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Project and Water News

October 5, 2017
Classroom Lesson Leads to Publication

Former iUTAH postdoctoral researcher Erik Oerter has collaborated with Molly MaloneLouisa Stark, and Gabriel Bowen, and others to publish the paper “Every apple has a voice” in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, a peer-reviewed open access journal.

In the summer of 2016, Oerter served as a mentor in the Summer Research Institute (SRI), a program supported by iUTAH from 2013 – 2016. The program offered students and teachers the chance to become scientists for one week each summer. He designed a one-day water science activity for the program, including lecture, a hands-on lesson about isotopes, food sourcing, and the water cycle, and a computer lab exercise. Participants, which included high school students, undergraduate students, and high school science teachers, then turned what they learned into a poster presenting their research results.

The effectiveness of the activity was assessed through pre- and post-lesson tests, as well as participant surveys. While the lesson was effective at teaching the basics of stable isotope hydrology and the water cycle, the computer lab needed to be more specifically tailored to each participant’s abilities. Oerter felt that he learned much from the teachers while discussing his lesson. A highlight of the week was “seeing the light bulb go on” in the students as they understand complex concepts while creating their posters.  

Oerter is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. His research focuses on the intersection of hydrology and geochemistry, applying the isotope hydrology expertise gained through iUTAH to a broader set of national issues.

Originally, SRI was designed as part of CI-Water, a prior NSF EPSCoR-funded project that brought collaborating institutions in Utah and Wyoming together to address water issues in the West. Through the guidance of Director Louisa Stark and Senior Education Specialist Molly Malone from the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah, the program engaged 96 high school students and teachers, and undergraduates in 13 diverse research projects reflecting iUTAH's cross-disciplinary approach over four years. 

Full study of the article is available below:
Every apple has a voice: using stable isotopes to teach about food sourcing and the water cycle.
Authors: Erik Oerter, Molly Malone, Annie Putman, Dina Drits-Esser, Louisa Stark, and Gabriel Bowen.

  

Erik Oerter teaches about isotopes, food sourcing, and the water cycle at iUTAH’s 2016 Summer Research Institute. 
Credit: Molly Malone, GSLC/University of Utah



October 5, 2017
NSF HAS MOVED!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has moved into their new headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. With the move comes a new address, 2415 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314, which is just a few steps away from the Eisenhower Avenue metro stop and only a few stops down from Washington National Airport (DCA).

 

While the physical location has changed, there will be no changes to email addresses and phone numbers for NSF employees and NSF offices. It is recommended that all future NSF visitors and on-site panelists carefully read any instructions and documents sent out prior to visits. And, as always, be sure to have a valid ID that is compliant with the REAL ID Act. If this is not available to you, bring a passport for all future visits to the new building.

 

More information…




May 23, 2017
"E" in EPSCoR changed from Experimental to Established

A name change has been announced for the federal Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research programs, known as EPSCoR. The American Innovation and Competitiveness Act (AICA) (S. 3084) passed in January renames the programs as the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and revises program requirements.

 

Effective immediately, iUTAH EPSCoR now stands for innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. The name change will be reflected on the project’s website, communications, and publications in the near future.

 

iUTAH EPSCoR is an interdisciplinary research, training, and education program aimed at strengthening science on vital environmental issues facing our state, specifically water sustainability. We partner with the National Science Foundation EPSCoR program to develop and manage strategic projects funded by competitive NSF EPSCoR awards to the state.

 

 



September 19, 2016
CI-WATER researchers win "Coolest Paper" award

A paper describing the discovery of an alternative to a decades-old partial differential equation (PDE) has garnered additional recognition for CI-WATER researchers Fred Ogden, Wengcong Lai and Robert Steinke. “A new general 1-D vadose zone flow solution method” has been selected for “The Coolest Paper Published in 2015 Award” by the Early Career Hydrogeologists’ Network.

More Information...



EPSCoR Utah Brigham Young University Utah State University University of Utah University of Wyoming Utah Education Network EPSCoR Wyoming