SD NASA EPSCoR 3/24/00 Meeting Agenda Notes taken by Tom Durkin

Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Rapid City


Lee V. gave welcome, intros, update on NASA EPSCoR strategy and schedule, and 3 goals for meeting.

(Get Lee’s overheads).

Put revised agenda on website.

Lee gave summary of plans for summer pilot field project in Eastern SD

(Get Lee’s overheads). Lee spoke of the experimental design of the Tower. Measurements will include soil temp, soil moister, conductivity, leaf area index, etc. Micrometeorological flux tower allows for continuous measurements of water and co2 exchanges between agricultural field and the atmosphere. For every meter the tower is above the ground, it picks up data 100 meters radially away. For every 3 feet above the ground, we are looking at 300 meters of "fetch". (Get his overheads)

Dave Clay said we need to be careful on what we propose since we may get funded and need to do the work with the NASA EPSCoR-limited money. He discussed Moody Co. field study site. (Get Dave’s overheads). Dave suggested that we do some modeling to look at different ground behavior and how it affects yield within fairly close areas. How do we validate the modeling? They have aerial photos at 1-meter resolution. They have field-truthing data at the Moody co. site. They have several soil characteristics measured in the soil (get his list … not on overhead). They also measured C13. C13 gets depleted when the stomates are open and the rebisco (?) rejects C13 and chooses C12. Carbon isotope discrimination was discussed in relation to relative yield. This is also related to water in terms of water stress, which plays a role. Another player in this system is nitrogen.

Sharon Clay discussed an NSF-EPSCoR meeting she attended with Dave Benfield. It will focus on biostress and biocomplexity of the Northern Plains. The info science involves SDSU, SDSM&T, and USD. It is a $3 million, 3-year project with $1.5 million match. It would have a mobile ecology and environmental lab. It will entail research with state-of-the-art equipment and must have some K-12 education component. People are to think big in terms of what types of equipment, projects and collaboration they want. They are thinking of a modular concept that includes soil/air/water/hydro/plant. The types of equipment to place on the mobile lab can include wireless Internet, radiometer, GPS, weather system, air and water sampling equipment, mobile GC, etc. If we have only 1 truck or van in SD for the whole state is a problem. Thus, they thought of having 3 vans each with its own individual modules when all 3 come together complete lab. The proposal is due July 17. The NSF directors are getting together next Friday to discuss mobile laboratory. LET SHERRY KNOW since he is NSF EPSCoR director. Check with Dave Benfield about meeting and also amongst ourselves to see what kind of equipment we might want for it (and also for NASA EPSCoR, since we might use equipment obtained through the NSF program and used in NASA EPSCoR). Lee V. asked the group if there are any other projects going on that could tie into NASA EPSCoR project. Dan Swets mentioned something.

Chip Euliss (USGS in Jamestown, ND) discussed the northern prairie wildlife research center’s wetland continuum process. Dave said the wetlands went from a significant drought to a significant wet during the period of study. Surface water is the most important water component to the wetlands, however it is the introduction of ground water that makes them so biologically diverse. (Get chip's slides). A flowthrough wetland will be much saltier than a recharge wetland. A discharge wetland can be 800x saltier than a recharge wetland. Thus we go from a freshwater wetland to wetlands saltier than the ocean. This is what makes them so biologically diverse. Chip has some good photo slides showing the different kind of wetland (recharge, flowthrough, and discharge) along with the diverse biological and plant communities. He also has some good time sequence photos of a closed basin wetland (wetland P7) from dry (1992) to wet (1998), from emergent marshes to lakes.

Suzette Burckhard discussed how BOREAS (Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere Study) research fits in with our NASA EPSCoR project. They came up with 6 interdisciplinary groups (get Suzette’s slides).

Put Suzette’s side-by-side BOREAS paper on the website.

Suzette compared the 2 projects in terms of similarities and did a side-by-side. Suzette said based on comments and advice from researchers at GSFC, the BOREAS project was investigated for a framework to follow for the SD NASA EPSCoR project. There are many similarities in theme teams, objectives, and science projects. Pat Z. said there was a huge amount of overhead that went into BOREAS that we will have to be much more "lean and mean" to get something done for NASA EPSCoR.

Pat Zimmerman followed-up on Suzette’s BOREAS project. His agenda item is definition of project theme(s) and associated scientific objectives for EPSCoR-2000 proposal (group participation with Pat Z. and Dan Swets as facilitators). Dan Swets said when Lee made his opening comments about keeping our focus areas lined-up with NASA’s focus areas, he agrees with that. Dave Clay commented on the BOREAS model in that it was broken out by science disciplines. Pat Z. agreed and said we need to be able to figure out how to do the discipline work right but also figure out how to communicate across disciplines. Kevin Dalsted asked to hear from the team that visited Goddard. Some discussion at visit to Stennis. Bill Capehart and others spoke. Suzette said it is good to connect with NASA-related groups and individuals that are working on NASA projects that would apply to our SD NASA EPSCoR project. Pat Z. brought up carbon sequestration. Dave Clay also mentioned another connection he as made with SpectraVisions. It was also brought up that an economic analysis of the prairie wetlands must be done. Is the land worth more as carbon sequestration sinks than they are as agricultural land. Dave Clay said that Matt Dearson with SDSU in Ag. Economics has indicated an interest in working in this regard. Perhaps he could do such an economic analysis. Dave Clay suggested that we consider what kind of equipment we may want from Dave (Benfield’s?) mobile lab project. Lee mentioned once we get the core group of measurement devices, then look at our NASA EPSCoR science themes and see what specialized equipment we need to measure the characteristics we want to address. Pat said one important thing is a good fuel cell (for power) and good air conditioning so the van doesn’t get too hot inside.

Jay Kost had slide talk on National Elevation Dataset & Hydrologic Derivatives Database (NED and NED-H). Information on web at: It is a digital raster graph elevation dataset. The NED is available now. The NED-H is being prepared.

Pat Z. opened discussion on prioritization of science issues (get Dan’s computer file which is slightly different than my notes below).



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