of under-represented students) and changing fiscal climate (insufficient funding to sustain existing initiatives and develop new ones). Many are exploring the potential of Internet-based resources as an element in both synchronous courses (everyone in the same place at the same time) and asynchronous courses (where members of the class could be in many different places at different times). Simply using the Internet to broadcast course content (where information flow is primarily from the instructor to the class) fails to take advantage of its distributed nature. Perhaps the greatest contribution of "new technologies" will be a rethinking of what is required for learning to occur. The Internet itself is the best place for finding out how these resources are being incorporated into formal courses. Approximately half of the Geosciences Departments in the United States and Canada have Internet home pages. More than 200 geosciences courses, produced by more than 70 of these academic departments have Internet-based home pages. An increasing number of field trips, course exercises, tours, reference materials, poster sessions, and student projects are appearing which can be incorporated into new courses.
Bolman, J. R.; Quigley, I.; Douville, V.; Hollow Horn Bear, D.
Native people have lived for millennia in distinct and unique ways in our natural sacred homelands and environments. Tribal cultures are the expression of deep understandings of geosciences shared through oral histories, language and ceremonies. Today, Native people as all people are living in a definite time of change. The developing awareness of "change" brings forth an immense opportunity to expand and elevate Native geosciences knowledge, specifically in the areas of earth, wind, fire and water. At the center of "change" is the need to balance the needs of the people with the needs of the environment. Native tradition and our inherent understanding of what is "sacred above is sacred below" is the foundation for an emerging multi-faceted approach to increasing the representation of Natives in geosciences. The approach is also a pathway to assist in Tribal language revitalization, connection of oral histories and ceremonies as well as building an intergenerational teaching/learning community. Humboldt State University, Sinte Gleska University and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in partnership with Northern California (Hoopa, Yurok, & Karuk) and Great Plains (Lakota) Tribes have nurtured Native geosciences learning communities connected to Tribal Sacred Sites and natural resources. These sites include the Black Hills (Mato Paha, Mato Tiplia, Hinhan Kaga Paha, Mako Sica etc.), Klamath River (Ishkêesh), and Hoopa Valley (Natinixwe). Native geosciences learning is centered on the themes of earth, wind, fire and water and Native application of remote sensing technologies. Tribal Elders and Native geoscientists work collaboratively providing Native families in-field experiential intergenerational learning opportunities which invite participants to immerse themselves spiritually, intellectually, physically and emotionally in the experiences. Through this immersion and experience Native students and families strengthen the circle of our future Tribal
This paper organizes and analyses over 500 geoscience misconceptions relating to earthquakes, earth structure, geologic resources, glaciers, historical geology, karst (limestone terrains), plate tectonics, rivers, rocks and minerals, soils, volcanoes, and weathering and erosion. Journal and reliable web resources were reviewed to discover (1) the frequency of misconceptions by subject matter, group (primary, middle-school, high-school, middle-/high-school, college, pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, and undefined) and source (journal versus web); and (2) the pattern of misconceptions across age groups and (3) directions for future research. A total of 502 misconceptions were discovered, with over 40% targeting a middle- and high-school audience. Plate tectonics comprised 19% of all misconceptions, with another 14% and 13% associated with weathering/erosion and historical geology, respectively. Over 80% of all the misconceptions were derived from peer-reviewed journals or web sources, the rest originated from reliable sources on the World Wide Web. The supernatural origin for many of the geoscience phenomena listed here is abandoned by middle school, but in other cases, some misconceptions seem robust through adulthood. Examples of such misconceptions include the origin/pattern of earthquakes, thickness of the earth's crust, oil's origin, movement mechanisms for glaciers, co-existence of humans and dinosaurs, water movement within karst terrains, the nature of plate boundaries, the power of water as an agent of geomorphic change, what constitutes a mineral and a rock, thickness of the soil layer, the distribution of volcanoes, and the difference between weathering and erosion.
Jarecka, D.; Arabas, S.; Fijalkowski, M.; Gaynor, A.
The language of choice for numerical modelling in geoscience has long been Fortran. A choice of a particular language and coding paradigm comes with different set of tradeoffs such as that between performance, ease of use (and ease of abuse), code clarity, maintainability and reusability, availability of open source compilers, debugging tools, adequate external libraries and parallelisation mechanisms. The availability of trained personnel and the scale and activeness of the developer community is of importance as well. We present a short comparison study aimed at identification and quantification of these tradeoffs for a particular example of an object oriented implementation of a parallel 2D-advection-equation solver in Python/NumPy, C++/Blitz++ and modern Fortran. The main angles of comparison will be complexity of implementation, performance of various compilers or interpreters and characterisation of the "added value" gained by a particular choice of the language. The choice of the numerical problem is dictated by the aim to make the comparison useful and meaningful to geoscientists. Python is chosen as a language that traditionally is associated with ease of use, elegant syntax but limited performance. C++ is chosen for its traditional association with high performance but even higher complexity and syntax obscurity. Fortran is included in the comparison for its widespread use in geoscience often attributed to its performance. We confront the validity of these traditional views. We point out how the usability of a particular language in geoscience depends on the characteristics of the language itself and the availability of pre-existing software libraries (e.g. NumPy, SciPy, PyNGL, PyNIO, MPI4Py for Python and Blitz++, Boost.Units, Boost.MPI for C++). Having in mind the limited complexity of the considered numerical problem, we present a tentative comparison of performance of the three implementations with different open source compilers including CPython and
Zhao, Y. W.; Yang, Z. F.
Due to the increasingly serious ecological degradation of river systems, the river health research has attracted more and more attention of the researchers and decision-makers. This paper aims to integrate the fuzzy assessment method with analytic hierarchy process to establish the integrative fuzzy hierarchical assessment model, thus combing qualitative analysis and quantitative assessment and overcoming the disadvantages of subjectivity of the previous evaluation methods. The results show that the proposed assessment method is able to reveal how the river system is disturbed by human activities. Finally, the integrative fuzzy hierarchical method is validated and applied to the case study of Yong River in Ningbo City, China.
Mogk, David; Bruckner, Monica; Kieffer, Susan; Geissman, John; Reidy, Michael; Taylor, Shaun; Vallero, Daniel
values required to successfully prepare for and contribute to a career in the geosciences? 2) Geoethics and the geoscience profession: what are the ethical standards expected of geoscientists if they are to contribute responsibly to the community of practice expected of the profession? 3) Geoethics and society: what are the responsibilities of geoscientists to effectively and responsibly communicate the results of geoscience research to inform society about issues ranging from geohazards to natural resource utilization in order to protect the health, safety, and economic security of humanity? 4) Geoethics and Earth: what are the responsibilities of geoscientists to provide good stewardship of Earth based on their knowledge of Earth's composition, architecture, history, dynamic processes, and complex systems? Consideration of these components of geoethics will prepare students to recognize ethical dilemmas, and to master the skills needed for ethical decision-making in their professional lives. Collections of resources, case studies, presentations and working group summaries of the workshop can be accessed at: http://serc.carleton.edu/geoethics/index.html
Yan, Jin-Long; Jiang, Tao; Gao, Jie; Wei, Shi-Qiang; Lu, Song; Liu, Jiang
Three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy combined with ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectra was used to investigate the change characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in confluences water of Qujiang River-Jialing River and Fujiang River-Jialing River, respectively. The results suggested that DOM showed a significant terrestrial input signal in all the sampling sites, FI < 1.4, HIX > 0.8, possibly representing remarkable signals of humus resulted from humic-like component. Moreover, the mixing zone of this study showed a non-conservative mixed behavior, which had a limited contribution, and was not the dominant factor to interpret the change characteristics of DOM in confluences zones. Different land-use types along all the rivers had an obvious impact on DOM inputs. Results of cluster analysis showed that a higher degree of aromaticity and humification components was observed as the predominant contributor to DOM when the land-use type was forest and farmland ecosystem, for example the confluences of Qujiang River-Jialing River. On the other hand, high concentrations of DOM with relative simple structures were found in the water when the urban land-use type was predominant, for example the confluences of Fujiang River-Jialing River. Meanwhile, a new fluorescent signal of protein-like components (peak T) appeared, which manifested a significant effect on the water quality resulted from anthropogenic activities. PMID:25929053
Ormand, C. J.; MacDonald, H.; Manduca, C. A.
The Building Strong Geoscience Departments program ran a workshop on the role of geoscience departments in preparing geoscience professionals. Workshop participants asserted that geoscience departments can help support the flow of geoscience graduates into the geoscience workforce by providing students with information about jobs and careers; providing experiences that develop career-oriented knowledge, attitudes and skills; encouraging exploration of options; and supporting students in their job searches. In conjunction with the workshop, we have developed a set of online resources designed to help geoscience departments support their students’ professional development in these ways. The first step toward sending geoscience graduates into related professions is making students aware of the wide variety of career options available in the geosciences and of geoscience employment trends. Successful means of achieving this include making presentations about careers (including job prospects and potential salaries) in geoscience classes, providing examples of practical applications of course content, talking to advisees about their career plans, inviting alumni to present at departmental seminars, participating in institutional career fairs, and publishing a departmental newsletter with information about alumni careers. Courses throughout the curriculum as well as co-curricular experiences can provide experiences that develop skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will be useful for a range of careers. Successful strategies include having an advisory board that offers suggestions about key knowledge and skills to incorporate into the curriculum, providing opportunities for students to do geoscience research, developing internship programs, incorporating professional skills training (such as HazMat training) into the curriculum, and teaching professionalism. Students may also benefit from involvement with the campus career center or from conducting informational
Ji, Xiaomin; Xu, Youpeng; Han, Longfei; Yang, Liu
Stream structure is usually dominated by various human activities over a short term. An analysis of variation in stream structure from 1979 to 2009 in the Qinhuai River Basin, China, was performed based on remote sensing images and topographic maps by using ArcGIS. A series of river parameters derived from river geomorphology are listed to describe the status of river structure in the past and present. Results showed that urbanization caused a huge increase in the impervious area. The number of rivers in the study area has decreased and length of rivers has shortened. Over the 30 years, there was a 41.03% decrease in river length. Complexity and stability of streams have also changed and consequently the storage capacities of river channels in intensively urbanized areas are much lower than in moderately urbanized areas, indicating a greater risk of floods. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the urban disturbance to rivers. PMID:25116497
Currently there is an enormous amount of various geoscience databases. Unfortunately the only users of the majority of the databases are their elaborators. There are several reasons for that: incompaitability, specificity of tasks and objects and so on. However the main obstacles for wide usage of geoscience databases are complexity for elaborators and complication for users. The complexity of architecture leads to high costs that block the public access. The complication prevents users from understanding when and how to use the database. Only databases, associated with GoogleMaps don't have these drawbacks, but they could be hardly named "geoscience" Nevertheless, open and simple geoscience database is necessary at least for educational purposes (see our abstract for ESSI20/EOS12). We developed a database and web interface to work with them and now it is accessible at maps.sch192.ru. In this database a result is a value of a parameter (no matter which) in a station with a certain position, associated with metadata: the date when the result was obtained; the type of a station (lake, soil etc); the contributor that sent the result. Each contributor has its own profile, that allows to estimate the reliability of the data. The results can be represented on GoogleMaps space image as a point in a certain position, coloured according to the value of the parameter. There are default colour scales and each registered user can create the own scale. The results can be also extracted in *.csv file. For both types of representation one could select the data by date, object type, parameter type, area and contributor. The data are uploaded in *.csv format: Name of the station; Lattitude(dd.dddddd); Longitude(ddd.dddddd); Station type; Parameter type; Parameter value; Date(yyyy-mm-dd). The contributor is recognised while entering. This is the minimal set of features that is required to connect a value of a parameter with a position and see the results. All the complicated data
Nalepa, N. A.; Murray, K. S.; Napieralski, J. A.
According to recent studies, more than 40% of students within the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) drop out and only 21% graduate within 4 years. In an attempt to improve these statistics, The Geosciences Institute for Research and Education was developed by the University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) and funded by two grants from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) OEDG Program. The Geosciences Institute, a collaboration between the UM-D, DPS, and local corporations, aims to generate awareness of the geosciences to middle school students, facilitate an enthusiastic learning environment, encourage underrepresented minorities to stay in school, and consider the geosciences as a viable career option. This is accomplished by involving their teachers, UM-D faculty and students, and local geoscience professionals in community-based research problems relevant to SE Michigan. Students use the geosciences as a tool in which they are actively participating in research that is in their backyards. Through a mixture of field trips, participation, and demonstrational activities the students become aware of local environmental and social problems and how a background in the geosciences can prepare them. As part of the Geosciences Institute, students participate in three ongoing research projects with UM-D faculty: (1) build, install, and monitor groundwater wells along the Lower Rouge River, (2) collect soil samples from and mapping brownfields in SW Detroit, and (3) learn basic GPS and GIS skills to map local natural resources. The students also work with faculty on creating video diaries that record ideas, experiences, and impressions throughout the Institute, including during fieldtrips, modules, research, and editing. Finally, small teams of students collaborate to design and print a poster that summarizes their experience in the Institute. The Geosciences Institute concludes with a ceremony that celebrates student efforts (posters and videos) and involves school
Online scientific research, or e-science, is increasingly reliant on machine-readable representations of scientific data and knowledge. At present, much of the knowledge is represented in ontologies, which typically contain geoscience categories such as ‘water body’, ‘aquifer’, ‘granite’, ‘temperature’, ‘density’, ‘Co2’. While extremely useful for many e-science activities, such categorical representations constitute only a fragment of geoscience knowledge. Also needed are online representations of elements such as geoscience theories, to enable geoscientists to pose and evaluate hypotheses online. To address this need, the Science Knowledge Infrastructure ontology (SKIo) specializes the DOLCE foundational ontology with basic science knowledge primitives such as theory, model, observation, and prediction. Discussed will be SKIo as well as its implementation in the geosciences, including case studies from marine science, environmental science, and geologic mapping. These case studies demonstrate SKIo’s ability to represent a wide spectrum of geoscience knowledge types, to help fuel next generation e-science.
This report focuses on the nation's geoscience needs and recommends DOE activities to mitigate major problems that effect energy security. The report recommends new or redirected DOE geoscience research initiatives for oil and gas, coal, nuclear resources, structures and processes in the earth's crust, geothermal resources, oil shale, and waste disposal. In light of the current and near-term national energy requirements, federal budget constraints, and the diminished R and D efforts from the domestic energy industry, the Board recommends that DOE: assign highest geoscience research emphasis to shorter-term, energy priorities of the nation; particularly advanced oil and gas exploration and production technologies; establish in DOE an Office of Geoscience Research to develop and administer a strategic plan for geoscience research activities; establish oil and gas research centers within each of the six major oil and gas provinces of the United States to conduct and coordinate interdisciplinary problem-oriented research; increase oil and gas research funding by an initial annual increment of $50 million, primarily to support the regional research centers.
Ormand, C. J.; Manduca, C. A.; MacDonald, H.
The Building Strong Geoscience Departments program aims to foster communication and sharing among geoscience departments in order to allow for rapid dissemination of strong ideas and approaches. Sponsored by NAGT, AGI, AGU, and GSA, the project has developed a rich set of web resources and offered workshops on high-interest topics, such as recruiting students, curriculum development, and program assessment. The Building Strong Geoscience Departments website has a growing collection of resources, drawn from workshop discussions and presentations, showcasing how geoscience departments approach curriculum revision, student recruitment, and program assessment. Recruitment resources consist of specific examples of a wide variety of successful approaches to student recruitment from departments at a wide array of institutions. Curricular feature pages framing the process of curriculum development or revision and a collection of dozens of geoscience curricula, searchable by degree program name. Each curriculum in the collection includes a diagram of the course sequence and structure. Program assessment resources include a collection of assessment instruments, ranging from alumni surveys and student exit interviews to course evaluations and rubrics for assessing student work, and a collection of assessment planning documents, ranging from mission and vision statements through student learning goals and outcomes statements to departmental assessment plans and guidelines for external reviews. These recruitment strategies, curricula, and assessment instruments and documents have been contributed by the geoscience community. In addition, we are developing a collection of case studies of individual departments, highlighting challenges they have faced and the strategies they have used to successfully overcome those challenges. We welcome additional contributions to all of these collections. These online resources support the Building Strong Geoscience Departments Visiting
Mitidieri, Francesco; Nicolina Papa, Maria; Ruello, Giuseppe; Amitrano, Donato; Bizzi, Simone; Demarchi, Luca
Improving the knowledge about river processes by applying innovative monitoring techniques is extremely needed to face the challenge of a better river management. In this paper we test the capability of satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images to enrich the monitoring of river geomorphological processes. Multitemporal SAR images provide observations and measurements at high spatial (3 m), and in particular temporal resolution (15 days). This information if properly processed and classified may significantly enrich our ability to monitor the evolution of river morphological phenomena (erosion/deposition, narrowing/widening, riparian vegetation's evolution and interferences with river flow). This is expected to lead to an enhancements in the river management capabilities, in particular as regards the assessment of hydro-morphological river quality, as strongly suggested by European Commission's Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC). A case study on the Italian River Orco is here presented. The case study has used a set of 100 COSMO-SkyMed stripmap images (from October 2008 to November 2014) from Italian Space Agency. All the data were acquired with medium look angle (almost 30°) and HH polarization, also for increasing the land-water contrast. Calibration, registration and despeckling procedures were applied on the acquired dataset. In particular, the optimal weighting multitemporal De Grandi filter was adopted in order to allow an effective extraction of the water surfaces contour. This method was applied to extract water contours over the entire historical series of SAR datasets available. Thanks to the generated information we were able to monitor the lateral dynamic of the water channels and infer on the evolutions of erosion/deposition phenomena. To this aim, an RGB representation of multitemporal SAR data was implemented. The series of detected river channel morphological changes was then analyzed in the light of the series of discharge measurements in
Yoon, Yeosang; Garambois, Pierre-André; Paiva, Rodrigo C. D.; Durand, Michael; Roux, Hélène; Beighley, Edward
We present an improvement to a previously presented algorithm that used a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo method for estimating river discharge from remotely sensed observations of river height, width, and slope. We also present an error budget for discharge calculations from the algorithm. The algorithm may be utilized by the upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission. We present a detailed evaluation of the method using synthetic SWOT-like observations (i.e., SWOT and AirSWOT, an airborne version of SWOT). The algorithm is evaluated using simulated AirSWOT observations over the Sacramento and Garonne Rivers that have differing hydraulic characteristics. The algorithm is also explored using SWOT observations over the Sacramento River. SWOT and AirSWOT height, width, and slope observations are simulated by corrupting the "true" hydraulic modeling results with instrument error. Algorithm discharge root mean square error (RMSE) was 9% for the Sacramento River and 15% for the Garonne River for the AirSWOT case using expected observation error. The discharge uncertainty calculated from Manning's equation was 16.2% and 17.1%, respectively. For the SWOT scenario, the RMSE and uncertainty of the discharge estimate for the Sacramento River were 15% and 16.2%, respectively. A method based on the Kalman filter to correct errors of discharge estimates was shown to improve algorithm performance. From the error budget, the primary source of uncertainty was the a priori uncertainty of bathymetry and roughness parameters. Sensitivity to measurement errors was found to be a function of river characteristics. For example, Steeper Garonne River is less sensitive to slope errors than the flatter Sacramento River.
Simarski, Lynn Teo
Do women geoscientists face worse obstacles because of their gender than women in other sciences? A recent survey by the Committee on Professionals in Science and Technology showed that women with geoscience bachelor's degrees start off at only 68% of their male colleagues' salaries, much lower than women in biology (92%), engineering (102%), chemistry (103%), and physics (111%).Women still lag behind men in geoscience degrees as well. In 1990, women received about one-third of geoscience bachelor's degrees, one-quarter of masters, and about one-fifth of Ph.D.'s, reports the American Geological Institute. In the sciences overall, women received about half of bachelor's degrees, 42% of masters, and about a third of Ph.D.'s in 1989, according to the National Research Council.
The American Geological Institute, Alexandria, Va., has had a significant increase in funds available for minority geoscience scholarships for the 1990-1991 academic year. The number of scholarships awarded this year has more than doubled from a total of 36 in 1989-90 to 80 available for 1990-1991.The increase is due largely to a grant from the National Science Foundation. Total value of the awards, which will be given to undergraduate and graduate geoscience students, will be $221,000. For 1989--990 the total value was $36,750.
Sambridge, M; Bodin, T; Gallagher, K; Tkalcic, H
Seismologists construct images of the Earth's interior structure using observations, derived from seismograms, collected at the surface. A common approach to such inverse problems is to build a single 'best' Earth model, in some sense. This is despite the fact that the observations by themselves often do not require, or even allow, a single best-fit Earth model to exist. Interpretation of optimal models can be fraught with difficulties, particularly when formal uncertainty estimates become heavily dependent on the regularization imposed. Similar issues occur across the physical sciences with model construction in ill-posed problems. An alternative approach is to embrace the non-uniqueness directly and employ an inference process based on parameter space sampling. Instead of seeking a best model within an optimization framework, one seeks an ensemble of solutions and derives properties of that ensemble for inspection. While this idea has itself been employed for more than 30 years, it is now receiving increasing attention in the geosciences. Recently, it has been shown that transdimensional and hierarchical sampling methods have some considerable benefits for problems involving multiple parameter types, uncertain data errors and/or uncertain model parametrizations, as are common in seismology. Rather than being forced to make decisions on parametrization, the level of data noise and the weights between data types in advance, as is often the case in an optimization framework, the choice can be informed by the data themselves. Despite the relatively high computational burden involved, the number of areas where sampling methods are now feasible is growing rapidly. The intention of this article is to introduce concepts of transdimensional inference to a general readership and illustrate with particular seismological examples. A growing body of references provide necessary detail. PMID:23277604
Gonzales, L. M.; Keane, C. M.; Martinez, C. M.
Increased demands for resources and environmental activities, relative declines in college students entering technical fields, and expectations of growth commensurate with society as a whole challenge the competitiveness of the U.S. geoscience workforce. Because of prior business cycles, more than 50% of the workforce needed in natural resource industries in 10 years is currently not in the workforce. This issue is even more acute in government at all levels and in academic institutions. Here, we present a snapshot of the current status of the geoscience profession that spans geoscientists in training to geoscience professionals in government, industry, and academia to understand the disparity between the supply of and demand for geoscientists. Since 1996, only 1% of high school SAT test takers plan to major in geosciences at college. Although the total number of geoscience degrees granted at community colleges have increased by 9% since 1996 , the number of geoscience undergraduate degrees has decreased by 7%. The number of geoscience master's and doctoral degrees have increased 4% and 14% respectively in the same time period. However, by 2005, 68 geoscience departments were consolidated or closed in U.S. universities. Students who graduate with geoscience degrees command competitive salaries. Recent bachelors geoscience graduates earned an average salary of 31,366, whereas recent master's recipients earned an average of 81,300. New geosciences doctorates commanded an average salary of 72,600. Also, fFederal funding for geoscience research has increase steadily from 485 million in 1970 to $3.5 billion in 2005. Economic indicators suggest continued growth in geoscience commodity output and in market capitalization of geoscience industries. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 19% increase in the number of geoscience jobs from 2006 to 2016. Despite the increased demand for geoscientists and increase in federal funding of geoscience research
Viskupic, K. M.
In the fall of 2008, the sophomore-level undergraduate geoscience curriculum at Boise State University was revised to introduce a "sophomore core" of three 200-level courses, one in each of the three major disciplines (geology, hydrology, geophysics) represented in our degree programs. The sophomore core is intended to give students an advanced introduction to each discipline to help their self-assessment of interests while teaching fundamental concepts and skills. An emphasis is placed on the integration of information and techniques from different geoscience fields related to the theme of each course (for example, the evolution of the western Snake River Plain in the geology core course). The sophomore core is also intended to help students transition between the university-serving 100-level introductory geoscience courses and the 300-level subdiscipline-specific courses. Prior to this curriculum change, students interested in the geosciences after taking a 100-level class would enroll in field methods, mineralogy, or geomorphology. Leading up to the introduction of the sophomore core, during the 2007-2008 school year, the department of geosciences established a central advising office. Prior to the establishment of this office, geoscience majors were assigned arbitrarily to faculty throughout the department for advising purposes, although students are not required to meet with an advisor. Having a single primary advisor for all geoscience majors has helped to ensure quality and consistency of advising and provide an easy to identify point-of-contact for students. Together, the changes in curriculum and advising structure were expected to improve the retention and graduation of undergraduate geoscience majors by providing engaging, thematic course work that would establish the importance and relevance of subdisciplines within the geosciences, and by proving resources to guide students through the necessary steps and decisions needed to complete their degrees. To
Harte, P.T.; Kiah, R.G.
Multiple streamflow measurements were made at coupled discharge measurement stations to quantify rates of aquifer recharge and discharge on two reaches of the Souhegan River, New Hampshire, USA, flowing within a glacial-drift river-valley aquifer. The reaches included a predominantly losing (aquifer recharge) reach and a variable (aquifer recharge and discharge) reach located downstream of the former reach. River leakage, the differential between coupled upstream and downstream streamflow measurements along a reach, varied by almost 30 cubic feet per second (ft3/s) (0.85 m3/s) along the two reaches. The upper reach averaged 3.94 ft3/s (0.11 m3/s) loss whereas the lower reach averaged 4.85 ft3/s (0.14 m3/s) gain. At the upper reach, 13 losses were measured out of 19 coupled measurements. At the lower reach, ten out of 13 coupled measurements indicated gains in flow and suggest that this reach is primarily a gaining river reach. An important factor in river leakage appears to be antecedent trends in river stage. At the upper reach, gains were measured only during periods of declining river stage. Conversely, at the lower reach, streamflow loss was measured primarily during periods of rising river stage. Although some tendencies exist, several factors complicate the analysis of river leakage, most notably the inaccuracies in computed stream discharge. ?? Springer-Verlag 2008.
Harte, Philip T.; Kiah, Richard G.
Multiple streamflow measurements were made at coupled discharge measurement stations to quantify rates of aquifer recharge and discharge on two reaches of the Souhegan River, New Hampshire, USA, flowing within a glacial-drift river-valley aquifer. The reaches included a predominantly losing (aquifer recharge) reach and a variable (aquifer recharge and discharge) reach located downstream of the former reach. River leakage, the differential between coupled upstream and downstream streamflow measurements along a reach, varied by almost 30 cubic feet per second (ft3/s) (0.85 m3/s) along the two reaches. The upper reach averaged 3.94 ft3/s (0.11 m3/s) loss whereas the lower reach averaged 4.85 ft3/s (0.14 m3/s) gain. At the upper reach, 13 losses were measured out of 19 coupled measurements. At the lower reach, ten out of 13 coupled measurements indicated gains in flow and suggest that this reach is primarily a gaining river reach. An important factor in river leakage appears to be antecedent trends in river stage. At the upper reach, gains were measured only during periods of declining river stage. Conversely, at the lower reach, streamflow loss was measured primarily during periods of rising river stage. Although some tendencies exist, several factors complicate the analysis of river leakage, most notably the inaccuracies in computed stream discharge.
Cox, S. J. D.
Time is a central concept in geoscience. Geologic histories are composed of sequences of geologic processes and events. Calibration of their timing ties a local history into a broader context, and enables correlation of events between locations. The geologic timescale is standardized in the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, which specifies interval names, and calibrations for the ages of the interval boundaries. Time is also a key concept in the world at large. A number of general purpose temporal ontologies have been developed, both stand-alone and as parts of general purpose or upper ontologies. A temporal ontology for geoscience should apply or extend a suitable general purpose temporal ontology. However, geologic time presents two challenges: Geology involves greater spans of time than in other temporal ontologies, inconsistent with the year-month-day/hour-minute-second formalization that is a basic assumption of most general purpose temporal schemes; The geologic timescale is a temporal topology. Its calibration in terms of an absolute (numeric) scale is a scientific issue in its own right supporting a significant community. In contrast, the general purpose temporal ontologies are premised on exact numeric values for temporal position, and do not allow for temporal topology as a primary structure. We have developed an ontology for the geologic timescale to account for these concerns. It uses the ISO 19108 distinctions between different types of temporal reference system, also linking to an explicit temporal topology model. Stratotypes used in the calibration process are modelled as sampling-features following the ISO 19156 Observations and Measurements model. A joint OGC-W3C harmonization project is underway, with standardization of the W3C OWL-Time ontology as one of its tasks. The insights gained from the geologic timescale ontology will assist in development of a general ontology capable of modelling a richer set of use-cases from geoscience.
E-science systems are increasingly deploying ontologies to aid online geoscience research. Geoscience ontologies are typically constructed independently by isolated individuals or groups who tend to follow few design principles. This limits the usability of the ontologies due to conceptualizations that are vague, conflicting, or narrow. Advances in foundational ontologies and formal engineering approaches offer promising solutions, but these advanced techniques have had limited application in the geosciences. This paper develops a design approach for geoscience ontologies by extending aspects of the DOLCE foundational ontology and the OntoClean method. Geoscience examples will be presented to demonstrate the feasibility of the approach.
Yankovsky, Alexander E.; Iyer, Suneil K.
Analysis of water level and river discharge time series collected at three locations in the St. Johns River, FL reveals that subtidal variability with periods of several days is associated with long waves propagating from the ocean into the river channel. These dynamics are similar to tidal wave propagation: both tidal and subtidal frequency bands have the same ratio of free surface-to-discharge standard deviations, which is not the case on oceanic shelves. However, important differences also emerge: as waves pass through the river mouth, tidal oscillations exhibit much stronger attenuation, while subtidal oscillations propagate at a lower speed. Further upstream, where the channel cross-sectional area contracts (between Palatka and Buffalo Bluff), the waves in two frequency bands adjust differently: tidal waves are amplified and continue upstream, while a significant fraction of subtidal energy is reflected. The amplification of tidal waves occurs mostly through the generation of overtides. Also, tidal wave attenuation in the river relative to the mouth is nearly constant over the observation period, while the attenuation of subtidal waves exhibits strong changes. Variations in subtidal attenuation are linked to the influence of the river discharge: higher discharge (relative to the subtidal water level variability) causes stronger attenuation of subtidal waves.
Fox, S.; Manduca, C. A.; Iverson, E. A.
Over the last decade SERC at Carleton College has developed a collaborative platform for geoscience education that has served dozens of projects, thousands of community authors and millions of visitors. The platform combines a custom technical infrastructure: the SERC Content Management system (CMS), and a set of strategies for building web-resources that can be disseminated through a project site, reused by other projects (with attribution) or accessed via an integrated geoscience education resource drawing from all projects using the platform. The core tools of the CMS support geoscience education projects in building project-specific websites. Each project uses the CMS to engage their specific community in collecting, authoring and disseminating the materials of interest to them. At the same time the use of a shared central infrastructure allows cross-fertilization among these project websites. Projects are encouraged to use common templates and common controlled vocabularies for organizing and displaying their resources. This standardization is then leveraged through cross-project search indexing which allow projects to easily incorporate materials from other projects within their own collection in ways that are relevant and automated. A number of tools are also in place to help visitors move among project websites based on their personal interests. Related links help visitors discover content related topically to their current location that is in a 'separate' project. A 'best bets' feature in search helps guide visitors to pages that are good starting places to explore resources on a given topic across the entire range of hosted projects. In many cases these are 'site guide' pages created specifically to promote a cross-project view of the available resources. In addition to supporting the cross-project exploration of specific themes the CMS also allows visitors to view the combined suite of resources authored by any particular community member. Automatically
Bonanno, Giuseppe; Lo Giudice, Rosa
On the basis of the European Water Framework Directive (2000/60), the water resources of the member states of the European Community should reach good quality standards by 2015. Although such regulations illustrate the basic points for a comprehensive and effective policy of water monitoring and management, no practical tools are provided to face and solve the issues concerning freshwater ecosystems such as rivers. The Italian government has developed a set of regulations as adoption of the European Directive but failed to indicate feasible procedures for river monitoring and management. On a local scale, Sicilian authorities have implemented monitoring networks of watersheds, aiming at describing the general conditions of rivers. However, such monitoring programs have provided a relatively fragmentary picture of the ecological conditions of the rivers. In this study, the integrated use of environmental quality indices is proposed as a methodology able to provide a practical approach to river monitoring and management. As a case study, the Imera Meridionale River, Sicily's largest river, was chosen. The water quality index developed by the U.S. National Sanitation Foundation and the floristic quality index based on the Wilhelm method were applied. The former enabled us to describe the water quality according to a spatial-temporal gradient, whereas the latter focused on the ecological quality of riparian vegetation. This study proposes a holistic view of river ecosystems by considering biotic and abiotic factors in agreement with the current European regulations. How the combined use of such indices can guide sustainable management efforts is also discussed. PMID:20204635
Schirmer, M.; Luster, J.; Linde, N.; Perona, P.; Mitchell, E. A. D.; Barry, D. A.; Hollender, J.; Cirpka, O. A.; Schneider, P.; Vogt, T.; Radny, D.; Durisch-Kaiser, E.
River restoration can enhance river dynamics, environmental heterogeneity and biodiversity, but the underlying processes governing the dynamic changes need to be understood to ensure that restoration projects meet their goals, and adverse effects are prevented. In particular, we need to comprehend how hydromorphological variability quantitatively relates to ecosystem functioning and services, biodiversity as well as ground- and surface water quality in restored river corridors. This involves (i) physical processes and structural properties, determining erosion and sedimentation, as well as solute and heat transport behavior in surface water and within the subsurface; (ii) biogeochemical processes and characteristics, including the turnover of nutrients and natural water constituents; and (iii) ecological processes and indicators related to biodiversity and ecological functioning. All these aspects are interlinked, requiring an interdisciplinary investigation approach. Here, we present an overview of the recently completed RECORD (REstored CORridor Dynamics) project in which we combined physical, chemical, and biological observations with modeling at a restored river corridor of the perialpine Thur River in Switzerland. Our results show that river restoration, beyond inducing morphologic changes that reshape the river bed and banks, triggered complex spatial patterns of bank infiltration, and affected habitat type, biotic communities and biogeochemical processes. We adopted an interdisciplinary approach of monitoring the continuing changes due to restoration measures to address the following questions: How stable is the morphological variability established by restoration? Does morphological variability guarantee an improvement in biodiversity? How does morphological variability affect biogeochemical transformations in the river corridor? What are some potential adverse effects of river restoration? How is river restoration influenced by catchment-scale hydraulics
Byerly, Radford, Jr.; Mcvey, Sally
Various topics related to cases of difficult adaptation to global change are discussed. Topics include patterns in the ratification of global environmental treaties, the effects of global climate change on Southeast Asia, and global change and biodiversity loss.
Qishlaqi, Afishin; Kordian, Sediqeh; Parsaie, Abbas
Rivers are one of the most environmentally vulnerable sources for contamination. Since the rivers pass through the cities, industrial and agricultural centers, these have been considered as place to dispose the sewages. This issue is more important when the river is one of the main sources of water supplying for drinking, agricultural and industrial utilizations. The goal of the present study was assessing the physicochemical characteristics of the Tireh River water. The Tireh River is the main river in the Karkheh catchment in the Iran. To this end, 14 sampling stations for measuring the physicochemical properties of Tireh River along the two main cities (Borujerd and Dorud) were measured. The results showed that (except SO4) Mg, Ca and other anions and cations have concentrations under WHO standard limitation. Almost all samples have suitable conditions for drinking with regard to the WHO standard and in comparison with agricultural standard (FAO Standard), and the potential of water is suitable for irrigation purposes. According to Wilcox diagram, 78 % of samples were at the C3-S1 and 21.5 % were at C2-S1 classes. The piper diagram shows that most of samples are bicarbonate and calcic facies.
The Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES) supports long-range, basic research in those areas of the geosciences which are relevant to the nation's energy needs. The objective of the Geoscience program is to develop a quantitative and predictive understanding of geological, geophysical and geochemical structures and processes in the solid earth and in solar-terrestrial relationships. This understanding is to assure an effective knowledge base for energy resource recognition, evaluation and utilization in an environmentally acceptable manner. The work is carried out primarily in DOE laboratories and in universities, although some is conducted by other federal agencies and by the National Academy of Sciences. Principal areas of interest include: Geology, Geophysics, and Earth Dynamics; Geochemistry; Energy Resource Recognition, Evaluation and Utilization; Hydrologic and Marine Sciences; and Solar-Terrestrial/Atmospheric Interactions.
Pollard, P; Devlin, M; Holloway, D
The River Almond catchment in the east central belt rates amongst Scotland's most polluted rivers. This paper describes how shifting forms of economic development in the catchment since the 1860s have affected river quality. A legacy of effects from past land uses has combined with the impacts associated with current land uses to present a substantial and complex management challenge. It is argued that there have been, and still are, scientific, legislative and socio-economic constraints on the abilities of managers to respond promptly to changing patterns of impacts on the river system. This response lag has tended to increase the costs of subsequent remediation, and has consequently supported a downward pressure on the quality standards that are considered 'realistic' by river managers. Conversely, advances in science, the expansion of regulatory powers and resources, and an increase in public interest in the environment has helped to clarify the extent of the management problems in the catchment, and allowed major advances in some areas of pollution management. In an attempt to overcome some of the remaining weaknesses of river management, river managers and interest groups have started to form inter-sectoral and multidisciplinary partnerships. The success of these new groupings is highly contingent, not so much on the competence of their scientific advice, but on the priority given to water protection by the land-use decision-makers involved, and the resources they are prepared to commit to funding rehabilitation. PMID:11227277
McDaris, J. R.; Kirk, K. B.; Layou, K.; Macdonald, H.; Baer, E. M.; Blodgett, R. H.; Hodder, J.
Two-year colleges play an important role in developing a competent and creative geoscience workforce, teaching science to pre-service K-12 teachers, producing earth-science literate citizens, and providing a foundation for broadening participation in the geosciences. The Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges (SAGE 2YC) project has developed web resources for geoscience faculty on the preparation and support of students in two-year colleges (2YCs). Online resources developed from two topical workshops and several national, regional, and local workshops around the country focus on two main categories: Career Preparation and Workforce Development, and Supporting Student Success in Geoscience at Two-year Colleges. The Career Preparation and Workforce Development resources were developed to help faculty make the case that careers in the geosciences provide a range of possibilities for students and to support preparation for the geoscience workforce and for transfer to four-year programs as geoscience majors. Many two-year college students are unaware of geoscience career opportunities and these materials help illuminate possible futures for them. Resources include an overview of what geoscientists do; profiles of possible careers along with the preparation necessary to qualify for them; geoscience employer perspectives about jobs and the knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes they are looking for in their employees; employment trends in sectors of the economy that employ geoscience professionals; examples of geotechnician workforce programs (e.g. Advanced Technological Education Centers, environmental technology programs, marine technician programs); and career resources available from professional societies. The website also provides information to support student recruitment into the geosciences and facilitate student transfer to geoscience programs at four- year colleges and universities, including sections on advising support before
McManamay, Ryan A; Orth, Dr. Donald J; Dolloff, Dr. Charles A; Mathews, David C
In order for habitat restoration in regulated rivers to be effective at large scales, broadly applicable frameworks are needed that provide measurable objectives and contexts for management. The Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) framework was created as a template to assess hydrologic alterations, develop relationships between altered streamflow and ecology, and establish environmental flow standards. We tested the utility of ELOHA in informing flow restoration applications for fish and riparian communities in regulated rivers in the Upper Tennessee River Basin (UTRB). We followed the steps of ELOHA to generate flow alteration-ecological response relationships and then determined whether those relationships could predict fish and riparian responses to flow restoration in the Cheoah River, a regulated system within the UTRB. Although ELOHA provided a robust template to construct hydrologic information and predict hydrology for ungaged locations, our results do not support the assertion that over-generalized univariate relationships between flow and ecology can produce results sufficient to guide management in regulated rivers. After constructing multivariate models, we successfully developed predictive relationships between flow alterations and fish/riparian responses. In accordance with model predictions, riparian encroachment displayed consistent decreases with increases in flow magnitude in the Cheoah River; however, fish richness did not increase as predicted four years post- restoration. Our results suggest that altered temperature and substrate and the current disturbance regime may have reduced opportunities for fish species colonization. Our case study highlights the need for interdisciplinary science in defining environmental flows for regulated rivers and the need for adaptive management approaches once flows are restored.
I want to discuss the future of the energy industry and the geoscience profession. That`s you and me. Is there a future for us? Will there be a need for petroleum? What will we use for energy in the future? Over the past several years, those of us in the energy business have witnessed remarkable changes in our industry and our profession. We must be able to change with the conditions if we are to survive them. To do so, some idea of what the future holds is essential. I will discuss what that future may be and will cover these topics: world population and energy demand, exploration and production outlook, environmental considerations, geoscience demographics, education, technology, and government. Much of the statistical data and some of the projections I will discuss have been taken from the report of AAPG`s 21st Century Committee, of which I was a member.
Zuber, Maria T. (Editor); James, Odette B. (Editor); Lunine, Jonathan I. (Editor); Macpherson, Glenn J. (Editor); Phillips, Roger J. (Editor)
NASA's Planetary Geosciences Programs (the Planetary Geology and Geophysics and the Planetary Material and Geochemistry Programs) provide support and an organizational framework for scientific research on solid bodies of the solar system. These research and analysis programs support scientific research aimed at increasing our understanding of the physical, chemical, and dynamic nature of the solid bodies of the solar system: the Moon, the terrestrial planets, the satellites of the outer planets, the rings, the asteroids, and the comets. This research is conducted using a variety of methods: laboratory experiments, theoretical approaches, data analysis, and Earth analog techniques. Through research supported by these programs, we are expanding our understanding of the origin and evolution of the solar system. This document is intended to provide an overview of the more significant scientific findings and discoveries made this year by scientists supported by the Planetary Geosciences Program. To a large degree, these results and discoveries are the measure of success of the programs.
Richardson, R. M.; McCallum, W. G.
Quantitative literacy seems like such a natural for the geosciences, right? The field has gone from its origin as a largely descriptive discipline to one where it is hard to imagine failing to bring a full range of mathematical tools to the solution of geological problems. Although there are many definitions of quantitative literacy, we have proposed one that is analogous to the UNESCO definition of conventional literacy: "A quantitatively literate person is one who, with understanding, can both read and represent quantitative information arising in his or her everyday life." Central to this definition is the concept that a curriculum for quantitative literacy must go beyond the basic ability to "read and write" mathematics and develop conceptual understanding. It is also critical that a curriculum for quantitative literacy be engaged with a context, be it everyday life, humanities, geoscience or other sciences, business, engineering, or technology. Thus, our definition works both within and outside the sciences. What role do geoscience faculty have in helping students become quantitatively literate? Is it our role, or that of the mathematicians? How does quantitative literacy vary between different scientific and engineering fields? Or between science and nonscience fields? We will argue that successful quantitative literacy curricula must be an across-the-curriculum responsibility. We will share examples of how quantitative literacy can be developed within a geoscience curriculum, beginning with introductory classes for nonmajors (using the Mauna Loa CO2 data set) through graduate courses in inverse theory (using singular value decomposition). We will highlight six approaches to across-the curriculum efforts from national models: collaboration between mathematics and other faculty; gateway testing; intensive instructional support; workshops for nonmathematics faculty; quantitative reasoning requirement; and individual initiative by nonmathematics faculty.
Shipley, T. F.; Manduca, C. A.; Ormand, C. J.; Tikoff, B.
Reasoning about spatial relations is a critical skill for geoscientists. Within the geosciences different disciplines may reason about different sorts of relationships. These relationships may span vastly different spatial and temporal scales (from the spatial alignment in atoms in crystals to the changes in the shape of plates). As part of work in a research center on spatial thinking in STEM education, we have been working to classify the spatial skills required in geology, develop tests for each spatial skill, and develop the cognitive science tools to promote the critical spatial reasoning skills. Research in psychology, neurology and linguistics supports a broad classification of spatial skills along two dimensions: one versus many objects (which roughly translates to object- focused and navigation focused skills) and static versus dynamic spatial relations. The talk will focus on the interaction of space and time in spatial cognition in the geosciences. We are working to develop measures of skill in visualizing spatiotemporal changes. A new test developed to measure visualization of brittle deformations will be presented. This is a skill that has not been clearly recognized in the cognitive science research domain and thus illustrates the value of interdisciplinary work that combines geosciences with cognitive sciences. Teaching spatiotemporal concepts can be challenging. Recent theoretical work suggests analogical reasoning can be a powerful tool to aid student learning to reason about temporal relations using spatial skills. Recent work in our lab has found that progressive alignment of spatial and temporal scales promotes accurate reasoning about temporal relations at geological time scales.
The Damodar River, a subsystem of the Ganga has always been a flood-prone river. Recorded flood history of the endemic flood prone river can be traced from 1730 onwards. People as well as governments through out the centuries have dealt with the caprices of this vital water resource using different strategies. At one level, the river has been controlled using structures such as embankments, weir, dams and barrage. In the post-independent period, a high powered organization known as the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) came into existence on 7th July 1948. Since the completion of the reservoirs the Lower Damodar has become a 'reservoir channel' and is now identified by control structures or cultural features or man made indicators. Man-induced hydrographs below control points during post-dam period (1959-2007) show decreased monsoon discharge, and reduced peak discharge. In pre-dam period (1933-1956) return period of floods of bankfull stage of 7080 m3/s had a recurrence interval of 2 years. In post-dam period the return period for the bankfull stage has been increased to 14 years. The Damodar River peak discharge during pre-dam period for various return periods are much greater than the post-dam flows for the same return periods. Despite flood moderation by the DVC dams, floods visited the river demonstrating that the lower valley is still vulnerable to sudden floods. Contemporary riverbed consists of series of alluvial bars or islands, locally known as mana or char lands which are used as a resource base mostly by Bengali refugees. At another level, people have shown great resourcefulness in living with and adjusting to the floods and dams while living on the alluvial bars. People previously used river resources in the form of silt only but now the semi-fluid or flexible resource has been exploited into a permanent resource in the form of productive sandbars. Valuable long-term data from multiple sources has been
Duffy, Christopher; Gil, Yolanda; Deelman, Ewa; Marru, Suresh; Pierce, Marlon; Demir, Ibrahim; Wiener, Gerry
Advances in geoscience research and discovery are fundamentally tied to data and computation, but formal strategies for managing the diversity of models and data resources in the Earth sciences have not yet been resolved or fully appreciated. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) EarthCube initiative (http://earthcube.ning.com), which aims to support community-guided cyberinfrastructure to integrate data and information across the geosciences, recently funded four community development activities: Geoscience Workflows; Semantics and Ontologies; Data Discovery, Mining, and Integration; and Governance. The Geoscience Workflows working group, with broad participation from the geosciences, cyberinfrastructure, and other relevant communities, is formulating a workflows road map (http://sites.google.com/site/earthcubeworkflow/). The Geoscience Workflows team coordinates with each of the other community development groups given their direct relevance to workflows. Semantics and ontologies are mechanisms for describing workflows and the data they process.
Poitrasson, F.; Vieira, L. C.; Seyler, P.; dos Santos Pinheiro, G. M.; Mulholland, D. S.; Ferreira Lima, B. A.; Bonnet, M.; Martinez, J.; Prunier, J.
Riverborne iron is a notable source for this biogeochemically key element to the oceans. Recent investigations have shown that its isotopic composition may vary significantly in oceanic waters. Hence, a proper understanding of the Fe cycle at the surface of the Earth requires a good characterization of the isotopic composition of its various reservoirs. However, as the database growths, it appears that the isotope composition of the riverborne Fe delivered to the oceans may be more varied than initially thought, in agreement with inferences from soil studies from different climatic contexts. It is therefore important to compare major rivers from different latitudes. We focused our attention on the Amazon River and its tributaries that represent ca. 20% of the freshwater delivered to the oceans by world rivers. Preliminary experiments suggest that water filtration may induce biases in stable Fe isotope composition. Therefore, we worked first on bulk waters, sampled during multidisciplinary field campaigns on the Amazon River and its tributaries, including the Solimoes, Negro, Madeira and Tapajos Rivers. Besides a complete sample physical-chemical characterization, Fe isotope determinations were conduced after water sample mineralization, iron purification and MC-ICP-MS analysis. Our first results reveal that most bulk water samples cluster close to the continental crust value (0.1% δ57FeIRMM-14) with an overall range of 0.2%. This is consistent with the restricted range found in lateritic soils elsewhere that represent 80% of the Amazon basin surface. Only black water rivers flowing over the podzols of the northern portion of the Amazon basin tend to show lighter isotopic compositions, down to -0.18%. However, sediment analyses suggest that this light Fe isotopic is lost through sedimentation on the river bed, thereby leading the waters to have Fe isotope compositions remaining close to that of the continental crust. This constant isotopic signature holds whatever
Workgroups formed by the Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI), a Commission of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) have been developing vocabulary resources to promote geoscience information exchange. The Multilingual Thesaurus Working Group (MLT) was formed in 2003 to continue work of the Multhes working group of the 1990s. The Concept Definition Task Group was formed by the CGI Interoperability Working Group in 2007 to develop concept vocabularies for populating GeoSciML interchange documents. The CGI council has determined that it will be more efficient and effective to merge the efforts of these groups and has formed a new Geoscience Terminology Working Group (GTWG, http://www.cgi-iugs.org/tech_collaboration/geoscience_terminology_working_group.html). Each GTWG member will be expected to shepherd one or more vocabularies. There are currently 31 vocabularies in the CGI portfolio, developed for GeoSciML interchange documents (e.g. see http://resource.geosciml.org/ 201202/). Vocabulary development in both groups has been conducted first by gathering candidate terms in Excel spreadsheets because these are easy for text editing and review. When the vocabulary is mature, it is migrated into SKOS, an RDF application for encoding concepts with identifiers, definitions, source information, standard thesaurus type relationships, and language-localized labels. Currently there are 30 vocabularies still required for GeoSciML v3, and 38 proposed vocabularies for use with EarthResourceML (https://www.seegrid.csiro.au/wiki/CGIModel/EarthResourceML). In addition, a project to develop a lithogenetic map unit vocabulary to use for regional geologic map integration using OGC web map services is underway. Considerable work remains to be done to integrate multilingual geoscience terms developed by the MLT Working Group with existing CGI vocabularies to provide multilingual support, and to make the thesaurus compiled by the
Layzer, James B.; Gordon, Mark E.; Anderson, Robert M.
During the past century freshwater mussel populations have declined precipitously throughout North America. Much of this loss has resulted from the construction of dams. In the Cumberland River system, 23% (22 species) of the historic mussel fauna is extinct or listed as endangered. Several additional species have either been extirpated from the Cumberland River or exist only in small, non-reproducing populations. Mussels of headwater streams have been severely affected by coal mining and poor land use practices. An intensive survey was conducted in the Caney Fork River, a major tributary to the Cumberland River, to determine the historic and extant mussel fauna. The results indicate that at least 37 species of mussels have been extirpated from the Caney Fork River, mainly as a result of the construction and operation of the Center Hill Dam. Among the species extirpated, two are now extinct, five are endangered and five are candidates for listing as threatened or endangered. Effects associated with this dam include the inundation of 102 km of riverine habitat, the discharge of hypolimnetic water (which limits mussel reproduction) and an alternating pattern of stream bed scouring and dewatering. The recognition of mussel life history requirements during preconstruction could have reduced many of these effects.
Rosskopf, Carmen Maria; Scorpio, Vittoria; Patrizio Ciro Aucelli, Pietro
Most of Italian and European rivers have undergone notable channel adjustments since the last 150-200 years. Major adjustments fall within the second half of the last century and consisted in overall channel narrowing and degradation, accompanied by important pattern changes. In the cases of the six investigated rivers located in southern Italy (namely Trigno, Biferno, Fortore, Volturno, Sinni and Crati), major adjustments occurred from the 1950s to the end of the 1990s. They consisted in channel narrowing up to 98%, bed level lowering from -2 to -10m and extensive changes from multi-thread to single thread pattern that led to the abandonment of extensive channel areas and consistent increase of floodplain and terraced areas. The integrated analysis of river trajectories and potential control factors, both of natural and anthropic origin, showed that human disturbances, especially gravel mining and river control works, are key driving factors of channel adjustments. Furthermore, the presence of major hydraulic structures along the rivers Biferno, Fortore, Sinni and Trigno significantly influenced the amounts of channel adjustments which are sharply higher within the reaches located downstream of such structures. Considering the last 15-20 years, most of the evolutionary trajectories of the investigated reaches highlight ongoing channel stabilization or even some appreciable channel recovery. Particularly, channel widening had occurred in those reaches that are not under the direct influence of major hydraulic structures (check-dams and dams) and in which in-channel interventions had pratically ceased and woody riparian vegetation developed only in a discontinuous manner. Conversely, the reaches that are located immediately downstream of major hydraulic structures, in which control works are placed very close to the actual riverbanks and/or a continuous riparian forest has developed, appear stable, only locally affected by very slight widening, or even affected by
Kourafalou, Villy; Androulidakis, Yannis
Large river plumes are a major supplier of freshwater, sediments and nutrients in coastal and shelf seas. Novel processes controlling the transport and fate of riverine waters (and associated materials) will be presented, under flood conditions and in the presence of complex topography, ambient shelf circulation and slope processes, controlled by the interaction with rim currents. The Mississippi River (MR) freshwater outflow is chosen as a test case, as a major circulation forcing mechanism for the Northern Gulf of Mexico and a unique river plume for the intense interactions with a large scale ocean current, namely the Loop Current branch of the Gulf Stream, and associated eddy field. The largest MR outflow in history (45,000 m3/sec in 2011) is compared with the second largest outflow in the last 8 years (41,000 m3/sec in 2008). Realistically forced simulations, based on the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) with careful treatment of river plume dynamics and nested to a data assimilated, basin-wide model, reveal the synergistic effect of enhanced discharge, winds, stratification of ambient shelf waters and offshore circulation over the transport of plume waters. The investigation targets a broader understanding of the dynamics of large scale river plumes in general, and of the MR plume in particular. In addition, in situ observations from ship surveys and satellite chl-a data showed that the mathematical simulations with high temporal resolution river outflow input may reproduce adequately the buoyant waters spreading over the Northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and offshore areas. The fate of the river plume is strongly determined and affected by deep basin processes. The strong impacts of the Loop Current system (and its frontal eddies) on river plume evolution are of particular importance under conditions of increased offshore spreading, which is presumed under large discharge rates and can cause loss of riverine materials to the basin interior. Flood conditions
McNeal, K.; Clary, R. M.; Sherman-Morris, K.; Kirkland, B.; Gillham, D.; Moe-Hoffman, A.
The Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University offers both a MS in Geosciences and a PhD in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, with the possibility of a concentration in geoscience education. The department offers broad research opportunities in the geoscience sub-disciplines of Geology, Meteorology, GIS, and Geography. Geoscience education research is one of the research themes emphasized in the department and focuses on geoscience learning in traditional, online, field-based, and informal educational environments. Approximately 20% of the faculty are actively conducting research in geoscience education and incorporate both qualitative and quantitative research approaches in areas including: the investigation of effective teaching strategies, the implementation and evaluation of geoscience teacher professional development programs and diversity enhancement programs, the study of the history and philosophy of science in geoscience teaching, the exploration of student cognition and understanding of complex and dynamic earth systems, and the investigation of using visualizations to enhance learning in the geosciences. The inception and continued support of an active geoscience education research program is derived from a variety of factors including: (1) the development of the on-line Teachers in Geosciences (TIG) Masters Degree Program which is the primary teaching appointment for the majority of the faculty conducting geoscience education research, (2) the securing of federal funds to support geoscience education research, (3) the publication of high-quality peer-reviewed research papers in both geoscience education and traditional research domains, (4) the active contribution of the geoscience education faculty in their traditional research domains, (5) a faculty that greatly values teaching and recognizes the research area of geoscience education as a sub-domain of the broader geoscience disciplines, (6) the involvement of university faculty, outside
Di Giulio, Richard T; Clark, Bryan W
The Elizabeth River system is an estuary in southeastern Virginia, surrounded by the towns of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach. The river has played important roles in U.S. history and has been the location of various military and industrial activities. These activities have been the source of chemical contamination in this aquatic system. Important industries, until the 1990s, included wood treatment plants that used creosote, an oil-derived product that is rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These plants left a legacy of PAH pollution in the river, and in particular Atlantic Wood Industries is a designated Superfund site now undergoing remediation. Numerous studies examined the distribution of PAH in the river and impacts on resident fauna. This review focuses on how a small estuarine fish with a limited home range, Fundulus heteroclitus (Atlantic killifish or mummichog), has responded to this pollution. While in certain areas of the river this species has clearly been impacted, as evidenced by elevated rates of liver cancer, some subpopulations, notably the one associated with the Atlantic Wood Industries site, displayed a remarkable ability to resist the marked effects PAH have on the embryonic development of fish. This review provides evidence of how pollutants have acted as evolutionary agents, causing changes in ecosystems potentially lasting longer than the pollutants themselves. Mechanisms underlying this evolved resistance, as well as mechanisms underlying the effects of PAH on embryonic development, are also described. The review concludes with a description of ongoing and promising efforts to restore this historic American river. PMID:26505693
Di Giulio, Richard T.; Clark, Bryan W.
The Elizabeth River system is an estuary in southeastern Virginia, surrounded by the towns of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach. The river has played important roles in U.S. history and has been the location of various military and industrial activities. These activities have been the source of chemical contamination in this aquatic system. Important industries, until the 1990s, included wood treatment plants that used creosote, an oil-derived product that is rich in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These plants left a legacy of PAH pollution in the river, and in particular Atlantic Wood Industries is a designated Superfund site now undergoing remediation. Numerous studies examined the distribution of PAH in the river and impacts on resident fauna. This review focuses on how a small estuarine fish with a limited home range, Fundulus heteroclitus (Atlantic killifish or mummichog), has responded to this pollution. While in certain areas of the river this species has clearly been impacted, as evidenced by elevated rates of liver cancer, some subpopulations, notably the one associated with the Atlantic Wood Industries site, displayed a remarkable ability to resist the marked effects PAH have on the embryonic development of fish. This review provides evidence of how pollutants have acted as evolutionary agents, causing changes in ecosystems potentially lasting longer than the pollutants themselves. Mechanisms underlying this evolved resistance, as well as mechanisms underlying the effects of PAH on embryonic development, are also described. The review concludes with a description of ongoing and promising efforts to restore this historic American river. PMID:26505693
Houser, Chris; Garcia, Sonia; Torres, Janet
Summer research experiences are an increasingly popular means of increasing awareness of, and developing interest in, the geosciences and other science, technology, engineering, and math programs. We describe and report the preliminary results of a 1-wk Geosciences Exploration Summer Program in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M…
Schiffries, C. M.
Translational geoscience — which involves the conversion of geoscience discovery into societal, economic, and environmental impacts — has significant potential to generate large benefits but has received little systematic attention or resources. In contrast, translational medicine — which focuses on the conversion of scientific discovery into health improvement — has grown enormously in the past decade and provides useful models for other fields. Elias Zerhouni  developed a "new vision" for translational science to "ensure that extraordinary scientific advances of the past decade will be rapidly captured, translated, and disseminated for the benefit of all Americans." According to Francis Collins, "Opportunities to advance the discipline of translational science have never been better. We must move forward now. Science and society cannot afford to do otherwise." On 9 July 2015, the White House issued a memorandum directing U.S. federal agencies to focus on translating research into broader impacts, including commercial products and decision-making frameworks . Natural hazards mitigation is one of many geoscience topics that would benefit from advances in translational science. This paper demonstrates that natural hazards mitigation can benefit from advances in translational science that address such topics as improving emergency preparedness, communicating life-saving information to government officials and citizens, explaining false positives and false negatives, working with multiple stakeholders and organizations across all sectors of the economy and all levels of government, and collaborating across a broad range of disciplines.  Zerhouni, EA (2005) New England Journal of Medicine 353(15):1621-1623.  Collins, FS (2011) Science Translational Medicine 3(90):1-6.  Donovan, S and Holdren, JP (2015) Multi-agency science and technology priorities for the FY 2017 budget. Executive Office of the President of the United States, 5 pp.
The spill of diesel oil fuel from an Ashland Oil storage tank in January 1988 on the Monongahela River raised a number of technical, legislative, and administrative issues. These include as assessing long- and short-term environmental damage, evaluating regulations regarding oil ...
Fonseca, André; Botelho, Cidália; Boaventura, Rui A R; Vilar, Vítor J P
The Hydrologic Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) model was used to assess the impact of wastewater discharges on the water quality of a Lis River tributary (Lena River), a 176 km(2) watershed in Leiria region, Portugal. The model parameters obtained in this study, could potentially serve as reference values for the calibration of other watersheds in the area or with similar climatic characteristics, which don't have enough data for calibration. Water quality constituents modeled in this study included temperature, fecal coliforms, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, nitrates, orthophosphates and pH. The results were found to be close to the average observed values for all parameters studied for both calibration and validation periods with percent bias values between -26% and 23% for calibration and -30% and 51% for validation for all parameters, with fecal coliforms showing the highest deviation. The model revealed a poor water quality in Lena River for the entire simulation period, according to the Council Directive concerning the surface water quality intended for drinking water abstraction in the Member States (75/440/EEC). Fecal coliforms, orthophosphates and nitrates were found to be 99, 82 and 46% above the limit established in the Directive. HSPF was used to predict the impact of point and nonpoint pollution sources on the water quality of Lena River. Winter and summer scenarios were also addressed to evaluate water quality in high and low flow conditions. A maximum daily load was calculated to determine the reduction needed to comply with the Council Directive 75/440/EEC. The study showed that Lena River is fairly polluted calling for awareness at behavioral change of waste management in order to prevent the escalation of these effects with especially attention to fecal coliforms. PMID:24742558
Allison, M. L.; Atkinson, R.; Arctur, D. K.; Cox, S.; Jackson, I.; Nativi, S.; Wyborn, L. A.
There is growing international consensus on addressing the challenges to cyber(e)-infrastructure for the geosciences. These challenges include: Creating common standards and protocols; Engaging the vast number of distributed data resources; Establishing practices for recognition of and respect for intellectual property; Developing simple data and resource discovery and access systems; Building mechanisms to encourage development of web service tools and workflows for data analysis; Brokering the diverse disciplinary service buses; Creating sustainable business models for maintenance and evolution of information resources; Integrating the data management life-cycle into the practice of science. Efforts around the world are converging towards de facto creation of an integrated global digital data network for the geosciences based on common standards and protocols for data discovery and access, and a shared vision of distributed, web-based, open source interoperable data access and integration. Commonalities include use of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and ISO specifications and standardized data interchange mechanisms. For multidisciplinarity, mediation, adaptation, and profiling services have been successfully introduced to leverage the geosciences standards which are commonly used by the different geoscience communities -introducing a brokering approach which extends the basic SOA archetype. Principal challenges are less technical than cultural, social, and organizational. Before we can make data interoperable, we must make people interoperable. These challenges are being met by increased coordination of development activities (technical, organizational, social) among leaders and practitioners in national and international efforts across the geosciences to foster commonalities across disparate networks. In doing so, we will 1) leverage and share resources, and developments, 2) facilitate and enhance emerging technical and structural advances, 3) promote
Wu, Juan; Cheng, Shuiping; Li, Zhu; Guo, Weijie; Zhong, Fei; Yin, Daqiang
In the past three decades, the fast development of economy and urbanization has caused increasingly severe pollutions of urban water bodies in China. Consequently, eutrophication and deterioration of aquatic ecosystem, which is especially significant for aquatic vegetation, inevitably became a pervasive problem across the Yangtze River Basin. To rehabilitate the degraded urban water bodies, vegetation replanting is an important issue to improve water quality and to rehabilitate ecosystem. As a case study, a representative polluted urban river, Nanfeihe River, in Hefei City, Anhui Province, was chosen to be a rehabilitation target. In October 2009 and May 2010, 13 species of indigenous and prevalent macrophytes, including seven species emergent, one species floating leaved, and five species submersed macrophytes, were planted along the bank slopes and in the river. Through 1.5 years' replanting practice, the water quality and biodiversity of the river had been improved. The concentrations of total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), and ammonia nitrogen (NH4 (+)-N) declined by 46.0, 39.5, and 60.4 %, respectively. The species of macrophytes increased from 14 to 60, and the biodiversity of phytoplankton rose significantly in the river (p<0.05). The biomasses of zooplankton and benthos were also improved after the vegetation replanting. The study confirmed that vegetation replanting could alleviate the increasing water pollution and rehabilitate the degraded aquatic ecosystem. The case study would be an example for polluted urban waters restoration in the middle-downstream area of Yangtze River Base. PMID:23247519
Mogk, D. W.; Geissman, J. W.; Kieffer, S. W.; Reidy, M.; Taylor, S.; Vallero, D. A.; Bruckner, M. Z.
Ethics education is an increasingly important component of the pre-professional training of geoscientists. Funding agencies (NSF) require training of graduate students in the responsible conduct of research, employers are increasingly expecting their workers to have basic training in ethics, and the public demands that scientists abide by the highest standards of ethical conduct. Yet, few faculty have the requisite training to effectively teach about ethics in their classes, or even informally in mentoring their research students. To address this need, an NSF-funded workshop was convened to explore how ethics education can be incorporated into the geoscience curriculum. Workshop goals included: examining where and how geoethics topics can be taught from introductory courses for non-majors to modules embedded in "core" geoscience majors courses or dedicated courses in geoethics; sharing best pedagogic practices for "what works" in ethics education; developing a geoethics curriculum framework; creating a collection of online instructional resources, case studies, and related materials; applying lessons learned about ethics education from sister disciplines (biology, engineering, philosophy); and considering ways that geoethics instruction can contribute to public scientific literacy. Four major themes were explored in detail: (1) GeoEthics and self: examining the internal attributes of a geoscientist that establish the ethical values required to successfully prepare for and contribute to a career in the geosciences; (2) GeoEthics and the geoscience profession: identifying ethical standards expected of geoscientists if they are to contribute responsibly to the community of practice; (3) GeoEthics and society: exploring geoscientists' responsibilities to effectively and responsibly communicate the results of geoscience research to inform society about issues ranging from geohazards to natural resource utilization in order to protect public health, safety, and economic
Our ability to advance scientific research in order to better understand complex Earth systems, address emerging geoscience problems, and meet societal challenges is increasingly dependent upon the concept of Open Science and Data. Although these terms are relatively new to the world of research, Open Science and Data in this context may be described as transparency in the scientific process. This includes the discoverability, public accessibility and reusability of scientific data, as well as accessibility and transparency of scientific communication (www.openscience.org). Scientists and the US government alike are realizing the critical need for easy discovery and access to multidisciplinary data to advance research in the geosciences. The NSF-supported EarthCube project was created to meet this need. EarthCube is developing a community-driven common cyberinfrastructure for the purpose of accessing, integrating, analyzing, sharing and visualizing all forms of data and related resources through advanced technological and computational capabilities. Engaging the geoscience community in EarthCube's development is crucial to its success, and EarthCube is providing several opportunities for geoscience involvement. This presentation will provide an overview of the activities EarthCube is employing to entrain the community in the development process, from governance development and strategic planning, to technical needs gathering. Particular focus will be given to the collection of science-driven use cases as a means of capturing scientific and technical requirements. Such activities inform the development of key technical and computational components that collectively will form a cyberinfrastructure to meet the research needs of the geoscience community.
Keane, C. M.
The geosciences, like most technical professions, are facing a critical talent gap into the future, with too few new students entering the profession and too many opportunities for that supply. This situation has evolved as a result of multiple forces, including increased commodity prices, greater strain on water resources, development encroachment on hazardous terrain, and the attrition of Baby Boomers from the workforce. Demand is not the only issue at hand, the legacy of lagging supplies of new students and consequently new professionals has enhanced the problem. The supply issue is a result of the fallout from the 1986 oil bust and the unsubstantiated hopes for an environmental boom in the 1990"s, coupled by the lengthening of academic careers, indefinitely delaying the predicted exodus of faculty. All of these issues are evident in the data collected by AGI, its Member Societies, and the federal government. Two new factors are beginning to play an increased role in the success or failure of geosciences programs: namely student attitudes towards careers and the ability for departments to successfully bridge the demands of the incoming student with the requirements for an individual to succeed in the profession. An issue often lost for geosciences departments is that 95% of geoscientists in the United States work in the private sector or for government agencies, and that those employers drive the profession forward in the long term. Departments that manage to balance the student needs with an end source of gainful employment are witnessing great success and growth. Currently, programs with strong roots in mining, petroleum, and groundwater hydrology are booming, as are graduate programs with strong technology components. The challenge is recognizing the booms, busts, and long-term trends and positioning programs to weather the changes yet retain the core of their program. This level of planning coupled with a profession-wide effort to improve initial recruitment
Li, Siyue; Lu, X. X.; He, Min; Zhou, Yue; Bei, Rongta; Li, Li; Ziegler, Alan D.
Water samples were collected twice per month over a two-year period from the Longchuanjiang River (Yunnan Province, China) to understand monthly variations in major elements and solute fluxes as related to rock weathering and associated CO 2 consumption rates. Solute concentrations were 5 times the median of 65 mg/l for global average. Total cationic exchange capacity (Tz +) ranged from 2.4 to 6.1 meq/l; and the mean (4.4 meq/l) was significantly higher than that of the global river waters. Calcium and bicarbonate dominated the annual ionic composition, accounting for more than 70% of the solute flux that exceeded 71 × 10 6 kg/yr. Lower concentrations of most measured elements during the monsoon high flow period could be explained by dilution effects from precipitation. Three major reservoirs contributed to the dissolved load: carbonates, silicates and anthropogenic inputs, i.e., some 83% of the riverine cations from carbonates and 17% from silicates. The chemical weathering rate of 26.1 t/km 2/yr, with respective carbonate and silicate weathering rates of 20.3 t/km 2/yr (8.46 mm/kyr) and 5.75 t/km 2/yr (2.13 mm/kyr), was comparable to the average for global rivers, but higher than that for the Changjiang River in China. The CO 2 consumption rate was estimated to be 173.7 × 10 3 mol/km 2/yr and 202.9 × 10 3 mol/km 2/yr by silicate and carbonate weathering, respectively. The CO 2 consumed by rock chemical weathering in the upper Changjiang River reduced the atmospheric CO 2 level and constituted a significant part of the global carbon budget. Consequently the carbon sink potential of rock chemical weathering in the Qinghai-Plateau deserves extra attention. Population density and anthropogenic activities, particularly agricultural practices, contributed remarkably to dissolved solutes and associated CO 2 consumption worldwide, and anthropogenic inputs probably contributed some 10.4% to the dissolved solutes in the Longchuanjiang River.
Mooney, C; Farrier, D
Kangaroo Valley is a drinking water supply catchment for Kangaroo Valley village, parts of the Southern Highlands and Sydney. It is also a popular recreation area both for swimming and canoeing. Land use has traditionally been dominated by dairy farming but there has been significant and continuing development of land for hobby farms and rural residential subdivision. Dairy industry restructuring has affected the viability of some farms in the Valley and created additional pressure for subdivision. River health is a function of flows, water quality, riparian vegetation, geomorphology and aquatic habitat and riverine biota. River flows in the Kangaroo River are affected by water extraction and storage for urban water supply and extraction by commercial irrigators and riparian land holders which have a significant impact at low flows. Current water quality often does not meet ANZECC Guidelines for primary contact and recreation and the river is a poor source of raw drinking water. Key sources of contaminants are wastewater runoff from agriculture, and poorly performing on-site sewage management systems. Riparian vegetation, which is critical to the maintenance of in-stream ecosystems suffers from uncontrolled stock access and weed infestation. The management of land use and resulting diffuse pollution sources is critical to the long term health of the river. The Healthy Rivers Commission of New South Wales Independent Inquiry into the Shoalhaven River System Final Report July, 1999 found that the longer term protection of the health of the Kangaroo River is contingent upon achievement of patterns of land use that have regard to land capability and also to the capability of the river to withstand the impacts of inappropriate or poorly managed land uses. This micro case study of Kangaroo Valley examines the complex legal and administrative arrangements with particular reference to the management of diffuse pollution for river health. In the past, diffuse pollution has
Bauer-Gottwein, P.; Jensen, I. H.; Guzinski, R.; Bredtoft, G. K. T.; Hansen, S.; Michailovsky, C. I.
Operational probabilistic forecasts of river discharge are essential for effective water resources management. Many studies have addressed this topic using different approaches ranging from purely statistical black-box approaches to physically-based and distributed modelling schemes employing data assimilation techniques. However, few studies have attempted to develop operational probabilistic forecasting approaches for large and poorly gauged river basins. This study is funded by the European Space Agency under the TIGER-NET project. The objective of TIGER-NET is to develop open-source software tools to support integrated water resources management in Africa and to facilitate the use of satellite earth observation data in water management. We present an operational probabilistic forecasting approach which uses public-domain climate forcing data and a hydrologic-hydrodynamic model which is entirely based on open-source software. Data assimilation techniques are used to inform the forecasts with the latest available observations. Forecasts are produced in real time for lead times of 0 to 7 days. The operational probabilistic forecasts are evaluated using a selection of performance statistics and indicators. The forecasting system delivers competitive forecasts for the Kavango River, which are reliable and sharp. Results indicate that the value of the forecasts is greatest for intermediate lead times between 4 and 7 days.
Charlevoix, Donna J.; Morris, Aisha R.
Over the past 9 years, UNAVCO—a university-governed consortium fostering geoscience research and education focused on geodesy—supported 44 interns through the Research Experiences in Solid Earth Science for Students (RESESS) program. The primary goal of the program is to increase the number of historically underrepresented students entering the geosciences.
A philosophy for planetary geoscience is presented to aid in addressing a number of major scientific questions; answers to these questions should constitute the basic geoscientific knowledge of the solar system. However, any compilation of major questions or basic knowledge in planetary geoscience involves compromises and somewhat arbitrary boundaries that reflect the prevalent level of understanding at the time.
Rodrigue, Christine M.; Wechsler, Suzanne P.; Whitney, David J.; Ambos, Elizabeth L.; Ramirez-Herrera, Maria Teresa; Behl, Richard; Francis, Robert D.; Larson, Daniel O.; Hazen, Crisanne
This paper describes an interdisciplinary project at California State University (Long Beach) designed to increase the attractiveness of the geosciences to underrepresented groups. The project is called the Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Project (GDEP). It is a 3-year program which began in the fall of 2001 with funding from the National Science…
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of the geosciences which are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The Division of Engineering and Geosciences, part of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the Office of Energy Research, supports the Geosciences Research Program. The participants in this program include Department of Energy laboratories, industry, universities, and other governmental agencies. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, briefly describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, solar physics, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource modeling and analysis, including their various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy's long-range technological needs.
Lehnert, K.; Klump, J.
Internet of Things is a term that refers to "uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure" (Wikipedia). We here use the term to describe new and innovative ways to integrate physical samples in the Earth Sciences into the emerging digital infrastructures that are developed to support research and education in the Geosciences. Many Earth Science data are acquired on solid earth samples through observations and experiments conducted in the field or in the lab. The application and long-term utility of sample-based data for science is critically dependent on (a) the availability of information (metadata) about the samples such as geographical location where the sample was collected, time of sampling, sampling method, etc. (b) links between the different data types available for individual samples that are dispersed in the literature and in digital data repositories, and (c) access to the samples themselves. Neither of these requirements could be achieved in the past due to incomplete documentation of samples in publications, use of ambiguous sample names, and the lack of a central catalog that allows researchers to find a sample's archiving location. New internet-based capabilities have been developed over the past few years for the registration and unique identification of samples that make it possible to overcome these problems. Services for the registration and unique identification of samples are provided by the System for Earth Sample Registration SESAR (www.geosamples.org). SESAR developed the International Geo Sample Number, or IGSN, as a unique identifier for samples and specimens collected from our natural environment. Since December 2011, the IGSN is governed by an international organization, the IGSN eV (www.igsn.org), which endorses and promotes an internationally unified approach for registration and discovery of physical specimens in the Geoscience community and is establishing a new modular and
Gomez, F.; Amils, A.
Extreme ecosystems have recently attracted considerable interest, not only because they prove that life is robust and adaptable, but also because their existence increases the probability of finding life elsewhere in the universe. Most of the best characterized extreme habitats on Earth correspond to geophysical constraints to which opportunistic microorganisms have adapted. However, some extreme acidic environments are unique in that they are the product of biological activity (chemolithotrophy). The Tinto River (Huelva, Southwestern Spain) is an unusual acidic ecosystem (100 km long, mean pH of 2.3) containing a high concentration of heavy metals and an unexpected level of microbial diversity (1,2). In the past, the extreme conditions of the river were considered the result of intense mining activity. The geomicrobiological analysis of the Tinto ecosystem strongly suggests that these conditions are the result of the metabolic activity of chemolithotrophic prokaryotes, mainly iron-oxidizers (3). The system seems to be controlled by iron, which is not only used as an electron donor, but also as an electron acceptor, allowing a full iron cycle to operate. Furthermore, ferric iron is responsible for the maintenance of the constant pH of the ecosystem and can protect the different organisms thriving in its waters from radiation. Laminar, iron-rich stromatolitic formations are generated by the precipitation of different iron minerals on the surface of the biofilms that cover most of the rocks in the river and the riverbed. These structures are similar to ancient massive bioinduced laminated iron bioformations formed long before the first mining activities started in the area 5000 years ago. The existence of these ancient iron-rich deposits formed prior to any known mining activity, under hydrochemical conditions similar to modern deposits, is considered a strong argument in favor of a natural origin of the river (4,5). Recently, the source area of the Tinto ecosystem
Ulaby, Fawwaz T. (Editor); Elachi, Charles (Editor)
The present volume on radar polarimetry for geoscience applications discusses wave properties and polarization, scattering matrix representation for simple targets, scattering models for point and distributed targets, polarimetric scatterometer systems and measurements, polarimetric radar system design, and polarimetric SAR applications. Attention is given to plane waves in a lossless homogeneous medium-wave polarization, polarization synthesis and response, and coordinate system transformations. Topics addressed include high- and low-frequency scattering, rough-surface scattering models, radiative transfer theory and deficiencies thereof, solutions for the radiative transfer equation, and a radiative transfer model for a forest canopy. Also discussed are network analyzer-based polarimetric scatterometers, calibration of polarimetric scatterometers, synthesized polarization response of distributed targets, and measurement of the propagation parameters of a forest canopy.
Wuebbles, Donald J.; Takle, Eugene S.
Special sessions on thriving geosciences departments and on cyberinfrastructure in the geosciences highlighted the recent 5th AGU Meeting of Heads and Chairs of Earth and Space Science Departments. ``From Surviving to Thriving: Strategies for Advancing University Geoscience Programs in Times of Change'' was a topic that drew intense interest. This panel discussion, led by Don Wuebbles (University of Illinois), included panelists Eric Betterton (University of Arizona), Judy Curry (Georgia Institute of Technology), Heather MacDonald (College of William and Mary), and Jim Kirkpatrick (University of Illinois).
Meacham, S.; Reichlin, R.; Rogers, R.
In 2002, the National Science Foundation launched a new activity called "Collaborations in Mathematical Geosciences," (CMG). This activity supports research at the intersection between the mathematical sciences and the geosciences. CMG also supports creative interdisciplinary training for graduate students. An expanded CMG competition is planned for 2003. In this talk, the research topics, the types of collaboration, and the educational projects funded during the first year of this activity will be briefly summarized. 2003 funding opportunities in mathematical geosciences will also be sketched. The formal presentation will be kept short in order to provide time for questions from the audience and suggestions for future directions.
Pearce, Emily A; Myers, Thomas M; Hoffman, Martin D
We present 3 cases of severe hyponatremia occurring on a commercially guided river rafting trip on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. All 3 women appeared to have been overhydrating because of concern about dehydration and required evacuation within 24 hours of each other after the staggered onset of symptoms, which included fatigue and emesis progressing to disorientation or seizure. Each was initially transferred to the nearest hospital and ultimately required intensive care. Imaging and laboratory data indicated all 3 patients had hypervolemic hyponatremia. Unlike the well-documented exercise-associated hyponatremia cases commonly occurring in prolonged endurance athletic events, these 3 unique cases of acute hyponatremia were not associated with significant exercise. The cases illustrate the diagnostic and treatment challenges related to acute hyponatremia in an austere setting, and underscore the importance of preventive measures focused on avoidance of overhydration out of concern for dehydration. PMID:25736400
Castelletti, A.; Giuliani, M.; Soncini-Sessa, R.
The presence of multiple, institutionally independent but physically interconnected decision-makers is a distinctive features of many water resources systems, especially of transnational river basins. The adoption of a centralized approach to study the optimal operation of these systems, as mostly done in the water resources literature, is conceptually interesting to quantify the best achievable performance, but of little practical impact given the real political and institutional setting. Centralized management indeed assumes a cooperative attitude and full information exchange by the involved parties. However, when decision-makers belong to different countries or institutions, it is very likely that they act considering only their local objectives, producing global externalities that negatively impact on other objectives. In this work we adopt a Multi-Agent Systems framework, which naturally allows to represent a set of self-interested agents (decision-makers and/or stakeholders) acting in a distributed decision-making process. According to this agent-based approach, each agent represents a decision-maker, whose decisions are defined by an explicit optimization problem considering only the agent's local interests. In particular, this work assesses the role of information exchange and increasing level of cooperation among originally non-cooperative agents. The Zambezi River basin is used to illustrate the methodology: the four largest reservoirs in the basin (Ithezhithezhi, Kafue-Gorge, Kariba and Cahora Bassa) are mainly operated for maximizing the economic revenue from hydropower energy production with considerably negative effects on the aquatic ecosystem in the Zambezi delta due to the alteration of the natural flow regime. We comparatively analyse the ideal centralized solution and the current situation where all the decision-makers act independently and non-cooperatively. Indeed, although a new basin-level institution called Zambezi Watercourse Commission
Velasco, Aaron A.; Jaurrieta de Velasco, Edith
The geosciences continue to lag far behind other sciences in recruiting and retaining diverse populations [Czujko and Henley, 2003; Huntoon and Lane, 2007]. As a result, the U.S. capacity for preparedness in natural geohazards mitigation, natural resource management and development, national security, and geosciences education is being undermined and is losing its competitive edge in the global market. Two key populations must be considered as the United States looks to build the future geosciences workforce and optimize worker productivity: the nation's youth and its growing underrepresented minority (URM) community. By focusing on both of these demographics, the United States can address the identified shortage of high-quality candidates for knowledge-intensive jobs in the geosciences, helping to develop the innovative enterprises that lead to discovery and new technology [see National Research Council (NRCd), 2007].
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of the geosciences that are germane to the DOE`s many missions. The Geosciences Research Program is supported by the Office of Energy Research. The participants in this program include DOE laboratories, academic institutions, and other governmental agencies. These activities are formalized by a contract or grant between the DOE and the organization performing the work, providing funds for salaries, equipment, research materials, and overhead. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geophysics, geochemistry, resource evaluation, solar-terrestrial interactions, and their subdivisions including earth dynamics, properties of earth materials, rock mechanics, underground imaging, rock-fluid interactions, continental scientific drilling, geochemical transport, solar-atmospheric physics, and modeling, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary areas.
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound underlay of fundamental knowledge in those areas of the earth, atmospheric, and solar/terrestrial sciences that relate to the Department of Energy's many missions. The Division of Engineering, Mathematical and Geosciences, which is a part of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences and comes under the Director of Energy Research, supports under its Geosciences program major Department of Energy laboratories, industry, universities and other governmental agencies. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the overall scope of the individual programs and details of the research performed during 1979-1980. The Geoscience program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology and natural resource analysis, including the various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related to the Department's technological needs, either directly or indirectly.
Sinha, A.K.; Malik, Z.; Rezgui, A.; Barnes, C.G.; Lin, K.; Heiken, G.; Thomas, W.A.; Gundersen, L.C.; Raskin, R.; Jackson, I.; Fox, P.; McGuinness, D.; Seber, D.; Zimmerman, H.
An integrative view of Earth as a system, based on multidisciplinary data, has become one of the most compelling reasons for research and education in the geosciences. It is now necessary to establish a modern infrastructure that can support the transformation of data to knowledge. Such an information infrastructure for geosciences is contained within the emerging science of geoinformatics, which seeks to promote the utilizetion and integration of complex, multidisciplinary data in seeking solutions to geosciencebased societal challenges.
Ma, X.; Zheng, J. G.; Wang, H.; Fox, P. A.
There are numerous dark data hidden in geoscience literature. Efficient retrieval and reuse of those data will greatly benefit geoscience researches of nowadays. Among the works of data rescue, a topic of interest is illuminating the knowledge framework, i.e. entities and relationships, embedded in documents. Entity recognition and linking have received extensive attention in news and social media analysis, as well as in bioinformatics. In the domain of geoscience, however, such works are limited. We will present our work on how to use knowledge bases on the Web, such as ontologies and vocabularies, to facilitate entity recognition and linking in geoscience literature. The work deploys an un-supervised collective inference approach  to link entity mentions in unstructured texts to a knowledge base, which leverages the meaningful information and structures in ontologies and vocabularies for similarity computation and entity ranking. Our work is still in the initial stage towards the detection of knowledge frameworks in literature, and we have been collecting geoscience ontologies and vocabularies in order to build a comprehensive geoscience knowledge base . We hope the work will initiate new ideas and collaborations on dark data rescue, as well as on the synthesis of data and knowledge from geoscience literature. References: 1. Zheng, J., Howsmon, D., Zhang, B., Hahn, J., McGuinness, D.L., Hendler, J., and Ji, H. 2014. Entity linking for biomedical literature. In Proceedings of ACM 8th International Workshop on Data and Text Mining in Bioinformatics, Shanghai, China. 2. Ma, X. Zheng, J., 2015. Linking geoscience entity mentions to the Web of Data. ESIP 2015 Summer Meeting, Pacific Grove, CA.
De Mulder, Eduardo F. J.; Eder, Wolfgang; Mogessie, Aberra; Ahmed, Enas A. E.; Da Costa, Pauline Y. D.; Yabi, Ibouraïma; Mathu, Eliud; Muhongo, Sospeter; Cloetingh, Sierd A. P. L.
Geoscience outreach is an important communication tool for geoscientists to approach politicians, decision makers, and the general public. This tool is used to inform them about the added values of the geosciences for the national economy and to cope with environmental challenges. Moreover, geoscience outreach aims to excite (in particular young) people to be interested in the Earth sciences. There is a growing gap between demand for and supply of geo-experts. Main target of the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE 2007-2009) was to help close this gap by informing students to follow a professional career in the geosciences. The successful IYPE outreach programme was predominantly implemented at a grass root level through the 80 national and regional IYPE Committees, 14 of which in Africa. Reports are given on the geoscience outreach activities conducted under the IYPE, in these African nations during the period 2007-2009. Upon closure of the IYPE, the Earth Science Matters Foundation was established to continue implementing the outreach objectives of the IYPE. Reports from five African nations show that geoscience outreach activities have continued after 2009. Main challenges reported are lack of funding, lack of priority, and lack of qualified personnel. Finally, some possible recommendations to cope with such challenges are suggested.
Conducting research in a responsible manner in compliance with codes of research integrity is essential. The geosciences, as with all other areas of research endeavour, has its fair share of misconduct cases and causes celebres. As research becomes more global, more collaborative and more cross-disciplinary, the need for all concerned to work to the same high standards becomes imperative. Modern technology makes it far easier to 'cut and paste', to use Photoshop to manipulate imagery to falsify results at the same time as making research easier and more meaningful. So we need to promote the highest standards of research integrity and the responsible conduct of research. While ultimately, responsibility for misconduct rests with the individual, institutions and the academic research system have to take steps to alleviate the pressure on researchers and promote good practice through training programmes and mentoring. The role of the World Conferences on Research Integrity in promoting the importance of research integrity and statements about good practice will be presented and the need for training and mentoring programmes will be discussed
The manuscripts in these proceedings represent current understanding of geologic issues associated with the Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project (WSSRAP). The Weldon Spring site is in St. Charles County, Missouri. The proceedings are the record of the information presented during the WSSRAP Geosciences Workshop conducted on February 21, 1991. The objective of the workshop and proceedings is to provide the public and scientific community with technical information that will facilitate a common understanding of the geology of the Weldon Spring site, of the studies that have been and will be conducted, and of the issues associated with current and planned activities at the site. This coverage of geologic topics is part of the US Department of Energy overall program to keep the public fully informed of the status of the project and to address public concerns as we clean up the site and work toward the eventual release of the property for use by this and future generations. Papers in these proceedings detail the geology and hydrology of the site. The mission of the WSSRAP derives from the US Department of Energy's Surplus Facilities Management Program. The WSSRAP will eliminate potential hazards to the public and the environment and make surplus real property available for other uses to the extent possible. This will be accomplished by conducting remedial actions which will place the quarry, the raffinate pits, the chemical plant, and the vicinity properties in a radiologically and chemically safe condition. The individual papers have been catalogued separately.
Wilson, C. E.; Keane, C. M.
The American Geosciences Institute's (AGI) Geoscience Workforce Program collects and analyzes data pertaining to the changes in the supply, demand, and training of the geoscience workforce. These data cover the areas of change in the education of future geoscientists from K-12 through graduate school, the transition of geoscience graduates into early-career geoscientists, the dynamics of the current geoscience workforce, and the future predictions of the changes in the availability of geoscience jobs. The Workforce Program also considers economic changes in the United States and globally that can affect the supply and demand of the geoscience workforce. In order to have an informed discussion defining the modern geoscience community, it is essential to understand the current dynamics within the geoscience community and workforce. This presentation will provide a data-driven outlook of the current status of the geosciences in the workforce and within higher education using data collected by AGI, federal agencies and other stakeholder organizations. The data presented will highlight the various industries, including those industries with non-traditional geoscience jobs, the skills development of geoscience majors, and the application of these skills within the various industries in the workforce. This quantitative overview lays the foundation for further discussions related to tracking and understanding the current geoscience community in the United States, as well as establishes a baseline for global geoscience workforce comparisons in the future.
Houlton, H.; Keane, C.
The demand and employment opportunities for geoscientists in the United States are projected to increase 23% from 2008 to 2018 (Gonzales, 2011). Despite this trend, there is a disconnect between undergraduate geoscience students and their desire to pursue geoscience careers. A theoretical framework was developed to understand the reasons why students decide to major in the geosciences and map those decisions to their career aspirations (Houlton, 2010). A modified critical incident study was conducted to develop the pathway model from 17, one-hour long semi-structured interviews of undergraduate geoscience majors from two Midwest Research Institutions (Houlton, 2010). Geoscience Academic Provenance maps geoscience students' initial interests, entry points into the major, critical incidents and future career goals as a pathway, which elucidates the relationships between each of these components. Analyses identified three geoscience student population groups that followed distinct pathways: Natives, Immigrants and Refugees. A follow up study was conducted in 2011 to ascertain whether these students continued on their predicted pathways, and if not, reasons for attrition. Geoscientists can use this framework as a guide to inform future recruitment and retention initiatives and target these geoscience population groups for specific employment sectors.
Pietroń, Jan; Jarsjö, Jerker
Ongoing changes in the Central Asian climate including increasing temperatures can influence the hydrological regimes of rivers and the waterborne transport of sediments. Changes in the latter, especially in combination with adverse human activities, may severely impact water quality and aquatic ecosystems. However, waterborne transport of sediments is a result of complex processes and varies considerably between, and even within, river systems. There is therefore a need to increase our general knowledge about sediment transport under changing climate conditions. The Tuul River, the case site of this study, is located in the upper part of the basin of the Selenga River that is the main tributary to Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like many other rivers located in the steppes of Northern Mongolia, the Tuul River is characterized by a hydrological regime that is not disturbed by engineered structures such as reservoirs and dams. However, the water quality of the downstream Tuul River is increasingly affected by adverse human activities - including placer gold mining. The largest contribution to the annual river discharge occurs during the relatively warm period in May to August. Typically, there are numerous rainfall events during this period that cause considerable river flow peaks. Parallel work has furthermore shown that due to climate change, the daily variability of discharge and numbers of peak flow events in the Tuul River Basin has increased during the past 60 years. This trend is expected to continue. We here aim at increasing our understanding of future sediment transport patterns in the Tuul River, specifically considering the scenario that peak flow events may become more frequent due to climate change. We use a one-dimensional sediment transport model of the downstream reach of the river to simulate natural patterns of sediment transport for a recent hydrological year. In general, the results show that sediment transport varies considerably
Bowers, T. S.; Flewelling, S. A.
Current and future drivers of hiring in the geosciences include climate, environment, energy, georisk and litigation areas. Although climate is closely linked to the atmospheric sciences, hiring needs in the geosciences exist as well, in understanding potential impacts of climate change on coastal erosion and water resources. Where and how to consider carbon sequestration as a climate mitigation policy will also require geosciences expertise. The environmental sciences have long been a source of geosciences hiring, and have ongoing needs in the areas of investigation of contamination, and in fluid and chemical transport. The recent expansion of the energy sector in the U.S. is providing opportunities for the geosciences in oil and gas production, hydraulic fracturing, and in geothermal development. In georisk, expertise in earthquake and volcanic hazard prediction are increasingly important, particularly in population centers. Induced seismicity is a relatively new area of georisk that will also require geosciences skills. The skills needed in the future geosciences workforce are increasingly interdisciplinary, and include those that are both observational and quantitative. Field observations and their interpretation must be focused forward as well as backwards and include the ability to recognize change as it occurs. Areas of demand for quantitative skills include hydrological, geophysical, and geochemical modeling, math and statistics, with specialties such as rock mechanics becoming an increasingly important area. Characteristics that students should have to become successful employees in these sectors include strong communication skills, both oral and written, the ability to know when to stop "studying" and identify next steps, and the ability to turn research areas into solutions to problems.
Overeem, I.; Briner, J. P.; Kettner, A. J.; Syvitski, J. P.
River deposits form archives of past dynamics of a number of environmental controls; drainage basin characteristics, climate and sea-level changes. This paper explores long-term river sedimentation based on Late Quaternary deposition in Clyde Inlet on Baffin Island as constrained by 11 cosmogenic and 9 AMS 14C datings. Clyde River drains part of the remaining land ice of Barnes Ice Cap, making it a rare case of a basin in the most advanced stages of deglaciation. A major ice stream of the Laurentide Ice Sheet occupied Clyde Inlet at the Last Glacial Maximum and carved through the U-shaped valley creating a distinct sediment sink. At Early Holocene the system entered deglacial stage; tidewater glaciers retreated rapidly (>100 km in 1000 yrs) through the fjord from 10,4 ka onwards. Grounded ice lobes started retreating from Clyde fjordhead by 9,4 ka coinciding with warm climatic conditions. Then ice contact fans (ICF's) were deposited consisting of flat-topped fan deltas covered with boulder channels and bars. Elevations of their surfaces nowadays vary between 62-77 m above sea level, which is considered to be near contemporaneous sea level. Marine muds have been draped directly onto the ICF complexes and define the minimum marine limit at > 58 m asl. Subsequently, coarse-grained glacio-fluvial valley trains (GVFT's) and deltas were deposited during forced regression. 14C dated bivalves show that relative sea level dropped ~20 m/ka between 9-7 ka. Surfaces of the GVFT's dip downward caused by dominant sea-level fall, despite high sediment supply. At the latest Holocene (3,5 ka) the last remaining lobes of the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreated from the middle parts of Clyde River basin to form the present Barnes Ice Cap. At this phase, strong river incision, despite an order of magnitude slower base-level fall (~1,6 m/ka over the last 3,5 ka), marks reduced sediment supply. Clyde River Basin may not have entered a post-glacial stage by definition, nevertheless the
Manduca, C. A.; MacDonald, R. H.; Merritts, D.; Savina, M.
Introductory courses are one of the most challenging teaching environments for geoscience faculty. Courses are often large, students have a wide variety of background and skills, and student motivation can include completing a geoscience major, preparing for a career as teacher, fulfilling a distribution requirement, and general interest. The Starting Point site (http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/index.html) provides help for faculty teaching introductory courses by linking together examples of different teaching methods that have been used in entry-level courses with information about how to use the methods and relevant references from the geoscience and education literature. Examples span the content of geoscience courses including the atmosphere, biosphere, climate, Earth surface, energy/material cycles, human dimensions/resources, hydrosphere/cryosphere, ocean, solar system, solid earth and geologic time/earth history. Methods include interactive lecture (e.g think-pair-share, concepTests, and in-class activities and problems), investigative cases, peer review, role playing, Socratic questioning, games, and field labs. A special section of the site devoted to using an Earth System approach provides resources with content information about the various aspects of the Earth system linked to examples of teaching this content. Examples of courses incorporating Earth systems content, and strategies for designing an Earth system course are also included. A similar section on Teaching with an Earth History approach explores geologic history as a vehicle for teaching geoscience concepts and as a framework for course design. The Starting Point site has been authored and reviewed by faculty around the country. Evaluation indicates that faculty find the examples particularly helpful both for direct implementation in their classes and for sparking ideas. The help provided for using different teaching methods makes the examples particularly useful. Examples are chosen from
Fan, Fernando Mainardi; Collischonn, Walter; Meller, Adalberto; Botelho, Luiz César Mendes
The present study shows experiments of ensemble forecasting applied to a large tropical river basin, where such forecasting methodologies have many potential applications. The case study is the Três Marias hydroelectric power plant basin (Brazil), on the São Francisco river, where forecast results are particularly important for reservoir operation and downstream flood control. Results showed some benefits in the use of ensembles, particularly for the reservoir inflow on flooding events, and in comparison to the deterministic values given by the control member of the ensemble and by the ensemble mean. The study also discusses the improvements that must be tested and implemented in order to achieve better results, what is particularly important for the smaller basins within the study case. Despite the necessary improvements mentioned, the results suggest that benefits can result from the application of ensemble forecasts for hydropower plants with large basins within the Brazilian energy system.
Felder, Jonathan E.; Finney, Joni E.; Kirst, Michael W.
"Informed math self-placement," a program implemented at American River College in Sacramento, California, to determine students' readiness for college-level math, has been in place for three years. This case study describes the development and implementation of math self-placement at American River. Math self-placement consists of a Web-based…
Manduca, C. A.; Bralower, T. J.; Blockstein, D.; Keane, C. M.; Kirk, K. B.; Schejbal, D.; Wilson, C. E.
Geoscience knowledge and skills play new roles in the workforce as our society addresses the challenges of living safely and sustainably on Earth. As a result, we expect a wider range of future career opportunities for students with education in the geosciences and related fields. A workshop offered by the InTeGrate STEP Center on 'Geoscience and the 21st Century Workforce' brought together representatives from 24 programs with a substantial geoscience component, representatives from different employment sectors, and workforce scholars to explore the intersections between geoscience education and employment. As has been reported elsewhere, employment in energy, environmental and extractive sectors for geoscientists with core geology, quantitative and communication skills is expected to be robust over the next decade as demand for resources grow and a significant part of the current workforce retires. Relatively little is known about employment opportunities in emerging areas such as green energy or sustainability consulting. Employers at the workshop from all sectors are seeking the combination of strong technical, quantitative, communication, time management, and critical thinking skills. The specific technical skills are highly specific to the employer and employment needs. Thus there is not a single answer to the question 'What skills make a student employable?'. Employers at this workshop emphasized the value of data analysis, quantitative, and problem solving skills over broad awareness of policy issues. Employers value the ability to articulate an appropriate, effective, creative solution to problems. Employers are also very interested in enthusiasm and drive. Participants felt that the learning outcomes that their programs have in place were in line with the needs expressed by employers. Preparing students for the workforce requires attention to professional skills, as well as to the skills needed to identify career pathways and land a job. This critical
Bolivar, Stephen L.; Nasser, K.; Dorries, A. M.; Canepa, Julie Ann
Over the past two decades, geoscientists have been increasingly engaged in providing answers to complex environmental problems with significant societal, political, and economic consequences. Today, these scientists have to perform under increasingly greater visibility to stakeholders and the general public. Their activities are much more scrutinized with regards to economic pressure, litigation support and regulatory compliance than in the past. Their current work is built on decades of past work and in many cases will continue for decades to come. Stakeholders are increasingly evaluating raw data rather than just examining summaries in final reports. They also need assurance that proper data control and data quality procedures were followed. Geoscientists are now faced with a new paradigm, i.e. with the challenge of cost effectively collecting, managing, analyzing, and synthesizing enormous volumes of multidisciplinary and complex information. In addition, these data must be processed and disseminated in a way that allows the public to make informed and rational assessments on decisions that are proposed or have been made. The new paradigm is clear - client and stakeholder needs must be better met, and the systems used to store and generate data must meet these needs. This paper addresses the challenges and the implications of this new paradigm on geosciences information management in the 21st Century. It concludes with a case study for a successful implementation of the new paradigm in an environmental restoration project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) that is operated by the Department of Energy (DOE). LANL is upgrading and reengineering its data and business processes to better address client, user and stakeholder issues regarding data accessibility, control and quality.
Mayernik, M. S.; Gross, M. B.; Daniels, M. D.; Rowan, L. R.; Stott, D.; Maull, K. E.; Khan, H.; Corson-Rikert, J.
The tension between local ontology development and wider ontology connections is fundamental to the Semantic web. It is often unclear, however, what the key decision points should be for new semantic web applications in deciding when to reuse existing ontologies and when to develop original ontologies. In addition, with the growth of semantic web ontologies and applications, new semantic web applications can struggle to efficiently and effectively identify and select ontologies to reuse. This presentation will describe the ontology comparison, selection, and consolidation effort within the EarthCollab project. UCAR, Cornell University, and UNAVCO are collaborating on the EarthCollab project to use semantic web technologies to enable the discovery of the research output from a diverse array of projects. The EarthCollab project is using the VIVO Semantic web software suite to increase discoverability of research information and data related to the following two geoscience-based communities: (1) the Bering Sea Project, an interdisciplinary field program whose data archive is hosted by NCAR's Earth Observing Laboratory (EOL), and (2) diverse research projects informed by geodesy through the UNAVCO geodetic facility and consortium. This presentation will outline of EarthCollab use cases, and provide an overview of key ontologies being used, including the VIVO-Integrated Semantic Framework (VIVO-ISF), Global Change Information System (GCIS), and Data Catalog (DCAT) ontologies. We will discuss issues related to bringing these ontologies together to provide a robust ontological structure to support the EarthCollab use cases. It is rare that a single pre-existing ontology meets all of a new application's needs. New projects need to stitch ontologies together in ways that fit into the broader semantic web ecosystem.
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of the geosciences which are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The Division of Engineering and Geosciences, part of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the Office of Energy Research supports the Geosciences Research Program. The participants in this program include Department of Energy laboratories, academic institutions, and other governmental agencies. Theses activities are formalized by a contract or grant between the Department of Energy and the organization performing the work, providing funds for salaries, equipment, research materials, and overhead. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, solar physics, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource modeling and analysis, including their various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy's long-range technological needs. 2 tabs.
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of the geosciences that are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The Division of Engineering and Geosciences, part of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the Office of Energy Research, supports the Geosciences Research Program. The participants in this program include Department of Energy laboratories, academic institutions, and other governmental agencies. These activities are formalized by a contract or grant between the Department of Energy and the organization performing the work, providing funds for salaries, equipment, research materials, and overhead. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geophysics, geochemistry, resource evaluation, solar-terrestrial interactions and their subdivisions including Earth dynamics, properties of Earth materials, rock mechanics, underground imaging, rock-fluid interactions, continental scientific drilling, geochemical transport, solar/atmospheric physics, and modeling, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy's long-range technological needs.
Gonzales, L. M.; Wood, C.; Boland, M. A.
Geoscientists and decision makers often use different words to describe the same thing. The American Geosciences Institute has developed a consistent definition for the geosciences (Wilson, 2014); however this definition often varies from how decision maker groups at the national, state, local, and regional levels often categorize geoscience topics. Where geoscientists may to refer to "geoscience," decision makers may use terms like "energy," "environment," and "natural resources." How may the geoscience community provide geoscience information to decision makers in a context they understand while at the same time providing a simple, yet consistent representation of all that the geosciences include? The American Geoscience Institute's (AGI's) Critical Issues program's main goal is to connect decision makers at all levels with decision-relevant, impartial, expert information from across the geosciences. The program uses a multi-faceted approach to reach different decision maker groups, including policy makers and government employees at the federal, state and local level. We discuss the challenges the Critical Issues program has overcome in representing the geosciences to decision makers in a cohesive fashion such that decision makers can access the information they need, while at the same time becoming aware of the breadth of information the geosciences has to offer, and the value of including geoscience in the decision-making process. References: Wilson, C.E. (2014) Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2014. American Geological Institute. Alexandria, VA.
Nevado, J J Berzas; Martín-Doimeadios, R C Rodríguez; Bernardo, F J Guzmán; Moreno, M Jiménez; Ropero, M J Patiño; Serrano, A de Marcos
An assessment of mercury (Hg) accumulation in fish from the Tagus River aquatic system (central Spain), which has been influenced by pollution from industrial and urban development, was performed. Total Hg (THg), inorganic Hg (IHg), and monomethylmercury (MMHg) were determined in muscle and liver of different fish species, including Cyprinus carpio, Ameiurus melas, and Chondrostoma miegii, sampled from three locations. Although concentrations of THg and Hg species showed wide variability among the fish species, they were also found to be considerably dependent on location and fish tissue. Relative contents of MMHg to THg in muscle varied from 60 to 88%, whereas those found in liver ranged from 7 to 59%. Mean THg concentrations ranged from 126 to 810 ng/g (dry weight [dw]) in liver and from 159 to 1057 ng/g dw in muscle. Therefore, the mean THg concentration in all fish muscle samples was far lower than the maximum residue level recommended by the European Union for fishery products. Nevertheless, the concentrations of Hg in fish muscle reported in this study were somewhat increased compared with other areas geographically distant from most major anthropogenic Hg sources and, in some cases, even greater than those previously reported elsewhere in more polluted areas. In contrast, Hg contents in liver were lower than those found in Hg-contaminated areas, but they were within the range found in other areas exposed to diffuse sources of pollution by Hg. Thus, this article provides an overview of the concentration and distribution of Hg species in fish muscle and liver tissues samples taken from a freshwater system in the Mediterranean River basin. PMID:21472454
Tempelhoff, Johann W. N.
The Vaal River Barrage, situated on the south-eastern border of the Gauteng Province, has been part of the hydrological landscape of South Africa’s most populous and economically active region for more than eight decades. After its completion in 1923 the Barrage was compromised by the construction, upstream, of the Vaal Dam (1930-1933). Today the Vaal River Barrage is primarily a storage facility of sewage and industrial waste water. South Africa’s transition to a multi-racial democracy in 1994 saw a number of socio-economic and political transformations that affected the water infrastructure. In the field of sanitation infrastructure in particular, conditions have deteriorated to the extent that the health of people in many parts of the country is being compromised. Using the Vaal River Barrage as a case study, this article outlines the efforts by civil society to make the relevant government sectors aware of this hazardous state of affairs. particular attention is given to save our Vaal environment (SAVE), a non-governmental organisation, at the helm of an active campaign to reduce pollution in the Vaal River Barrage.
Keane, Christopher; Martinez, Cynthia; Gonzales, Leila
Collaborative and social technologies have been increasingly used to facilitate distributed data collection and observation in science. However, "Web 2.0" and basic social media are seeing limited coordinated use in building student and early-career geoscientists knowledge and understanding of the profession and career for which they have undertaken. The current generation of geology students and early career professionals are used to ready access to myriad of information and interaction opportunities, but they remain largely unaware about the geoscience profession, what the full scope of their opportunities are, and how to reach across institutional and subdisciplinary boundaries to build their own professional network. The American Geological Institute Workforce Program has tracked and supported the human resources of the geosciences since 1952. With the looming retirement of Baby Boomers, increasing demand for quality geoscientists, and a continued modest supply of students entering the geosciences, AGI is working to strengthen the human resource pipeline in the geosciences globally. One aspect of this effort is the GeoConnection Network, which is an integrated set of social networking, media sharing and communication Web 2.0 applications designed to engage students in thinking about careers in the geosciences and enabling them to build their own personal professional network. Developed by the American Geological Institute (AGI), GeoConnection links practicing and prospective geoscientists in an informal setting to share information about the geoscience profession, including student and career opportunities, current events, and future trends in the geosciences. The network includes a Facebook fan page, YouTube Channel, Twitter account and GeoSpectrum blog, with the goal of helping science organizations and departments recruit future talent to the geoscience workforce. On the social-networking platform, Facebook, the GeoConnection page is a forum for students and
Mogk, David W.; Geissman, John W.
Ethics education is an increasingly important component of the pre-professional training of geoscientists. Geoethics encompasses the values and professional standards required of geoscientists to work responsibly in any geoscience profession and in service to society. Funding agencies (e.g., the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health) require training of graduate students in the responsible conduct of research; employers are increasingly expecting their workers to have basic training in ethics; and the public demands the highest standards of ethical conduct by scientists. However, there is currently no formal course of instruction in ethics in the geoscience curriculum, and few faculty members have the experience, resources, and sometimes willingness required to teach ethics as a component of their geoscience courses.
Guinness, Edward A.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Slavney, Susan
The purpose of the Planetary Data System Geosciences Node is to archive and distribute planetary geosciences datasets relevant to the surfaces and interiors of the terrestrial planets and moons. This objective is accomplished through the following efforts. The Node works with planetary missions to help ensure that data of relevance to the geosciences discipline are properly documented and archived. The Node restores and publishes selected geoscience datasets from past missions on CD-ROM for distribution to the planetary science community. Data archived at the Node are distributed on CD-ROM, magnetic tape, CD-WO, or by electronic transfer over the Internet. The Geo-sciences Node provides information and expert assistance on its data holdings. Derived image, geophysics, microwave, spaceborne thermal, and radio science data are archived at the lead node or at one of the subnodes. Currently, the amount of data archived at the Node is on the order of 500 Gbytes stored on a combination of nearly 800 CD-ROMs and CD-WOs. Current archives within the Node include data from the Magellan and Viking missions, the Geological Remote Sensing Field Experiment, and a collection of radar, altimetry, and gravity datasets for Venus, Mercury, Mars, Earth, and the Moon, together with software to analyze the data. The Node maintains on-line catalogs that enable the science community to search through the Geosciences Node archives and to order selected datasets. Access to the Node's catalogs and on-line datasets is available via the Internet using a remote login or via the World Wide Web (WWW).
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of earth, atmospheric, and solar-terrestrial sciences that are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The summaries in the document describe the scope of the individual programs and detail the research performed during 1982 to 1983. The Geoscience Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource analysis, including the various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy's technological needs.
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas that are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geoscience Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource analysis, including their various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either directly or indirectly to the Department of Energy's technological needs.
The Department of Energy supports research in the geosciences in order to provide a sound foundation of fundamental knowledge in those areas of earth, atmospheric, and solar-terrestrial sciences that are germane to the Department of Energy's many missions. The summaries describe the scope of the individual programs and detail the research performed during 1980 to 1981. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource analysis, including the various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas.
What is a model, anyway? Different geoscientists will give different answers. There are conceptual models, numerical models, statistical models, forward models and inverse models; there are even different models of the scientific method. As a founding and now chief exec editor of the journal Geoscientific Model Development, I have contemplated the different approaches to computational modelling presently being implemented across the different areas of Geoscience. Meanwhile, in my own work, I have primarily focused on confronting model output with observations. It is from these perspectives that I will discuss the variety of roles and usages of modelling in modern geoscience.
... Advisory Committee For Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: October 10, 2012 (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)-October 11, 2012... oversight concerning support for geosciences. Agenda Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Update on...
... Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: April 13, 2011; 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., April 14, 2011; 8:30 a... concerning support for geosciences. Agenda April 13, 2011 Directorate activities and plans...
... Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: October 13, 2011 8:30 a.m.-5,p.m. October 14, 2011 8:30 a... concerning support for geosciences. Agenda October 13, 2011 Update on Directorate Activities and...
... Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: April 11, 2013, 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., April 12, 2013, 8:30... oversight concerning support for geosciences research and education. Agenda April 11, 2013 Directorate...
Latrubesse, E. M.
Knowledge of river basins sediment yield at a continental scale and accumulation in sedimentary basins (sinks) provides useful information for quantitative models of landscape evolution, geochemical and sediment mass balance studies for estimating continental and regional net erosion intensities, to assess the volume of solids and to provide understanding to a variety of environmental and engineering applications. Although several estimations exist on the flow of sediments by large rivers from the continent to the Ocean, the role of continental sedimentary basins and fluvial environments (large rivers, megafans) acting as major sedimentary sinks is still partially understood. This assessment is additionally complicated by the human activities that contributed to modify the original rates of production, trapping and transference of sediments at continental scales. South America is an ideal place to discuss these aspects because it contains a) the longest mountain chain of the planet, the Andes; b) the longest and more extensive foreland systems, c) huge lowlands/plains, d) the largest rivers, e) the largest megafans, f) major intracratonic, continental platform and aulacogen sedimentary basins. The analysis of some of the most active sedimentary basins of the continent can help to improve our perspective on what can be preserved and how much sediment is being stored by fluvial systems. In this presentation I assess the biggest source areas and the larges trapping systems at continental scale with focus on megarivers and megafans, as well us I discuss some study cases of sediment budgets in large rivers that were intensively modified by human disturbances in recent times (dams, deforestation, etc).
Loring, P. A.; Gerlach, S.; Zamora, F.
A common premise of science for conservation and sustainability is an assumption that despite any human definitions of value, there are ecological first principles, e.g., resilience, which must be understood if sustainability is to be possible. As I show here, however, pursuits such as restoration, conservation, and sustainability remain tangled in (and sometimes at odds with one another regarding) many value-laden decisions regarding the equity, justice, and morality of human-environment interactions. These include such important decisions as: what should be restored or sustained and for whom, how and by whom, and at what cost. This paper uses examples from the lower Colorado River Riparian Corridor, in particular the issue of the so-called ‘invasive’ saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), to illustrate some of the implicit value judgments common to the practice of managing ecosystems. There are many possible perspectives to be taken on a matter like Tamarix, each implicitly or explicitly representing different worldviews and agendas for the ecosystems in question. Resilience theory provides one such perspective, but as I show here, it proves incapable of producing recommendations for managing the corridor that are free of subjective valuations. I end with a case study of habitat and Tamarix management practices in the Mexican portion of the Colorado River Delta, highlighting the proven potential when up-front values are explicitly coupled to the practice of sustainability science, rather than left as details for 'good governance,' a realm presently imagined as separate from science, to sort out. Map of the Colorado River Delta. The Sonoran Institute manages projects in the Mexican portion of the Colorado River Delta region, along the Rio Hardy, the mainstem of the Colorado River in Baja California, MX and in the Cienega de Santa Clara wetlands, Sonora, MX. Map courtesy of Water Education Foundation. www.watereducation.org
Owens, Katharine D.; Steer, David; McConnell, David
This case study describes a professor's evolution from geoscience researcher to effective teacher to education researcher. The article details his initial beliefs about teaching, looks at the factors that prompted him to seek a different teaching approach, and enumerates the supports and challenges that he had on his journey. Factors essential to…
Baroň, Ivo; Bíl, Michal; Bábek, Ondřej; Smolková, Veronika; Pánek, Tomáš; Macur, Lukáš
Landslides are important geomorphic agents in various mountainous settings. We document here a case of river piracy from the upper part of the Malá Brodská Valley in the Vsetínské Mts., Czech Republic (Rača Unit of the flysch Magura Group of Nappes, flysch belt of the Outer Western Carpathians) controlled by mass movement processes. Based on the field geological, geomorphological and geophysical data, we found out that the landslide accumulations pushed the more active river of out of two subparallel river channels with different erosion activity westwards and forced intensive lateral erosion towards the recently abandoned valley. Apart from the landslide processes, the presence of the N-striking fault, accentuated by higher flow rates of the eastern channel as a result of its larger catchment area, were the most critical factors of the river piracy. As a consequence of the river piracy, intensive retrograde erosion in the elbow of capture and also within the upper portion of the western catchment occurred. Deposits of two landslide dams document recent minimum erosion rates to be 18.8 mm.ky- 1 in the western (captured) catchment, and 3.6 mm.ky- 1 in the eastern catchment respectively. The maximum age of the river piracy is estimated to be of the late Glacial and/or the early Holocene.
Dalbotten, D. M.; Pellerin, H.; Greensky, L.; Burger, A.
The continuing underrepresentation of Native Americans in the geosciences can only mean that native voices go unheard in setting research agendas and priorities. This is particularly significant where issues such as global climate change impact the land and livelihood of Native American communities. This talk will outline progress towards a Geoscience Alliance, with participation by faculty from tribal colleges, universities, and research centers; native elders and community members; students (K12, undergraduate, and graduate); formal and informal educators; and other interested individuals. Our focus will be on defining goals for this alliance, i.e., new research in Geoscience education, defining best practices, inclusion of Native voices in Geoscience research, the potential for new collaborations, and promotion of opportunities for Native students and communities.
Wilder, A.; Feeley, T.; Michelfelder, G.
Traditionally, the roles of field experiences in geoscience teaching have come from experienced instructors and researchers with a dedicated interest in how students learn. In this presentation we provide the opposite perspective; that of an undergraduate student at the beginning of her research career. We discuss the benefits and challenges associated with the initial field work and extend our discussion to include subsequent analytical-based laboratory studies. At Montana State University we are addressing key questions related to magma generation and differentiation at three volcanoes in the Central Andes. These are Volcan Uturuncu in southwest Bolivia and the Lazufre system consisting of Lastarria volcano and Cordon del Azufre in Chile and Argentina. To address these issues students collected rock samples and mapped lava flows in the field during the past two Spring Semesters. Upon return to campus the students prepared the samples for whole rock and mineral analyses, followed by travel to and work in external laboratories analyzing and collecting high precision geochemical data. The benefits these experiences provide include the following. First, due to the localities of the field sites, students become familiar with the difficult logistics associated with planning and performing field work in remote localities. Second, in performing the field work, students gain an appreciation of scale and exposure; topics not typically addressed in standard course work. Third, through close interaction with internal and external faculty, graduate students, and professional geologists, undergraduate students build strong relationships with scientists in the area of their interests. Fourth, by acquiring and interpreting high quality field and analytical data, they learn in-depth about modern philosophies, technologies, and data in the geosciences, providing them with skills and experiences that will be of value in their future careers or graduate work. They also learn how to
Manan, A; Ibrahim, M
In this paper we explain the current condition of the Bau-Bau River, examine community participation for management of the river system, and consider options for improving the institutional capacity for a community-based approach. This assessment is based on a research project with the following objectives: (1) analyse the biophysical and socio-economic condition of the river as a basis for future planning; (2) identify current activities which contribute waste or pollution to the river; (3) assess the status and level of pollution in the river; (4) analyse community participation related to all stages of river management; and (5) identify future river management needs and opportunities. Due to the increasing population in Bau-Bau city, considerable new land is required for housing, roads, agriculture, social facilities, etc. Development in the city and elsewhere has increased run-off and erosion, as well as sedimentation in the river. In addition, household activities are generating more solid and domestic waste that causes organic pollution in the river. The research results show that the water quality in the upper river system is still good, whilst the quality of water in the vicinity of Bau-Bau city, from the mid-point of the watershed to the estuary, is not good, being contaminated with heavy metals (Cd and Pb) and organic pollutants. However, the levels of those pollutants are still below regulatory standards. The main reasons for pollution in the river are mainly lack of management for both liquid and solid wastes, as well as lack of community participation in river management. The government of Bau-Bau city and the community are developing a participatory approach for planning to restore and conserve the Bau-Bau River as well as the entire catchment. The activities of this project are: (1) forming institutional arrangements to support river conservation; (2) implementing extension initiatives to empower the community; (3) identifying a specific location to
Kempler, L. A.
There are many, active Geoscience-related efforts around data support infrastructures, with an eye towards enabling improved access, usability, and sharing cross scientific disciplines. Beyond that and even beyond consistent and compatible interfaces between those data infrastructures and the software that relies on them, lies the challenge of sustainable and compatible software systems. There is a need to establish guidelines and mechanisms for collaboration and coordination around software interoperability within and between software communities. These software communities include multiple parties developing a full software stack: from operating systems and foundation infrastructure, to off-the-shelf vendor-supplied applications, to partner and community-developed codes, all the way to the end-user tools, used once or repeatedly. Expanding the scope of the challenge is the reality that users of these software stacks are no longer solely from the geoscience community; more and more research and industry disciplines and the general public are accessing and using data and tools previously contained to the geoscience arena. Finally, the increased focus on research transparency and reproducibility creates additional requirements that developers of software must design to, whether for desktop, mobile, cloud-based, or even instrument- and hardware-based software systems.This talk will discuss the challenges involved in developing sustainable software within and across communities, including the various types of users and use cases that will need to be taken into account to build a successful model. In addition, the talk will outline requirements and potential solutions for addressing and achieving the level and consistency of coordination and quality required to support and sustain enduring software and effective software communities that use and support it.
Scientific research has evolved over the past several years with an increasing emphasis on the need to preserve and share data with investigators not involved in its initial collection. Not only does this new paradigm fortify the scientific process by providing transparency and opportunities for the validation of results, but it also ensures that the significant financial investments made in basic scientific research provide ongoing benefits and continue to enable new discoveries. Effective management of scientific data relies upon familiarity with the full continuum of the data life cycle - from acquisition and analysis to preservation and dissemination. Knowledge of technical aspects of data management and informatics, coupled with an understanding of data content and scientific use, are the key ingredients for advancing data systems and developing new and innovative interfaces for accessing and analyzing data. Herein lies the work of the data scientist. Effective management of marine geoscience data requires additional specialized knowledge and expertise, much of which can only be gained by participating in field programs. By participating in field programs as both a data manager and as a domain scientist one gains a unique perspective and understanding of the complexities of sea-going field programs, and the challenges of acquiring and documenting marine geoscience data. Just as the combination of technical specialists and domain scientists is critical to the success of a research cruise, so too is it critical to the successful management of data after the conclusion of the cruise. In the case of marine geoscience data, the data scientist plays a key role not only in building bridges between informatics and domain science, but between sea-going technicians and scientists. Working with the full community of stakeholders, the data scientist can help develop realistic standards and protocols to help ensure that high quality observational data are consistently made
Ontologies are increasingly viewed as a key enabler of scientific research in cyber-infrastructures. They provide a way of digitally representing the meaning of concepts embedded in the theories and models of geoscience, enabling such representations to be compared and contrasted computationally. This facilitates the discovery, integration and communication of digitally accessible geoscience resources, and potentially helps geoscientists attain new knowledge. As ontologies are typically built to closely reflect some aspect or viewpoint of a domain, recognizing significant ontological patterns within the domain should thus lead to more useful and robust ontologies. A key idea then motivating this work is the notion that geoscience concepts possess an ontological pattern that helps not only structure them, but also aids ontology development in disciplines where concepts are similarly abstracted from geospatial regions, such as in ecology, soil science, etc. Proposed is an ontology structure in which six basic concept types are identified, defined, and organized in increasing levels of abstraction, including a level for general concepts (e.g. 'granite') and a level for concepts specific to a geospace-time region (e.g. 'granites of Ireland'). Discussed will be the six concept types, the proposed structure that organizes them, and several examples from geoscience. Also mentioned will be the significant implementation challenges faced but not addressed by the proposed structure. In general, the proposal prioritizes conceptual granularity over its engineering deficits, but this prioritization remains to be tested in serious applications.
Schiffries, C.M.; Milling, M.E.
The American Geological Institute (AGI) has completed the first phase of a study to assess the feasibility of establishing a National Geoscience Data Repository System to capture and preserve valuable geoscientific data. The study was initiated in response to the fact that billions of dollars worth of domestic geological and geophysical data are in jeopardy of being irrevocably lost or destroyed as a consequence of the ongoing downsizing of the US energy and minerals industry. This report focuses on two major issues. First, it documents the types and quantity of data available for contribution to a National Geoscience Data Repository System. Second, it documents the data needs and priorities of potential users of the system. A National Geoscience Data Repository System would serve as an important and valuable source of information for the entire geoscience community for a variety of applications, including environmental protection, water resource management, global change studies, and basic and applied research. The repository system would also contain critical data that would enable domestic energy and minerals companies to expand their exploration and production programs in the United States for improved recovery of domestic oil, gas, and mineral resources.
A review of the status, progress, and future direction of lunar research is presented in this report from the lunar geoscience working group of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Information is synthesized and presented in four major sections. These include: (1) an introduction (stating the reasons for lunar study and identifying…
Whitmeyer, Steven J.; Mogk, David W.
Field education traditionally has been an integral component of undergraduate geoscience curricula. Students have learned the fundamentals of field techniques during core geology courses and have honed their field credentials during class-specific field trips, semester-long field courses, and capstone summer field camps. In many geoscience departments, field camp remains a graduation requirement, and more than 100 field camps currently are offered by U.S. universities and colleges (see http://geology.com/field-camp.shtml). During the past several decades, however, many geoscience departments have moved away from traditional geologic fieldwork and toward a broader theoretical and laboratory-intensive focus that encompasses a range of subdisciplines. Trends that have influenced these shifts include (1) the decline in the late twentieth century of the petroleum and mining industries, which have consistently championed the values of fieldwork; (2) a decrease in the number of professional jobs that incorporate field mapping; (3) a decline in the number of geoscience majors nationwide [American Geological Institute (AGI), 2009]; and (4) barriers to fieldwork, including time requirements, cost, liability, and decreasing access to field sites.
The summaries in this document describe the scope of the individual programs and detail the research performed during 1984-1985. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geology, petrology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, solar-terrestrial relationships, aeronomy, seismology, and natural resource analysis, including their various subdivisions and interdisciplinary areas.
Harnik, Paul J.; Ross, Robert M.
Discusses the benefits of research partnerships between scientists and K-16 students. Regards the partnerships as effective vehicles for teaching scientific logic, processes, and content by integrating inquiry-based educational approaches with innovative research questions. Reviews integrated research and education through geoscience partnerships.…
Afzal, R. S.; Dallas, J. L.; Yu, A. W.; Mamakos, W. A.; Lukemire, A.; Schroeder, B.; Malak, A.
The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), scheduled to launch in 2001, is a laser altimeter and lidar for tile Earth Observing System's (EOS) ICESat mission. The laser transmitter requirements, design and qualification test results for this space- based remote sensing instrument are presented.
Cohen, Steven C.; Degnan, John J., III; Bufton, Jack L.; Garvin, James B.; Abshire, James B.
The Geoscience Laser Altimetry/Ranging System (GLARS), a combined laser ranging and altimetry system capable of subcentimeter position determinations of retroflector targets and subdecimeter profiling of topography, is described. The system uses advanced but currently available state-of-the-art components. Laboratory, field, and numerical experiments have indicated the suitability of GLARS as an instrument for Eos and other space platforms.
Ozunu, Al.; Botezan, C.
Vulnerability assessment is influenced by a number of factors, including risk perception. This paper investigates the vulnerability of people living in the middle basin of the Aries river region, a former mining area, to natural and technologic hazards. The mining industry lead to significant environmental changes, which combined with the social problems caused by its decline (high unemployment rate, low income and old age) raised the level of the vulnerability in the area. This case study is unique, as it includes an evaluation of risk perception and its influence on the social vulnerability and resilience of local communities to disasters. Key words: vulnerability assessment, natural hazards, social vulnerability, risk perception
Tarpanelli, Angelica; Barbetta, Silvia; Brocca, Luca; Lacava, Teodosio; Faruolo, Mariapia; Moramarco, Tommaso
River discharge is an important quantity of the hydrologic cycle and it is essential for both scientific and operational applications related to water resources management and flood risk prevention. The absence of flow measurements along the natural channels and, sometimes, their poor accessibility, contribute to make difficult the discharge estimation. In recent years, also thanks to the increased availability of remote sensing data, the great potential of satellite sensors for discharge estimation has been already demonstrated. In particular, recent advances in radar altimetry technology have improved the accuracy in the water levels monitoring of both large rivers and lakes located in ungauged or poorly gauged inland regions. However, the remote sensing based technologies cannot observe river channel bathymetry below the water surface, limiting their value for estimating river depth and/or discharge. This study focuses on the estimation of discharge by coupling information coming from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and radar altimetry and by using the entropy theory for simulating the river channel bathymetry. Specifically, the MODIS-derived velocity is obtained by exploiting the different behavior of water and land in the Near Infrared (NIR) portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (MODIS channel 2). The ratio of reflectance values between two pixels located within and outside the river increases with the presence of the water and, hence, with flow velocity. The flow area is then assessed considering the dataset of water surface elevation derived by radar altimetry and the maximum flow velocity derived by MODIS images. Based on the dataset, an optimization method for estimating the lowest river bottom level is applied and the cross-section flow area is assessed considering the bathymetry simulated by maximization of entropy. The procedure is tested by comparing in-situ and satellite-derived discharge data for a gauged river site along the
Richard, S.; Allison, L.; Clark, R.; Coleman, C.; Chen, G.
The US Geoscience information network has developed metadata profiles for interoperable catalog services based on ISO19139 and the OGC CSW 2.0.2. Currently data services are being deployed for the US Dept. of Energy-funded National Geothermal Data System. These services utilize OGC Web Map Services, Web Feature Services, and THREDDS-served NetCDF for gridded datasets. Services and underlying datasets (along with a wide variety of other information and non information resources are registered in the catalog system. Metadata for registration is produced by various workflows, including harvest from OGC capabilities documents, Drupal-based web applications, transformation from tabular compilations. Catalog search is implemented using the ESRI Geoportal open-source server. We are pursuing various client applications to demonstrated discovery and utilization of the data services. Currently operational applications allow catalog search and data acquisition from map services in an ESRI ArcMap extension, a catalog browse and search application built on openlayers and Django. We are developing use cases and requirements for other applications to utilize geothermal data services for resource exploration and evaluation.
Sreebha, Sreedharan; Padmalal, Damodaran
In the past few decades, the demand for construction grade sand is increasing in many parts of the world due to rapid economic development and subsequent growth of building activities. This, in many of the occasions, has resulted in indiscriminate mining of sand from instream and floodplain areas leading to severe damages to the river basin environment. The case is rather alarming in the small catchment rivers like those draining the southwestern coast of India due to limited sand resources in their alluvial reaches. Moreover, lack of adequate information on the environmental impact of river sand mining is a major lacuna challenging regulatory efforts in many developing countries. Therefore, a scientific assessment is a pre-requisite in formulating management strategies in the sand mining-hit areas. In this context, a study has been made as a case to address the environmental impact of sand mining from the instream and floodplain areas of three important rivers in the southwestern coast of India namely the Chalakudy, Periyar and Muvattupuzha rivers, whose lowlands host one of the fast developing urban-cum-industrial centre, the Kochi city. The study reveals that an amount of 11.527 million ty-1 of sand (8.764 million ty-1 of instream sand and 2.763 million ty-1 of floodplain sand) is being mined from the midland and lowland reaches of these rivers for construction of buildings and other infrastructural facilities in Kochi city and its satellite townships. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out as a part of this investigation shows that the activities associated with mining and processing of sands have not only affected the health of the river ecosystems but also degraded its overbank areas to a large extent. Considering the degree of degradation caused by sand mining from these rivers, no mining scenario may be opted in the deeper zones of the river channels. Also, a set of suggestions are made for the overall improvement of the rivers and its
De Paor, D. G.; Whitmeyer, S. J.
Undergraduate curricula in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology have been developed over centuries and have reached a high level of national and international consistency. No matter where students study as school pupils or undergraduates, they are expected to have taken universally recognized units in electromagnetism or organic chemistry or evolution. In contrast, geoscience curricula vary widely with institution and region. Even the names of geoscience departments (geology, geological sciences, geology and geography, earth science, earth and planetary science, earth and environmental science, geology) reflect the diversity of geoscience curricula. In part, this may result from the relative youth of geoscience as a fundamental science discipline, and in part it may reflect the influence of local field areas and resources. Students in Kansas are likely to be exposed to more stratigraphy and sedimentology and less igneous and metamorphic petrology than students in, say, New Hampshire. Geoscience has been slow to catch on in community colleges and distance learning centers in large part because of the difficulty of teaching a field-based subject without the legacy of specimen and map collections that older geology departments accumulated over the decades. Google Earth has great potential to to "Level the Playing Field" by exposing students to universal geoscientific core concepts on scales from an astronaut's view of the planet down to outcrop details. We present case studies of Google Earth-based geoscience curricular units suited to introductory courses in diverse institutions. With the aid of virtual COLLADA models of structures, virtual specimens, and deep-zoom Gigapan images, students from diverse backgrounds can share almost real field experiences across the virtual globe.
Reynard, E.; Laigre, L.; Baud, D.
The Swiss Rhone River was systematically embanked during the period 1864-1893. The Swiss Rhone River valley is a glacial valley filled by glaciolacustrine, fluvioglacial and fluvial sediments. Torrential tributaries contribute to a large extent to the sedimentation in the valley and have built large alluvial fans in the main valley. The period before the river damming corresponds to the Little Ice Age, and it is supposed that the torrential behaviour of the river and its tributaries was very active during that period. In parallel to a large hydraulic project (Third Rhone River Correction), aiming at enlarging the river for security and environmental reasons, this project aims at reconstructing the palaeogeomorphology of the river floodplain before and also during the 30-year long embankment project developed during the last decades of the 19th century. The objective is to better know the geomorphological behaviour of the river, and also to localize palaolandforms (meanders, braided patterns, sandstone dunes, wetlands, etc.), present in the floodplain in the first part of the 19th century and that have now totally disappeared. The project is carried out in close collaboration with the Cantonal Archives of Valais and with a group of historians working on the relations between the river and the communities. It should contribute to a better knowledge of the Swiss Rhone River history (Reynard et al., 2009). Both published official maps (Dufour maps, Siegfried maps) and unpublished maps and plans are systematically collected, digitized, and organised in a database managed by a Geographical Information System. Other data are collected (place names, geomorphological, hydrological and hydraulic data, information about land-use and vegetation, paintings and photographs, etc.) and localised. A high-resolution digital terrain model and areal photographs are also used and allow us to map palaeolandforms (meanders, filled oxbow lakes, former channels, etc.). In a second step
Descroix, Luc; Genthon, Pierre; Amogu, Okechukwu; Rajot, Jean-Louis; Sighomnou, Daniel; Vauclin, Michel
Changes in the hydrological regime of Sahelian Rivers are considered based upon the example of the Middle Niger River and its exceptional flood in 2010 near the city of Niamey. It is shown that rainfall in 2010 was only average with respect to the long term record, with neither the monthly rainfall distribution in terms of the amount of rainfall nor the distribution of rainy events changing significantly in the last few decades. Particularly, no increase in the number of extreme rainfall events is observed. In spite of this, the Niger River's right bank tributaries have shown a sharp increase in runoff since the 1970s, which is still ongoing, and has resulted in a modification of the Niger River's regime from a single hydrograph to a two flood hydrograph, the local flood, occurring during the rainy season being the more pronounced one. This modification is likely due to an increase of bare soils and crusted soil areas as a consequence of human pressure, resulting mostly from the spatial extension of crop areas and the shortening of fallow periods. Changes in connectivity of the river networks on both banks of the Niger such as endorheism bursting events also caused an increase in the contributing basin area. Policy makers should be alerted to the effects of intensive cropping, land clearing and overgrazing in some areas, on the hydrological regimes of Sahelian Rivers.
Anderson, S. W.; Libarkin, J. C.
One of the key challenges geoscientists face as they disseminate scientific results to the general public is understanding the background level of their audience and delivering the information in a form that is easily understood. This is particularly difficult when dealing with people who have little background in geosciences. However, our research on learning in college-level courses suggests that reaching college-educated Americans who have some background in the geosciences is problematic as well. We have discovered a plethora of geoscience misconceptions that are not only common in the general public, but persist despite college-level geoscience instruction. These trends were discovered through delivery of the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI). The GCI is a valid and reliable multiple-choice assessment test that we developed and is now being used in over 100 colleges and high schools nationwide. One unique aspect of the GCI is that we use common misconceptions, gleaned from hundreds of interviews with students, as distractors (incorrect answers). In 2002 and 2003 we pre-tested nearly 4000 students nationwide at the beginning of college-level geoscience courses, and then post-tested these same students at the end of the semester, and found that a number of incorrect conceptions persisted despite instruction. Prior research has shown that these persistent misconceptions, or entrenched ideas, can greatly affect learning and may require prolonged exposure to the topic before improvement in conceptual understanding can occur. We have identified some of the most entrenched ideas in the geosciences, and find that many stem from basic physics and chemistry principles, such as gravity, magnetism, and time scale. Several are also related to misunderstandings of the relationships between tectonic plates, volcanoes and earthquakes. Scientists who understand which of these alternative conceptions are entrenched may be better able to prepare information for public
Eriksson, S. C.; Ellins, K. K.
Several new avenues are in place for building and supporting a community of people interested in the art and geoscience connections. Although sessions advocating for art in teaching geoscience have been scattered through geoscience professional meetings for several decades, there is now a sustained presence of artists and geoscientists with their research and projects at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. In 2011, 13 abstracts were submitted and, in 2013, 20 talks and posters were presented at the annual meeting. Participants have requested more ways to connect with each other as well as advocate for this movement of art and science to others. Several words can describe new initiatives to do this: Social, Collaborative, Connected, Informed, Networked, and Included. Social activities of informal dinners, lunches, and happy hour for interested people in the past year have provided opportunity for presenters at AGU to spend time getting to know one another. This has resulted in at least two new collaborative projects. The nascent Bella Roca and more established Geology in Art websites and their associated blogs at www.bellaroca.org and http://geologyinart.blogspot.com, respectively are dedicated to highlighting the work of artists inspired by the geosciences, connecting people and informing the community of exhibits and opportunities for collaboration. Bella Roca with its social media of Facebook (Bella Roca) and Twitter (@BellRocaGeo), is a direct outgrowth of the recent 2012 and 2013 AGU sessions and, hopefully, can be grown and sustained for this community. Articles in professional journals will also help inform the broader geoscience community of the benefit of engaging with artists and designers for both improved science knowledge and communication. Organizations such as Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, the Art Science Gallery in Austin, Texas also promote networking among artists and scientists with
Many, if not most, college students taking an introductory geoscience course purchase, borrow, download, or rent one of several commercial textbooks currently available. Art used in such books has evolved significantly over the past three decades. Concepts once conveyed only by black-and-white line drawings, drawn by hand in ink, have gradually been replaced by full-color images produced digitally. Multiple high-end graphics programs, when used in combination, can yield images with super-realistic textures and palettes so that, in effect, anything that a book author wants to be drawn can be drawn. Because of the time and skill level involved in producing the art, the process commonly involves professional artists. In order to produce high-quality geoscience art that can help students (who are, by definition, non-experts) understand concepts, develop geoscience intuition, and hone their spatial-visualization skills, an author must address two problems. First, design a figure which can convey complex concepts through visual elements that resonate with students. Second, communicate the concepts to a professional artist who does not necessarily have personal expertise in geoscience, so that the figure rendered is both technically correct and visually engaging. The ultimate goal of geoscience art in textbooks is to produce an image that avoids unnecessary complexity that could distract from the art's theme, includes sufficient realism for a non-expert to relate the image to the real world, provides a personal context in which to interpret the figure, and has a layout that conveys relationships among multiple components of the art so that the art tells a coherent story. To accomplish this goal, a chain of choices--about perspective, sizes, colors, texture, labeling, captioning, line widths, and fonts--must be made in collaboration between the author and artist. In the new world of computer-aided learning, figures must also be able to work both on the computer screen and
Munyika, Shishani; Kongo, Victor; Kimwaga, Richard
Land use activities that have an effect on water quality and river health are believed to have increased along the Orange River in Namibia. These are mainly agricultural activities, notably irrigation, with more than 2000 ha currently under irrigation and approximately 2000 ha planned for future expansion. Other anthropogenic activities include urban development and weir construction along the Orange River. Population increase along the river has resulted in proliferation of unplanned settlements with no proper sanitation facilities. This study was aimed at assessing the current water quality and overall health status of the Orange River in Namibia. The South African Scoring System 5(SASS5) was applied in eight sites where samples for macroinvertebrates, physical and chemical water quality parameters such as nutrients in the water, pH, turbidity and presence of bacteria were obtained. Satellite images i.e. Landsat images were also used to assess the land-uses over time in the study area with the view of linking such changes to variance in water quality over time. The SASS5 results indicated a fair water quality and river health condition in category C, indicating that the river is moderately modified. Water quality parameters at all sites varied moderately and were within acceptable limits, except for turbidity and chlorophyll a. There was a significant difference in the mean concentrations of nine water quality parameters among sampling periods, whereby F-value > F-critical at α = 0.05 among sites, F-value < F-critical at α = 0.05, except for turbidity and chlorophyll a. The Landsat images also showed minimal changes in land-use activities between 2002 and 2012, with a net increase of 38 ha in irrigated area. According to National Water Policy White Paper of Namibia of 2000, it was found that policies and legislation address water resources management from a broader spectrum and not specific to river health. Thus, it was concluded that the river health of Orange
Jee, Benjamin D; Uttal, David H; Gentner, Dedre; Manduca, Cathy; Shipley, Thomas F; Sageman, Bradley
A central issue in education is how to support the spatial thinking involved in learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated whether and how the cognitive process of analogical comparison supports learning of a basic spatial concept in geoscience, fault. Because of the high variability in the appearance of faults, it may be difficult for students to learn the category-relevant spatial structure. There is abundant evidence that comparing analogous examples can help students gain insight into important category-defining features (Gentner in Cogn Sci 34(5):752-775, 2010). Further, comparing high-similarity pairs can be especially effective at revealing key differences (Sagi et al. 2012). Across three experiments, we tested whether comparison of visually similar contrasting examples would help students learn the fault concept. Our main findings were that participants performed better at identifying faults when they (1) compared contrasting (fault/no fault) cases versus viewing each case separately (Experiment 1), (2) compared similar as opposed to dissimilar contrasting cases early in learning (Experiment 2), and (3) viewed a contrasting pair of schematic block diagrams as opposed to a single block diagram of a fault as part of an instructional text (Experiment 3). These results suggest that comparison of visually similar contrasting cases helped distinguish category-relevant from category-irrelevant features for participants. When such comparisons occurred early in learning, participants were more likely to form an accurate conceptual representation. Thus, analogical comparison of images may provide one powerful way to enhance spatial learning in geoscience and other STEM disciplines. PMID:23436210
Ceschin, Simona; Tombolini, Ilaria; Abati, Silverio; Zuccarello, Vincenzo
River damming leads to strong hydromorphological alterations of the watercourse, consequently affecting river vegetation pattern. A multitemporal and spatial analysis of the dam effect on composition, structure and dynamic of the upstream vegetation was performed on Tiber River at Nazzano-dam (Rome). The main research questions were as follows: How does plant landscape vary over time and along the river? Where does the dam effect on vegetation end? How does naturalistic importance of the vegetation affected by damming change over time? Data collection was performed mapping the vegetation in aerial photos related to the period before (1944), during (1954) and after dam construction (1984, 2000). The plant landscape has significantly changed over time and along the river, particularly as a result of the dam construction (1953). The major vegetation changes have involved riparian forests and macrophytes. Dam effect on vegetation is evident up to 3 km, and gradually decreases along an attenuation zone for about another 3 km. Despite the fact that the damming has caused strong local hydromorphological modification of the river ecosystem transforming it into a sub-lacustrine habitat, it has also led to the formation of wetlands of considerable naturalistic importance. Indeed, in these man-made wetlands, optimal hydrological conditions have been created by favouring both the expansion of pre-existing riparian communities and the rooting of new aquatic communities, albeit typical of lacustrine ecosystems. Some of these plant communities have become an important food resource, refuge or nesting habitats for aquatic fauna, while others fall into category of Natura 2000 habitats. Therefore, river damming seems to have indirectly had a "favourable" effect for habitat conservation and local biodiversity. PMID:25920677
Ronco, Paolo; Bullo, Martina; Gallina, Valentina; Torresan, Silvia; Critto, Andrea; Zabeo, Alex; Semenzin, Elena; Buchecker, Matthias; Marcomini, Antonio
In recent years, the frequency of catastrophes induced by natural hazard has increased and flood events in particular have been recognized as one of the most threatening water-related disasters. Severe floods have occurred in Europe over the last decade causing loss of life, displacement of people and heavy economic losses. Flood disasters are growing as a consequence of many factors both climatic and non-climatic. Indeed, the current increase of water-related disasters can be mainly attributed to the increase of exposure (elements potentially at risk in floodplains area) and vulnerability (i.e. economic, social, geographic, cultural, and physical/environmental characteristics of the exposure). Besides these factors, the strong effect of climate change is projected to radically modify the usual pattern of the hydrological cycle by intensifying the frequency and severity of flood events both at local, regional and global scale. Within this context, it is necessary to develop effective and pro-active strategies, tools and actions which allow to assess and (possibly) to reduce the risk of floods. In light of the recent European Flood Directive (FD), the KULTURisk-FP7 Project developed a state-of-the-art Regional Risk Assessment (RRA) methodology for assessing the risk imposed by floods events. The KULTURisk RRA methodology is based on the concept of risk being function of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. It is a flexible that can be adapted to different case studies (i.e. large rivers, alpine/mountain catchments, urban areas and coastal areas) and spatial scales (i.e. from the large river to the urban scale) that integrates the outputs of various hydrodynamics models (hazard) with sito-specific geophysical and socio-economic indicators (exposure and vulnerability factors such as land cover, slope, soil permeability, population density, economic activities, etc.). The main outputs of the methodology are GIS-based risk maps that identify and prioritize relative hot
Krumm, Debra; Granshaw, Frank
The role of 2-year colleges (2YCs) in geoscience education is growing as the number of students enrolled in Earth and space science courses increases and as these institutions—which include community colleges and junior colleges—provide more students majoring in geoscience at public universities. In recognition of the increasing role of 2YCs in geoscience education, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) recently created a Geo2YC division for faculty, administrators, graduate students, and other geoscience professionals who share a professional interest in geoscience education at 2YCs. The mission of the new division, which is NAGT's first national division, is to serve as a forum for exchanging curricular ideas, concerns, and resources; establish a network of geoscience educators at 2YCs and other institutions with shared interests; sponsor NAGT 2YC activities and make recommendations to the NAGT Council in support of 2YC geoscience education; support and coordinate research on 2YC geoscience education; and advocate for 2YC geoscience education within NAGT and with other organizations.
Venturi, Sara; Di Francesco, Silvia; Manciola, Piergiorgio
The increasing occurrence of extreme meteorological events and the strong land exploitation, especially the overbuilding and urbanization of the flood prone areas, has led to a considerable increase of the hydraulic risk associated to these areas and, consequently, to an effort of institutions and researchers to find proper solutions. The analyzed case study deals with the Cerfone river, a tributary of the Tiber River, in the Tuscany region (Italy). The complex morphology of the floodplains and the presence of hydraulic structures (i.e. bridges) that block the river discharge cross section, cause the periodic flooding of the neighbouring small villages during extreme weather events. The flood hazard management and safety plan implementation is strictly connected to the hydrological modeling of river basin.The uncertainty in rain- run off evaluation can lead to different results in terms of discharge peak and hydrographs shape, affecting then all the next risk analysis. The choice of the hydrologic model to apply in the study of Hydraulic Risk delineation is therefore a critical issue. In this work three different approaches to model the basin hydrological response are used and discussed: i) lumped model built in accordance with the standards of methodological model of ALTo (ALluvioni Toscana, Tuscany Region), generally used in the region for hydrologic and hydraulic studies; ii) a semi-distributed model, performed using the hydrological software model HEC - HMS (Hydrologic Engineering Center, US Army Corps of Engineers), which is based on the evaluation of the value of critical duration storm at significant sections of the basin. It is based on models for estimated losses, inflows - outflows transformation method and meteorological model in accordance with the standards of ALTo; iii) lumped model based on the rational equation and the concentration time of Giandotti, in accordance with the methodology of the Tiber River Basin Authority. The critical analysis and
Nyblade, Andrew A.; Durrheim, Ray; Dirks, Paul; Graham, Gerhard; Gibson, Roger; Webb, Susan
AfricaArray (http://www.AfricaArray.org) is a 20-year initiative in the geosciences to meet the African Union's New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) requirements for continent-wide cooperation in human resources development and capacity building. The name AfricaArray refers to arrays of scientists working on linked projects across the continent, arrays of shared training programs and recording stations, and, above all, a shared vision that Africa will retain capacity in an array of technical and scientific fields vital to its sustainable development. AfricaArray officially launched in January 2005 and, with support from many public and private partners, has become multifaceted, promoting a broad range of educational and research activities and supporting a multiuser sensor network (Figure 1). Though fostering geophysics education and research in South Africa was its initial focus, AfricaArray has expanded to 17 countries and is now branching out into all areas of the geosciences (Earth, atmosphere, and space).
Margaret Leinen, assistant director for geosciences at the U.S. National Science Foundation, announced on 7 December that she will be leaving NSF in January 2007 to become the chief science officer and vice president of Climos, a new company based in San Francisco, Calif., that plans to develop solutions to reduce greenhouse gases. Leinen will oversee efforts to better understand the planet's carbon cycle to address global climate change issues.Leinen has managed the Directorate for Geosciences since 2000. She also served as vice chair of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, which coordinates federal climate change research, and as co-chair of the National Science and Technology Council's Joint Committee on Ocean Science and Technology.
The Geosciences Research Program is directed by the Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Office of Energy Research (OER) through its Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES). Activities in the Geosciences Research Program are directed toward the long-term fundamental knowledge of the processes that transport, modify, concentrate, and emplace (1) the energy and mineral resources of the earth and (2) the energy byproducts of man. The Program is divided into five broad categories: Geophysics and earth dynamics; Geochemistry; Energy resource recognition, evaluation, and utilization; Hydrogeology and exogeochemistry; and Solar-terrestrial interactions. The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs in these main areas and their subdivisions including earth dynamics, properties of earth materials, rock mechanics, underground imaging, rock-fluid interactions, continental scientific drilling, geochemical transport, solar/atmospheric physics, and modeling, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary areas.
The intervention will present ESA's Earth Observation Programme and its contribution to Geoscience. ESA's Earth observation missions are mainly grouped into three categories: The Sentinel satellites in the context of the European Copernicus Programme, the scientific Earth Explorers and the meteorological missions. Developments, applications and scientific results for the different mission types will be addressed, along with overall trends and strategies. A special focus will be put on the Earth Explorers, who form the science and research element of ESA's Living Planet Programme and focus on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and Earth's interior. In addition the operational Sentinel satellites have a huge potential for Geoscience. Earth Explorers' emphasis is also on learning more about the interactions between these components and the impact that human activity is having on natural Earth processes. The process of Earth Explorer mission selection has given the Earth science community an efficient tool for advancing the understanding of Earth as a system.
Bank, C.; Halfkenny, B.; Hymers, L.; Clinton, L.; Heenan, S.; Jackson, D.; Nowlan, G.; Haidl, F.; Vodden, C.
The Canadian Geoscience Education Network (CGEN) numbers over 300 members who are active in promoting geoscience to the general public and especially in schools. Our membership spreads from coast to coast to coast in Canada and represents the wide range of geosciences. Most members work in education, government, industry, academia, or not-for-profit organizations. Our common goals are to (1) provide resources to teachers for the K-12 curriculum, (2) encourage students to pursue higher education and a rewarding career in geoscience, and (3) lobby to effect change to the school curriculum. Our strength is grounded in a grassroots approach (eg, regional chapters), flexible organization, and emphasis on a cost-effective style. Together we have created and maintain resources for teachers; for example, EdGEO (local workshops for teachers), Geoscape (community-based posters and lesson plans), and EarthNet (virtual resource centre). A new website showcases careers in the Earth sciences. CGEN members ensure that these resources remain current, promote them at individual outreach activities, and see to it that they are maintained. Although we have limited funding we draw strength from the networks of our members and capitalize on partnerships between seemingly disparate organizations and groups to get experts involved in the education of future geoscientists. (Details about CGEN may be found at http://www.geoscience.ca/cgen/principal.html.)
Kolker, Alexander S.; Miner, Michael D.; Weathers, H. Dallon
River deltas are a globally distributed class of sedimentary environment that are highly productive, ecologically diverse and serve as centers for population and commerce. Many deltas are also in a state of environmental degradation, and the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) stands out as a particularly iconic example. Plans to restore the MRD call for partially diverting the Mississippi River, which should reinitiate natural deltaic land-building processes. While the basic physical underpinnings of river diversions are relatively straightforward, there exists a considerable controversy over whether diversions can and do deliver enough sediment to the coastal zone to build sub-aerial land on restoration-dependent time scales. This controversy was addressed through a study of crevasse-splay dynamics at the West Bay Mississippi River Diversion, the largest diversion in the MRD that was specifically constructed for coastal restoration. We found that most sediments were distributed over a 13.5 km area, with the maximum deposition occurring at the seaward end of this field. These results indicate substantial sediment deposition downstream of project boundaries and run counter to simple sedimentary models, which predict that maximum sediment deposition should occur closest to the riverbank. Despite this, most sediments appear to be retained in the nearshore zone, suggesting that the sediment retention efficiency was at the higher end of the 30-70% range suggested by some sediment budgets.
Despite the dismal numbers, efforts to recruit minorities into the geosciences are improving, thanks in part to NSF's "Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences" (OEDG) initiative. At Wesleyan University, a small liberal arts college in Connecticut, we have significantly increased our recruitment of minority students. Twenty percent (four students) of the class of 2013 are African American. Most of the recruitment is done on an individual basis and working in conjunction with the "Dean for Diversity and Student Engagement" and courting minority students in introductory classes. The Dean for Diversity and Student Engagement is aware of our interest in increasing diversity and that we are able to hire minority students during the academic year and through the summer with OEDG funds. When she identifies minority students who might be interested in the geosciences, she refers them to faculty in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department. Our faculty can provide employment, mentoring and a variety of geo-related experiences. Courting students in introductory courses can include inviting them to lunch or other activity, and attending sports, theater or dance events in which they are participating. Not all efforts result in new majors. Courses in ancillary sciences may be stumbling blocks and higher grades in less demanding courses have lured some students into other majors. Nevertheless, we now have a large enough cohort of minority students so that minority students from other majors visit their friends in our labs. A critical mass? Even a student, who chooses another major, may continue an interest in geoscience and through outreach efforts and discussions with younger family members, may provide a bridge that becomes a conduit for future students.
Johnson, Zackary I.; Johnston, David W.
Observation, formation of explanatory hypotheses, and testing of ideas together form the basic pillars of much science. Consequently, science education has often focused on the presentation of facts and theories to teach concepts. To a great degree, libraries and universities have been the historical repositories of scientific information, often restricting access to a small segment of society and severely limiting broad-scale geoscience education.
The Geosciences Research Program is directed by the Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Office of Energy Research (OER) through its Office of Basic Energy Sciences (OBES). Activities in the Geosciences Research Program are directed toward building the long-term fundamental knowledge base necessary to provide for energy technologies of the future. Future energy technologies and their individual roles in satisfying the nations energy needs cannot be easily predicted. It is clear, however, that these future energy technologies will involve consumption of energy and mineral resources and generation of technological wastes. The earth is a source for energy and mineral resources and is also the host for wastes generated by technological enterprise. Viable energy technologies for the future must contribute to a national energy enterprise that is efficient, economical, and environmentally sound. The Geosciences Research Program emphasizes research leading to fundamental knowledge of the processes that transport, modify, concentrate, and emplace (1) the energy and mineral resources of the earth and (2) the energy by-products of man.
Sevre, E.; Lee, S.
Many people, students and professors alike, shy away from learning to program because it is often believed to be something scary or unattainable. However, integration of programming into geoscience education can be a valuable tool for increasing the accessibility of content for all who are interested. It is my goal to dispel these myths and convince people that: 1) Students with disabilities can use programming to increase their role in the classroom, 2) Everyone can learn to write programs to simplify daily tasks, 3) With a deep understanding of the task, anyone can write a program to do a complex task, 4) Technology can be combined with programming to create an inclusive environment for all students of geoscience, and 5) More advanced knowledge of programming and technology can lead geoscientists to create software to serve as assistive technology in the classroom. It is my goal to share my experiences using technology to enhance the classroom experience as a way of addressing the aforementioned issues. Through my experience, I have found that programming skills can be included and learned by all to enhance the content of courses without detracting from curriculum. I hope that, through this knowledge, geoscience courses can become more accessible for people with disabilities by including programming and technology to the benefit of all involved.
Papatheodorou, Photini; Spathopoulos, Fivos
Communication of scientific and technological developments to the public demands an in-depth understanding of relevant public perceptions and concerns and a resultant plan of action. Until recently, very little research and practice had been recorded on this front. The presentation wishes to promote the idea of dialogue as a tool for establishing public trust in scientific and technological development, in general. Different theoretical perspectives on public communication will be examined, as defined by current research. As a case study, the media coverage of shale gas and renewable energy sources projects around the world will be presented. The final proposition of the presentation will make the case of dialogue, as an effective form of engaging the public with scientific developments and will explore dialogic practices and their application in the fields of science and technology.
Zalles, D. R.; Collins, B. D.; Updegrave, C.; Montgomery, D. R.; Colonnese, T. G.; Sheikh, A. J.; Haynie, K.; Johnson, V.; Data Sets; Inquiry in Environmental Restoration Studies (Nsf Geo Project 0808076)
of activity recommendations for the high school teacher to use in the classroom and on field trips in the river network that illustrate principles and issues and having cultural significance to the Native American community. The web site will support the teacher carrying out these activities by presenting background information on relevant geoscience topics. There is also reliance on Indian traditional ecological knowledge, stories, and place names that complement scientific data. Binding these materials are cases, short narratives that describe real challenges pertaining to the students’ Indian Tribe and to the Snohomish River system. These cases are the stimuli for student investigation of the curricular resources. The AGU presentation will also present examples from journal assignments in the undergraduate course of how student understanding about the dynamic and complex characteristics of river systems evolved during the course.
Golet, Gregory H; Roberts, Michael D; Larsen, Eric W; Luster, Ryan A; Unger, Ron; Werner, Gregg; White, Gregory G
Studies have shown that ecological restoration projects are more likely to gain public support if they simultaneously increase important human services that natural resources provide to people. River restoration projects have the potential to influence many of the societal functions (e.g., flood control, water quality) that rivers provide, yet most projects fail to consider this in a comprehensive manner. Most river restoration projects also fail to take into account opportunities for revitalization of large-scale river processes, focusing instead on opportunities presented at individual parcels. In an effort to avoid these pitfalls while planning restoration of the Sacramento River, we conducted a set of coordinated studies to evaluate societal impacts of alternative restoration actions over a large geographic area. Our studies were designed to identify restoration actions that offer benefits to both society and the ecosystem and to meet the information needs of agency planning teams focusing on the area. We worked with local partners and public stakeholders to design and implement studies that assessed the effects of alternative restoration actions on flooding and erosion patterns, socioeconomics, cultural resources, and public access and recreation. We found that by explicitly and scientifically melding societal and ecosystem perspectives, it was possible to identify restoration actions that simultaneously improve both ecosystem health and the services (e.g., flood protection and recreation) that the Sacramento River and its floodplain provide to people. Further, we found that by directly engaging with local stakeholders to formulate, implement, and interpret the studies, we were able to develop a high level of trust that ultimately translated into widespread support for the project. PMID:16523370
Kulaksız, Serkan; Bau, Michael
The distribution of dissolved rare earth elements (REE) in the Rhine River, Germany, shows the anthropogenic gadolinium (Gd) microcontamination that is commonly observed in rivers in densely populated countries with a highly evolved health care system. However, the Rhine River also carries anomalously high concentrations of lanthanum (La), which produce very large positive La anomalies in normalized REE distribution patterns. These positive La anomalies first occur north of the City of Worms and then decrease in size downstream, but are still significant approximately 400 km downstream, close to the German-Dutch border. The strong La enrichment is of anthropogenic origin and can be traced back to effluent from a production plant for fluid catalytic cracking catalysts at Rhine river-km 447.4. This effluent is characterized by extremely high dissolved total REE and La concentrations of up to 52 mg/kg and 49 mg/kg, respectively. Such La concentrations are well-above those at which ecotoxicological effects have been observed. The Rhine River is the first case observed to date, where a river's dissolved REE inventory is affected and even dominated by anthropogenic La. Our results suggest that almost 1.5t of anthropogenic dissolved La is exported via the Rhine River into the North Sea per year. This reveals that the growing industrial use of REE (and other formerly "exotic" elements) results in their increasing release into the environment, and highlights the urgent need to determine their geogenic background concentrations in terrestrial surface waters. PMID:21458860
Cifelli, R.; Hsu, C.; Johnson, L. E.
NOAA Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) activities in California have involved deployment of advanced sensor networks to better track atmospheric river (AR) dynamics and inland penetration of high water vapor air masses. Numerical weather prediction models and decision support tools have been developed to provide forecasters a better basis for forecasting heavy precipitation and consequent flooding. The HMT also involves a joint project with California Department of Water Resources (CA-DWR) and the Scripps Institute for Oceanography (SIO) as part of CA-DWR's Enhanced Flood Response and Emergency Preparedness (EFREP) program. The HMT activities have included development and calibration of a distributed hydrologic model, the NWS Office of Hydrologic Development's (OHD) Research Distributed Hydrologic Model (RDHM), to prototype the distributed approach for flood and other water resources applications. HMT has applied RDHM to the Russian-Napa watersheds for research assessment of gap-filling weather radars for precipitation and hydrologic forecasting and for establishing a prototype to inform both the NWS Monterey Forecast Office and the California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) of RDHM capabilities. In this presentation, a variety of precipitation forcings generated with and without gap filling radar and rain gauge data are used as input to RDHM to assess the hydrologic response for selected case study events. Both the precipitation forcing and hydrologic model are run at different spatial and temporal resolution in order to examine the sensitivity of runoff to the precipitation inputs. Based on the timing of the events and the variations of spatial and temporal resolution, the parameters which dominate the hydrologic response are identified. The assessment is implemented at two USGS stations (Ukiah near Russian River and Austin Creek near Cazadero) that are minimally influenced by managed flows and objective evaluation can thus be derived. The results are assessed
Iverson, E. A.; Steer, D. N.; Manduca, C. A.
InTeGrate is a community effort aimed at improving geoscience literacy and building a workforce that can use geoscience to solve societal issues. As part of this work we have developed a geoscience literacy assessment instrument to measure students' higher order thinking. This assessment is an important part of the development of curricula designed to increase geoscience literacy for all undergraduate students. To this end, we developed the Geoscience Literacy Exam (GLE) as one of the tools to quantify the effectiveness of these materials on students' understandings of geoscience literacy. The InTeGrate project is a 5-year, NSF-funded STEP Center grant in its first year of funding. Details concerning the project are found at http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/index.html. The GLE instrument addresses content and concepts in the Earth, Climate, and Ocean Science literacy documents. The testing schema is organized into three levels of increasing complexity. Level 1 questions are single answer, understanding- or application-level multiple choice questions. For example, selecting which type of energy transfer is most responsible for the movement of tectonic plates. They are designed such that most introductory level students should be able to correctly answer after taking an introductory geoscience course. Level 2 questions are more advanced multiple answer/matching questions, at the understanding- through analysis-level. Students might be asked to determine the types of earth-atmosphere interactions that could result in changes to global temperatures in the event of a major volcanic eruption. Because the answers are more complicated, some introductory students and most advanced students should be able to respond correctly. Level 3 questions are analyzing- to evaluating-level short essays, such as describe the ways in which the atmosphere sustains life on Earth. These questions are designed such that introductory students could probably formulate a rudimentary response
This talk will summarize on-going discussions and deliberations related to data discovery undertaken as part of the EarthCube initiative and in the context of current trends and technologies in search and discovery of scientific data and information. The goal of the EarthCube initiative is to transform the conduct of research by supporting the development of community-guided cyberinfrastructure to integrate data and information for knowledge management across the Geosciences. The vision of EarthCube is to provide a coherent framework for finding and using information about the Earth system across the entire research enterprise that will allow for substantial improved collaboration between specialties using each other's data (e.g. subdomains of geo- and biological sciences). Indeed, data discovery is an essential prerequisite to any action that an EarthCube user would undertake. The community roadmap activity addresses challenges in data discovery, beginning with an assessment of the state-of-the-art, and then identifying issues, challenges, and risks in reaching the data discovery vision. Many of the lessons learned are general and applicable not only to the geosciences but also to a variety of other science communities. The roadmap considers data discovery issues in Geoscience that include but are not limited to metadata-based discovery and the use of semantic information and ontologies; content-based discovery and integration with data mining activities; integration with data access services; and policy and governance issues. Furthermore, many geoscience use cases require access to heterogeneous data from multiple disciplinary sources in order to analyze and make intelligent connections between data to advance research frontiers. Examples include, say, assessing the rise of sea surface temperatures; modeling geodynamical earth systems from deep time to present; or, examining in detail the causes and consequences of global climate change. It has taken the past one
D'Alpaos, L.; Martini, P.; Carniello, L.
The paper deals with numerical modelling of flood waves and suspended sediment in plain river basins. The two dimensional depth integrated momentum and continuity equations, modified to take into account of the bottom irregularities that strongly affect the hydrodynamic and the continuity in partially dry areas (for example, during the first stages of a plain flooding and in tidal flows), are solved with a standard Galerkin finite element method using a semi-implicit numerical scheme and considering the role both of the small channel network and the regulation dispositive on the flooding wave propagation. Transport of suspended sediment and bed evolution are coupled with the flood propagation through the convection-dispersion equation and the Exner's equation. Results of a real case study are presented in which the effects of extreme flood of Brenta River (Italy) are examinated. The flooded areas (urban and rural areas) are identified and a mitigation solution based on a diversion channel flowing into Venice Lagoon is proposed. We show that this solution strongly reduces the flood risk in the downstream areas and can provide an important sediment source to the Venice Lagoon. Finally, preliminary results of the sediment dispersion in the Venice Lagoon are presented.
Sun, Chen; Wu, Hongjuan
Animal husbandry is one of the major agricultural pollution sources in China. The Xiangyang Reach of the Han River Basin was used as a case study to identify pollutants from animal rearing. The gross amount of pollutants from livestock and poultry rearing in the Xiangyang Reach was estimated using two empirical models with different data sets. The pig, cattle, sheep, and poultry population in 2009 amounted to 2.6, 0.6, 0.5, and 39.2 million head, respectively. The total annual pollutant loads generated from the feces and urine of livestock and poultry were 270,400 t of chemical oxygen demand; 228,900 t of biochemical oxygen demand; 26,500 t of ammonia nitrogen; 16,500 t of total phosphorus; and 63,900 t of total nitrogen. Approximately 12% of these pollutant loads were estimated to enter the Han River through the watershed outlet. Animal breeding has been one of the main pollution sources in this area, followed by domestic sewage and industrial wastewater. Cattle produced the most pollution, with the heaviest pollution load in downtown Xiangyang City. Several recommendations are presented to control the pollution caused by livestock and poultry breeding. PMID:22766880
Morris, A. R.; Charlevoix, D. J.; Miller, M.
Global economic development demands that the United States remain competitive in the STEM fields, and developing a forward-looking and well-trained geoscience workforce is imperative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the geosciences will experience a growth of 19% by 2016. Fifty percent of the current geoscience workforce is within 10-15 years of retirement, and as a result, the U.S. is facing a gap between the supply of prepared geoscientists and the demand for well-trained labor. Barring aggressive intervention, the imbalance in the geoscience workforce will continue to grow, leaving the increased demand unmet. UNAVCO, Inc. is well situated to prepare undergraduate students for placement in geoscience technical positions and advanced graduate study. UNAVCO is a university-governed consortium facilitating research and education in the geosciences and in addition UNAVCO manages the NSF Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE) facility. The GAGE facility supports many facets of geoscience research including instrumentation and infrastructure, data analysis, cyberinfrastructure, and broader impacts. UNAVCO supports the Research Experiences in the Solid Earth Sciences for Students (RESESS), an NSF-funded multiyear geoscience research internship, community support, and professional development program. The primary goal of the RESESS program is to increase the number of historically underrepresented students entering graduate school in the geosciences. RESESS has met with high success in the first 9 years of the program, as more than 75% of RESESS alumni are currently in Master's and PhD programs across the U.S. Building upon the successes of RESESS, UNAVCO is launching a comprehensive workforce development program that will network underrepresented groups in the geosciences to research and opportunities throughout the geosciences. This presentation will focus on the successes of the RESESS program and plans to expand on this success with broader
Shakibaeinia, Ahmad; Kashyap, Shalini; Dibike, Yonas B; Prowse, Terry D
There is a great deal of interest to determine the state and variations of water quality parameters in the lower Athabasca River (LAR) ecosystem, northern Alberta, Canada, due to industrial developments in the region. As a cold region river, the annual cycle of ice cover formation and breakup play a key role in water quality transformation and transportation processes. An integrated deterministic numerical modelling framework is developed and applied for long-term and detailed simulation of the state and variation (spatial and temporal) of major water quality constituents both in open-water and ice covered conditions in the lower Athabasca River (LAR). The framework is based on the a 1D and a 2D hydrodynamic and water quality models externally coupled with the 1D river ice process models to account for the cold season effects. The models are calibrated/validated using available measured data and applied for simulation of dissolved oxygen (DO) and nutrients (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus). The results show the effect of winter ice cover on reducing the DO concentration, and a fluctuating temporal trend for DO and nutrients during summer periods with substantial differences in concentration between the main channel and flood plains. This numerical frame work can be the basis for future water quality scenario-based studies in the LAR. PMID:27376919
Frantine-Silva, W; Ferreira, D G; Nascimento, R H C; Fracasso, J F; Conte, J E; Ramos, F P; Carvalho, S; Galindo, B A
Most studies of diversity and genetic structure in neotropical fish have focused on commercial species from large rivers or their reservoirs. However, smaller tributaries have been identified as an important alternative migratory route, with independent pools of genetic diversity. In this context, the present study aimed to evaluate genetic diversity and structure in five neotropical fish species from a region of Laranjinha River in the upper Paraná River basin. PCR-RAPD (random amplified polymorphic DNA) markers were used to characterize around 40 individuals of each species distributed upstream and downstream of Corredeira Dam that interrupts the river. The descriptive index of genetic diversity (P = 30.5-82%; HE 0.122-0.312) showed that the populations have acceptable levels of genetic diversity. The values for Nei's genetic distance (DN min 0.0110 and max 0.0306) as well as the genetic structure index and the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA, ϕST min 0.0132 and max 0.0385) demonstrated low, but significant levels of genetic structure. Bayesian analysis of assignment found two k clusters, including several individuals with mixed ancestry for all populations from the five species analyzed. These findings along with historical data on rainfall and the low dimensions of the dam studied here support the hypothesis that periodic floods enable the transit of individuals between different localities mitigating the differentiation process between populations. PMID:26782514
Ruffell, Alastair; McKinley, Jennifer
One hundred years ago Georg Popp became the first scientist to present in court a case where the geological makeup of soils was used to secure a criminal conviction. Subsequently there have been significant advances in the theory and practice of forensic geoscience: many of them subsequent to the seminal publication of "Forensic Geology" by Murray and Tedrow [Murray, R., Tedrow, J.C.F. 1975 (republished 1986). Forensic Geology: Earth Sciences and Criminal Investigation. Rutgers University Press, New York, 240 pp.]. Our review places historical development in the modern context of how the allied disciplines of geology (mineralogy, sedimentology, microscopy), geophysics, soil science, microbiology, anthropology and geomorphology have been used as tool to aid forensic (domestic, serious, terrorist and international) crime investigations. The latter half of this paper uses the concept of scales of investigation, from large-scale landforms through to microscopic particles as a method of categorising the large number of geoscience applications to criminal investigation. Forensic geoscience has traditionally used established non-forensic techniques: 100 years after Popp's seminal work, research into forensic geoscience is beginning to lead, as opposed to follow other scientific disciplines.
Hauhs, Michael; Trancón y Widemann, Baltasar; Lange, Holger
Models have a mixed record of success in the geosciences. In meteorology, model development and implementation has been among the first and most successful examples of triggering computer technology in science. On the other hand, notorious problems such as the 'equifinality issue' in hydrology lead to a rather mixed reputation of models in other areas. The most successful models in geosciences are applications of dynamic systems theory to non-living systems or phenomena. Thus, we start from the hypothesis that the success of model applications relates to the influence of life on the phenomenon under study. We thus focus on the (formal) representation of life in models. The aim is to investigate whether disappointment in model performance is due to system properties such as heterogeneity and historicity of ecosystems, or rather reflects an abstraction and formalisation problem at a fundamental level. As a formal framework for this investigation, we use category theory as applied in computer science to specify behaviour at an interface. Its methods have been developed for translating and comparing formal structures among different application areas and seems highly suited for a classification of the current "model zoo" in the geosciences. The approach is rather abstract, with a high degree of generality but a low level of expressibility. Here, category theory will be employed to check the consistency of assumptions about life in different models. It will be shown that it is sufficient to distinguish just four logical cases to check for consistency of model content. All four cases can be formalised as variants of coalgebra-algebra homomorphisms. It can be demonstrated that transitions between the four variants affect the relevant observations (time series or spatial maps), the formalisms used (equations, decision trees) and the test criteria of success (prediction, classification) of the resulting model types. We will present examples from hydrology and ecology in
Bordalo, Adriano A.; Teixeira, Rita; Wiebe, William J.
A Water Quality Index (WQI) is a numeric expression used to evaluate the quality of a given water body and to be easily understood by managers. In this study, a modified nine-parameter Scottish WQI was used to assess the monthly water quality of the Douro River during a 10-year period (1992-2001), scaled from zero (lowest) to 100% (highest). The 98,000 km2 of the Douro River international watershed is the largest in the Iberian Peninsula, split between upstream Spain (80%) and downstream Portugal (20%). Three locations were surveyed: at the Portuguese-Spanish border, 350 km from the river mouth; 180 km from the mouth, where the river becomes exclusively Portuguese; and 21 km from the mouth. The water received by Portugal from Spain showed the poorest quality (WQI 47.3 ± 0.7%); quality increased steadily downstream, up to 61.7 ± 0.7%. In general, the water quality at all three sites was medium to poor. Seasonally, water quality decreased from winter to summer, but no statistical relationship between quality and discharge rate could be established. Depending on the location, different parameters were responsible for the episodic decline of quality: high conductivity and low oxygen content in the uppermost reservoir, and fecal coliform contamination downstream. This study shows the need to enforce the existing international bilateral agreements and to implement the European Water Quality Directive in order to improve the water quantity and quality received by the downstream country of a shared watershed, especially because two million inhabitants use the water from the last river location as their only source of drinking water.
. However, another possible explanation is based on the significant sediment load of the tributary, that is naturally decreases the river sinuosity. Horváth, F., Bada, G., Windhoffer, G., Csontos, L., Dombrádi, E., Dövényi, P., Fodor, L., Grenerczy, Gy., Síkhegyi, F., Szafián, P., Székely, B., Timár, G., Tóth, L., Tóth, T. (2006): A Pannon-medence jelenkori geodinamikájának atlasza: Euro-konform térképsorozat és magyarázó. Magyar Geofizika 47(4), 133-137. Ouchi, S. (1985): Response of alluvial rivers to slow active tectonic movement. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 96, 504-515. Timár, G. (2003): Controls on channel sinuosity changes: a case study of the Tisza River, the Great Hungarian Plain. Quaternary Sci. Rev. 22, 2199-2207. Timár, G., Molnár, G., Székely, B., Biszak, S., Varga, J., Jankó, A. (2006): Digitized maps of the Habsburg Empire - The map sheets of the second military survey and their georeferenced version. Arcanum, Budapest, 59 p. van Balen, R. T., Kasse, C., Moor, J. (2008): Impact of groundwater flow on meandering; example from the Geul river, the Netherlands. Earth Surf. Process. and Landf. 33(13), 2010-2028. Zámolyi, A., Székely, B., Draganits, E., Timár, G. (2010): Neotectonic control on river sinuosity at the western margin of the Little Hungarian Plain. Geomorph., in press, DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.06.028
Gomes, F.; Quadrado, F.
According to Article 5 and Annex II of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) is required that Member States identify significant anthropogenic pressures on river basins and also assess the potential impact of these pressures on the water bodies. The following areas have to be identified: point and diffuse sources pollution, the wa- ter abstraction, the water flow regulation, the morphological alterations and land use patterns. This work intends to describe and analyse the application of an integrated methodology for studying the importance of pressures and impacts on water quality. The methodology integrates loads calculation and mathematical models with Geo- graphical Information Systems (GIS). First step is to identify and characterise, point and diffuse sources of pollution, then estimate loads associate to that sources. Using GIS tools it is possible mapping the most problematic zones inside of the basin, con- cerning pressures to water resources. GIS model will be applied in order to estimate loads from diffuse pollution, using watershed characteristics, namely land use and to- pography. The obtained results together with loads from point sources pollution, will be integrated in a water quality model to evaluate the impacts of this pressures on the basin. For a correct basin management, it is necessary to minimise this impacts, with action plans and monitoring programmes, to improve water quality and achieve the environmental objectives. The case study is the Guadiana river, an international basin with a total area of 66 860 km2, having it is headwaters in Spain with a basin of 55 260 km2. The national area has 11 600 km2 and a big dam is being building, Alqueva, cre- ating a reservoir basin with 250 km2 and a storage capacity of 4 150 hm3. Guadiana river has an important role in the south of Portugal, a region with drought problems. Although the poor water quality that reaches the border, the Portuguese basin also has some important pollution sources. These can
This paper discusses various aspects of an ecosystem approach to watershed restoration as illustrated by the Anacostia River Watershed Restoration initiative. This information was derived from a case study conducted as part of the Interagency Ecosystem Management Initiative (IEMI), an outgrowth of a recommendation in the National Performance Review. The purpose of this study was to identify components of the ecosystem approach used in the Anacostia initiative that may be useful to other ecosystem restoration and management initiatives in the future. Water quality and ecological conditions within the Anacostia River watershed have become degraded due to urban and suburban development and other activities in the watershed over the last two centuries. An intergovernmental partnership has been formed to cooperatively assess the specific problems in the basin and to direct and implement restoration efforts. The Anacostia initiative includes a number of cooperative efforts that cross political boundaries, and involves numerous states, local agencies, civic groups, and private individuals in addition to the Federal players. In contrast with some of the other case studies in the IEMI, the Anacostia restoration effort is primarily driven by state and local governments. There has, however, been Federal involvement in the restoration and use of Federal grants. In addition, the establishment of a forum for setting goals, priorities and resolving differences was viewed as essential. Closer relationships between planning and regulatory functions can help advance the restoration goals. Public participation, including education, outreach and involvement, is essential to viable ecosystem initiatives. Comprehensive planning and modeling must be balanced with continuous visible results in order to sustain administrative and public support for the initiative.
Valyrakis, Manousos; Cheng, Ming
This study focuses on the utilisation of lab based activities to enhance the learning experience of engineering students studying Water Engineering and Geosciences. In particular, the use of modern highly visual and tangible presentation techniques within an appropriate laboratory based space are used to introduce undergraduate students to advanced engineering concepts. A specific lab activity, namely "Flood-City", is presented as a case study to enhance the active engagement rate, improve the learning experience of the students and better achieve the intended learning objectives of the course within a broad context of the engineering and geosciences curriculum. Such activities, have been used over the last few years from the Water Engineering group @ Glasgow, with success for outreach purposes (e.g. Glasgow Science Festival and demos at the Glasgow Science Centre and Kelvingrove museum). The activity involves a specific setup of the demonstration flume in a sand-box configuration, with elements and activities designed so as to gamely the overall learning activity. Social media platforms can also be used effectively to the same goals, particularly in cases were the students already engage in these online media. To assess the effectiveness of this activity a purpose designed questionnaire is offered to the students. Specifically, the questionnaire covers several aspects that may affect student learning, performance and satisfaction, such as students' motivation, factors to effective learning (also assessed by follow-up quizzes), and methods of communication and assessment. The results, analysed to assess the effectiveness of the learning activity as the students perceive it, offer a promising potential for the use of such activities in outreach and learning.
Grivas, D.A.; Schultz, B.C.; O`Neil, G.; Rizkalla, M.; McGuffey, V.C.
The overall objective of this study is to develop a probabilistic methodology to analyze landslide hazards and their effects on the safety of buried pipelines. The methodology incorporates a range of models that can accommodate differences in the ground movement modes and the amount and type of information available at various site locations. Two movement modes are considered, namely (a) instantaneous (catastrophic) slides, and (b) gradual ground movement which may result in cumulative displacements over the pipeline design life (30--40 years) that are in excess of allowable values. Probabilistic analysis is applied in each case to address the uncertainties associated with important factors that control slope stability. Availability of information ranges from relatively well studied, instrumented installations to cases where data is limited to what can be derived from topographic and geologic maps. The methodology distinguishes between procedures applied where there is little information and those that can be used when relatively extensive data is available. important aspects of the methodology are illustrated in a case study involving a pipeline located in Northern Alberta, Canada, in the Simonette river valley.
Niroumand-Jadidi, M.; Vitti, A.
The Optimal Band Ratio Analysis (OBRA) could be considered as an efficient technique for bathymetry from optical imagery due to its robustness on substrate variability. This point receives more attention for very shallow rivers where different substrate types can contribute remarkably into total at-sensor radiance. The OBRA examines the total possible pairs of spectral bands in order to identify the optimal two-band ratio that its log transformation yields a strong linear relation with field measured water depths. This paper aims at investigating the effectiveness of additional spectral bands of newly launched WorldView-3 (WV-3) imagery in the visible and NIR spectrum through OBRA for retrieving water depths in shallow rivers. In this regard, the OBRA is performed on a WV-3 image as well as a GeoEye image of a small Alpine river in Italy. In-situ depths are gathered in two river reaches using a precise GPS device. In each testing scenario, 50% of the field data is used for calibration of the model and the remained as independent check points for accuracy assessment. In general, the effect of changes in water depth is highly pronounced in longer wavelengths (i.e. NIR) due to high and rapid absorption of light in this spectrum as long as it is not saturated. As the studied river is shallow, NIR portion of the spectrum has not been reduced so much not to reach the riverbed; making use of the observed radiance over this spectral range as denominator has shown a strong correlation through OBRA. More specifically, tightly focused channels of red-edge, NIR-1 and NIR-2 provide a wealth of choices for OBRA rather than a single NIR band of conventional 4-band images (e.g. GeoEye). This advantage of WV-3 images is outstanding as well for choosing the optimal numerator of the ratio model. Coastal-blue and yellow bands of WV-3 are identified as proper numerators while only green band of the GeoEye image contributed to a reliable correlation of image derived values and field
Minin, I. V.; Minin, O. V.
The scattered light by various dielectric particles in atmosphere give information about the type of molecules and particles and their location, which are important to definition of propagation limitations through atmospheric and space weather variations, crisis communications, etc. Although these investigations explain far field properties of disturbed radiations, the solution of the physical problem requires simulations of the interactions in near-field. It has been shown that strongly localized EM field near the surface of single dielectric particle may be form by non-spherical and non-symmetrical mesoscale particles both as in transmitting as in reflection mode. It was also shown that the main lobe is narrower in case of 3 cube chain than single cube in far field, but there are many side-scattering lobes. It was mentioned that unique advantages provided by mesoscale dielectric photonic crystal based particles with three spatial dimensions of arbitrary shape allow developing a new types of micro/nano-probes with subwavelength resolution for ultra compact spectrometer-free sensor for on board a spacecraft or a plane.
von Sperling, Marcos; von Sperling, Eduardo
This paper presents a case study on the prospects of bathing in a large water course (das Velhas River, Brazil), which crosses the important metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (25 municipalities), receiving several point and diffuse discharges. The studies were carried out based on a mathematical simulation of thermotolerant coliforms over 227 km of the river, using an adaptation of the Qual2E model (model Qual-UFMG). Simulations of intervention scenarios were made for the current conditions, with three reference flows for the das Velhas River, tributaries and direct contribution: Q7,10 (representative of low-flow conditions), Q50 (average conditions) and Q10 (rainy season). The intervention scenarios simulated were: (a) current conditions without intervention; (b) scenario with effluent disinfection in the two largest wastewater treatment plants in the basin (around 2.4 million inhabitants); (c) scenario with 95% sewage collection and treatment, with disinfection in all municipalities of the study area; (d) scenario with the calculation of values required for the coverage of sewage treatment and coliform removal efficiencies based on a mathematical optimization process. The monitoring data and results of all simulations indicated improvement in coliform concentration as the river flows downstream. However, results suggested that disinfection per se is not enough. Even under hypothetical conditions of excellent sanitary infrastructure for a developing country, coverage of collection and treatment of 95% of the generated sewage, and treatment with disinfection at all wastewater treatment plants, concentrations of thermotolerant coliforms in das Velhas River are likely to be above the maximum allowable of 1,000 MPN/100 mL for bathing purposes. The mathematical optimization indicated the need for very high percentages of sewage treatment coverage (near 100%, i.e. universality of collection and treatment) and implementation of disinfection in most treatment plants
Al-Faraj, Furat A. M.; Scholz, Miklas
Recent increases in human activities in shared river basins have unquestionably raised concerns about potential hydrological impacts, especially impacts of dams and large-scale water withdrawal schemes in the highlands. Anthropogenic pressures twinned with drought impacts have exacerbated water management challenges. This article assesses the cumulative consequences of upstream anthropogenic pressures and drought spells on temporal river flow regimes for the downstream country. The size and complexity of problems confronting transboundary river watersheds makes it necessary to use a representative example basin to study the problems and potential solutions. The Diyala (Sīrvān) river basin, which shares dozens of transboundary watersheds between Iraq and Iran, has been selected as a representative case study. A subset of the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) was utilised and climate variability was considered in assessing the combined effect of various forms of upstream human-river regulations and climatic conditions on natural flow regimes in the downstream state. Findings indicated that the anthropogenic river-regulation coupled with the impact of drought periods have noticeably modified the natural flow paradigm. The yearly average runoffs, which are no longer available for the downstream country, have soared to very high levels, particularly over the last fifteen years. More adverse impacts were detected in the non-rainy season. Findings reveal also that damming and considerable water diversion to large-scale irrigation projects in the upstream state are the main regulations affecting the management of shared water resources in the downstream country.
Nahm, A.; Villalobos, J. I.; White, J.; Smith-Konter, B. R.
A workshop for high school and middle school Earth and Space Science (ESS) teachers was held this summer (2012) as part of an ongoing collaboration between the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and El Paso Community College (EPCC) Departments of Geological Sciences. This collaborative effort aims to build local Earth science literacy and educational support for the geosciences. Sixteen teachers from three school districts from El Paso and southern New Mexico area participated in the workshop, consisting of middle school, high school, early college high school, and dual credit faculty. The majority of the teachers had little to no experience teaching geoscience, thus this workshop provided an introduction to basic geologic concepts to teachers with broad backgrounds, which will result in the introduction of geoscience to many new students each year. The workshop's goal was to provide hands-on activities illustrating basic geologic and scientific concepts currently used in introductory geology labs/lectures at both EPCC and UTEP to help engage pre-college students. Activities chosen for the workshop were an introduction to Google Earth for use in the classroom, relative age dating and stratigraphy using volcanoes, plate tectonics utilizing the jigsaw pedagogy, and the scientific method as a think-pair-share activity. All activities where designed to be low cost and materials were provided for instructors to take back to their institutions. A list of online resources for teaching materials was also distributed. Before each activity, a short pre-test was given to the participants to gauge their level of knowledge on the subjects. At the end of the workshop, participants were given a post-test, which tested the knowledge gain made by participating in the workshop. In all cases, more correct answers were chosen in the post-test than the individual activity pre-tests, indicating that knowledge of the subjects was gained. The participants enjoyed participating in these
Baldwin, T. K.; Hall-Wallace, M. K.
We designed an experiment to evaluate change in students' spatial skills as a result of completing an earth science course. Our test subjects included high school students in earth science classes, college level non-science majors enrolled in large enrollment introductory geoscience courses and introductory level geoscience majors. They also varied as to whether their course had a hand-on laboratory experience or used supplemental Geographic Information System (GIS) based activities. We measured all students' ability to mentally rotate three-dimensional objects and to construct a three-dimensional object from a two-dimensional representation before and after taking the earth science course. Results show an improvement in spatial skills for all groups after completing the science course. We also observed a consistent improvement in spatial skills overall from high school level science to courses for majors, which is possibly related to their increased exposure to science. A subgroup of the test subjects among both high school and the college non-science majors completed supplementary GIS activities. The GIS implementation at the high school level was more extensive and resulted in significant improvements in both categories of spatial ability. At the college level, the non-science majors that used the GIS curriculum showed no significant difference from those that did not, probably because the time spent on the curriculum was too short. At the college level, the geoscience majors had nearly three times the improvement of non-science majors in both categories of spatial ability. This can most likely be attributed to hands-on, weekly laboratory experiences, which were not part of the course for non-science majors. Students choosing science majors typically have much higher spatial skills than the average first or second year non-science major, however there were large variations in spatial ability within all groups. These results suggest that we evaluate teaching
Ireton, F. W.; McManus, D. A.
In many colleges and universities students who have declared a major in one of the geosciences are often ineligible to take the education courses necessary for state certification. In order to enroll in education courses to meet the state's Department of Education course requirements for a teaching credential, these students must drop their geoscience major and declare an education major. Students in education programs in these universities may be limited in the science classes they take as part of their degree requirements. These students face the same problem as students who have declared a science major in that course work is not open to them. As a result, universities too often produce science majors with a weak pedagogy background or education majors with a weak Earth and space sciences background. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) formed a collaboration of four universities with strong, yet separate science and education departments, to provide the venue for a one week NSF sponsored retreat to allow the communication necessary for solutions to these problems to be worked out by faculty members. Each university was represented by a geoscience department faculty member, an education department faculty member, and a K-12 master teacher selected by the two faculty members. This retreat was followed by a second retreat that focused on community colleges in the Southwest United States. Change is never easy and Linkages has shown that success for a project of this nature requires the dedication of not only the faculty involved in the project, but colleagues in their respective schools as well as the administration when departmental cultural obstacles must be overcome. This paper will discuss some of the preliminary work accomplished by the schools involved in the project.
Berthelote, A. R.
American Indian tribes and tribal confederations exert sovereignty over about 20% of all the freshwater resources in the United States. Yet only about 30 Native American (NA) students receive bachelor's degrees in the geosciences each year, and few of those degrees are in the field of hydrology. To help increase the ranks of NA geoscientists,TIGER builds upon the momentum of Salish Kootenai College's newly accredited Hydrology Degree Program. It allows for the development and implementation of the first Bachelor's degree in geosciences (hydrology) at a Tribal College and University (TCU). TIGER integrates a solid educational research-based framework for retention and educational preparation of underrepresented minorities with culturally relevant curriculum and socio-cultural supports, offering a new model for STEM education of NA students. Innovative hydrology curriculum is both academically rigorous and culturally relevant with concurrent theoretical, conceptual, and applied coursework in chemical, biological, physical and managerial aspects of water resources. Educational outcomes for the program include a unique combination of competencies based on industry recognized standards (e.g., National Institute of Hydrologists), input from an experienced External Advisory Board (EAB), and competencies required for geoscientists working in critical NA watersheds, which include unique competencies, such as American Indian Water Law and sovereignty issues. TIGER represents a unique opportunity to capitalize on the investments the geoscience community has already made into broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities and developing a diverse workforce, by allowing SKC to develop a sustainable and exportable program capable of significantly increasing (by 25 to 75%) the National rate of Native American geoscience graduates.
Isiorho, S. A.
The push to involve undergraduates in research is gaining ground in most universities and colleges. Within our geosciences department at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), undergraduate education is promoted as the faculty in the department involves students in their research projects. All faculty members involve students in their research works. Dating of monazite using energy dispersive x-ray, size-frequency distributions of leopard frogs, structural organization and growth of Silurian chain corals, seepage meters, and wetlands are some of the recent students' projects facilitated by our faculty. Students are involved in either the professor's research project or projects are specifically designed for students using local sites and materials. Physical geology, environmental geology, environmental conservation, wetlands and hydrogeology are some of the courses that I teach. One common thread in all the courses that I explore is water. I involve my upper-level students to observe some aspect of water as it relates to the environment. My students' projects involve the use of local materials (wetlands, sand dunes, river, wells) or sites within a thirty minute drive off campus. Most students appreciate the chance to be involved in research projects. Students have presented the results of their projects at local, regional and national conferences. Also, some students' works have resulted in peer review articles. Involving undergraduates in research projects introduces them to scientific methods, real world learning, being published, and, it also provides the instructor with materials for effective teaching and getting published too. Sample student projects would be presented.
Zalles, D. R.
The Online Evaluation Resource Library (OERL) is a Web-based set of resources for improving the evaluation of projects funded by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) of the National Science Foundation (NSF). OERL provides prospective project developers and evaluators with material that they can use to design, conduct, document, and review evaluations. OERL helps evaluators tackle the challenges of seeing if a project is meeting its implementation and outcome-related goals. Within OERL is a collection of exemplary plans, instruments, and reports from evaluations of EHR-funded projects in the geosciences and in other areas of science and mathematics. In addition, OERL contains criteria about good evaluation practices, professional development modules about evaluation design and questionnaire development, a dictionary of key evaluation terms, and links to evaluation standards. Scenarios illustrate how the resources can be used or adapted. Currently housed in OERL are 137 instruments, and full or excerpted versions of 38 plans and 60 reports. 143 science and math projects have contributed to the collection so far. OERL's search tool permits the launching of precise searches based on key attributes of resources such as their subject area and the name of the sponsoring university or research institute. OERL's goals are to 1) meet the needs for continuous professional development of evaluators and principal investigators, 2) complement traditional vehicles of learning about evaluation, 3) utilize the affordances of current technologies (e.g., Web-based digital libraries, relational databases, and electronic performance support systems) for improving evaluation practice, 4) provide anytime/anyplace access to update-able resources that support evaluators' needs, and 5) provide a forum by which professionals can interact on evaluation issues and practices. Geoscientists can search the collection of resources from geoscience education projects that have
The summaries in this document, prepared by the investigators, describe the scope of the individual programs. The Geosciences Research Program includes research in geophysics, geochemistry, resource evaluation, solar-terrestrial interactions, and their subdivisions including earth dynamics, properties of earth materials, rock mechanics, underground imaging, rock-fluid interactions, continental scientific drilling, geochemical transport, solar/atmospheric physics, and modeling, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary areas. All such research is related either direct or indirect to the Department of Energy`s long-range technological needs.
Stein, J. S.
Agent-based modeling techniques have successfully been applied to systems in which complex behaviors or outcomes arise from varied interactions between individuals in the system. Each individual interacts with its environment, as well as with other individuals, by following a set of relatively simple rules. Traditionally this "bottom-up" modeling approach has been applied to problems in the fields of economics and sociology, but more recently has been introduced to various disciplines in the geosciences. This technique can help explain the origin of complex processes from a relatively simple set of rules, incorporate large and detailed datasets when they exist, and simulate the effects of extreme events on system-wide behavior. Some of the challenges associated with this modeling method include: significant computational requirements in order to keep track of thousands to millions of agents, methods and strategies of model validation are lacking, as is a formal methodology for evaluating model uncertainty. Challenges specific to the geosciences, include how to define agents that control water, contaminant fluxes, climate forcing and other physical processes and how to link these "geo-agents" into larger agent-based simulations that include social systems such as demographics economics and regulations. Effective management of limited natural resources (such as water, hydrocarbons, or land) requires an understanding of what factors influence the demand for these resources on a regional and temporal scale. Agent-based models can be used to simulate this demand across a variety of sectors under a range of conditions and determine effective and robust management policies and monitoring strategies. The recent focus on the role of biological processes in the geosciences is another example of an area that could benefit from agent-based applications. A typical approach to modeling the effect of biological processes in geologic media has been to represent these processes in
The Moon is of special interest among the many and diverse bodies of the solar system because it serves as a scientific baseline for understanding the terrestrial planets, its origin is closely tied to the early history of the Earth, and its proximity permits a variety of space applications such as mining and establishment of bases and colonies. Data acquisition and analysis have enabled advances to be made and the remaining questions in many fields of lunar geoscience to be identified. The status and unresolved problems of lunar science are discussed. Immediate needs, new unmanned missions, and a return to the Moon (a lunar base) are examined.
Hannula, K. A.
Introductory geoscience courses serve many purposes. A good introductory course needs to teach students how scientists think, correct mistaken ideas about the age of the Earth or climate change, provide the background to allow students to judge energy and environmental policies, prepare students for future geoscience classes, and convince students to explore geoscience further. Teaching these courses effectively is a great challenge. My department's solution has been to use an extended group project in lab to advance many of these goals simultaneously. All sections of our Earth Systems Science courses (100 to 150 students per semester) participate in a project monitoring the Florida River, a small tributary of the Colorado River system which is locally used for drinking water and irrigation, which traverses units from Precambrian granite to Paleocene sediments, and which goes through land used for wilderness, mining, rapid ex-urban development, ranching, and natural gas production. Each lab section is responsible for measuring discharge, sediment load, and water chemistry on one or two reaches of the river. The lab groups compare data with other sites along the river and from past semesters in order to draw broader conclusions than possible from their own limited experience. In order to put the sampling and data interpretation into context, we have incorporated many of our other assignments into the project. The topographic maps lab uses the Florida River maps and sample sites, a field trip introducing rocks and minerals shows students the variety of bedrock across which the river flows, and a series of graphing exercises introduce students to previously collected data while giving them practice plotting and interpreting data. The exercises and labs are designed to build on one another, using skills and information from previous weeks to understand new aspects of the local geology. Not every place has the diverse geology of southwestern Colorado. However, this
Karjalainen, Timo P.; Jaervikoski, Timo
In this paper we discuss how the legitimacy of the impact assessment process is a key issue in conflict mediation in environmental impact assessment. We contrast two EIA cases in hydro-power generation plans made for the Ii River, Finland in different decades, and evaluate how impact assessment in these cases has contributed to the creation, mediation and resolution of conflicts. We focus on the elements of distributional and procedural justice that made the former EIA process more legitimate and consensual and the latter more conflictual. The results indicate that it is crucial for conflict mediation to include all the values and interests of the parties in the goal-setting process and in the definition and assessment of alternatives. The analysis also indicates that procedural justice is the most important to help the people and groups involved to accept the legitimacy of the impact assessment process: how different parties and their values and interests are recognized, and how participation and distribution of power are organized in an impact assessment process. It is confirmed in this article that SIA may act as a mediator or a forum providing a process through which competing knowledge claims, various values and interests can be discussed and linked to the proposed alternatives and interventions.
Garcia, S. J.; Houser, C.
Summer research experiences are an increasingly popular means to increase awareness of and develop interest in the Geosciences and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. Here we describe and report the preliminary results of a new one-week program at Texas A&M University to introduce first generation, women, and underrepresented high school students to opportunities and careers in the Geosciences. Short-term indicators in the form of pre- and post-program surveys of participants and their parents suggest that there is an increase in participant understanding of geosciences and interest in pursuing a degree in the geosciences. At the start of the program, the participants and their parents had relatively limited knowledge of the geosciences and very few had a friend or acquaintance employed in the geosciences. Post-survey results suggest that the students had an improved and nuanced understanding of the geosciences and the career opportunities within the field. A survey of the parents several months after the program had ended suggests that the participants had effectively communicated their newfound understanding and that the parents now recognized the geosciences as a potentially rewarding career. With the support of their parents 42% of the participants are planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in the geosciences compared to 62% of participants who were planning to pursue a geosciences degree before the program. It is concluded that future offerings of this and similar programs should also engage the parents to ensure that the geosciences are recognized as a potential academic and career path.
García-Pintado, Javier; Mason, David C.; Dance, Sarah L.; Cloke, Hannah L.; Neal, Jeff C.; Freer, Jim; Bates, Paul D.
Satellite-based (e.g., Synthetic Aperture Radar [SAR]) water level observations (WLOs) of the floodplain can be sequentially assimilated into a hydrodynamic model to decrease forecast uncertainty. This has the potential to keep the forecast on track, so providing an Earth Observation (EO) based flood forecast system. However, the operational applicability of such a system for floods developed over river networks requires further testing. One of the promising techniques for assimilation in this field is the family of ensemble Kalman (EnKF) filters. These filters use a limited-size ensemble representation of the forecast error covariance matrix. This representation tends to develop spurious correlations as the forecast-assimilation cycle proceeds, which is a further complication for dealing with floods in either urban areas or river junctions in rural environments. Here we evaluate the assimilation of WLOs obtained from a sequence of real SAR overpasses (the X-band COSMO-Skymed constellation) in a case study. We show that a direct application of a global Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (ETKF) suffers from filter divergence caused by spurious correlations. However, a spatially-based filter localization provides a substantial moderation in the development of the forecast error covariance matrix, directly improving the forecast and also making it possible to further benefit from a simultaneous online inflow error estimation and correction. Additionally, we propose and evaluate a novel along-network metric for filter localization, which is physically-meaningful for the flood over a network problem. Using this metric, we further evaluate the simultaneous estimation of channel friction and spatially-variable channel bathymetry, for which the filter seems able to converge simultaneously to sensible values. Results also indicate that friction is a second order effect in flood inundation models applied to gradually varied flow in large rivers. The study is not conclusive
Di Francesco, Silvia; Venturi, Sara; Manciola, Piergiorgio
The research focuses on the hydraulic risk evaluation and danger estimation for different extreme flood events, in order to correctly implement mitigation measures in an anthropized basin. The Cerfone River (Tuscany, Italy), due to the several floods that have affected the neighbouring villages in recent years, is selected as case of study. A finite volume numerical model that solves the shallow water equations all over the computational domain, was used to simulate the unsteady evolution of the maximum extent of flooded areas for different scenarios. The one - dimensional approach (still widespread in engineering projects) can be inaccurate in complex flows, which are often two or three dimensional and sometimes does not manage to capture the flood spatial extents in terms of flow depth and velocity. The use of a two-dimensional numerical model seems to be the suitable instrument in terms of computational efficiency and adequacy of results. In fact it overcomes the limits of a one-dimensional modeling in terms of prediction of hydraulic variables with a less computational effort respect to a full 3d model. An accurate modeling of the river basin leads to the evaluation of the present hydraulic risk. Structural and non- structural measures are then studied, simulated and compared in order to define the optimal risk reduction plan for the area of study. At this aim, different flooding scenarios were simulated through the 2D mathematical model: i) existing state of the river and floodplain areas; ii) design of a levee to protect the most vulnerable populated areas against the flooding risk; iii) use of off - stream detention basins that strongly amplify the lamination capacity of floodplains. All these scenarios were simulated for different return periods: 50, 100, 200 and 500 years. The inputs of the hydraulic models are obtained in accordance with the legislative requirement of Tuscany Region; in particular discharge hydrographs are evaluate through the ALTo
... Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: April 18-April 19, 2012; 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Place: Stafford.... Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice, recommendations, and oversight concerning support for...
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). DATES: October 6, 2010-October 7, 2010; 8:30 a.m.-1:30...
... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Geosciences; Notice of Meeting In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act...: Advisory Committee for Geosciences (1755). Dates: April 14, 2010; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 15, 2010 8:30,...
American Geological Inst., Washington, DC.
The American Geological Institute's Committee on Geoscience Information prepared this report as the terminal point to the first phase of its long-term goal, to develop a system for facilitating information transfer in the geosciences. The Concept report was presented by Dr. William Hambleton, chairman of the AGI Committee on Geoscience…
Sherman-Morris, Kathleen; Rodgers, John C., III; McNeal, Karen S.; Brown, Michael E.; Dyer, Jamie L.
Because of the historically low numbers of minorities in geoscience careers and college majors, an area of growing attention is how teacher professional development may be utilized to increase diversity in the geosciences (Pecore et al., 2007; Sedlock & Metzger, 2007). This paper examines teacher preferences for the timing, location and content of…
Schmidt, Richard William
The purpose of this participatory action research was to create a comprehensive evaluation of advanced geoscience education in Pennsylvania public high schools and to ascertain the possible impact of this trend on student perceptions and attitudes towards the geosciences as a legitimate academic subject and possible career option. The study builds…
Collischonn, B.; Lopes, A. V.; Pante, A. R.
This paper presents a water resources management strategy developed by the Brazilian National Water Agency (ANA) to cope with the conflicts between water users in the Verde Grande River basin, located at the southern border of the Brazilian semi-arid region. The basin is dominated by water-demanding fruit irrigation agriculture, which has grown significantly and without adequate water use control, over the last 30 years. The current water demand for irrigation exceeds water availability (understood as a 95 % percentile of the flow duration curve) in a ratio of three to one, meaning that downstream water users are experiencing more frequent water shortages than upstream ones. The management strategy implemented in 2008 has the objective of equalizing risk for all water users and consists of a set of rules designed to restrict water withdrawals according to current river water level (indicative of water availability) and water demand. Under that rule, larger farmers have proportionally larger reductions in water use, preserving small subsistence irrigators. Moreover, dry season streamflow is forecasted at strategic points by the end of every rainy season, providing evaluation of shortage risk. Thus, water users are informed about the forecasts and corresponding restrictions well in advance, allowing for anticipated planning of irrigated areas and practices. In order to enforce restriction rules, water meters were installed in all larger water users and inefficient farmers were obligated to improve their irrigation systems' performance. Finally, increases in irrigated area are only allowed in the case of annual crops and during months of higher water availability (November to June). The strategy differs from convectional approached based only on water use priority and has been successful in dealing with natural variability of water availability, allowing more water to be used in wet years and managing risk in an isonomic manner during dry years.
Swathi Lakshmi, A.; Saran, S.; Srivastav, S. K.; Krishna Murthy, Y. V. N.
India is prone to several natural disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides and earthquakes on account of its geoclimatic conditions. But the most frequent and prominent disasters are floods and droughts. So to reduce the impact of floods and droughts in India, interlinking of rivers is one of the best solutions to transfer the surplus flood waters to deficit/drought prone areas. Geospatial modelling provides a holistic approach to generate probable interlinking routes of rivers based on existing geoinformatics tools and technologies. In the present study, SRTM DEM and AWiFS datasets coupled with land-use/land -cover, geomorphology, soil and interpolated rainfall surface maps have been used to identify the potential routes in geospatial domain for interlinking of Vamsadhara and Nagavali River Systems in Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. The first order derivatives are derived from DEM and road, railway and drainage networks have been delineated using the satellite data. The inundation map has been prepared using AWiFS derived Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). The Drought prone areas were delineated on the satellite image as per the records declared by Revenue Department, Srikakulam. Majority Rule Based (MRB) aggregation technique is performed to optimize the resolution of obtained data in order to retain the spatial variability of the classes. Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) based Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) is implemented to obtain the prioritization of parameters like geomorphology, soil, DEM, slope, and land use/land-cover. A likelihood grid has been generated and all the thematic layers are overlaid to identify the potential grids for routing optimization. To give a better routing map, impedance map has been generated and several other constraints are considered. The implementation of canal construction needs extra cost in some areas. The developed routing map is published into OGC WMS services using open source Geo
Mogk, D. W.; Manduca, C. A.; Kastens, K. A.
DBER combines knowledge of teaching and learning with deep knowledge of discipline-specific science content. It describes the discipline-specific difficulties learners face and the specialized intellectual and instructional resources that can facilitate student understanding (NRC, 2011). In the geosciences, content knowledge derives from all the "spheres, the complex interactions of components of the Earth system, applications of first principles from allied sciences, an understanding of "deep time", and approaches that emphasize the interpretive and historical nature of geoscience. Insights gained from the theory and practice of the cognitive and learning sciences that demonstrate how people learn, as well as research on learning from other STEM disciplines, have helped inform the development of geoscience curricular initiatives. The Earth Science Curriculum Project (1963) was strongly influenced by Piaget and emphasized hands-on, experiential learning. Recognizing that education research was thriving in related STEM disciplines a NSF report (NSF 97-171) recommended "... that GEO and EHR both support research in geoscience education, helping geoscientists to work with colleagues in fields such as educational and cognitive psychology, in order to facilitate development of a new generation of geoscience educators." An NSF sponsored workshop, Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences (2002) brought together geoscience educators and cognitive scientists to explore areas of mutual interest, and identified a research agenda that included study of spatial learning, temporal learning, learning about complex systems, use of visualizations in geoscience learning, characterization of expert learning, and learning environments. Subsequent events have focused on building new communities of scholars, such as the On the Cutting Edge faculty professional development workshops, extensive collections of online resources, and networks of scholars that have addressed teaching
Four Earth science publications were honored by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) at its meeting held in conjunction with the 2007 meeting of the Geological Society of America. The four-volume Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, published by Elsevier in 2007, received the Mary B. Ansari Best Reference Work Award as an outstanding reference work in the field of geoscience information published during the previous 3 years. Lura E. Joseph, associate professor of administration and geology librarian at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received the GSIS Best Paper Award for her article, ``Image and figure quality: A study of Elsevier's Earth and Planetary Sciences electronic journal back file package,'' published in the September-December 2006 issue of Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services. The Best Guidebook Award recognized two books: Geology of the Chama Basin, published by the New Mexico Geological Society in 2005, and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Centennial Field Guides, published by the Geological Society of America in 2006. For more information, visit the Web site: http://www.geoinfo.org.
Sundaray, Sanjay Kumar; Nayak, Binod Bihari; Bhatta, Dinabandhu
Hydrochemistry of surface water (pH, specific conductance, total dissolved solids, sulfate, chloride, nitrate, bicarbonate, hardness, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium) in the Mahanadi river estuarine system, India was used to assess the quality of water for agricultural purposes. The samples were studied for 31 different stations during six different seasons in the years 2001-2003. Chemical data were used for mathematical calculations (SAR, Na%, RSC, potential salinity, permeability index, Kelly's index, magnesium hazard, osmotic pressure and salt index) for better understanding the suitability river water quality for agricultural purposes. The river water is free from nitrate-nitrogen hazard and has much less osmotic pressure and RSC values. Further there is no complete precipitation of calcium and magnesium in the study area. The results revealed that waters of some polluted stations like Sambalpur down (D/s of Sambalpur town) and Kathjodi (Cuttack) down (D/s of Cuttack town) are unsuitable up to some extent, where as it is quite unsuitable in case of estuarine samples during the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. The results were verified by USSL and Wilcox diagrams, which show all the fresh water zone samples (low-medium salinity with low sodium) of the study area are in the 'Excellent to good' category and are suitable to irrigate all soils for semi-tolerant and tolerant as well as sensitive crops. PMID:18670901
Braioni, M G; Salmoiraghi, G; Bracco, F; Villani, M; Braioni, A; Girelli, L
A model of analysis and environmental evaluation was applied to 11 stretches of the Adige River, where an innovative procedure was carried out to interpret ecological results. Within each stretch, the most suitable methods were used to assess the quality and processes of flood plains, banks, water column, bed, and interstitial environment. Indices were applied to evaluate the wild state and ecological quality of the banks (wild state index, buffer strip index) and the landscape quality of wide areas of the fluvial corridor (environmental landscape index). The biotic components (i.e., macrozoobenthos, phytoplankton and zooplankton, interstitial hyporheic fauna, vegetation in the riparian areas) were analysed by both quantitative and functional methods (as productivity, litter--processing and colonisation). The results achieved were then translated into five classes of functional evaluation. These qualitative assessments have thus preserved a high level of precision and sensitivity in quantifying both the quality of the environmental conditions and the integrity of the ecosystem processes. Read together with urban planning data, they indicate what actions are needed to restore and rehabilitate the Adige River corridor. PMID:12805992
Camerlenghi, Angelo; Cacho, Isabel; Calvo, Eva; Demol, Ben; Sureda, Catalina; Artigas, Carme; Vilaplana, Miquel; Porbellini, Danilo; Rubio, Eduard
CATAGIFT is the acronym of the project supported by the Catalan Government (trough the AGAUR agency) to support the activities of the EGU Committee on Education in Catalonia. The objective of this project is two-fold: 1) To establish a coordinated action to support the participation of three Catalan science teachers of primary and secondary schools in the GIFT Symposium, held each year during the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU). 2) To produce a video documentary each year on hot topics in geosciences. The documentary is produced in Catalan, Spanish and English and is distributed to the Catalan science teachers attending the annual meeting organized by the Institute of Education Sciences and the Faculty of Geology of the University together with the CosmoCaixa Museum of Barcelona, to the international teachers attending the EGU GIFT Workshop, and to other schools in the Spanish territory. In the present-day context of science dissemination through documentaries and television programs there is a dominance of products of high technical quality and very high costs sold and broadcasted world wide. The wide spread of such products tends to standardize scientific information, not only in its content, but also in the format used for communicating science to the general public. In the field of geosciences in particular, there is a scarcity of products that combine high scientific quality and accessible costs to illustrate aspects of the natural life of our planet Earth through the results of the work of individual researchers and / or research groups. The scientific documentaries produced by CATAGIFT pursue the objective to support primary and secondary school teachers to critically interpret scientific information coming from the different media (television, newspapers, magazines, audiovisual products), in a way that they can transmit to their students. CataGIFT has created a series of documentaries called MARENOSTRUM TERRANOSTRA designed and
Bilgili, Ata; Proehl, Jeffrey A; Swift, M Robinson
A 2-D hydrodynamic finite element model with a Lagrangian particle module is used to investigate the effects of dredging on the hydrodynamics and the horizontal dilution of pollutant particles originating from a wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) in tidal Oyster River in New Hampshire, USA. The model is driven by the semi-diurnal (M2) tidal component and includes the effect of flooding and drying of riverine mud flats. The particle tracking method consists of tidal advection plus a horizontal random walk model of sub-grid scale turbulent processes. Our approach is to perform continuous pollutant particle releases from the outfall, simulating three different scenarios: a base-case representing the present conditions and two different dredged channel/outfall location configurations. Hydrodynamics are investigated in an Eulerian framework and Lagrangian particle dilution improvement ratios are calculated for all cases. Results show that the simulated hydrodynamics are consistent with observed conditions. Eulerian and Lagrangian residuals predict an outward path suggesting flushing of pollutants on longer (>M2) time scales. Simulated dilution maps show that, in addition to dredging, the relocation of the WWTF outfall into the dredged main channel is required for increased dilution performance. The methodology presented here can be applied to similar managerial problems in all similar systems worldwide with relatively little effort, with the combination of Lagrangian and Eulerian methods working together towards a better solution. The statistical significance brought into methodology, by using a large number of particles (16000 in this case), is to be emphasized, especially with the growing number of networked parallel computer clusters worldwide. This paper improves on the study presented in Bilgili et al., 2006b, by adding an Eulerian analysis. PMID:26613354
Gunkel, Brittany Lynne
Sediment transport measurements are determined using techniques such as bed-material and suspended-sediment sampling, and more recently the conversion of acoustic backscatter (ABS). Acoustic waves scatter and attenuate while passing through a water-sediment mixture and the backscatter is converted to sediment concentration, size, and shape. A multiple case study performed using data from West Bay, Old River, and Mississippi River at Vicksburg show the variability of a large river system TSM flux during assorted hydrographs and two methods (CHL and moving boat) capture the events. After processing and applying the two methods the results showed that the methods are typically within 8% to 41% of each other when computing sediment flux. The conversion of total suspended material (TSM) from ABS was an average of 0.2% to 69% from the sample TSM. Peak part of the hydrograph had the highest average suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and descending had the lowest average SSC.
Richard, S. M.; Gtwg, G.
The Commission for the Management and Application of Geoscience Information (CGI), a Commission of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has formed the Geoscience Terminology Working Group (GTWG, http://www.cgi-iugs.org/tech_collaboration/ geoscience_terminology_ working_group.html) to unify vocabulary development efforts of the Multhes working group of the 1990s, the Multilingual Thesaurus Working Group (MLT) formed in 2003, and the Concept Definition Task Group formed in 2007. The workgroup charge is to develop, review, adopt, publish, and steward vocabularies and associated documentation for use in geoscience information systems. The group will develop liaisons with other semantic interoperability groups to ensure cross-domain interoperability. The objective is to create vocabularies that bind URIs to geoscience concepts, and allow linking between concepts in the CGI vocabularies and other vocabularies such as SWEET, GEMET, and the GCMD. Representations of the concepts use SKOS RDF/XML and a standardized vocabulary service that to enable navigating links to concepts, accessing definitions, and obtaining language-localized labels for concepts. The SISSvoc service developed by CSIRO Australia has been deployed for CGI vocabulary services. Vocabularies are currently constructed by gathering candidate terms in spreadsheet tables because these are easy for text editing and review. When the vocabulary is mature, it is migrated into SKOS, an RDF application for encoding concepts with identifiers, definitions, source information, standard thesaurus type relationships, and language-localized labels. Each vocabulary is 'shepherded' by a GTWG member, who is responsible for organizing a team to compile a draft vocabulary, present it for review by appropriate authorities, respond to review comments, and determine when the vocabulary is ready for adoption by a vote of the workgroup. The first meeting of the work group took place, hosted by VSEGEI in St
van der Hoeven Kraft, K.; Guertin, L. A.; Filson, R. H.; Macdonald, H.; McDaris, J. R.
A workshop on The Role of Two-Year Colleges in Geoscience Education and Broadening Participation in the Geosciences was held at Northern Virginia Community College in June 2010 to identify issues, challenges, and opportunities for geoscience faculty and students in two-year colleges (2YC) and to make recommendations for strengthening this component of the geoscience community. Given the wide diversity of 2YC students, a long term goal for this workshop was to work toward broadening the participation of underrepresented students to the geosciences. The workshop included sessions on strategies for supporting all students to be successful, the role of 2YC in broadening participation in the geosciences, and preparing geoscience students for the future (recruiting and retaining students in the geosciences, career preparation and workforce development, and transfer and 2YC and 4YC partnerships). Conversations between participants and professional organizations and societies focused on how increased communication with 2YC faculty could support faculty and students from two-year colleges. Participants considered strategies for addressing isolation and building community including interdisciplinary collaborations, scholarly practices, using Web 2.0, and working with adjunct faculty. Working groups addressed the following topics: establishment of a geoscience 2YC community, best practices for geoscience 2YC programs, faculty professional development, recruitment and retention of students, diversity in the geosciences, the role of 2YC in K-12 teacher preparation, and ocean science education in 2YC. Recommendations included the need to collect and disseminate information about 2YC including demographic information and best practices of 2YC geoscience programs, the desire to establish an organization for 2YC geoscience faculty, more opportunities to communicate (workshops and electronic communications), and other approaches for supporting 2YC students, faculty, and programs
Maps, spatial and temporal data and their use in analysis and visualization are integral components for studies in the geosciences. With the emergence of geospatial technology (Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and mobile technologies) scientists and the geosciences user community are now able to more easily accessed and share data, analyze their data and present their results. Educators are also incorporating geospatial technology into their geosciences programs by including an awareness of the technology in introductory courses to advanced courses exploring the capabilities to help answer complex questions in the geosciences. This paper will look how the new Geospatial Technology Competency Model from the Department of Labor can help ensure that geosciences programs address the skills and competencies identified by the workforce for geospatial technology as well as look at new tools created by the GeoTech Center to help do self and program assessments.
Mongolia is facing a tremendous change of land-use intensification due to expansions in the agricultural sector, an increase of cattle and livestock and a growth of urban settlements by migration of the rural population to the cities. With most of its area located in a semiarid to arid environment, Mongolia is vulnerable to climatic changes that are expected to lead to higher temperatures and increased evapotranspiration. It is expected that this may lead to unfavorable changes in surface water quality caused by increased nutrients and sediment bound pollutants emissions. Increased fine sediment load is associated with nutrient, heavy metal and pollutant input and therefore affects water quality. Previous studies using radionuclide fallout isotope sediment source fingerprinting investigations identified riverbank erosion as the main source of suspended sediment in the Kharaa River. Erosion susceptibility calculations in combination with suspended sediment observations showed strong seasonal and annual variabilities of sediment input and in-stream transport, and a strong connection of erosional behaviour with land-use.The objective of this study is to quantify the current water quality threats by fine sediment inputs in the 15,000 km2 Kharaa River basin in Northern Mongolia by delineating the sources of the fine sediments and estimating the sediment budget.To identify the spatial distribution of sediment sources within the catchment, more than 1000 samples from the river confluences at the outlet of each sub basin into the main tributary were collected during 5 intensive grab sediment sampling campaigns in 2009-11. The fine sediment fraction (<10μm) has been analysed using geochemical tracer techniques for spatial source identification, based on major elements (e.g. Si, Al, Mg, Fe, Na, K, P) and trace elements (e.g. Ba, Pb, Sr, Zn). The contribution of suspended sediment of each sub basin in the main tributary has been evaluated with help of a mixing model. To
Sambridge, M.; Tkalcic, H.; Jackson, A.
Benford's Law is a curious property of numerous datasets whereby the frequency distribution of the first digit (i.e. first non zero number from the left) follows a well defined logarithmic function, namely P_D = log_b(1+1/D), where D is the first digit and b is the base of the data. This was initially observed by Newcomb (1881) and later quantified and expanded by Benford (1938). The latter author first put forward a set of 20 distinct data sets with differing physical dimension and character which collectively obeyed this 1st digit law. The nature of each data is the most startling feature of all in that they range from physical properties of matter such as molecular weight and specific heat capacity through river areas and drainage rates to population numbers in the USA as well as American baseball league averages of 1936. A universal law of digits was proposed by Benford and in recent times has been widely accepted. Investigations into the nature and use of Benford's Law have continued in multiple fields. Mathematicians have more recently proven the correctness of this universal law of digits under general conditions and Nigrini (1992) has made use of it for uncovering anomalous data errors and fraud in accountancy practices. To date Benford's Law appears to have received no attention within the Geosciences. Here we demonstrate its widespread applicability for geophysical data sets as well as models derived from data of varying type and physical dimension. Specifically we verify Benford's Law holds for a geomagnetic Field model of the Earth (gufm1), Seismic models obtained from tomography (including mantle shear wave and regional body wave P and S models for various parts of the globe), and the GRACE gravity model up to degree 160. It would appear that Benford's Law has widespread applicability to geoscience data. Departures from Benford's Law are of interest as they seem to indicate changes in the local character of data, possibly due to fraud, error, or
Gao, Jie; Jiang, Tao; Yan, Jin-long; Wei, Shi-qiang; Wang, Ding-yong; Lu, Song; Li, Lu-lu
Three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy combined with ultraviolet-visible absorption spectra was used to investigate the photobleaching process of dissolved organic matter (DOM) sampled from Fujiang River (FJ), Jialingjiang River (JLJ) and the confluence (FJ-JLJ) under natural solar radiation. The results indicated that obvious photochemical degradation of colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) concentration [ α(280) ] and all fluorescence peaks intensity (A, C, M and T) occurred under natural solar radiation, and the degradation degree was in order of JLJ > FJ-JLJ > FJ. Photobleaching properties of DOM samples from different locations showed significant differences, which could be partially explained by the sampling sites surroundings including various landuse types, and dilution effect of river confluence. Light-induced bleaching activity of JLJ samples, which was mainly terrestrial input from forest system, was the highest as compared to the lowest activity of FJ samples, which was predominated by urban inputs. Samples from confluence were in the middle. Additionally, the spectrum slope(S) and absorbance ratio (A250/A350) were increased, while the humification index(HIX) was decreased with increasing irradiation time, which can be used as important indicators for photobleaching properties changes during the process. More importantly, the predominantly allochthonous (terrigenous) characteristics of DOM almost showed a tendency of transferring to autochthonous (authigenic) characteristics due to photobleaching. Especially, IT/Ic firstly decreased and then increased significantly in the process. Thus the photodegradation process may exaggerate DOM autochthonous contribution, and further interfere with the assessment of anthropogenic impacted-water quality by using IT/Ic. In addition, mechanisms of light-induced DOM degradation process consistently showed by absorption and fluorescence spectrum parameters suggested the validation of analyzing DOM geochemical
Schmidt, Richard William
The purpose of this participatory action research was to create a comprehensive evaluation of advanced geoscience education in Pennsylvania public high schools and to ascertain the possible impact of this trend on student perceptions and attitudes towards the geosciences as a legitimate academic subject and possible career option. The study builds on an earlier examination of student perceptions conducted at Northern Arizona University in 2008 and 2009 but shifts the focus to high school students, a demographic not explored before in this context. The study consisted of three phases each examining a different facet of the advanced geoscience education issue. Phase 1 examined 572 public high schools in 500 school districts across Pennsylvania and evaluated the health of the state's advanced geoscience education through the use of an online survey instrument where districts identified the nature of their geoscience programs (if any). Phase 2 targeted two groups of students at one suburban Philadelphia high school with an established advanced geoscience courses and compared the attitudes and perceptions of those who had been exposed to the curricula to a similar group of students who had not. Descriptive and statistically significant trends were then identified in order to assess the impact of an advanced geoscience education. Phase 3 of the study qualitatively explored the particular attitudes and perceptions of a random sampling of the advanced geoscience study group through the use of one-on-one interviews that looked for more in-depth patterns of priorities and values when students considered such topics as course enrollment, career selection and educational priorities. The results of the study revealed that advanced geoscience coursework was available to only 8% of the state's 548,000 students, a percentage significantly below that of the other typical K-12 science fields. It also exposed several statistically significant differences between the perceptions and
Silliman, J. E.; Hansen, A.; McDonald, J.; Martinez, M.
The Cabeza de Vaca Earthmobile Program is an ongoing project that is designed to strengthen geoscience education in South Texas public schools. It began in June 2003 and is funded by the National Science Foundation. This outreach program involves collaboration between Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and four independent school districts in South Texas with support from the South Texas Rural Systemic Initiative, another NSF-funded project. Additional curriculum support has been provided by various local and state organizations. Across Texas, fifth grade students are demonstrating a weakness in geoscience concepts as evidenced by their scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. As a result, fifth and sixth grade public school students from low-income school districts were selected to participate in this program. At this age students are already making decisions that will affect their high school and college years. The main purpose of this project is to encourage these students, many of whom are Hispanic, to become geoscientists. This purpose is accomplished by enhancing their geoscience knowledge, nurturing their interest in geoscience and showing them what careers are available in the geosciences. Educators and scientists collaborate to engage students in scientific discovery through hands-on laboratory exercises and exposure to state-of-the-art technology (laptop computers, weather stations, telescopes, etc.). Students' family members become involved in the geoscience learning process as they participate in Family Science Night activities. Family Science Nights constitute an effective venue to reach the public. During the course of the Cabeza de Vaca Earthmobile Program, investigators have measured success in two ways: improvement in students' knowledge of geoscience concepts and change in students' attitudes towards geoscience. Findings include significant improvement in students' knowledge of geoscience. Students also report more positive
Manduca, C. A.; Mogk, D. W.; Kastens, K. A.
Individual, departmental and community efforts have all played a major role in developing a thriving research effort addressing thinking and learning in the geosciences. Community efforts have been effective in elevating the importance of the field, defining a research agenda, fostering collaborations with cognitive science and education communities, building capacity within the geosciences, and developing reviewer awareness of the importance and opportunities within geoscience education research. Important community efforts include a call for geoscience education research in the 1997 NSF report Geoscience Education: A Recommended Strategy and in the subsequent 2000 NSF report ‘Bridges: Connecting Research and Education in the Earth System Sciences’. A research agenda and supporting recommendations for collaboration and capacity building were jointly developed by geoscience educators, cognitive scientists and education researchers at the 2002 NSF/Johnson Foundation funded workshop Bringing Research on Learning to the Geosciences. This research agenda emphasized studies of geoscience expertise, learning pathways (and their challenges) that are critical to the development of that expertise, and materials and environments that support this learning, with a focus on learning in the field and from large data sets, complex systems and deep time, spatial skills, and the synthesis of understanding from multiple sources of incomplete data. Collaboration and capacity building have been further supported by the NAGT sponsored professional development program “On the Cutting Edge” with workshops bringing together cognitive scientists, educators and geoscientists on topics including developing on-line learning resources, teaching with visualizations, the role of the affective domain in geoscience learning, teaching metacognition, and teaching with data. 40 successful educational research proposals are attributed to participation in On the Cutting Edge. An NSF funded
Curie, F.; Ducharne, A.; Bendjoudi, H.; Billen, G.
Numerous studies have shown that riparian wetlands are able to reduce nitrate concentration both by plant uptake and by denitrification. Although this function of nitrate removal by riparian wetlands is well established, it remains difficult to quantify, especially at the catchment scale. This paper discusses the nitrate budget approach used to estimate nitrate retention in the riparian zones and related streams. The method is applied in sub-catchments of the Seine basin using data sets available at this scale. As a result, retention rates were computed in 174 embedded catchments, each catchment being defined downstream by a well monitored measurement station of riverine nitrate concentration. Catchments receiving more than the equivalent of 20 hab/km 2 in point source pollution were excluded. The mean of retention rates computed over these 174 catchments is equal to 35%, a value that is in the range of retention rates previously estimated in the Seine river basin. Interpolations of nitrate fluxes are an important source of retention rate estimate uncertainty. To assess the significance level of our results, we changed the input parameters by ±10%. These 10% variations result in an uncertainty range of ±18% of the original rate. The statistical analysis conducted on retention rate confirmed the importance of land cover of the river corridor in the denitrification process, which is favoured by the presence of water and forest. The spatial distribution of retention rates shows a reduction of the retention variability in the most downstream catchments, which is likely linked to the nesting of the catchments. This calls for the separation of nested catchments into independent zones, which should also increase the signal to noise ratio in the variability of the retention rates estimates.
Zavialov, Peter; Korotenko, Konstantin; Osadchiev, Alexander; Kao, Ruei-Chi; Ding, Chung-Feng
explained through the bottom topography: while near the Zhuoshui mouth the bottom is very flat and shallow, the terrain adjacent to the Wu mouth is much steeper and deeper. Bottom topography and tidal inundation also play an important role in the plume dissipation: due to enhanced mixing in shallow areas subject to tidal drying/flooding of the bottom, such as the area north of the Zhoushui mouth, the salinity anomaly is generally smaller and the plume is narrower and dissipates faster than in the deeper near-mouth areas like that of Wu River. Under the NE wind conditions, the Wu and Zhuoshui plume almost merge and form a unified low salinity belt. In contrast, action of SW wind causes effective separation of river plumes. In the case of NW winds, the plumes are pressed towards the shore and trapped at the mouths, while in the case of SE wind they stretch towards the ocean. The daily mean area of the plumes under the SE wind conditions is about 6 times larger than that under the NW wind.
Jesenska, Sona; Nemethova, Sabina; Blaha, Ludek
Species sensitivity distribution (SSD) is commonly used in prospective risk assessment to derive predicted no-effect concentrations, toxicity exposure ratios, and environmental quality standards for individual chemicals such as pesticides. The application of SSD in the retrospective risk assessment of chemical mixtures at the river basin scale (i.e., the estimation of "multiple substance potentially affected fractions" [msPAFs]) has been suggested, but detailed critical assessment of such an application is missing. The present study investigated the impact of different data validation approaches in a retrospective model case study focused on seven herbicides monitored at the Scheldt river basin (Belgium) between 1998 and 2009. The study demonstrated the successful application of the SSD approach. Relatively high impacts of herbicides on aquatic primary producers were predicted. Often, up to 40 % of the primary producer communities were affected, as predicted by chronic msPAF, and in some cases, the predicted impacts were even more pronounced. The risks posed by the studied herbicides decreased during the 1998-2009 period, along with decreasing concentrations of highly toxic pesticides such as simazine or isoproturon. Various data validation approaches (the removal of duplicate values and outliers, the testing of different exposure durations and purities of studied herbicides, etc.) substantially affected SSD at the level of individual studied compounds. However, the time-consuming validation procedures had only a minor impact on the outcomes of the retrospective risk assessment of herbicide mixtures at the river basin scale. Selection of the appropriate taxonomic group for SSD calculation and selection of the species-specific endpoint (i.e., the most sensitive or average value per species) were the most critical steps affecting the final risk values predicted. The present validation study provides a methodological basis for the practical use of SSD in the