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NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: University of California-San Diego Scripps Inst of Oceanography

Fiammetta Straneo

[email protected]

A US-led international effort, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), has provided a continuous record of the full-water column, trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass, and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic since 2014, in partnership with the UK, Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Results from the first four years of OSNAP observations have challenged the current understanding of overturning circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic. This grant provides funding for an additional four years of observations in order to deliver to the community a ten-year time series of the meridional overturning, heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar basin. Variations in these quantities have been invoked to explain changes in a wide range of physical, chemical and biological parameters in the North Atlantic, Nordic Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Thus, by quantifying Atlantic meridional overturning variability and understanding its drivers, OSNAP is providing a critical first step towards addressing societally-relevant, interdisciplinary questions concerning the melting of Greenland ice and Arctic sea-ice, heat content in the Arctic Ocean, climate of the Nordic Seas, and anthropogenic carbon storage. The researchers will actively engage the broader international communities through four workshops, each targeting a societally relevant theme: 1) ocean biogeochemistry and carbon sequestration; 2) overturning in ocean models; 3) Arctic cryosphere; and 4) Nordic Seas variability. Two new postdocs and one graduate student will be supported in this phase of OSNAP and will benefit from the diversity of methodologies and exposure to the large number of OSNAP international scientists. In addition, approximately 20 graduate students from different US and international institutions will receive field training through participation in OSNAP cruises through 2024.<br/><br/>The first four years of data from the OSNAP observing system have shown that the eastern subpolar region, from Greenland to Scotland, dominates the mean meridional mass and heat transport in the subpolar North Atlantic, while more than half of the total meridional freshwater transport occurs across the Labrador basin. Based on the success of the previous work, this project extends the time series and address the following critical questions: 1. What governs overturning variability in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre on intra-seasonal to interannual time scales? 2. What are the sources of freshwater across the OSNAP section and what governs their variability? 3. What are the impacts of the meridional heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar gyre? Additional motivation for this next phase of OSNAP is provided by the fundamental advancements in our understanding of subpolar North Atlantic dynamics and variability, that will result from the four main U.S. OSNAP mooring arrays, individually and in combination with other OSNAP observations. Further observations are expected to provide a strong observational basis for a new paradigm of overturning in this region, which will include an understanding of the linkage between dense water formation and overturning – a connection present in climate models, yet unobserved to date. Additionally, this this work will further quantify the structure and transport of the upper and deep ocean boundary currents off the east and west coasts of Greenland and within the Iceland Basin, as well as determine their variability and forcing mechanisms.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Robert Pickart

[email protected]

A US-led international effort, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), has provided a continuous record of the full-water column, trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass, and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic since 2014, in partnership with the UK, Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Results from the first four years of OSNAP observations have challenged the current understanding of overturning circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic. This grant provides funding for an additional four years of observations in order to deliver to the community a ten-year time series of the meridional overturning, heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar basin. Variations in these quantities have been invoked to explain changes in a wide range of physical, chemical and biological parameters in the North Atlantic, Nordic Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Thus, by quantifying Atlantic meridional overturning variability and understanding its drivers, OSNAP is providing a critical first step towards addressing societally-relevant, interdisciplinary questions concerning the melting of Greenland ice and Arctic sea-ice, heat content in the Arctic Ocean, climate of the Nordic Seas, and anthropogenic carbon storage. The researchers will actively engage the broader international communities through four workshops, each targeting a societally relevant theme: 1) ocean biogeochemistry and carbon sequestration; 2) overturning in ocean models; 3) Arctic cryosphere; and 4) Nordic Seas variability. Two new postdocs and one graduate student will be supported in this phase of OSNAP and will benefit from the diversity of methodologies and exposure to the large number of OSNAP international scientists. In addition, approximately 20 graduate students from different US and international institutions will receive field training through participation in OSNAP cruises through 2024.<br/><br/>The first four years of data from the OSNAP observing system have shown that the eastern subpolar region, from Greenland to Scotland, dominates the mean meridional mass and heat transport in the subpolar North Atlantic, while more than half of the total meridional freshwater transport occurs across the Labrador basin. Based on the success of the previous work, this project extends the time series and address the following critical questions: 1. What governs overturning variability in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre on intra-seasonal to interannual time scales? 2. What are the sources of freshwater across the OSNAP section and what governs their variability? 3. What are the impacts of the meridional heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar gyre? Additional motivation for this next phase of OSNAP is provided by the fundamental advancements in our understanding of subpolar North Atlantic dynamics and variability, that will result from the four main U.S. OSNAP mooring arrays, individually and in combination with other OSNAP observations. Further observations are expected to provide a strong observational basis for a new paradigm of overturning in this region, which will include an understanding of the linkage between dense water formation and overturning – a connection present in climate models, yet unobserved to date. Additionally, this this work will further quantify the structure and transport of the upper and deep ocean boundary currents off the east and west coasts of Greenland and within the Iceland Basin, as well as determine their variability and forcing mechanisms.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program: University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine&Atmospheric Sci

William Johns

[email protected]

A US-led international effort, Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program (OSNAP), has provided a continuous record of the full-water column, trans-basin fluxes of heat, mass, and freshwater in the subpolar North Atlantic since 2014, in partnership with the UK, Netherlands, Canada and Germany. Results from the first four years of OSNAP observations have challenged the current understanding of overturning circulation in the subpolar North Atlantic. This grant provides funding for an additional four years of observations in order to deliver to the community a ten-year time series of the meridional overturning, heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar basin. Variations in these quantities have been invoked to explain changes in a wide range of physical, chemical and biological parameters in the North Atlantic, Nordic Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Thus, by quantifying Atlantic meridional overturning variability and understanding its drivers, OSNAP is providing a critical first step towards addressing societally-relevant, interdisciplinary questions concerning the melting of Greenland ice and Arctic sea-ice, heat content in the Arctic Ocean, climate of the Nordic Seas, and anthropogenic carbon storage. The researchers will actively engage the broader international communities through four workshops, each targeting a societally relevant theme: 1) ocean biogeochemistry and carbon sequestration; 2) overturning in ocean models; 3) Arctic cryosphere; and 4) Nordic Seas variability. Two new postdocs and one graduate student will be supported in this phase of OSNAP and will benefit from the diversity of methodologies and exposure to the large number of OSNAP international scientists. In addition, approximately 20 graduate students from different US and international institutions will receive field training through participation in OSNAP cruises through 2024.<br/><br/>The first four years of data from the OSNAP observing system have shown that the eastern subpolar region, from Greenland to Scotland, dominates the mean meridional mass and heat transport in the subpolar North Atlantic, while more than half of the total meridional freshwater transport occurs across the Labrador basin. Based on the success of the previous work, this project extends the time series and address the following critical questions: 1. What governs overturning variability in the North Atlantic subpolar gyre on intra-seasonal to interannual time scales? 2. What are the sources of freshwater across the OSNAP section and what governs their variability? 3. What are the impacts of the meridional heat and freshwater fluxes in the subpolar gyre? Additional motivation for this next phase of OSNAP is provided by the fundamental advancements in our understanding of subpolar North Atlantic dynamics and variability, that will result from the four main U.S. OSNAP mooring arrays, individually and in combination with other OSNAP observations. Further observations are expected to provide a strong observational basis for a new paradigm of overturning in this region, which will include an understanding of the linkage between dense water formation and overturning – a connection present in climate models, yet unobserved to date. Additionally, this this work will further quantify the structure and transport of the upper and deep ocean boundary currents off the east and west coasts of Greenland and within the Iceland Basin, as well as determine their variability and forcing mechanisms.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

CAREER: Lead-Free Pseudohalide/Halide Perovskites for Next-Generation White Light-Emitting Diodes: University of Tulsa

Peifen Zhu

[email protected]

Lighting accounts for one-eighth of total U.S. electricity consumption. Conventional light sources such as incandescent light bulbs and fluorescence light tubes consume a lot of energy. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a new generation lighting technology have extremely long life spans and consume much less energy. Despite rapid advances, LED technology is still in its early stage, and continued innovation and breakthroughs are needed to achieve the full potential of this technology. White LEDs are typically obtained by coating yellow luminescence materials (called ?phosphor?) onto blue LEDs. The lack of red component results in a cool color, which is not suitable for indoor lighting applications. The objective of this CAREER project is to develop highly efficient, environmentally friendly luminescent materials by using earth-abundant elements and low-cost and large-scale solution-based methods to replace the yellow phosphors. The project aims to develop highly efficient white LEDs with superior color quality, to speed up the widespread adoption of white LEDs, and to save energy. This project offers educational training in multidisciplinary areas such as Physics, Material Science, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering for both undergraduate and graduate students. The research is also integrated with photonic education activities at local K-12 schools. This project is jointly funded by the Division of Materials Research and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).<br/><br/>Metal halide perovskites are promising semiconductor materials for potential applications in optoelectronic devices. However, the common inclusion of lead and stability issues of this material are hampering the practical applications of these materials. The Principal Investigator is exploring new lead-free pseudohalide/halide perovskite nanocrystals and investigating the factors affecting their optical properties and stability by using theoretical and experimental methods. The knowledge obtained in this project improves our fundamental understanding of the physics of pseudohalide/halide perovskite materials and assists in discovering new environmentally friendly materials for next-generation white LEDs. The project expects to solve the issues challenging the practical applications of these materials and to accelerate their use in optoelectronic devices. The completion of this project results in a cost reduction of LED, widespread adoption of white LED in the general illumination market, and significant energy savings. This project is jointly funded by the Division of Materials Research and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

CAREER: Rational Design of Defect-Ordered Architectures in Oxygen-Deficient Perovskites to Control the Oxygen-Evolution Activity: University of Louisville Research Foundation Inc

Farshid Ramezanipour

[email protected]

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY:<br/>Discovery of new materials that can be used in energy-related processes and devices has a major impact on the future of global energy landscape, prosperity and welfare. For example, new materials with specific properties are needed to better facilitate splitting of water into its basic components, which is important for the generation of hydrogen and oxygen from renewable sources. A similarly important property is the conduction of charges in certain solid materials, a phenomenon that is essential to many energy devices such as batteries and fuel cells. Studying fundamental aspects of these properties is at the center of this CAREER award. The award is jointly supported by the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program in the Division of Materials Research, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and the Chemical Catalysis Program in the Division of Chemistry. Under this award the research group of Prof. Ramezanipour develops guidelines for rational design of functional materials, where important energy-related properties are controlled and modified by changing the arrangements of atoms within the compounds. This project advances fundamental understanding of functional materials and results in discovery of novel compounds that contribute to the progress of science and technology in the field of energy-related applications. In addition, as part of this award an educational plan helps students to enhance their laboratory skills, facilitates their academic success, and prepares them for potential careers in areas that require expertise in a laboratory setting. Furthermore, outreach activities for underrepresented minority students introduce these students to basic research, increase the scientific literacy, and spark interest in chemistry. These outreach activities, and an internship program for female students to participate in hands-on research, broaden the impact of the project and help increase diversity in STEM fields.<br/><br/><br/>TECHNICAL SUMMARY:<br/>With this CAREER award, jointly supported by the Solid State and Materials Chemistry program in the Division of Materials Research, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), and the Chemical Catalysis Program in the Division of Chemistry, researchers work to uncover the fundamental parameters that allow for rational design and synthesis of defect-ordered architectures and the impact of defect-arrangement on functional properties, in particular the charge-transport and oxygen-evolution activity. The specific focus is on design and synthesis of defect-ordered oxygen-deficient perovskites, which have recently shown outstanding electrocatalytic activity for oxygen-evolution reaction (OER) of water splitting. Until now the fundamental structure-property relationships that control their OER activity have remained largely unexplored. The key characteristic of this class of materials is the presence of defects, created due to oxygen-deficiency. Various arrangements of defects lead to different types of ordered structures. Here Prof. Ramezanipour and his group investigate how the arrangement and ordering of defects can be controlled and explore the role of defect-arrangement in directing the OER activity of oxygen-deficient perovskites. In addition, they investigate the relationship between defect-arrangement and charge-transport, which is another property that affects the OER activity. Overall, the multifaceted and comprehensive approach involves material design, synthesis and study of the changes in structural order, valence-state, electronic structure, charge-transport, and the impact these parameters have on OER properties.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

CAREER: Programmable synthetic microbial consortia for complex multicellular functions: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Lauren Andrews

[email protected]

Engineered mixed cell populations have potential application in biomanufacturing, cell-based therapies, and diagnostics. Bacterial metabolism is a highly reactive network, and different reactions occur at different times. They are turned on and off by signals generated internally and externally. In this way the cell can make effective decisions regarding the flow of carbon sources and other materials through specific reaction pathways. Attempts to engineer cell populations have not achieved comparable control. This project will focus on developing a protocol for the design of control systems for mixtures of microbes. The protocol will guide the construction of genetic components that can help implement the control system. These components will be evaluated in a variety of organisms. A core objective of this project is to educate and mentor a diverse future workforce. Programs for K-12 STEM education and to broaden research opportunities for underrepresented groups will be developed and implemented.<br/><br/>Similar to naturally-occurring dynamic pathway expression, computational dynamic metabolic modeling predicts optimized bioproduction by discrete metabolic states and temporal enzyme activation. This has not been achievable within bioproduction microbial consortia. The goal of the proposed research is to establish a generalizable platform for the automated design of bacterial consortia. Users will be able to dynamically control metabolism and specify coordinated multicellular responses to user-defined temporal signals. This project will develop genetic circuit components and a circuit design algorithm for partitioning sequential logic circuits within engineered bacterial communities, and identify design principles for biological sequential logic programming in synthetic microbial consortia. The proposed research will produce circuit components that are compatible with automated design algorithms and physical plasmids for bacterial intercellular signaling. This will enable researchers to utilize off-the-shelf parts for a priori design of multicellular genetic circuits that implement temporal transcription control in microbial consortia.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: The other side of tropical forest drought: Do shallow water table regions of Amazonia act as large-scale hydrologic refugia from drought?: Michigan State University

Scott Stark

[email protected]

The vegetation that covers the Earth has many important functions. One of the biggest impacts of vegetation is trapping and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The vast Amazon rainforest makes a significant contribution to this carbon storage function. However, the Amazon forest is being threatened by recent changes to climate, which is making droughts stronger and more frequent. A big question is whether the Amazon will be resilient to these droughts, or whether they will slow forest growth and kill trees, which would release carbon. A significant challenge is the lack of information about a large portion of the Amazon forest?about 30%?with shallow water tables, where trees live in an environment of excess water. In these water-logged forests, tree growth is slow because soil conditions are poor for tree roots. Here, drought could actually be beneficial to trees by reducing this water-logging. On the other hand, these forests have roots that grow close to the soil surface and require wet conditions. In this case, strong droughts that last a long time dry the upper soil and could reduce growth more, killing more trees than in forests with well-drained soils. This project will answer questions about the role of belowground water sources as an important control on response of tropical forest to drought. Data about forest growth and carbon dioxide exchange will be made available to the broader research community. This project will also help train students in how to measure forests, and provide information about tropical forests to the public.<br/><br/>This project will measure forest canopy response to drought at sites in the Brazilian Amazon. The approach is to unify field ecology with remote observation of ecosystems from canopy towers and satellites. Canopy towers constructed in this project?representing the first of their kind in water-logged soils of the interior Amazon?provide detailed information about tree growth. The capacity of the forest canopy for photosynthesis will be measured as well as leaf demography and phenology. This new knowledge will be combined with networks of existing canopy towers in deep water table depth sites, satellite images spanning the Amazon, data on tree growth and death from a network of forest surveys, and detailed measurements of soil water and other environmental factors. This project will build an accurate new understanding of the factors that impact forest carbon cycling, while contrasting water-logged with well-drained soil responses. A data-based model of ecosystem structure and function will offer a quantitative accounting of the contribution of these water-logged forests in the Amazon to climate change responses. These results have the potential to transform our current perspective on drought effects in tropical forests.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: The other side of tropical forest drought: Do shallow water table regions of Amazonia act as large-scale hydrological refugia from drought?: University of Arizona

Scott Saleska

[email protected]

The vegetation that covers the Earth has many important functions. One of the biggest impacts of vegetation is trapping and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The vast Amazon rainforest makes a significant contribution to this carbon storage function. However, the Amazon forest is being threatened by recent changes to climate, which is making droughts stronger and more frequent. A big question is whether the Amazon will be resilient to these droughts, or whether they will slow forest growth and kill trees, which would release carbon. A significant challenge is the lack of information about a large portion of the Amazon forest?about 30%?with shallow water tables, where trees live in an environment of excess water. In these water-logged forests, tree growth is slow because soil conditions are poor for tree roots. Here, drought could actually be beneficial to trees by reducing this water-logging. On the other hand, these forests have roots that grow close to the soil surface and require wet conditions. In this case, strong droughts that last a long time dry the upper soil and could reduce growth more, killing more trees than in forests with well-drained soils. This project will answer questions about the role of belowground water sources as an important control on response of tropical forest to drought. Data about forest growth and carbon dioxide exchange will be made available to the broader research community. This project will also help train students in how to measure forests, and provide information about tropical forests to the public.<br/><br/>This project will measure forest canopy response to drought at sites in the Brazilian Amazon. The approach is to unify field ecology with remote observation of ecosystems from canopy towers and satellites. Canopy towers constructed in this project?representing the first of their kind in water-logged soils of the interior Amazon?provide detailed information about tree growth. The capacity of the forest canopy for photosynthesis will be measured as well as leaf demography and phenology. This new knowledge will be combined with networks of existing canopy towers in deep water table depth sites, satellite images spanning the Amazon, data on tree growth and death from a network of forest surveys, and detailed measurements of soil water and other environmental factors. This project will build an accurate new understanding of the factors that impact forest carbon cycling, while contrasting water-logged with well-drained soil responses. A data-based model of ecosystem structure and function will offer a quantitative accounting of the contribution of these water-logged forests in the Amazon to climate change responses. These results have the potential to transform our current perspective on drought effects in tropical forests.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

CAREER: SusChEM: Development of Tandem and Multi-Component Couplings with Base Metals and Organic Electron Donors: Pennsylvania State Univ University Park

Ramesh Giri

[email protected]

With this CAREER Award, the Chemical Catalysis program of the Division of Chemistry is supporting the research of Professor Ramesh Giri of the University of New Mexico (UNM). The goal of this research is the development of catalytic chemical reactions using the earth-abundant and inexpensive copper (Cu) as the catalyst. The target reactions provide powerful tools for the syntheses of complex and diversified molecules, such as drugs and organic materials, by limiting the required number of reaction steps and thus minimizing the time for process development. The outcomes of this investigation have a positive impact on society by developing novel protocols for organic chemical transformations based on earth-abundant, sustainable catalysts. Professor Giri has established a partnership with the UNM College Enrichment and Outreach Program to involve undergraduates from traditionally underrepresented groups. He has established an outreach program with the South Valley Academy, a public charter school in Benalillo County, New Mexico. <br/><br/>Integration of cross-coupling into the tandem and multi-component (MC) reaction manifolds has the potential to create new synthetic methodologies. The research focuses on developing Cu compounds as sustainable catalysts for the proposed transformations. As part of the education component, the investigator has developed a course for senior undergraduates and graduate students focused on organometallic chemistry that emphasizes the use of sustainable transition metals in the development of new chemical transformations. In this project, various organometallic reagents, amines, alcohols, and carbonyl compounds are employed as sources of nucleophiles to add across carbon-carbon multiple bonds (olefins, alkynes, and allenes) and subsequently cross-couple with organohalides in a tandem fashion. The ability of copper to avoid beta-hydride eliminations is expected to facilitate the tandem and MC cross-couplings of electrophiles and nucleophiles that contain beta-hydrogens. Hybrid bidentate ligands containing both pi-acceptor and sigma-donor groups are employed to generate stable and active Cu in the +1 oxidation state required to conduct the proposed transformations. The ligands are tuned sterically and electronically to render Cu reactive towards the less reactive aryl halides. Alternatively, organic electron donor-based organic catalysts, which react with organohalides via a single electron transfer process, provide an alternative strategy for coupling reactions with less reactive aryl halides. A long-term goal of the project is to perform the reactions enantioselectively using chiral, non-racemic ligands to prepare complex molecules with multiple chiral centers.The research is performed at the interface of organic, inorganic and organometallic chemistry, which provides an opportunity for training future scientists from high school to graduate school. This award also supports the outreach efforts of the Giri group to train high school and undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups in the sciences.

NSFOpen Education ResourcesThe Research University (TRU)

Collaborative Research: Data Fusion for Characterizing and Understanding Water Flow Systems in Karst Aquifers: University of Kentucky Research Foundation

Junfeng Zhu

[email protected]

Aquifers are geologic materials that store and transmit groundwater and supply drinking water for 51% of the total U.S. population. Groundwater is also an indispensable resource for energy production, agricultural and industrial uses. A karst aquifer is a special type of aquifer that is formed in regions underlain by soluble rocks, typically carbonate rocks. Karst aquifers hold 40% of U.S. groundwater. The dissolution of soluble rocks through time creates a complex groundwater flow system in karst aquifers, which is typically characterized by a network of fractures and conduits that connect to the surface water through sinkholes, sinking streams, and springs. Those characteristics make karst aquifers potentially vulnerable to both climate change and contamination. The proposed research seeks to enhance understanding of the complex network of fractures and conduits in karst aquifers in order to advance the prediction of water flow, surface water and groundwater interaction, contaminant transport, nutrient cycle, and the carbon cycle in many karst aquifers under increased stresses from human activities. This project will also greatly benefit the economically distressed karst Appalachian region where students are underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This project is jointly funded by the Hydrologic Sciences (HS) Program and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). <br/><br/>This research will be centered on conducting collaborative research using a complementary data fusion approach. The approach fuses data collected from hydraulic tomography, river stage tomography, electrical resistivity tomography, and tracer tests to produce a more reliable map of fractures and conduits in karst aquifers in a cost-effective manner. In turn, the results will lead to improved understanding and prediction of flow and solute transport in the karst aquifers. The overarching goal of this project is to develop, test, and validate an innovative approach for characterizing karst aquifers in detail based on the data fusion concept. To achieve this goal, this research will design two new field surveys: surface and subsurface river stage tomography and electrical resistivity tomography with moving current sources. This research will also explore the feasibility of natural lightning tomography for large-scale resistivity surveys. The data collected from these surveys will be integrated into a geostatistical-based inversion framework to characterize the distribution and morphology of fractures and conduits with great detail. The fusion approach will be tested and validated at the Cane Run Royal Spring Basin in central Kentucky. The validity of the characterized karst aquifers will be evaluated using a separate model with the field-collected water level, water chemistry, tracer, and stable isotope data.<br/><br/>This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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