New Course Offered at Kent State
Introduction to Environmental Sensors
Offered Spring 2010, 1 credit Hour
Description: This course will examine the use of automated sensors in the field of aquatic ecology/environmental science. Much of the course will be a survey about the use of different sensors and what information and insight these sensors can provide in our field. Hands on experience will also be provided. There will be an emphasis on the scientific process throughout the course. For example, identifying whether a sensor is used as a monitoring device in an applied setting versus a tool to answer a fundamental scientific question will be evaluated critically.
This is a one credit course taught by Dr. Darren Bade. The call numbers are 21066 and 21067 for 50195 and 70195 respectively.
The course will meet from 4-6 on the dates (Wednesdays) below.
Kent State Press Release
Kent State Receives $2.7 Million NSF Training Grant for Environmental Aquatic Resource Sensing (11/05/09)
Kent State University has been awarded a training grant in the amount of $2,756,719 by the National Science Foundation under its Integrative Graduation Education and Research Training (IGERT) program. This is the first IGERT grant to be awarded to Kent State. The grant, which is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, runs through 2014.
The grant funds an IGERT project that focuses on environment aquatic resource sensing (EARS). The purpose of the program is to train doctoral students in environment sensing to learn how to protect and sense things in aquatic environments. The training provided by this project will prepare graduate students for a variety of future careers relevant to freshwater resources.
“The use of sensing technology allows us to monitor and understand what’s going on in our environment,” said Laura Leff, professor and assistant chair of Kent State’s Biological Sciences department and principal investigator of the program. “Humans are dependent on freshwater resources, and there is not much freshwater on the Earth’s surface. There are many diverse threats that can impact our aquatic systems, and technology, such as sensors, allows us to ask questions we couldn’t ask before.”
The EARS project is interdisciplinary and involves Kent State and Miami University. “We want students to collaborate across disciplines to get a real hands-on experience and business experience in terms of technology transfer,” Leff said. “The project provides a unique opportunity to bring together people in sciences, business and technology, serving as a catalyst of new partnerships to form not just between the sciences, but also with the colleges of business and technology.”
A highly competitive program, Kent State was one of more than 400 pre-proposals that got narrowed down to approximately 100 proposals. Of those, only 25 were funded.
“This grant brings a lot of prestige to the university since it’s a highly competitive award, endorsing the quality of our students and our sciences,” said James Blank, chair of Kent State’s Biological Sciences department. “This is a highly coveted award that will help transform graduate programs.”
Currently, three doctoral students from Kent State and three doctoral students from Miami University are participating in the EARS project. The students recently conducted a workshop at Lacawac Sanctuary in Pennsylvania where they tested sensors and collected data. They also will design an education outreach project that they will implement together, using what they are learning to educate students in local schools.
“We hope to stimulate interest in environmental science from school kids and the general public,” Leff said.
“It is a real honor to join the ranks of other IGERT recipients and particularly to focus our efforts on issues related to our fresh water resources,” said Dr. Timothy Moerland, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State. “Through this program, Ph.D. candidates will build upon their knowledge of environmental science by designing sensors and sensor networks that can be used to analyze and manage data more effectively. These sensors will help detect potential pathogens and hazards in our water like never before. The EARS-IGERT research conducted at Kent State University and with our partners at Miami University will feed directly into the goals and objectives of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which was also recently signed into law by the federal government.”
IGERT is an NSF-wide program intended to meet the challenges of educating U.S. doctoral scientists and engineers with the interdisciplinary background, deep knowledge in a chosen discipline and the technical, professional and personal skills needed for the career demands of the future. The IGERT program is intended to catalyze a cultural change in graduate education by establishing innovative new models for graduate education and training in a fertile environment for collaborative research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries. For more information on IGERT, visit www.IGERT.org.
For more information on the IGERT Environmental Aquatic Resource Sensing, visit http://bioweb.biology.kent.edu/igert/home.html.
Emily Vincent, firstname.lastname@example.org, 330-672-8595
Opening Workshop IGERT EARS Program!
September 17-20, 2009
Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station
The workshop will be held at the Lodge at Lacawac, on the shores of Lake Lacawac, a natural glacial lake located in the middle of a 500 acre preserve where multiple colleges, universities, and others have been involved in scientific research and educational programs for over 40 years now. The setting is rustic, but the ambiance is unbeatable. The event will be fully catered in the early 1900's Adirondack-style lodge where where we will stay and were the events are located. There are rowboats on the lake that will permit deployment of advanced sensors and allow simple experiments and data collection to happen during our weekend workshop. For more information on the Lacawac Field Station and how to get there, please see:
Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network Meeting
One of the goals of the IGERT program is to interface with the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON). Our IGERT and GLEON share a common goal of using advanced sensor technologies to understand lake ecosystems. People from all over the world attend these meetings and they are a great chance to meet interesting people as well as talk good science.
GLEON has a meeting in Wisconsin this coming October 12-15 that would be a great opportunity to see what they have to offer. Although their registration target date has just passed, they are okay with a few late applications from IGERT students given the late date that we had to recruit this year. But please do register as soon as possible to be eligible to attend. In future meetings they may also have student travel funds, but these are tied up for this next meeting. For more information and registration, please see the GLEON 9 website:
http://www.gleon.org/index.php?pr=GLEON_9 or for GLEON in general: http://www.gleon.org