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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 12, 2006

Engineers Win $250,000 Grant To Establish Clear Creek Sensor Network

Three researchers in the University of Iowa College of Engineering's IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, the college's hydraulic research institute, have received a two-year, $250,000 grant funded jointly by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI) to establish an environmental hydrologic observatory on Clear Creek in Johnson County.

The three -- Craig Just, adjunct assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and IIHR associate research engineer; Anton Kruger, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and IIHR research engineer; and Marian Muste, IIHR associate research engineer -- say that their work will build upon activities begun by Thanos Papanicolaou, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and IIHR associate research engineer, who leads efforts in the watershed for IIHR researchers.

The project will create a working example of cyberinfrastructure in the hydrologic and environmental sciences. The system integrates a broad range of technologies and ideas: wired and wireless sensors, low power wireless communication, embedded microcontrollers, commodity cellular networks, the internet, unattended quality assurance, metadata, relational databases, machine-to-machine communication, interfaces to hydrologic and environmental models, feedback and external inputs.

"It is envisioned that this process-based observatory will support the scientific investigation of relevant components of water cycle processes," said Just. "Specifically, the project will identify and illuminate processes that influence water, sediment and nutrient transport at the hill-slope scale in the important agricultural setting of Iowa. The sensor network will help scientists test new hypotheses, and may also be the precursor to interactive watershed management tools for landowners."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu