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Water Prediction & Ecosystem Services

Water Prediction & Ecosystem Services

The impact of climate on water resources and ecosystems factors significantly on human vulnerability. The ability to make precise predictions about this detrimental risk is challenging, especially when human populations, land use change, and other factors are also affecting water futures. Theme III focuses on developing a unified water prediction system and ecosystem services using remote sensing of earth systems. This work aligns with the NOAA’s “Water Prediction” research priority to provide improved protection of life and property from natural hazards.

Theme III Research Tasks

Drought Risk Assessment Using Demand Data and Remote Sensing Products

  • Estimating trends in natural hazards and hydrologic droughts, or prolonged periods of below-normal precipitation causing deficiencies in surface or subsurface water supplies, with the goal of developing a complete database of demand-based drought index data and real-time probabilistic forecast methods for drought quantiles. 


Flood Risk Assessment Using In-situ Data and Remote Sensing Products

  • Development of a high-resolution blended precipitation product using the latest New York City urban Hydro-Meteorological Testbed (NY-uHMT) and remote sending data for flood prediction and vulnerability mapping. New CESSRST data stations in the NYC metropolitan area will be used to help plan for storm emergencies as well as future infrastructure development. 


Assessment and Improvement of National Water Model Development and Validation of the Snow Data Project

  • Development of a new snow and ice climatology product to better incorporate data on snow melt.
  • Assessment of remote sensing-based forcings and their integration into the National Water Model.
  • Explore the utility of the National Water Model for flash flood predictions

Monitoring Land-Atmosphere-Ocean Fluxes

  • Monitoring environmental and flux data from San Diego State University’s eddy covariance flux towers and mapping regional evapotranspiration of the recent decades (2000 – 2018) to better understand the role of climate and wet and dry cycles in this critical agricultural region.


Development of Sensors for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Platforms for Environmental Intelligence and Satellite Product Validation

  • Development of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted multiband microwave sensor for monitoring ocean salinity and soil moisture, currently being tested in different regions in Puerto Rico.
  • Using UAV and radar technologies to evaluate coastal risk and map vulnerabilities.

Student Training in Water Prediction and Ecosystem Services

Students will have the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge in a wide variety of research and analytical techniques, including hands-on training in deployment and operation of a wide range of in-situ sensors for monitoring ocean salinity,flux data in the field; development and evaluation of coastal risk and map vulnerabilities; and development and application of snow modeling tools for hydrological assessments.