Our faculty members are awarded nationally competitive grants for their research and serve as leaders in water resource and environmental organizations.
- Collaborative Research: Climate Change Impacts on Regional Wind Climates
- Mapping and Spatial Uncertainty Analysis of Forest Carbon: Combining National Forest Inventory Data and Images
- Il-New: Southern Illinois High Performance Computer Infrastructure
- Track 1: Southern Illinois Undergraduate Recruitment and Retention in Geoscience Education (SURRGE)
- Collaborative Research: Development of 21st Century Precipitation Scenarios Using Probabilistic Downscaling Techniques
- Illinois Statewide Healthcare and Education Mapping
- Future Water Demands and Coal Development Potential in Kaskaskia River Basin in Illinois
- Residential Water Use in Northeastern Illinois: Estimating Water-Use Effects of In-Fill Growth versus Exurban Expansion
- Development of Water-Demand Scenarios for Eleven-County Northeastern-Illinois Region
- Connect SI GIS Mapping Component
- Introduction to Financial Benchmarking for Small Drinking Water Systems
- Development of Water Use Benchmarks for Thermoelectric Power Generation in the United States
- Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Works
- Virtual Watershed: Agricultural Landscape Evolution in an Adaptive Management Framework
- Journal of Environmental Health Cover Story
- County-Level Forecasts of Water Use in Illinois: 2005-2025
- Water Rates and Ratemaking Practices in Community Water Systems in Illinois
- Countywide Projections of Community Water Supply Needs in the Midwest
- Analysis of Water Use Trends in the United States: 1950 – 1995
S.C. Pryor (PI, Indiana University), R.J. Barthelmie (Co-PI, Indiana University), and Justin Schoof (Co-PI, Geography and Environmental Resources) funded by National Science Foundation, Geography and Spatial Science.
The impact of global climate change will be manifest at the local scale and thus quantification of risks, vulnerability, opportunities and identification of appropriate adaptation measures requires spatially disaggregated descriptions of the climate system derived using downscaling tools. Variability and change in near-surface wind speeds have particular importance for climate change impacts on society via their impact on, for example, the feasibility of harnessing renewable energy resources and risks to critical infrastructure. Using products from the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Project and state-of-the-art global climate model simulations, this project will identify and quantify sources of wind climate variability on time scales from months to decades, and generate uniquely detailed projections of wind climates across the contiguous US under global climate change scenarios using both dynamical and empirical downscaling tools. This research will also contribute to improved understanding of spatio-temporal variability in wind speeds, dynamic causes of variability in wind climates, mechanisms responsible for extreme wind speeds, and evaluation of the latest generation of Global and Regional Climate Model simulations. Given the key importance of proper assessment of sources of uncertainty and sensitivity in climate change projections, the relative sensitivity of wind climate projections (defined as spread in projections developed from different scenarios) to key sources of uncertainty will also be developed.
Christopher Lant (Geography and Environmental Resources), Justin Schoof (Geography and Environmental Resources), John Nicklow (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Silvia Secchi (Agribusiness Economics), Girmay Misgna (Environmental Resources and Policy)
Mapping and Spatial Uncertainty Analysis of Forest Carbon: Combining National Forest Inventory Data and Images
Guangxing Wang, PI, Southern Illinois University Carbondale Seed Grant
Currently global warming is of major concern. To mitigate this effect, it is essential to provide policy makers with accurate information on the distributions and dynamics of carbon sources and sinks. Forests play a critical role in reducing carbon concentration in the atmosphere. However, one great challenge in estimation of forest carbon is how to quantify its spatial distributions. Furthermore, the estimates are associated with uncertainties. The objective of this project is to develop a methodology for mapping and spatial uncertainty analysis of forest carbon sinks using the existing national forest inventory and analysis (FIA) data and Landsat Thematic Mapper images, thus will overcome current significant gaps in the generation and assessment of forest carbon products and provide quality control/assurance mechanisms to support decision-making regarding carbon simulation and mitigation of the greenhouse effect. Moreover, using the existing FIA plot and image data will greatly reduce the cost of forest carbon simulation. Therefore, this project is significantly related to the U.S., North American, and global carbon programs. This project will be done in the Shawnee National Forest and will greatly enhance the SIU graduate and undergraduate education in this area.
Shaikh S. Ahmed, Tonny Oyana, Mark Byrd, Qiang Cheng, Mesfin Tsige, National Science Foundation
This project provides for the building of an institutional high-performance computing and data storage/processing infrastructure at Southern Illinois University Carbondale—a facility and an endeavor, first-of-its-kind within the campus and in the greater region. This facility will serve to expand the scope and quality of research within the computational science community in the areas of computational nanoscience and engineering and Geographic Information Science. It will further support related undergraduate courses and provide training for instructors in the field of parallel and professional computing and data analysis.
SURRGE is a three-year project that will enhance diversity in the geosciences at SIUC by: 1) identifying the factors responsible for the low recruitment and persistence of underrepresented minorities in the geosciences and contribute to this literature, 2) establishing a program of classroom and field experiences to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who choose and complete an academic degree in the geosciences, and 3) exposing students to the cultural relevance of the geosciences at critical junctures (e.g., high school to college) in the pipeline to this career path and balancing the academic challenge of these endeavors with instructional strategies derived from University Design for Learning.
Collaborative Research: Development of 21st Century Precipitation Scenarios Using Probabilistic Downscaling Techniques
SC Pryor and JT Schoof. 2008. Changes in the Seasonality of Precipitation over the Contiguous USA Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, D21108, doi:10.1029/2008JD010251.
Increased annual total precipitation across much of the contiguous U.S. during the latter portion of the 20th century has largely been attributed to a disproportionate change in large magnitude precipitation events and has spurred interest in projecting precipitation trends into the middle and end of the 21st century. Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs) are the primary tools available for constructing such projections, but downscaling tools are needed to obtain climate change information at spatial scales relevant for assessing impacts. Downscaling methods have tended to underestimate the variability of geophysical variables and hence are of limited utility when seeking to quantify changes in extreme (or large magnitude) events. This research project focuses on application of innovative statistical downscaling tools to output from multiple coupled AOGCMs to obtain descriptors of the probability distributions of daily precipitation occurrence and wet-day precipitation amount for stations throughout the contiguous USA. The results will allow us to examine the frequency and magnitude of precipitation events in the 21st century relative to those derived from newly-developed century-long precipitation records from the 20th century. The large number of AOGCM simulations used will also allow an unprecedented opportunity to explicitly consider model-based uncertainty and thereby assess confidence in the derived projections.
The research conducted under through project closely relates to the activities of the 4th Assessment team of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by utilizing climate model products generated within that program. It also is highly complementary with the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP), which is focused solely on dynamical downscaling of multiple variables, including precipitation. The comparison of the results of this project with those from NARCCAP will encompass both statistical and dynamical downscaling to present a comprehensive overview of the range of possible climate states and trajectories. The research results will be disseminated through publications, presentations at professional meetings, and a web site dedicated to making the results available to the climate impacts community. The broader impacts of the project also include education and training of the next-generation of climate change scientists.
Illinois (IL) statewide infrastructure mapping will advance the state commerce and economic development. As a part of infrastructure mapping, the objective of this project is to complete IL statewide healthcare and education data collection and mapping. This work will be adaptable into the Connected Nation model and the consistency with the Connected Nation model on technologies and standards will be taken into account. In this project, the data and information required by Connected Nation will be collected and new mapping technologies will be developed. It is expected that the resulting maps will show the spatial distributions and variability of healthcare and educational assets and service level, and provide the information and suggestions for creating a better business environment, more effective economic development, improved healthcare, and enhanced education.
The purpose of this project is to prepare future water-demand scenarios for all major user sectors in the 22-county regional planning area of Kaskaskia River basin in southwestern and central Illinois with special emphasis on the coal mining and processing and energy generation sectors. The objective of this research will be to determine future water demands during the period from 2010 until 2050 and compare these demands with the potential water needs for coal development and processing and thermoelectric generation within the basin.
Residential Water Use in Northeastern Illinois: Estimating Water-Use Effects of In-Fill Growth versus Exurban Expansion
The purpose of this research was to determine the water-demand effects that would result from geographically differential patterns of population growth associated with different types of housing within the 11-county study area in Northeastern Illinois. Two expected outcomes of the different growth patterns are: (1) shift in water withdrawals between Lake Michigan, groundwater sources and Fox River sources, and (2) the different overall per capita water usage rates and thus total water withdrawals.
Preparation of future water-demand scenarios for geographical service areas that account for withdrawal points and water sources in the 11-county regional planning area of Northeastern Illinois as part of the regional water-supply planning which was initiated by Governor Blagojevich's Executive Order 2006-1 which will lead to the creation of a Regional Water Supply Planning Group (RWSPG), a representative body for policy and plan recommendations. The water demand scenarios are an extension of County-Level Forecasts of Water Use in Illinois: 2005-2025.
Benedykt Dziegielewski and Farhat Jahan Chowdhur 2012. Scenario-Based Forecast of Regional Water Demands in Northeastern Illinois, Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.
For additional information contact Dr. Ben Dziegielewski.
Tonny J. Oyana, PI
Daily Egyptian article: "Mapping Southern Illinois"
The overall objective, in our GIS mapping component of this very big research project, is to support Connect SI in their 20-county effort, which aims at collaboratively enhancing the economic and community development efforts throughout Southern Illinois using greater Internet access and bandwidth to communicate regionally and globally. We are specifically tasked with building a very large GIS database for Connect SI that contains both baseline and thematic maps; and developing an Internet Map Service based on this GIS database which will serve as an interactive web application showing important baseline or thematic layers in the study region.
Connect SI project isn't just about broadband internet access. It is about improving the quality of the lives of Southern Illinoisans by changing the way we work, live, and communicate with the world. This project will affect many sectors of life in the region. Healthcare delivery, business and industry, education and training, government, agriculture, – even our own homes – can benefit from greater accessibility and visibility through a successful Connect SI project. Greater efficiency and access to broadband Internet services can mean more profitability for those who wisely use the increased availability of greater bandwidth. For additional information contact Dr. Tonny J. Oyana or Mr. Rex Duncan, Executive Director, SIUC President's Office.
In the year 2000, the Midwest Technology Assistance Center (MTAC) funded the Benchmark Investigation of Small Public Water System Economics (pdf). One finding of this study was that while small drinking water managers are very interested in improving the financial performance of their systems, they lack access to information about effective business techniques such as benchmarking, can be used to assess and improve the performance of their systems. MTAC subsequently funded the development of this self-instruction training module.
The training module provides an outline of the what, why, and how of financial benchmarking for small systems, and takes less than one hour to complete. It also includes links to other benchmarking resources.
The Self-Instruction Training Module is available in both Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Portable Document Format and can be downloaded or viewed online. The module works best if downloaded to your computer. Simply right click on the hypertext of the format of your choice and download the document to your computer using the "Save Target As …" option.
Ben Dziegielewski, Thomas Bik, Usama Alqalawi, Stanley Mubako, Nathan Eidem, Shauna Bloom
This research was funded as part of the 2004 USGS National Competitive Grants Program and completed in August of 2006. The purpose of this study was to examine water use at electric power generation facilities in the United States and determine both the average rates of water withdrawals and consumptive use and to identify the most water-efficient plants and cooling systems. The analysis employed the data from the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration's Form EIA-767 (1985-2003) and a national survey of generating facilities managers.
Over the past decade, organic products have become the fastest growing sector of agriculture, with an annual increase of at least 20 percent. This book explains why organic production and consumption have seen such phenomenal growth in recent yearsand, even more important, why they should. A clear-eyed, close-up look at the compelling reasons for organic farming and the methods that make it work, Good Growing begins with a frank account of the problems with conventional industrial agriculturethe pesticide use, pollution, and corporate control that have undermined public health and devastated rural towns and family farms
In-depth interviews with working organic farmers from across the country bring to life the facts and figures that Leslie Duram sets out in her extensive overview of the realities of organic farming today. Farmers with very different operations in California, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, and upstate New York give us an intimate understanding of the ecological, social, economic, and personal factors that shape their farming experiences. With its comprehensive view of the status of farming and its compelling portraits of organic farmers, Good Growing is, finally, a work of scientific advocacy describing a course of action, based on the best research available, to improve the health of agriculture in our day.
"Food for Thought," Spring 2005 issue of Perspectives: Research and Creative Activities at SIUC Geographer Leslie Duram looks at the contributions organic farmers make to society and the issues they face.
Christopher Lant, Girmay Misgna (Southern Illinois University Carbondale), Raja Sengupta (McGill University), and George Malanson (University of Iowa), together with SIUC Agricultural Economists Steven Kraft and Jeffrey Beaulieu and Environmental Engineer John Nicklow have received $450,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation for their project "Virtual Watershed: Agricultural Landscape Evolution in an Adaptive Management Framework." Funded from the Biocomplexity in the Environment: Coupled Natural and Human Systems program, the 3.5 year Virtual Watershed project will build a spatial decision support system of land use patterns in agricultural watersheds using GIS, agent-based modeling, environmental simulation modeling and evolutionary algorithms. The project will focus on how land use decisions are guided by variable economic, policy and environmental circumstances and how the resulting land use patterns generate agricultural goods and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water quality, and flood retention in an manner that may be self-organizing. The visually improved Virtual Watershed model will be valuable in educational and environmental and agricultural policy-making settings.
Tonny J. Oyana and Jamson S. Lwebuga-Mukasa, Spatial Relationships Among Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Utilization, and Pollution Sources in Neighborhoods of Buffalo, New York, The Journal of Environmental Health 66(8) April 2004.
This research project was sponsored by the Illinois State Water Survey and prepared by: Ben Dziegielewski, Professor; Xiaoying Yang, Graduate Research Assistant; Tom Bik, Researcher; Heru Margono, Graduate Research Assistant; and Matthew Richey, Undergraduate Research Assistant; January, 2005.
The purpose of this study was to develop water use forecasts for the 102 counties in Illinois. The analysis in the study was based upon county-level water withdrawal estimates prepared by the USGS for 1985, 1990, 1995, and 2000. Projections were prepared for seven, non-overlapping, water use sectors: thermoelectric, public water supply, self-supplied commercial and industrial, self-supplied domestic, irrigation, mining, and livestock. The study demonstrates several different forecasting approaches, as well as the application of a wide variety state and federal data in the development of water use forecasts. (revised 30 March 2005)
B. Dziegielewski, J. Kiefer, and T. Bik, 2004, Illinois Water Resources Center
This Project Completion Report contains a complete documentation of the research activities and outcomes for the Illinois pricing study. Chapter II describes the sampling procedures as well as survey design and its implementation. The response rate and some general characteristics of survey responses are also included. Chapter III presents the results of the Phase 1 Survey of nearly 500 community water systems in Illinois. It also presents data and analyses of the water rates that were obtained for 426 systems. Chapter IV presents the results of Phase 2 Survey of 180 water systems, which previously replied to Phase 1 Survey and provided contact information for in-depth evaluation of their current water rate structure. This chapter is focused on the ratemaking process. Conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter V. The main body of the report is followed by References Cited and several appendices.
Ben Dziegielewski, Tom Bik, and Jack Kiefer. Cover story of the Illinois Water Resources Center Fall, 2004 Newsletter.
A research project sponsored by the Midwest Technology Assistance Center and prepared by: Ben Dziegielewski, Professor; Tom Bik, Researcher; Xiaoying Yang, Graduate Research Assistant; Heru Margono, Graduate Research Assistant; Matthew Richey, Undergraduate Research Assistant; and Daniel Sherman, Undergraduate Research Assistant; February, 2004.
The purpose of this research project was to develop water use forecasts for the counties in the six states served by USEPA Region 5. These projections are intended to support the infrastructure planning efforts of small community drinking water systems. The methodology presented in the report is intended to serve as a model for the development of locally generated water use projections.
Ben Dziegielewski, Professor, Department of Geography; Subhash C. Sharma, Professor, Department of Economics; Thomas J. Bik, Researcher, Department of Geography; Heru Margono, Graduate Assistant, Department of Economics; Xiaoying Yang, Graduate Assistant, Department of Geography. USGS-funded research project: Analysis of Water Use Trends in the United States: 1950 – 1995, 1999 USGS National Competitive Grants Program, Grant No. 99HQGR0222, Subgrant No. 00-312.
Improved information about water withdrawals and uses in specific geographical regions and a basic understanding of the factors that influence water use are a necessary requirement for sound water resources management. The USGS National Water-Use Information Program (NWUIP) has collected and published an extensive inventory of water use information since 1950. This information has provided a basis for the development and evaluation of national water policies as well as regional and local plans for the development and use of water resources. It also offers an excellent opportunity for examining and explaining historical trends in water use.