July and August Research Awards

July and August were busy research months. Check out some of our recent research awards and grants:

Geospatial Analytics for the Fire Management Offices of the National Capital, Northeast and Southeast Regions of the National Park Service

This award will advance National Fire Program decision-support systems of the Southeast, National Capital and Northeast Regions (collectively Eastern Regions) of the National Park Service(NPS) through innovative geospatial analytics. The project includes four components: (1) Sifting through the Noise: Making Sense of the NPS’s Wildfire and Treatment Geospatial Data; (2) What Do We Protect? Supporting Fire Management by Protecting Natural, Cultural and Infrastructural Resources through Geodatabase Development and Visualization; (3) Understanding the Wildland-Urban Interface and Risk to Property from Wildfire through Geospatial Data and Web-based Applications; (4) Curricula development and Web-map Training for NPS Fire Management Personnel.

  • Sponsor Name: US National Park Service
  • PI(s) Name: Vukomanovic, Jelena – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Shedd, Justin – Center for Geospatial Analytics
  • Project Period: 8/15/2017 – 9/30/2019
  • Budget: $99,875

Xylo-oligomers and Surfactants as High-value Co-products from Integrated Biorefinery

The proposed biorefinery will contribute sustainable production of bio-based materials (surfactant and oligomers) to be integrated into agro-ecosystem landscapes and to enhance a higher profitable biorefinery. The production of xylo-oligomers can be used in animal food, while the production of surfactant can be used as a replacement of petro-base products.

  • Sponsor Name: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) – National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • PI(s) Name: Park, Sunkyu – Forest Biomaterials; Jameel, Hasan – Forest Biomaterials; Venditti, Richard – Forest Biomaterials
  • Project Period: 8/1/2017 – 7/31/2019
  • Budget: $100,000

Integrating K-12 Curriculum, Science and Monitoring to Inform Wild Horse Public Education in Cape Lookout National Seashore

Shackleford Banks is the southernmost island in Cape Lookout National Seashore and home to a herd of feral horses. The horses, along with the lighthouse and beaches, are the main visitor draws to the park. Research will involve a visitor-horse interaction study to create written guidelines for the park’s ongoing Wild Horse Public Educational Campaign and a Wild horse oriented educational curricula will be created for 4-7th graders. Local teachers will be asked to advise, Common Core Standards will be followed and the information will be made easy for teachers to use to increase its attractiveness.

  • Sponsor Name: US National Park Service
  • PI(s) Name: Stevenson, Kathryn – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Leung, Yu-Fai – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Strnad, Renee – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Project Period: 6/15/2017 – 12/31/2017
  • Budget: $45,235

Target-tree Release to Improve the Sustainability of Eastern Hemlock in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

This project will develop and validate a silvicultural tool that improves the health and sustainability of eastern hemlock, an ecologically keystone species in the southern Appalachians threatened by the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). Operationally, the tool is expected to prolong hemlock health and survival and increase the efficacy of existing HWA management tools (e.g. biological and chemical control) when integrated with them.

  • Sponsor Name: US Forest Service
  • PI(s) Name: Jetton, Robert– Central America and Mexico Coniferous Coop
  • Project Period: 7/3/2017 – 4/30/2022
  • Budget: $74,105

Synthesizing Engagement for Synthetic Biology: Ethical and Social Considerations Surrounding the Environmental Impact of Synthetic Biology

This project will advance understandings of social impacts that arise from the expected and realized environmental impacts of synthetic biology. We will perform public perception analysis regarding the environmental impact of synthetic biology, value assessment of emerging SynBio technologies and  develop protocols to gain insight into the interplay between various factors regarding the risks and benefits of SynBio technologies in how SynBio technologies are viewed by society. A report will be provided  with recommendations on best communication management practices for presenting SynBio Technologies to society.

  • Sponsor Name: US Army – Corps of Engineers
  • PI(s) Name: Delborne, Jason – Forestry and Environmental Resources
  • Project Period: 7/19/2017 – 7/18/2018
  • Budget: $74,988

Healthy Sport Index Project

The purpose of this project is to create a public facing tool to assess the relative health benefits and risks of playing the most commonly offered sports. The Healthy Sport Index will collect physical activity data for the 10 sports most commonly played by adolescents as determined by the most recent High School Athletics Participation Survey. We will produce an academic journal article related to the physical activity findings from the Healthy Sport Index project. We will also coordinate with Institute staff to capture psychological insights from the teams being measured about the role of sport in contributing to their motivation to remain active.

  • Sponsor Name: Aspen Institute
  • PI(s) Name: Kanters, Michael – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Edwards, Michael – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Bocarro, Jason – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management; Casper, Jonathan – Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
  • Project Period: 7/1/2017 – 6/30/2018
  • Budget: $125,680