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NNEMS Project 2012-301

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The deadline for applying to the 2012 program was January 30, 2012. Program materials are provided for reference purposes only.

Program Announcement
Identifier: EPA-EED-12-01

NNEMS Catalog for 2012
(EPA 171-B-12-001)

[PDF, 2.9 MB, 73 pages]

NNEMS Application Materials
[PDF, 1.8 MB, 17 pages]

For additional information, email the NNEMS Fellowship Program

Questions About a Project?

If you would like additional information about or clarification of a specific project, please complete and submit the project-specific questions form.

To view answers to questions submitted by other applicants or updated information about the projects, click here.

Green Infrastructure Site Location Decision Support Tool

Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division

The Ground Water and Ecosystems Restoration Division (GWERD) conducts research and provides technical assistance to support the development of strategies and technologies to protect and restore groundwater, surface water and ecosystems affected by man-made and natural events. GWERD applies this basic knowledge to develop and evaluate innovative methods to: (1) restore contaminated groundwater, (2) prevent pollution of pristine groundwater, and (3) restore watershed ecosystems.

Green Infrastructure (GI) and Low Impact Development (LID) approaches are increasingly being used as Best Management Practices (BMP) in attempts to regulate hydrology, manage water quantity and quality, and offset ecological impacts of urbanization and land use change. GI and LID include methods such as swales, detention ponds, green roofs, riparian buffers, rain gardens and constructed wetlands. Water quality managers require science-based assistance for making management decisions because there may be considerable variability in benefits associated with these approaches.

Under this project, the fellow will research and prepare a decision support tool for urban watershed planning that will prioritize the selection and location of effective GI and LID approaches intended to improve water quality and quantity in urban watersheds. The ultimate objective of this decision support tool is to provide a systematic mechanism that will improve the cost effectiveness of siting and implementing GI- and LID-based management approaches.

The fellow will take a hierarchical approach to the project, including: (1) identifying and synthesizing land use data and city engineering plans for a city of interest that will form a case study for proof of principle; (2) creating maps and geographic information system (GIS) layers to display city infrastructure, roads, residential and commercial construction, streams, green space, and other features, and developing criteria for selection of GI and LID based on hydrology and nutrient removal effectiveness as reported in the literature; (4) developing decision mechanisms such as if-then statements, decision trees, and neural networks or algorithms designed to systematically and automatically select sites with best potential for GI or LID implementation; and (5) testing the decision tool and assessing sensitivity by ground-truthing selected sites. The fellow should expect an iterative approach for developing the decision support tool and will work with EPA staff throughout the development process.

The fellow will conduct cutting-edge research into the land use science and ecology of urban streams and the effects of ecosystem restoration by applying GI or LID methods. The fellow will be mentored by EPA scientists and academic researchers in an apprenticeship context. The primary goals of the project are for the fellow to explore the feasibility of creating sustainable, urban ecosystems and to develop an understanding of the growing field of urban ecology, planning and design. The fellow will receive training by leading researchers that will augment his or her current graduate program.

Final Product:
The fellow is expected to develop a functional beta version of a decision support tool consisting of a spatially explicit, interactive GIS platform that allows users to identify best locations for implementing and installing GI and LID methods for water quality management in watersheds. Regular progress reports and presentations are expected.

Desired Level of Education:
Graduate Student to Ph.D. Student

Project Location:
Ada, Oklahoma

Project Period:
9/1/2012 - 5/1/2014

Project Officer:
Paul Mayer

This site contains Adobe PDF files. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader click here to download the program. See EPA’s PDF page for more information about getting and using the free Acrobat Reader.


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