March Research Awards and Grants

Growing Greener Foundations Through Urban Parks with Purpose (Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partners)

WRRI and CNR will coordinate activities with the Walnut Creek Wetland Community Partnership to develop new community capacity and resources in the communities surrounding the Walnut Creek wetlands in Raleigh. Community members will be engaged to identify green space providing multiple benefits for people and the environment. Learning and career opportunities will be created as part of the project, to engage middle and high school students with the Center for Human and Earth Restoration, and to create part-time internships or positions to support the work.

PI: Rivers Louie, Forestry and Environmental Resources

Sponsor(s): Conservation Fund, JPB Foundation

Amount Awarded: $24,970.00


Green Infrastructure in Schools: Creating a Network for Stormwater Management and Student Engagement and Well-being

Stormwater runoff threatens public health in several ways, but mitigating these challenges is difficult. Climate change is increasing the frequency and uncertainty around storm events, which makes stormwater damage more difficult to anticipate and manage. Green infrastructure (GI) such as rain gardens, catchment ponds or other strategic landscaping is a good alternative to traditional stormwater management. GI not only provide ecosystem services in stormwater management, but also offers other ecosystem services such as air pollutant removal, urban heat mitigation, wildlife habitat creation. More importantly, it may provide educating value and potentially increase environmental awareness. School systems present a unique opportunity to implement GI. The impervious surface in school grounds represents both a significant contribution to stormwater run-off, as well as an opportunity to install a network of GI. However school systems face the financial challenge for GI implementation and long-term management. To facilitate GI practice in school systems, building cross-sector support for GI is important. There is a need to highlight other benefits for GI (e.g., academic learning, student well-being) to provide justification as well as opportunities for partnership across sectors. This study aims at understanding the range of potential benefits represented in placing GI on school grounds. By uncovering what GI that exists on school grounds and identifying the preferred environment, usage, activities teachers and students assigned to GI, we anticipate making recommendations for how schools initiating GI project may better design for stormwater management as well as outdoor play and education.

PI(s): Stevenson Kathryn, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management; Yao Yuan, Forest Biomaterials; Martin Katherine Lee, Forestry and Environmental Resources

Sponsor: NCSU Water Resources Research Institute

Amount Awarded: $10,000.00


Insect Bite-proof Textiles For Military Uniforms

Current garments for military personnel protection from vector-borne diseases rely on insecticide-treated textiles. While effective, these materials have the drawback of losing function upon laundry and weather, poor wearing comfort, insect resistance and other environmental consequences. More importantly, military personnel are concerned that long-time exposure to chemical treatments has adverse effects on their health. The proposed work will use the most recent advance in textile technology to build a novel bite-proof textile system that can provide effective protection against vector-borne diseases, maximize wearing comfort, minimize the adverse effect to human health and mitigate the occurrence of vector resistance to insecticides. The mechanism of such materials could be solely as a physical barrier or its hybridization with chemical treatment. Due to the unique textile structure to be studied in this work, the chemical treatment is prevented from direct skin touch to significantly reduce the risk of exposure. The ultimate goal is to use these novel physical and hybrid bite-proof textiles for both military uniforms and recreational clothes for soldiers not on service at the deployed site. Garment prototypes will be assembled for field test. Such textiles are expected to have great potential for commercial applications as well.

PI: McCord Marian, College of Natural Resources-Dean’s Office

Sponsor(s): Armed Forces Pest Management Board; US Department of Defense (DOD)

Amount Awarded: $18,159.00