PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT/SOLICITATION NO./CLOSING DATE/if not in response to a program announcement/solicitation enter NSF 04-23
NSF 04-23
(Indicate the most specific unit known, i.e. program, division, etc.)
06030000 EAR
11/28/2005 5:12pm
(Data Universal Numbering System)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55455-5200
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
(See GPG II.C For Definitions)
STC: National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics
Exemption Subsection
or IRB App. Date
(GPG II.C.2.j)
Department of Geology & Geophysics
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
3rd Avenue SE and Mississippi River
Minneapolis, MN 55414
United States
High Degree
Yr of Degree
Telephone Number
Electronic Mail Address
[email protected]
[email protected]
Christopher Paola
Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Page 1 of 2
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Suzanne M Marshall
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Nov 28 2005 3:12PM
[email protected]
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Continuation Page
3. Project Summary
NCED was created to catalyze development of an integrated, predictive science of the skin of the Earth – the socalled “critical zone” where interwoven physical, biological, geochemical, and anthropogenic processes shape the
Earth’s surface. Critical-zone science has been held back by the inherent complexity of the Earth’s surface and by a
tendency toward descriptive, piecemeal research bounded by discipline and geographic location. As a result, we do
not have the tools we need to provide useful predictions of surface evolution to guide decision making and
management. Important, and often costly, decisions concerning land management, restoration, and subsurface
resources rely on outdated science and reasoning by analogy rather than process-based analysis. The necessary
science comprises elements of geomorphology, ecology, hydrology, sedimentary geology, engineering, social
sciences, and geochemistry, but is not any one of these. The foundation of a useful science of Earth-surface
dynamics must be synthesis across disciplines and scales, and quantitative prediction.
In seeking to change science, ideas are interesting but results are compelling. Thus the first part of NCED’s
mission is to design and execute a research program that will demonstrate the power of sustained, transdisciplinary
research by making transformative advances in Earth-surface dynamics. NCED’s strategy has been to transcend
place by concentrating on processes and spatial structures that recur across the Earth-surface system. The most
striking and widespread example of similarity and self-organization on the Earth’s surface is the channel networks
that form its arterial system, linking environments from high mountains to the deep ocean. The inherent similarity of
channel networks across environments and scales makes them a natural focus for NCED research in predictive
Earth-surface science. Sustained, transdisciplinary research in ecology, geochemistry, hydrology, and
geomorphology made possible by STC funding shows that the channel network provides a physical template not
only for water and sediment flow, but also organizes nutrient flux, stream temperature, plant distribution, microbial
metabolism, and channel habitat. In addition, we have found that the network structure controls critical dynamical
events such as bed mobilization, denitrification, and algal blooms that trigger event cascades (e.g. insect emergence,
predator aggregation) that propagate the network influence out into the riparian ecosystem. These results have led to
the first of NCED’s three research Integrated Projects (IPs): Desktop Watersheds (DW). Desktop Watersheds seeks
to exploit the spatial structure imposed by tributary channel networks, as expressed via high-resolution topography,
to provide static and (eventually) dynamic predictions of local physical, geochemical, and ecosystem properties.
Adopting the network as a template unifies several threads of NCED research and opens a new avenue for
organizing and generalizing local environmental observations into a framework that can be used for practical
forecasting and scenario analysis. The potential of this approach to transform land management has attracted
participation by a range of applied stakeholders including CALFED, private consultants, and the US Forest Service.
Watersheds – collecting systems for water and sediment – cover most of the terrestrial surface. A smaller but
critical fraction of the land surface, including many low-lying coastal areas (e.g. the Mississippi Delta), is net
depositional. Under natural conditions, deposition compensates for crustal subsidence and constructs 3D subsurface
channel networks that host important reserves of hydrocarbons and water. Advancing the scientific basis for finding
and developing these subsurface resources by understanding depositional systems is the mission of NCED’s second
Integrated Project, Subsurface Architecture (SA). Unique experimental facilities made possible by STC funding
allow us to speed up time and show in unprecedented detail how surface dynamics is translated into subsurface 3D
structure. This experimental approach allows us to produce complete, highly resolved 3D stratigraphic data sets in
which both surface evolution and depositional record are quantitatively documented. This work has revealed how
sediment mass balance governs subsurface architecture, new forms of autogenic dynamics, similarities and dramatic
differences between depositional patterns in meandering submarine and subaerial channels, how short-term
(autogenic) fluctuations are controlled by long-term (allogenic) effects, and how experimental results can be
transferred successfully to the field. The data sets provide the foundation to move from present purely analog
methods toward a quantitative, analytical approach to subsurface prediction. The implications of this for subsurface
exploration and development are powerful, so this work is supported by six oil-industry partners. A developing line
of research is to transfer the scaling and spatial analysis techniques on which DW is based to analysis of depositional
channel patterns. Analogously to DW, the long-term goal is to understand how the channel network organizes the
depositional system and how this translates to 3D channel networks in the subsurface.
Across the U.S., more than a billion dollars each year are being invested in restoring channels and riparian
areas. The scientific basis for many of these projects is weak, the success of existing projects poorly known, and the
connection between research and practice incomplete. NCED's third IP, Stream Restoration (SR) addresses these
issues through a combination of research and training developed in coordination with an active group of agency,
industry, and academic partners including the USGS, USACE, USEPA, USDA, USBR, and USBLM. Current
restoration practice depends heavily on analogy. Our goal is to move restoration practice to an analytical, processbased approach that will lead to better prediction and hence better design. Predictive understanding is needed in a
number of key areas, including sediment routing at the reach to network scale, channel and floodplain response to
watershed changes, and linkages between physical channel conditions and nutrient cycling, stream metabolism,
primary production, and population dynamics. The broadest challenge facing restoration is placing projects in a
watershed context. Work across all NCED IPs defining ecosystem relations, ecogeomorphic thresholds, and
transport laws will be combined with scaling and spatial analysis methods to address this. Improvements in natural
science alone are not sufficient to ensure that restoration projects effectively meet social goals. NCED's social
science program focuses on improved methods for stream restoration decision-making and, with other NCED
investigators, exploring the role of uncertainty in stream management. Finally, with its partners, NCED is
conducting short courses and developing training materials and a web-based Toolbox that provides numerical
models and supporting information to improve evaluation of stream channels, design of restoration projects, and
linkages between geomorphic design and ecological outcomes.
Advances in all three IPs build on our common core of methods and concepts. NCED’s research advances since
2002 contribute to this core, including: (1) advances in predictive morphodynamics such as channel width, valley
evolution, and bedforms; (2) transfers of techniques from fields outside surface dynamics, such as turbulence
modeling and heat transfer; and (3) scaling and other spatial analysis techniques that show how local physical,
biological, and geochemical processes are mediated by the channel network. The DW and SR projects draw on our
common field site in northern California. In Year 4 we will begin work toward developing predictive tools for
restoration of the Mississippi Delta, including a second field site there, based on analysis of present and past
subsidence and sediment dynamics, a task involving both the SR and SA projects.
Knowledge transfer is tightly integrated into NCED’s research program, as discussed above under each IP.
NCED knowledge transfer also includes exchange and engagement with the broader research community. STC
funding allows us to do this via workshops (e.g. stream restoration, community sediment modeling, new initiatives
in sedimentary geology, and dam removal), working groups (mathematical methods, environmental stratigraphy,
and carbon storage in floodplains), a Visitors Program that brings researchers at all levels to NCED facilities (19
Visitors since 2002), short courses (e.g. stream restoration), and postdoctoral researchers (13 to date).
Our education program uses the familiarity and esthetic appeal of landscapes to engage a broad spectrum of
learners in NCED science. The centerpiece of our education program has been the creation of the EarthScapes
outdoor exhibits at the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM). STC funding has allowed us to create a unique
exhibit featuring a miniature golf course that models landforms and transport from source to sink, plus additional
free-standing surface-process exhibits, through close collaboration between exhibit designers and researchers. After
two seasons, it has already attracted over 100,000 visitors and led to a major new traveling-exhibit initiative, Water
Planet, which involves three STCs (NCED, WaterCAMPWS, SAHRA). The EarthScapes project also provided the
basis for a major exhibit in June 2005 involving NCED, the US Forest Service, and the Smithsonian Institution on
the National Mall in Washington DC, which was visited by over a million people. In Years 6-10 the collaboration
will continue with upgraded EarthScapes exhibits and creation of EarthScapes 3D movies that will travel to
museums nationwide. The SMM is a major participant in other NCED educational activities, including teacher
training and the Youth Science Center. The SMM and St Anthony Falls Laboratory partner as venues for teachers to
learn about Earth-surface dynamics, participate in research, and develop new classroom materials that are shared via
our website (34 teachers so far). Finally, Graduate Museum Assistantships, a new certificate program in stream
restoration, a new IGERT linking ecology, Earth science and engineering, and an “extended family” approach to
graduate mentoring facilitated by videoconferences, retreats, Partner meetings, working groups and workshops, are
major elements of the enriched graduate experience that STC funding makes possible.
The spectrum of participants in environmental science to date does not represent the U.S. population well. STC
support has allowed us to address this on two fronts. We have developed a series of environmental camps, informed
by our research and experience from the SMM programs, that combine sustained contact with innovative, culturally
sensitive programming, to excite Ojibwe children about environmental sciences and encourage them to excel in
school and pursue science related careers. We also have a vigorous recruiting program for minority participants in
NCED research. This includes a summer intern program and our new faculty-to-faculty (F2F) program, which aims
to build long-term relations with Minority-Serving Institutions by engaging young faculty in NCED research. These
programs have boosted NCED minority participation from 8% when we started to 15% this year. In Years 6-10 we
will keep this momentum going, extending our MSI network and building stronger connections among existing
programs, e.g. tracking promising students from our Ojibwe camps into our undergraduate and graduate programs.
We envision that by the end of Year 10, NCED will have played a central role in the development and
dissemination of transdisciplinary, predictive Earth-surface science for understanding and managing the
environment. NCED will continue after STC funding ends because integrating across disciplines, communities,
goals, and scales will have become the new standard – and it will still require coordination and leadership.
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Cover Sheet for Proposal to the National Science Foundation
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Table of Contents
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specific program announcement/solicitation or if approved in
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References Cited
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Current and Pending Support
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5. Narrative description of the Focus, Research Plans, and Relevance
Note to reviewers: Supplemental material to this proposal including figures and a hyperlinked version of the text is
available in the Renewal section of the NCED website: http://www.nced.umn.edu/renewalproposal.html
5.1. Research focus
The original NCED proposal as funded in 2002 defined a center with a broad, multi-disciplinary research program
on Earth-surface dynamics spanning environments from the atmospheric boundary layer to the deep sea. The goal
was to develop an integrated, predictive science of the Earth’s surface (sometimes referred to as the “critical zone”
[National Research Council, 2001]). The societal benefits of such a science would be tools for sustainable landscape
restoration and management, and resource development. As NCED’s research program has matured, we have
successively refined and focused our research program. Our goal was to be focused but not regional. The challenge
is that much of the important dynamics is localized, site-specific, and history-dependent, especially when biota is
involved, but our vision of a general, predictive science of surface dynamics could never be realized just by
accumulating place-specific details. Moreover, the heterogeneity of the environment in space and time makes
complete characterization on the ground impractical. Our approach to these issues begins with the ubiquitous
tendency of surface processes to create self-formed structures (e.g. channel networks, channels and floodplains,
valleys, fans and lobes, bars, bends, bedforms) that show strong similarity across a wide range of scales and
environments, ranging from upland sediment sources to lowland and submarine sediment sinks. We use “similarity”
in its broadest sense, including dynamic and geometric similarity [Barenblatt, 2003]. In Year 2 we refined our focus
to the most widespread self-organized spatial structures on Earth: channels and channel networks. Until recently,
channel networks have been thought of only in terms of physical (morphodynamics) processes. However, NCED
research, elaborated on below, has shown that local biotic and biogeochemical processes are strongly mediated by
location in the channel network, measured using network-based coordinates. Thus a good deal of local variability
can be accounted for by putting local measurements into a channel-network framework, which is now possible
thanks to the availability of high-resolution topography from which the network structure can be extracted
accurately. Linking local processes to the channel network sets them in a self-organized spatial framework that
shows a high degree of similarity across a wide range of environments and scales [Rodriguez-Iturbe and Rinaldo,
1997]. This opens up the exciting possibility of using the network as a template for organizing, interpreting, and
generalizing local observations; generating hypotheses; inferring unmeasured local properties; and predicting future
evolution. Development of this idea requires spatially referenced data from common field sites closely tied to
experiments that provide the mechanistic basis for prediction. Early in Year 2, we selected Angelo Coast Range
Reserve (ACRR) in the rugged, rapidly uplifting Coast Range of northern California as our primary erosional field
site, with the idea that once it was operational we would select a second, depositional field site.
5.2. Major research accomplishments
Our research achievements since 2002 are presented in the context of the Research Focus Areas by which we
organized ourselves initially. Maturation of the center by Year 3 led us to restructure our research around three
Integrated Projects: Desktop Watersheds, Subsurface Architecture, and Stream Restoration. These are described in
more detail in the next section.
5.2.1. Channel Network Dynamics and Scaling The major contributions of this group focus on demonstrating the
influence of tributary (i.e. confluence-dominated) channel network structure, expressed via width functions and
contributing area, on local physical and ecological properties. Initially this work focused on tributary networks.
Work in the Rio Salado Basin, New Mexico [Caylor and Rodriguez-Iturbe, 2004; Caylor et al., 2003; RodriguezIturbe and Porporato, 2004], provided an initial indication of the potential of the network structure to control
vegetation patterns, which can be predicted by combining network analysis with a simple local water-stress model
for the plants. The approach developed in this research is now being applied to our common field site at Angelo
Coast Range Reserve (ACRR), where the methodology is being expanded to explicity consider microbial processes
[Green et al., 2005]. Parallel work has shown a systematic dependence of hydraulic geometry on scale (upstream
contributing area) [Dodov and Foufoula-Georgiou, 2004a; 2004b], both statistically and using a theoretical model of
river meandering developed by members of the Channel and Floodplain Dynamics group [Johannesson and
Parker, 1989]. These findings provided the basis for explaining a scaling break in floods in terms of initiation of
floodplain formation and for quantifying the coupled hydrologic-geomorphic system, including scaling in channel
geometry, and floods [Dodov and Foufoula-Georgiou, 2005]. This analysis was originally applied to the southcentral U.S. but is now being adapted to the ACRR site. This group’s work provides a major part of the scientific
basis for the Desktop Watersheds Integrated Project. Additional contributions included extending the spatial analysis
to braided (confluence-bifurcation) networks, focusing on the third dimension (depth) [Tilman, 2005], and novel
rainfall analysis methods for hydrologic modeling [Venugopal et al., 2005].
This group has a new initiative with the Long-term Dynamics group to apply to depositional (distributary)
networks the scaling and stochastic-geometry methods that have transformed analysis of drainage (tributary)
networks. Initial work has focused on island and channel size and new methods to estimate local flow direction. This
will allow us to create a network-based spatial framework for depositional systems and thus will be fundamental to
the Subsurface Architecture Integrated Project.
5.2.2. Channel and Floodplain Dynamics This group has led development of tools for predicting geometry, bed
grain size, migration, and floodplain dynamics of channels at the scales at which individual processes operate. One
major focus area has been steepland rivers. Work here includes development of an initial general formulation for
predicting bedrock incision based on experimental and field data [Sklar and Dietrich, 2005]; a new analysis of the
effect of variable erosion rates on cosmogenic radionuclide distribution [Parker and Perg, 2005]; an experimental
program on incision by debris flows; field study of fluvial and debris-flow incision [Stock et al., 2005]; and a new
formulation for predicting suspension transport in boulder-bed streams [Grams et al., 2005]. Sediment routing and
channel response to altered sediment supply often depend strongly on size sorting leading to armoring and grain size
patchiness. The group has developed predictive models for a range of conditions [Blom and Parker, 2004; Dietrich
et al., 2005; Wilcock, 2004; Wong and Parker, 2005]and initiated a new series of collaborative experiments focused
on the interaction between bed topography and size sorting. Another major focus in this group has been improving
stream management, emphasizing “green” engineering methods, such as bank stabilization using willows, and
development of predictive methods for dam removal [Cantelli et al., 2004]. The latter is a coordinated effort with
Long-term Dynamics, which applies them to predicting the effects of sea-level fall. At the downstream end of the
transport system, the group has been working on channel-floodplain interactions in low-gradient coastal rivers,
where it has developed new methods for predicting sediment exchange between channel and floodplain [Lauer and
Parker, 2004] and response of low-gradient rivers to sea-level rise [Parker et al., 2004; Parker and Muto, 2003].
Finally, a broad linking question shared with Ecogeomorphology has been investigating the topographic signature
of life. This group’s work has provided the initial scientific basis for our Stream Restoration Integrated Project, as
well as the first elements of our online restoration Toolbox, described in Section 7 (Knowledge Transfer).
5.2.3. Advanced Mathematical and Observational Methods This group has led in accelerating the infusion of
techniques and methods from more mature quantitative fields into Earth-surface dynamics. It thus embodies the
cross-disciplinary center mode of operation. A major example has been adaptation, from heat transfer, of techniques
for tracking moving boundaries between process domains. In the Earth-surface environment this includes features
like fluvial gravel-sand transitions and the shoreline [Swenson et al., 2005; Voller and Paola, 2003; Voller et al.,
2005] done in conjunction with Long-term Dynamics. The method is being adapted to modeling redistribution of
the sediment pile following dam removal (jointly with Channel and Floodplain Dynamics) and, adapting it to
cellular pattern-formation models, to Ecogeomorphic dynamic boundaries. Another major effort has been to adapt
techniques of Large-Eddy Simulation to accurately average and parameterize fine-scale dynamics of landscapes, a
crucial issue in dealing with the large range of time and space scales in surface dynamics. Because of the need for
the most powerful quantitative methods across Earth-surface dynamics, this group has contributed to development of
all three Integrated Projects.
5.2.4. Ecogeomorphology This group is primarily responsible for linking network structure to local nutrient
dynamics, food webs, habitat, microbial community, and nutrient flow paths. The initial basis for this has been a
series of investigations at NCED’s erosional field site, the Angelo Coast Range Reserve, in conjunction with the
Channel Network Dynamics and Scaling and Channel and Floodplain Dynamics groups. The main
accomplishment has been development of a river-metabolism data set spanning a catchment scale range from 1 to
300 km2 showing how nutrient concentrations, organic matter fluxes, insect emergence and immersion, and plantherbivore interactions are all mediated by scale and hence by network structure [Finlay et al., 2002; Power et al.,
2005; Power and Dietrich, 2002; Strayer et al., 2003; Suttle et al., 2004]. Equally important for prediction is
identification of thresholds, points along gradients where dominant processes change; documented examples from
the ACRR work include “hot spots” and “hot moments” of denitrification, periphyton biomass, and abrupt changes
in energy flow through food webs linking stream algae through grazers to predators [McNeely, 2004].
Microbiological research, using extensive molecular microbiological methods (including microarray experiments)
has been initiated to provide the basis for correlations among hydrologic factors, vegetation, and microbial activity
including nitrogen fixation. To help provide a mechanistic basis for prediction, this field work is supported by
laboratory experiments on, for instance, the effect of coherent turbulent structures on oxygen and nitrate fluxes
across the sediment-water interface [Bergstedt et al., 2004; Hondzo et al., 2005; Hondzo and Wang, 2002]. This
group’s work is a primary science driver for development of the Desktop Watersheds IP.
5.2.5. Long-term Dynamics This group has focused mainly on long-term evolution of depositional systems and the
resultant stratigraphic products. Major accomplishments include large-scale experiments showing how fluvial
systems respond to slow and rapid sea-level change and to differential tectonic uplift, using a unique subsiding-floor
Experimental EarthScapes (XES) system. Data from these experiments are available to the community via our
website. We developed a continuous high-resolution imaging camera for the XES basin, which allows rapid
acquisition of continuous, undistorted digital image panels with resolution sufficient to identify individual grains.
The experiments have shown the fundamental role of sediment mass balance in controlling downstream changes in
preserved channel architecture [Hickson et al., 2005; Strong et al., 2005], a key concept in the Subsurface
Architecture IP. Coordinated experimental and field study of submarine systems has led to comparable advances in
understanding channel evolution and depositional processes [Abreu et al., 2003; Mohrig et al., 2005]; an emerging
parallel is the role of out-of-channel flow events in controlling deposition. This group has worked closely with the
Advanced Mathematical and Observational Methods group on (1) application of moving boundary methods to
shoreline migration [Kim et al., 2006; Swenson et al., 2005; Voller and Paola, 2003; Voller et al., 2005; Voller et
al., 2004] and particulate mass conservation including effects of tectonism, dissolution/precipitation, and sediment
transformation to and from bedrock [Paola and Voller, 2005]; and (2) developing interface equations for
morphodynamic modeling; for example, a relatively simple 1D interface equation that can account for major
elements of bedform dynamics [Jerolmack and Mohrig, 2005a, 2005b]. This group’s work has provided the main
basis for the Subsurface Architecture IP.
5.2.6. Human Dynamics This group began operation in Year 3, so it is premature to report results. The extent of
human influence on Earth-surface dynamics is large [Hooke, 2000; Wilkinson, 2005], so this group’s contribution is
critical. Its initial focus will be on stream restoration (Section, emphasizing multicriteria decision analysis
and economic valuation. Longer-term goals include development of methods for factoring uncertainty into decision
making, and incorporation of human-dynamics components across the Center’s research program.
5.3. Integrated Projects and plans for Years 6-10
A major accomplishment in Year 3 was to restructure our research program around three large-scale research
projects, called Integrated Projects (IPs). The three IPs are closely linked as described below, and build on the
NCED core of common concepts and methods.
5.3.1. Desktop Watersheds (DW) Motivation: Digital topographic data allow us for the first time to build watershed-scale numerical models
of real landscapes to explore problems ranging from the long time-scale controls on landscape evolution to short
time-scale response of aquatic ecosystems to land-use change [Benda et al., 2004]. Such modeling efforts are
limited by a lack of knowledge and quantitative expressions for many of the fundamental geomorphic and biotic
processes [Dietrich et al., 2003]. Closing this knowledge gap will lead to discoveries about landscape evolution,
ecosystem processes, and their possible coupling, and to the construction of practical numerical models that will
revolutionize land-use management and environmental forecasting. At present, without such models, regulators rely
on poorly targeted and often costly rules that do not protect key ecological processes. Cumulative effects analysis,
required by Federal regulation [Council on Environmental Quality, 1997] calls for forecasting land-use effects. This
requires modeling [University of California Committee on Cumulative Watershed Effects, 2001], but the lack of
tools to do this quantitatively leaves most of these forecasts empirical or based on personal experience. NCED’s
unique breadth of researchers, experimental facilities, and field programs enables it to lead in forging a scientific
basis for cumulative watershed effect analysis, and to develop and distribute tools for linking landuse dynamics to
ecosystem function. The Desktop Watershed Project complements, but is distinct from, other watershed efforts like
CUAHSI’s Digital Watershed. DW emphasizes basic process investigation, tightly linked to experimentation, with
the explicit goal of linking land-use dynamics and ecosystem processes; the CUAHSI Digital Watershed project
focuses on hydrologic information science. The quantitative understanding of processes resulting from NCED’s
research will also provide key information for module development in the developing Community Surface
Dynamics Modeling System. Goal: Our goal is to discover and advance fundamental relations needed to predict landscape evolution and
to model the coupling of ecosystem, landscape, and land-use dynamics. Within the next two years we will assemble
and make available to the community a first cut “static” version of Desktop Watersheds that will relate channel
network and ecosystem attributes. Our vision is that within the next 5-7 years we will move to dynamic versions
that couple land-use and aquatic ecosystem dynamics for small to large (order 10,000 km2) watersheds in order to
optimize land-use management for the protection and recovery of ecosystems. We also want to transform fieldwork
by enhancing the scope of hypothesis testing, using DW modeling at the beginning of a project to generate specific
predictions about the physical template and the corresponding physical, ecological, and geochemical conditions and
processes. This will create a new dynamic in which the researcher will be challenged in the field to explain
differences between observations and predictions. Approach: The focus is on the channel network and its ecosystem. The recurring, hierarchical structure of
channel networks leads to a predictive physical template of channel dimension, bed morphology, grain size, and
solar irradiation, and to a corresponding structure of habitat, food web dynamics, and ecological and biogeochemical
regimes. This structure provides a watershed context for local processes. Thus high-resolution digital topography
and the channel network extracted from it provide the template for DW modeling. To unlock the potential of digital
topography, we will continue, via theoretical, experimental, and field studies, to discover, parameterize, and evaluate
the fundamental driving equations that link physical, ecological, and geochemical evolution of the landscape.
The transfer of watershed currencies – heat, wood, water, sediment, nutrients, and organisms – through the
network makes the system dynamic. Dynamic Desktop Watersheds, to be developed in the next 5-7 years, will
enable us to model cumulative watershed effects, controls on total maximum daily load levels of sediment, and to
“game” management scenarios in order to optimize land-use activities for sustainable resource harvest, ecosystem
protection, and restoration. Our findings will be made available to others to improve watershed-scale numerical
modeling being developed across the community. We use our current digital-terrain based models (“static” Desktop
Watersheds), to guide prioritization of research and maintain a tight coupling between modeling and observation. In
their simplest form, in which the topography is used to estimate such features as biological productivity, probable
landslide location, channel morphology or bed grain size, Desktop Watershed models can, with minimal empirically
fitted parameters, predict landscape attributes useful in guiding field work and in applications such as planning and
siting of timber harvests and stream restoration projects.
Our initial focus is on steep, relatively rapidly eroding landscapes, and fieldwork will continue to be
concentrated on the Angelo Coast Range Reserve (ACRR), Eel River basin, California, where we are building an
advanced environmental observatory including a wireless network and automated environmental sensors (so far,
light, temperature, soil moisture, and imaging, with more to be added). The models and methods we will develop
will, however, be broadly applicable. We will build from the static form of the Desktop Watersheds, in which fixed
topography and steady state fluxes are used to estimate environmental properties, to a dynamic form in which
solutes and sediment are routed from hillslopes through channel networks, and landscapes and ecosystems respond
to changing environmental conditions. Priority research areas for DW are:
Channel incision into bedrock: Channel incision drives terrestrial and submarine landscape evolution and while
much progress has been made on theory and observations [Dietrich et al., 2003; Sklar and Dietrich, 2004; Whipple,
2004], important gaps in understanding remain. Submarine channel incision is widespread, but relatively
uninvestigated [Das et al., 2004]. In the case of river incision, experimental data and improved theory are needed to
account for effects of sediment coverage of the bed and fractured controlled wear [Whipple, 2004]. Granular flow
incision, which cuts valleys in steep uplands [Stock and Dietrich, 2003], will be studied using a unique facility under
development by NCED consisting of a 4 m rotating drum in which grain dynamics, boundary forces and wear can be
physically modeled using sediment up to small boulders. Theory will include application of recent advances in the
physics of energetic granular flow [Hill et al., 2003]. These studies will feed community level efforts in landscape
evolution modeling and submarine channel incision theory, provide further insight in delineating process dominance
in channel networks (and its relationship to ecosystems), and, in the case of granular flows, improve hazard models
of flow rates and distances.
Solutes, soil production, and biota: In mountainous western landscapes, such as in the Angelo Coast Range
Reserve (ACCR), nitrogen is the major nutrient limiting primary and secondary production in both watershed and
channel ecosystems [Boyer et al., 2005]. Soil solute chemistry that drains to channels is strongly microbiallymediated [Green et al., 2005; McClain et al., 2003]. We propose to build upon long term simulated climate change
experiments in a field in the ACRR, in which for the past five years rainfall amounts and distribution have been
manipulated and ecosystem response has been documented. NCED researchers bridge three fields: experimental
community ecology, microbial genomics, and biogeochemistry-ecosystem science. New studies will use microbial
genomics to reveal associations between microbes and various grass and herbaceous species, whose relative
abundance has been changed by different rainfall regimes, as well as fungal response to altered rainfall and effects
on mineral weathering [Cervini-Silva et al., 2006; Taunton et al., 2000]. Free-living soil bacteria will be documented
using advanced genomic techniques and micro-arrays for identification and estimation of their metabolic activities,
leading to a new understanding of nitrogen fixation and cycling. These studies will yield new insights on controls on
biogeochemical cycles and fluxes, providing crucial input for river food web models, and watershed forecasts
anticipating the effects of climate change.
Landslide rates: A major impediment to predicting the sediment supply to streams is the lack of theory for
predicting rates of landsliding in a watershed. This problem must be tackled to advance both basic landscape
evolution modeling [Dietrich et al., 2003] and the practical analysis of sediment production and channel response in
association with land use. NCED researchers and colleagues will build three-dimensional slope stability models to
explore controls on shallow landslide size. Existing models for debris flow entrainment and runout [Ayotte and
Hungr, 2000] will be explored for use in the Desktop Watersheds models. Deep-seated landslides dominate the
ACCR topography, and NCED researchers and collaborators are beginning to explore how to use the airborne laser
swath mapping data to document extent and relative activity of landsliding. Cosmogenic radionuclide dating of
channel incision and hillslope erosion will help define the pace. The theoretical framework proposed by Iverson
[1986; Iverson, 2005] will be explored for application to this problem.
Feature extraction and the prediction of habitat from digital topographic data: A key step in Desktop
Watersheds is to use the digital topographic data to quantify the extent and morphology of the channels throughout
the watershed. Our current approach is to use computed drainage area and slope to a reach to estimate channel
dimensions, morphology, grain size, and other features, which in turn are used to estimate channel habitat condition.
As discussed in the Stream Restoration IP, NCED researchers will conduct fundamental studies on controls on
channel morphodynamics and sediment transport mechanics, which in turn will improve habitat prediction. The
DW emphasis will be towards the steep shallow channels, where current theory for flow and sediment transport
breaks down. These channels are rarely the subject of restoration efforts, but form the majority of channel length in
a drainage network and the route for most sediment in hilly and mountainous areas. High-resolution topographic
data obtained from airborne laser swath mapping allows us, for the first time, to map channel dimensions throughout
a channel network. NCED researchers will develop tools to identify and extract channel morphology (width, depth,
slope, and confinement) from these data, revolutionizing our ability to define channel habitat and to route water and
sediment. A similar effort will be used to map the extent of roads, especially dirt ones, which can exert a major
control on sediment supply. The airborne laser data also allows quantification of the vegetation structure. We will
exploit these data to explore the possible co-organization of the vegetation and channel network structures [Caylor
et al., 2005; Caylor et al., 2004].
Channel network controls on ecological regimes: We are assembling quantitative ecogeomorphological
relations that we can apply to forecasting watershed-scale changes in ecosystems and food webs, in response to
altered climate, land use, or biological events like extinctions or invasions. Current work in the laboratory and at
ACRR has defined interactions between stream channel and network properties and the locations, rates, and scales
of nutrient cycling, periphyton growth, contaminant uptake, riparian tree recruitment and survival, juvenile salmonid
growth and survivorship, insect emergence, insect grazing on stream periphyton, and bat foraging. Using the DW
approach, we have identified several drainage area thresholds where important changes occur in food web linkages
between periphyton, aquatic insect prey and aquatic or aerial predators. We will refine our knowledge of the
physical mechanisms mediating these regime shifts, test the generality of these mechanisms in other channel
networks, and continue to quantify functional relationships between the physical environment and ecological
responses and feedbacks as a basis for forecasting change from organismal to channel and watershed scales.
Dynamic response and ecological consequences: The currencies of the watershed (its sediment, water, nutrients,
wood, and heat) are all temporally dynamic, with strong legacy effects due to land use. This makes prediction of
these properties difficult. Furthermore, it is currently not possible to predict local habitat response to changes in
sediment supply, which is linked to pool depths, bed surface texture, and abundance of fines in the bed. This major
gap reduces our ability to guide land-use management decisions. Focused experiments on sediment transport will be
conducted jointly with the Stream Restoration IP; the DW emphasis will be on developing routing, storage and
morphodynamics models in a digital topographic framework. With colleagues, NCED researchers will also explore
coupled two-dimensional flow and sediment transport modeling in selected channels elsewhere in the Pacific
Northwest. A state-of-the-art wireless backbone being installed in the ACRR will enable NCED researchers to
monitor flow and particle dynamics in the channel network. Fine sediment has been identified as having detrimental
effects on juvenile salmon and food webs that support them [Suttle et al., 2004], so we will develop methods of
predicting sources of fine sediment (largely dirt roads) and routing and storage through the channel network.
Upscaling: Process laws for transport, erosion and deposition are generally based on local mechanics. For
small watersheds, computing local processes over the entire watershed is numerically tractable, but for large basins
this is not so. This problem must be solved if the DW approach is to be used in larger watersheds, and is equally
critical to the other two IPs. NCED researchers have begun exploring how to scale up driving equations to apply
over large spatial domains, adapting methods from fields such as atmospheric sciences and hydrology where
upscaling has been studied extensively, e.g. via subgrid-scale parameterization and closure models. These methods
can also be applied to ecological problems; for example, upscaling our understanding of fine sediment impacts on
salmonids from organismal to habitat and sub-basin scales. Summary: The Desktop Watersheds IP will provide concrete, practical methods for using high-resolution
topography and associated channel network structure to predict static properties and, eventually, dynamics of
watersheds, including morphology, hydrology, ecology, and geochemistry. This will transform field work by
providing a basis for predictive mapping and hypothesis-testing, and land-use management by providing processbased tools for scenario evaluation and environmental forecasting.
5.3.2. Subsurface Architecture (SA) Motivation: As channels evolve under conditions of net sedimentation, they leave behind subsurface
networks of buried channels that serve as conduits and reservoirs for oil, water, and gas. The economic value of
these subsurface resources is many billions of dollars. Extraction of these fluids from the subsurface depends
sensitively on the structure of porosity and permeability fields within the deposit, which are in turn controlled by the
properties and spatial architecture of the buried channel, floodplain, and related elements that make it up. As is the
case for stream restoration, the complexity of natural channel systems has led to reliance on analog (here, either
modern or ancient analogs) as a basis for modeling. The analog approach is not predictive, because it is not based on
understanding the processes that create deposits; it cannot handle situations not covered by the range of available
analog examples; and it relies heavily on intuition. Moving from analog case studies to subsurface prediction
requires a process-based understanding of surface and preservation dynamics over a range of scales from individual
beds filling single channel forms to clusters of channel bodies distributed throughout a basin fill.
Providing this understanding requires the full range of NCED strengths in sedimentary geology,
geomorphology, hydrology, civil engineering, ecology and biogeochemistry. The Subsurface Architecture IP is the
sediment-sink complement to the sediment-source focus of Desktop Watersheds. This complementarity lets us take
advantage of common elements in network-based routing of water and sediment through erosional versus
depositional environments. The SA Integrated Project includes both fluvial and submarine channels, the latter both
because of their fascinating similarity to fluvial channels and because they are high-value but high-risk prospecting
targets in the energy industry. Science drivers include understanding (1) how subsidence and other external forcings
control overall sediment mass balance; (2) how this mass balance and other factors determine spatial and temporal
properties of channel networks and surface-subsurface transfer; and (3) the dynamics of unit transport and
depositional mechanisms (e.g. in-channel processes, splays, floodplains): how they work, how their space-time
distribution is controlled by the channel network, and how they are recorded stratigraphically.
Stratigraphic records are the time integral of short-term processes central to the DW and SR IPs. As a result the
SA IP takes advantage of discoveries in the other IPs in up and down scaling in space and time. In turn, depositional
systems provide the only long-term records available of the history of surface evolution, including natural variability
in channel dynamics, sediment flux, biota, etc. These records play a role in testing models for foreasting future
Earth-surface evolution similar to that of paleoclimate records in testing climate models. The goal of the SA IP is to understand how channel dynamics in depositional systems control the
porosity, permeability, geometry and connectivity of subsurface fluid conduits and reservoirs in order to provide
predictive tools for exploration, development, and conservation of subsurface resources. Within the next two years
we will be able to predict subsurface architecture from surface dynamics in simplified experimental systems. Our
work will continue to focus on deltas. We will also have a first-order understanding of how fluvial channel dynamics
can/cannot be extended to submarine channels. In parallel, we will discover the basic principles governing spatial
channel pattern in delta systems, continue development of integrated models of depositional systems, and (with nonNCED colleagues) begin developing a field site in the Mississippi Delta to gain a predictive understanding of the
processes that maintain the delta against subsidence. As our understanding of deltaic channel patterns improves it
will be extended to analysis of depth, time evolution, and channel pattern controls on critical depositional units like
splays and bifurcations. In parallel we will work on coupling our physical understanding with microbial processes of
cementation. By Year 7, we will be able to apply methods for predicting experimental architecture to field cases,
including deltas and submarine channel systems. By Year 10 we will have not only a new generation of techniques
for subsurface prediction that makes full use of high-resolution surface information, but also a suite of powerful new
methdods for using subsurface research to inform restoration in depositional settings. Approach: A comprehensive approach to subsurface architecture must be multi-scale, i.e. it must address
prediction of both internal channel fills and the arrangement of preserved channel complexes within basins. It must
also include submarine depositional systems, the main global sediment sink and an important but high-risk target in
oil exploration. We adopt a network-based approach to subsurface prediction with three hierarchical elements: (1)
understanding unit depositional and erosional dynamics in channels and floodplains, (2) understanding the static and
dynamic (space + time) properties of depositional channel networks and how these influence local unit processes,
and (3) understanding how (1) and (2) are mediated by externally imposed controls on overall depositional mass
balance in the depositional basin. All three elements involve internally generated (autogenic) dynamics as well as
external controls like climate and sea level. The channel network structures the flow and extraction of sediment
through the depositional system and creates the channel-body framework of the deposit – the preservation process
transforms the 2D surface channel network into a 3D subsurface architecture. Understanding of depositional channel
networks (e.g. deltas) is significantly behind that of erosional channel networks; thus a network-based approach to
subsurface architecture represents a major new line of research.
Natural channel systems evolve slowly, and depositional architecture reflects the net effect of many realizations
of variable surface configuration. Thus NCED’s approach to subsurface prediction emphasizes experimental
research because in effect it speeds up time, allowing us to study the complete process from surface dynamics to
subsurface records. In Years 6-10 we will increasingly emphasize applying our methods to field cases including
volumes of high-resolution seismic reflection. Modern seismic methods provide subsurface data analogous to
LIDAR topography data, except that the subsurface data are three-dimensional and inherently record temporal
evolution. Learning to exploit them will transform sedimentary geology just as high-resolution topographic data has
transformed geomorphology [Davies and Posamentier, 2005]. The data are very costly to obtain and are mostly in
private hands but by building relations with our industrial partners we have increasing access to these data. SA
priority research areas are:
Spatial analysis of delta and submarine channel networks: To adopt a network-based approach to depositional
systems, we must first understand network structure in these systems and what controls it. We begin with deltas. It is
clear that deltaic networks are much more variable than classical tributary networks. Nonetheless there are
suggestions of allogenic control on some major aspects of delta organization [Syvitski, 2005] so the channel pattern
may be predictable from knowledge of external forcing. Understanding the natural spatial organization of deltas
would have a major impact on both prediction in the subsurface and restoration and maintenance of deltas in the
world today. We have begun developing methodologies for identifying the channel network from satellite imagery
using a large natural delta (Brahmaputra) and assigning flow directions to the channels so that we can measure
distance along channels and apportion “nourishment area” (analogous to catchment area for a drainage basin) over
the delta. These methods will then be applied to other deltas and also to NCED’s depositional field site when
appropriate. Work on scaling and other similarity analyses for deltas will help us define those aspects of delta
organization that are consistent across environments and scales. We are also applying the same techniques to
experimental deltas, where time evolution and topography can be measured.
Integrated modeling of channelized depositional systems: Predicting subsurface channel architecture requires
that we extend the planform channel network into the third (depth) and fourth (time) dimensions. An initial goal has
been to merge avulsion-based architecture models [Mackey and Bridge, 1995] with diffusion-type integrated models
of fluvial evolution in response to external forcing [Marr et al., 2000; Paola et al., 1992] so that the controls of
basin-scale depositional mass balance on architecture can be modeled in a consistent framework. Our initial effort
has been to predict preserved channel fraction based on simple models of channel and floodplain sedimentation
patterned after those used for diffusion-based modeling. The first phase of this work is largely complete; predictions
are now being compared with XES experimental data. Subsequent steps will include incorporation of spatial pattern
results from the project above; improved modeling of channel kinematics and avulsion [Slingerland and Smith,
2004], including possible space-time scaling [Sapozhnikov and Foufoula-Georgiou, 1999]; and modeling valley
formation [Cantelli et al., 2004] and filling [Parker and Muto, 2003] jointly with the SR group. By Year 10 this
project will provide the basis for integrated subaerial-submarine modeling and prediction.
Submarine versus terrestrial channel dynamics and network properties: Submarine channels have become
valuable but high-risk targets for oil exploration in the last decade. The obvious similarity of submarine channels
and channel networks to their terrestrial counterparts raises the possibility of applying our understanding of
depositional fluvial systems to predict properties of submarine exploration prospects [Mohrig et al., 2005]. Key
issues include (1) predicting styles of overbank deposition and connecting overbank morphodynamics to the surface
evolution of nearby submarine channels; (2) understanding the comparative physics of terrestrial and submarine
channels and channel networks; and (3) seeking to apply results from steps (1) & (2) to submarine systems to
catalyze rapid progress in understanding and predicting subsurface characteristics of submarine channel deposits. In
particular, NCED’s strength in channel network analysis suggests adapting methods and insights from analysis of
subaerial tributary channel networks to submarine channel networks, both tributary and distributary.
Autogenic dynamics: Laboratory and field analyses demonstrate a natural unsteadiness in local values of
sediment transport, even under conditions of constant forcing. The unsteadiness results from non-linear interaction
between sediment flux and topography. Examples range from variability in trains of bed forms, scour and lobe
development, to channel avulsion. Goals include measuring the scaling and statistical signature of autogenic
variability, and developing novel numerical interface models that relate the flux and spatial sorting of sediment
through a channel reach to the topography itself. By Year 7, these will provide fully three-dimensional descriptions
of channel-filling geometries, and by Year 9 we will add 3D descriptions of grain size and sorting (porosity and
Unit depositional processes: In channelized systems, deposition occurs via a suite of depositional unit processes.
These include structures like lobes, bars, splays, and floodplains, which correspond to building blocks
(“architectural elements” [Miall, 1985; Miall and Tyler, 1991]) of 3D subsurface architecture. Understanding these
processes is critical for building predictive subsurface models, as well as for restoration in depositional systems,
providing a natural link with the SR IP. Floodplain deposition, which is strongly biotically influenced, is probably
the least understood of these unit processes. Recent NCED research [Rowland et al., 2005] has revealed the key role
played by small connector channels (tie channels) in floodplain nourishment. Our plans for focused work on
floodplain restoration in the Mississippi Delta region are discussed below.
Microbial processes: Microbially mediated cement precipitation is often a first-order control on porosity and
permeability in the subsurface. In Year 6 we will initiate a new effort to combine NCED’s strengths in stratigraphic
experiments and microbial biogeochemistry to explore biogeochemical controls on cementation, with emphasis on
how stratal architecture controls microbial dynamics and cement distribution. Summary: By developing network-based models of how the cumulative effect of time and space variations
in surface topography create subsurface stratigraphy the Subsurface Architecture research agenda will provide
transformative tools for prediction and interpretation of sedimentary deposits.
5.3.3. Stream Restoration (SR) Motivation: “Stream restoration” refers broadly to bringing streams to a resilient, self-sustaining state that
includes desirable conditions of ecosystem function and water quality. The term implies a green-engineering
approach (i.e. emphasis on natural forms, processes, and materials and working with natural trends and variability).
Stream restoration is now a multi-billion-dollar annual business with tens of thousands of projects in the U.S.
[Bernhardt et al., 2005; Wohl et al., 2005]. The design of self-sustaining channels with well functioning ecosystems
requires a sophisticated, transdisciplinary understanding of the linked physical and ecological dynamics of channels
and floodplains that discipline-bounded science cannot provide. NCED’s stream restoration IP is motivated by the
collision of social demand for stream restoration with a limited understanding of stream disturbance and restoration
dynamics. The scientific basis for many restoration projects is weak, the success of existing projects poorly known,
and the connection between research and practice poorly developed. Progress requires two-way collaboration
between those developing new knowledge and those applying it.
Improving the scientific basis for stream restoration requires a sustained, transdisciplinary approach that is
ideally suited to the center mode. Combining expertise in biological, physical and social sciences with a research
focus on channels and channel networks that spans the space and time scales needed to develop sustainable
restoration projects, NCED is ideally positioned to develop the integrated knowledge needed to improve the practice
of stream restoration. Changing restoration practice will require a sustained, collaborative effort linking research
and practice through widely available tools, methods, and training. Through its position – affiliated with, but
separate from both government and industry – NCED can define problems, propose solutions, and provide
continuity and coordination without the constraints that can restrict those advocating, regulating, and conducting
restoration practice. Basing a science/practice collaboration in a science organization (rather than an application
agency) supports the sustained commitment to research needed to make real progress in improving restoration
methods. In our interaction with SR Partners to date, access to research and absence of agenda has engendered
considerable enthusiasm among those attempting to improve restoration practice. Goal: To advance the science and practice of stream restoration by conducting and coordinating research
and by working with agency and industry partners to identify information needs, develop improved tools, and
transfer this knowledge into practice. The effect will be to promote a transition in restoration practice from an
approach based on analogy to one based on quantitative prediction. Approach: Together with agency and industry partners, we examine stream restoration practice, its scope,
details, and missing links, so that we can define the most pressing research priorities and determine the best ways to
get new information to those who use it. This activity is centered on the NCED Stream Restoration Partners Group,
which includes agency, consulting, and academic partners and extends to allied organizations working on restoration
research. Partner interaction and knowledge transfer permeate the stream restoration IP (Proposal Section 7).
Current stream restoration practice is based on analogy – a template is sought in a nearby or idealized channel
that the designer judges to be suitable [Wilcock, 1997; Wohl et al., 2005]. But if a disturbed stream is adjusting to
changes in essential controlling factors, an appropriate template is unlikely to exist. An analogy approach cannot
lead to true prediction because it provides no basis for linking cause and effect in a logically complete and testable
framework. At present, there is no process-based, predictive alternative to analogy-based design because we lack a
predictive understanding of physical and biological disturbance and recovery in stream channels. The challenges
facing improved restoration practice are essentially those facing a predictive understanding of stream
geomorphology and ecology. Meeting these challenges requires the integration of physical, biological, and social
sciences as they explain channel change, ecosystem interactions, and the impact of human actions. The research
mission of the stream restoration IP is to identify (with our partners) and address those challenges that will lead most
directly to improved restoration practice.
The broadest challenge facing a predictive restoration science is placing the restoration project in a watershed
context. The most persistent cause of physical failure is ignoring or incorrectly predicting the supply of water and
sediment from the watershed. Current best practice includes a narrative watershed history identifying the timing and
location of major watershed disturbances. A predictive restoration science will require transforming this history to a
quantitative basis capable of prediction with specification of uncertainty. A center-based approach to these studies
is essential because predictive restoration science requires developing new knowledge by integrating across multiple
disciplines and multiple scales of space and time. These ideas lead to the following high-priority research topics:
Routing and supply of sediment: Channels develop in response to their water and sediment supply. An
inability to predict sediment supply (mean and variability) is the primary technical barrier to predicting future
channel configuration and composition. Development of predictive sediment supply relations will require a means
of determining sediment storage throughout the stream network and a reliable treatment of sediment storage in
reach-scale transport models. We are currently developing models for routing sand and fine gravel through coarse
immobile beds. The 2006 Visitors Program will be focused on collaborative experiments in the SAFL main channel
exploring storage dynamics in a gravel-bed system, with the goal of a predictive routing model incorporating
storage. Ongoing scaling analyses and DW advances in modeling channel slope and grain size are leading toward
network scale transport predictions. Our goals are to develop reach-averaged transport models incorporating storage
dynamics and to test these models at the watershed scale in different transport environments.
Transport, sorting, and morphodynamics of mixed-size sediment: The transport of streambed material drives
channel change and the composition and configuration of the bed, which determines the essential, organism-scale
template for the stream ecosystem. We now have in place surface-based transport models [Wilcock and Crowe,
2003] and a general framework for bed scour and aggradation [Parker et al., 2000]. Current NCED work [Blom and
Parker, 2004; Dietrich et al., 2005; Wilcock and DeTemple, 2005; Wong and Parker, 2005] focuses on rates of
lateral and vertical sorting to provide the detail needed to complete a predictive mixed-size morphodynamic model.
This work will be extended to incorporate recently discovered interactions between turbulent and chaotic mixing
with spontaneous self-sorting of particles by size [Hill et al., 2005]. The 2006 Visitors Program will test transport
relations under conditions of variable topography and sand content at nearly field scale in the SAFL main channel.
With this model, our focus will shift to verification and application of the model in different settings and scaling up
to the reach and channel network and integration of the model into predictive relations for streambed ecology.
Size, shape, and planform of resilient, dynamically stable channels: The size, shape, composition and planform
of the stream channel define the physical framework of a stream restoration project, but we still cannot predict
channel geometry reliably. Current NCED activity focuses on channel geometry and channel change as it varies
through a watershed, on morphodynamic models, and on the interaction between vegetation and channel dynamics.
We propose to expand work on channel-transport-vegetation interactions using a major new outdoor bioengineering
facility to be developed at SAFL, coupled to “virtual channels” developed using advanced CFD modeling. As
improved predictions of sediment supply and its variability become available, we will develop methods that
effectively incorporate variability and risk in channel design. Our goal is to develop predictive relations between
valley slope, water discharge, sediment supply rate and caliber, riparian vegetation, and channel geometry.
Rates, mechanisms, and location of floodplain deposition: Floodplain “reconnection” is a common restoration
objective in order to provide habitat, support riparian vegetation, sequester nutrients and contaminants, and protect
delta shorelines. Current NCED work focuses on channel-floodplain exchange of sediment through overbank flow
and via tie channels [Lauer and Parker, 2004; Rowland et al., 2005]. Our future focus, joint with SA, will be an
experimental, field, and theoretical study of rates and location of floodplain deposition in low-gradient systems, with
application to Mississippi Delta restoration.
Physical controls on nutrient cycling, stream metabolism, primary production: We are assembling quantitative
ecogeomorphological relations that we can apply to restoration. Current work in the laboratory and at ACRR has
defined interactions between stream channel and network properties and the locations, rates, and scales of nutrient
cycling, periphyton growth, primary production, community respiration, contaminant uptake, riparian tree
recruitment and survival, juvenile salmonid growth and survivorship, insect emergence, insect grazing on stream
periphyton, and bat foraging. Using the Desktop Watershed approach, we have identified several drainage area
thresholds where important changes occur in food web linkages between attached algae, aquatic insect prey and
aquatic or aerial predators. We will refine our knowledge of the physical mechanisms mediating these regime shifts,
test the generality of these mechanisms in other channel networks, and continue to quantify functional relationships
between the physical environment and ecological response as a basis for predictive restoration design.
Restoration objectives: identification, evaluation, and incorporation in restoration design: Stream restoration is
a social activity. Adequate information about the physical and ecological conditions of the stream is not sufficient to
ensure that actions are taken that effectively meet social goals [Shields et al., 2003]. We are currently working on
defining the value placed on different restoration objectives and on methods for evaluating tradeoffs in the
restoration decision making process. We will turn next to practical yet theoretically valid approaches for
implementing adaptive management [Walters, 1997] and for exploring how improved information can reduce
uncertainty and make restoration more effective. We will improve decision making by quantifying the benefits and
costs of additional information, using a Bayesian-based approach to characterize uncertainty and how it links with
stakeholder preferences in restoration decision making. A longer-term goal that will draw on NCED’s expertise in
stochastic processes is to develop means for incorporating uncertainty in restoration decision-making.
From grains to the reach and network scale – placing restoration projects in their watershed context: The most
obvious and persistent cause of physical failure is ignoring, or predicting erroneously, the supply of water and
sediment from the watershed. Current best practice includes a narrative watershed history identifying the timing and
location of major watershed disturbances. A predictive restoration science will require transforming this history to a
form suitable for providing quantitative predictions, including uncertainty. We will address this challenge by
linking restoration objectives to ecogeomorphic thresholds, transport laws, and ecosystem relations defined within a
working Desktop Watersheds model.
Determining where and when restoration would be most effective in triggering and sustaining ecological
recovery: Effective restoration interventions trigger and sustain hydrologic, physical, and ecological regimes that
favor desired species, support ecosystem services (e.g. water purification) and reduce or eliminate pest species and
pollution. Insights from our Desktop Watershed efforts will serve as a basis for predictive restoration design.
NCED's unique geodynamic mathematical and physical modeling and 4D visualization expertise will be applied to
projecting (over yearly to decadal time scales) the landscape and ecological consequences of interventions such as
dam removal, bank stabilization, gravel augmentation, revegetation, and large wood or boulder placement. Insights
from DW ecology will be used to 1) project likely effects of vegetative feedbacks on the evolution of the template,
and 2) assess the suitability of the evolving habitats for biota of interest. In restoration contexts, nuisance species
(exotic invaders and predators or pathogens that threaten the recovery of desired species), or toxic legacies from past
land use are key historical factors that will determine restoration outcomes. Summary: NCED’s Stream Restoration IP will transform the science and practice of stream restoration by
catalyzing a process-based, transdisciplinary approach to stream dynamics at multiple space and time scales, and by
developing rational environmental decision-making methods that effectively incorporate uncertainty.
5.3.4. Initiative on Mississippi Delta restoration NCED’s transdisciplinary approach, emphasis on prediction, and
status as an independent national research center make it ideally suited to provide predictive understanding and tools
to support restoration of the Mississippi Delta, an issue long recognized as fundamental to protecting New Orleans
and the Gulf Coast from hurricanes [Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force, 1998].
From its inception, NCED's plans have included a center-wide initiative on restoration of the Mississippi Delta. As
our research program has evolved, we have continued work on this initiative, with the intent of developing a second,
depositional field site in the Delta region and of linking our SR and SA Integrated Projects. The recent disasters
related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita have lent new urgency to our efforts. Our current plan includes (1) adapting
existing understanding of channel and floodplain processes and carrying out new research in the Mississippi and
other low-gradient river systems to develop tools for analysis of restoration scenarios for the Delta; (2) an initiative
with the broader research community to develop a natural “subsurface laboratory” that would use the Holocene
record of the Mississippi Delta to quantify the rates and spatial distribution of natural depositional mechanisms that
compensate for subsidence; (3) continued work to adapt methods from drainage networks to understand natural
distributary patterns and how they self-organize to nourish the delta surface; and (4) experiments in our subsidingfloor XES experimental facility on depositional channel dynamics and the response of low-gradient depositional
river channels to absolute and differential subsidence, including vegetation effects.
6. Education and Human Resource Development
6.1. Human Resource Development: Education
6.1.1. Goal, Motivation, and Approach The goal of NCED’s Education Initiative is to bring Earth-surface
dynamics to life for a broad spectrum of learners, in order to educate the public, policymakers, and future
researchers about the dynamic nature of the Earth’s surface and its response to human activities. Our motivation is
that the familiarity and natural appeal of landscapes, and the methods of NCED’s integrative research approach,
provide rich opportunities to capture the interest of the public to develop a better awareness of the landscape
processes around them, help policymakers make more informed landscape management decisions, and to motivate
students to pursue careers in many areas of science, engineering, and policy. Our approach is to use the familiarity
and natural appeal of landscapes to promote active learning about critical concepts: (1) that the Earth’s surface is
“the environment” in which human, ecologic and physical dynamics are intimately interwoven; (2) that the Earth’s
surface is naturally dynamic; and (3) that the landforms we see around us – whether from the ground, from the air,
or via maps and 3D imagery – tell us about our planet and how it has evolved over time and will evolve in the future
[Barstow et al., 2002]. NCED adopts a broadband approach to education, emphasizing informal as well as formal
learners, and strong connections between its research and education programs. Key elements of our Education
Initiative include: (1) Working intensively with the Science Museum of Minnesota and other science museums to
develop engaging new methods for informal education centered on Earth-surface science. (2) Enhancing the
education of NCED student participants by providing unique opportunities and an extended, cross-disciplinary peer
and mentor network. (3) Adapting research tools such as 3D visualization, wireless sensors, and laboratory
experiments to provide novel 4-16 educational tools. (4) Developing new ways of broadening our graduate
population and promoting practical traning. (5) Designing programs to engage science teachers in NCED research in
ways that allow them to bring this knowledge to their students in practical ways, and share the products of this work
via the NCED website.
At the graduate level, NCED engages students, across NCED institutions, in integrative research and unique
center-based activities, such as video-conferenced seminars, joint advising, integrative seminars and short courses,
center retreats, museum assistantships and internships with industry and agency partners. At the undergraduate level,
NCED engages students within and outside NCED institutions in research experiences and infuses the methods,
perspectives and results of NCED research into undergraduate coursework. Children typically master the cognitive
abilities to interpret representations of the Earth (e.g., that a globe is a model of the planet) by the age of 10 to 12
[Vosniadou and Brewer, 1992], so our pre-college focus is on grades 4-12. NCED engages pre- and in-service
teachers in research experiences and field-based institutes, develops teaching materials to supplement their
curriculum, brings experimental research to classrooms, and conducts environmental camps at middle- and highschool levels. NCED engages the public in NCED research through innovative museum experiences, such as
outdoor parks and traveling exhibits, and media, such as films and television programs.
6.1.2. Achievements In NCED’s first three years, substantial progress toward meeting our graduate education
goal – ensuring that students at our institutions benefit from the unique educational opportunities presented by
participating in a Science and Technology Center – was achieved through regular video-conferenced seminars, joint
formal and informal advising across institutions, and shared research experiences in the field at the Angelo Coast
Range Reserve and in the laboratory at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. Additional achievements include: (1)
Graduate Museum Assistantships: Four NCED students participated in successful assistantships at the Science
Museum of Minnesota. (2) Graduate Student Council: Formed at our 2004 annual retreat, the GSC elects a slate of
three officers each year who serve as “connectors” between our institutions, students and PIs and develops and
implements initiatives, such as a web-based listing of NCED equipment available for use across institutions and
graduate science exchanges around national meetings and site visits. (3) An integrative graduate program in Stream
Restoration Engineering and Science (SRES) was established, with input from NCED’s Stream Restoration Partners.
It will begin as a Certificate to be added to existing degree programs at Minnesota, developing over time into a
degree program with online components for broader dissemination, and is intended to attract students who are more
interested in practice than research. (4) The three University of Minnesota (UMTC) departments in NCED (Civil
Engineering; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Geology and Geophysics) received an NSF IGERT (Integrative
Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) award focused on non-equilibrium dynamics across time and space
scales in the environment, a theme arising directly from NCED’s quantitative, predictive approach to environmental
science. Four NCED PIs are also IGERT participants, two as PIs. The project will prepare scientists across the
interfaces of ecology, civil engineering, and the earth sciences to develop a conceptual framework for understanding
how physical, chemical, and biological processes integrate across spatial and temporal scales. This framework
supports NCED’s mission and brings in a broader cross section of faculty in NCED disciplines.
Progress toward achieving our 4-16 education goal – improving the teaching of NCED science through
research-education collaboration – includes these accomplishments: (1) Materials for 4-16 education in Earthsurface dynamics: Morin and Campbell, working with NCED’s pre-service teacher interns, external colleagues and
classroom teachers, developed, tested, and nationally promoted new course materials for 4-16 teachers based on
NCED’s research visualizations (total students involved: 750); our work on 3D visualization was recognized in the
New York Times in March, 2005. (2) Professional Development for Teachers: (i) Campbell and SMM staff
delivered NCED’s two field, laboratory and museum-based Earthscapes Teacher Institutes to 26 teachers who used
their Institute experience to design new field- and lab-based learning experiences for their students. (ii) eight pre-and
in-service Earth Science teachers successfully completed ESTREAM internships, designing, documenting, and
promoting at professional meetings NCED-based educational activities and materials for NCED’s website and (iv) a
set of seven dam-removal stream tables, based on NCED Visitor research, and accompanying visualizations and
activities was designed for SMM’s River Restoration Residency program and presented in classrooms, at
conferences, and on the National Mall during the July 2005 Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
Some of our most exciting achievements in NCED’s first three years significantly advanced our public
educational goal, to create unique and stimulating educational experiences, based on NCED science, and
communicate these via the national science museum community. We opened to the public our 1.75-acre outdoor
science park – the Big Back Yard (BBY) – with its Earthscapes exhibits and miniature golf at the Science Museum
of Minnesota in June 2004. Over 100,000 people explored the BBY over the past two years before it closed for the
season on October 1, 2005. The park received extensive media coverage, including being the centerpiece for an
episode of Dragonfly TV – a science education program produced by Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. with the
support of Best Buy and NSF and distributed nationally by PBS. BBY improvements continue to be made with the
help of a summative evaluation conducted in August 2004. NCED’s 3D visualizations have also gained increasing
attention in our first three years [Fountain, 2005; Lubick, 2005]. For example, 40,000 copies of two Morin-designed
3D maps were printed and sold in summer 2005 to geology departments, professional geological organizations, and
museums throughout the U.S. These maps also will be incorporated into a new Earth science textbook to be
published in 2007. A summer 2005 program prototyped the use of GeoWall2 [Morin et al., 2003] at the Science
Museum of Minnesota, as part of SMM’s strategy to advance the use of 3D Earth-surface computer- and paperbased visualizations in museums nationwide. A major outcome of this prototyping work was major visualization
software improvements that significantly advanced the GeoWall2’s versatility to serve both educational and research
Our work in public (informal) education took on new dimensions as NCED partnered with PBS NOVA in Year
3 to provide experiments that helped illustrate Earth-surface processes for national television audiences Later that
year we collaborated with the USDA Forest Service to bring a three-part stream restoration exhibit – based on
NCED Visitor research and including an experimental flume collecting live data – to 1,000,000 visitors at the 2005
Smithsonian Folklife Festival. These events provided NCED vital new experience in public education. The Science
Museum of Minnesota, building on NCED’s integrated research-exhibit development model, has been awarded NSF
Informal Science Education and NOAA funding to develop Water Planet, a 5,000 square foot nationally traveling
exhibition on the global water cycle. Twenty science centers from across the U.S. already have expressed interest in
leasing Water Planet, although this exhibition will not begin its national tour until fall 2009. This major public
education project, for which NCED PI Patrick Hamilton serves as lead PI, will communicate the science of NCED
and two other STCs (SAHRA and WaterCAMPWS) to millions of citizens across the U.S.
6.1.3. Plans for Years 6-10 At the graduate level, NCED plans to continue our very successful methods for
providing a unique inter-institutional and inter-disciplinary experience for our graduate students. In addition to our
methods and programs described under “achievements above”, we will formalize the involvement of interinstitutional advisors by ensuring their presence on doctoral committees. We will capitalize on the “bonding”
experience of shared field and lab experiences by extending these opportunities to include our new depositional site
and new laboratory facilities at UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station and University of Illinois Ven de Chow
Laboratory. As our University of Minnesota integrative programs described above (the IGERT program and Stream
Restoration (SRES) Certificate) mature, we will promote them as national models. Finally, we will begin
immediately to offer our integrative model of research to a wider audience of graduate students through regular short
course and summer institute opportunities for graduate students outside NCED institutions.
At the 4-16 level, we plan to continue our successful ESTREAM internship program for pre- and in-service
teachers to develop NCED related education material for distribution over the web. We will maintain connections
with “alumni” of this program, offering them new materials for their classrooms and supporting their participation in
national science and education conferences to promote and demonstrate the use of NCED-developed educational
resources. NCED will also maintain its EarthScapes summer Teacher Institute and school-year River Restoration
Residency to bring NCED research methods and results to the 4-12 classroom, regionally. Development and testing
of research-grade 3D visualizations at the 4-12 and undergraduate level will continue through local testing in
Minnesota and nationally via the web. NCED-related modules for undergraduate instruction will be developed
based on undergraduate courses being taught by NCED PIs and alumni graduate students and made available via
NCED’s web site. NCED’s growing data archive will provide actual and in the case of ACRR, live, data for use in
these modules. Finally, NCED will capitalize on its successful research-museum experiences to date to model the
use of museums as undergraduate instructional space as detailed in the following section.
At the public education level, NCED will continue to use the Big Back Yard as the focal point of our Earthsurface science education efforts and will continue to recruit and train diverse youth to serve as interpreters in the
park. We have already begun collaborating on telling the Mississippi Delta story to the public at SMM and will
develop at least one new exhibit component on subsidence, sedimentation, and land loss in the Delta either for the
BBY or for Water Planet. Additionally, we will develop novel approaches to deliver NCED science to new
audiences through a two-part strategy: (1) Undergraduate Education – make SMM an educational resource for
undergraduate students attending nearby colleges and universities by developing ways in which museum exhibits
can better serve the needs of Earth science curricula. (2) National Audiences – Expand the delivery of NCED-related
research and science from the regional audiences that predominately comprise SMM’s BBY attendance to the
national audiences served by SMM’s traveling exhibitions and 3D cinema shows. Museums as undergraduate instructional resources: Experiences in the BBY and in sharing SAFL
experimental space and 3D visualization equipment with local undergraduate and graduate institutions have shown
us that there is a need for well-supported research-related instructional facilities for undergraduate students. To
develop such a space in an existing gallery at SMM, we will: (1) involve instructors interested in bringing and/or
directing their students to museums in the modification of existing exhibit components and/or the development,
design, and fabrication of new Earth-process science exhibit components so that they facilitate undergraduate
education while also serving the primary general public audience; (2) develop a website to provide detailed
instructions on how various existing exhibit components can be used to investigate in greater depth specific
undergraduate course content related to Earth-process science; and (3) incorporate high-resolution visualization
equipment into selected existing Earth-process science exhibit components, which then will have the capacity to
allow undergraduate students to access lab-related material, while at the same time providing museum visitors
exposure to high-quality visualizations. We are excited about this potentially fertile intermingling of informal and
formal education. We believe that our proposed efforts to strengthen museums’ ability to enhance the delivery of
earth science concepts to undergraduate students will inform and motivate formal and informal educational
communities elsewhere and could involve a wide range of scientific disciplines. We will evaluate this work carefully
and will present it to professionals in both museum and academic communities. National audiences: NCED will build on the success of the Big Back Yard and the intrinsic appeal that both
adults and children find in landscapes to develop products that will deliver NCED-related research and science to
national audiences. In Years Five-Ten, we will do this through two initiatives: HD 3D cinema and Water Planet.
(1) HD 3D Cinema: In 2004, SMM expanded from being a leading developer of large-format films to also becoming
a producer of 3D HD cinema. It premiered Mars 3D in October 2004 and is now leasing this show to other science
museums and centers around the U.S. for presentation on their screens. Dynamic and arresting landscapes have long
been popular subjects for large-format films. The addition of 3D (along with animation and physical modeling)
offers great potential for the creation of a HD 3D cinema that not only presents landscapes in arresting detail but
makes it possible to portray accurately the actual processes of landscape evolution and channel dynamics. The
physical modeling expertise of NCED combined with SMM’s 25 years of experience in the production of largeformat educational films provides the means necessary to create a 20-minute HD 3D cinema that will present to
large audiences the key concept that landscapes are not immutable and static forms but in fact are constantly
evolving in response to continually changing physical and biological forces. In addition to being an effective public
education tool, we anticipate serendipitous results from a 3D HD collaboration that will aid the scientific research of
NCED in particular and the Earth-process science community in general. (2) Water Planet: Jointly funded by NSF
Informal Science Education and NOAA, this 5,000 square-foot traveling exhibition, web site, and associated
programs will use dynamic story-telling technologies to show museum visitors how water mediates many of the
interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, and geosphere. Informed by research on
cognition and pedagogy [Callanan et al., 2002; Edelson and Gordin, 1998; Jolly et al., 2004; Kali and Orion, 1997],
the exhibition will help visitors to make the connection between their focus on local water conservation and
pollution issues and the way the entire planet functions. Of the five main areas of the exhibition, one will be
devoted to conveying NCED-related research and science. An elegant feature of many Earth-surface processes is
that they are scalable. Processes occurring over large stretches of space and time can be replicated by physical
models or visualizations in just a few square feet in size and in only minutes or even seconds. A number of the
Earth-process science exhibit components developed by NCED for the BBY will be replicated for display in Water
Planet. SMM will assemble these exhibit components around the Digital River Basin (DRB), a scientific
visualization technology developed by the Mississippi RiverWeb Museum Consortium (SMM, St. Louis Science
Center, Illinois State Museum, University of Illinois). Water Planet will open at SMM in 2008 and begin a national
tour in 2009. We estimate that these new learning tools will reach some 4 million people in at least 20 museums
throughout the U.S. Finally, Water Planet will contribute to gidakiimanaaniwigamig (Our Earth Lodge), NCED’s
program for Native K-12 students. Water Planet will bring Native American high school students together with staff
from SMM/NCED to produce a land-use/water-quality outreach program that the teens will present to their elders.
6.2. Human Resources Development: Diversity
6.2.1. Goals, Motivation, and Approach The goal of NCED’s Diversity Initiative is to increase participation by
underrepresented groups in NCED scientific disciplines until minority representation is continuously reflective of
the U.S. national population. This includes an immediate improvement in participation by members of all underrepresented groups in NCED itself, and a specific focus on improvement in representation of Native Americans in
NCED related disciplines. Our motivation is that NCED’s research mission is enriched by the inclusion of diverse
voices. The environmental sciences have generally underperformed other area of science and engineering in
minority representation. For long-term success, efforts must be made to interest minority students in the sciences at
an early age, and to sustain that interest over the course of their educational careers. To achieve this, NCED must
itself be a model of a diverse research and learning community. Our approach is (1) to actively pursue research
collaborations with faculty from institutions with high minority enrollments, and particularly with Minority-Serving
Institutions (MSIs), to spread the excitement of NCED research beyond the boundaries of our institutions; (2) to
provide research experiences for underrepresented undergraduate students so that they can engage in field and
laboratory experiments and gain the desire to be research scientists; and (3) to network with local communities in
order to immerse youth in science so that they can discover and gain necessary skills for pursuing careers in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics.
6.2.2. Achievements Since its inception, NCED has made steady progress in increasing the diversity of our
researchers and staff. Participation by members of underrepresented groups in our research program, including
graduate students, post docs, and faculty, has risen from 8% at NCEDs inception in 2002 to 15% by fall of 2005. Undergraduate Summer Internship Program (USIP): USIP brings undergraduate students from
underrepresented groups to NCED institutions for a 10-week summer program each year and has been an important
mechanism for accomplishing our diversity mission. Undergraduate research experiences show a high level of
success in promoting enrollment in graduate school by minorities [Brazziel and Brazziel, 2001; George et al., 2001;
Huntoon, 2004]. Of the students supported through this program, 86% have expressed a desire to continue their
education in graduate programs, and 28% have been accepted into graduate programs. Ando-giikendaasowin (Seek to Know) and Gidakiimanaaniwigamig (Our Earth Lodge): NCED’s scienceimmersion programs for Native American youth have become models for partnership between science centers and
local communities for introducing young people from underrepresented groups to science, math, engineering, and
technology careers. The camps integrate science concepts and traditional community practices [Cajete, 1999;
Cleary and Peacock, 1998; James, 2001] NCEDs camps have been carefully coordinated with other camps and
programs which are organized by NCED and Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC) staff and
researchers and funded through other leveraged sources. Students participating in our seasonal camps have been
active participants in local and national science fairs. More than 100 students have participated in NCED camps and
related activities, with 53% attending more than one activity. Students are showing improvements in math and
science grades and test scores. The first of our Gidakiimanaaniwigamig students to graduate from high school has
been accepted into the University of St. Thomas with a full scholarship. Several other Gidakiimanaaniwigamig
students are in their sophomore and junior years in high school and have plans to continue on to college.
6.2.3. Plans for Years 6-10 Gidakiimanaaniwigamig and Ando-giikendaasowin: Since the inception of NCED, our Native Youth
programs have been integrated with the research program and with our programs at the Science Museum of
Minnesota. In the future, this collaborative work will be expanded through innovative programming associated with
the SMM’s new Water Planet traveling exhibition. Also in the second five years undergraduates studying teaching
at FDLTCC will be recruited as teachers for the camps in order to give them experience in teaching science and
math activities to Native American youths. NCED will merge the Gidakiimanaaniwigamig and Andogiikendaasowin programs and run both the middle-school and high-school camps at FDLTCC. As students build
expertise with multiple camp experiences, NCED will coordinate participation in non-NCED science programs and
internships. FDLTCC is coordinating a regional science fair which will involve students from NCED’s program and
students from other tribes within northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Undergraduate Summer Internship Program (USIP): NCED’s successful USIP program will be expanded
to include larger numbers of students and placements at various NCED institutions. As an accompaniment to our
Undergraduate Summer Internship Program, in the second five years NCED will develop the Nibi (Water) program
with FDLTCC. The focus of this program will be to track and advise students who have finished their first two
years of undergraduate study at FDLTCC as they complete their undergraduate degrees at the University of
Minnesota or another university. Students in the program will be offered summer environmental jobs during the
years at FDLTCC which will prepare them for working in a research environment. As they continue as juniors and
seniors at their transfer institute, they will be encouraged to apply to NCED’s Undergraduate Summer Internship
Program. As USIP students, they will be able to pursue research at any NCED institution, including FDLTCC. Graduate Recruiting: We intend to continue our vigorous program of graduate recruiting, including the
USIP program above as well as visits to recruiting venues such as the American Indian Science and Engineering
Society (AISES) National Conference, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in
Science (SACNAS) National Conference, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) National
Coference, state and regional Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) conferences, and the
Faculty to Faculty program below. In addition, one of the motivations in our new SRES Certificate program,
described above, was to provide an additional portal to NCED graduate research that we believe will broaden access
to minority students. The program will be designed to make it straightforward to transfer to research-oriented MS or
PhD programs for students with the desire and aptitude to do so. Faculty-to-Faculty (F2F): In 2005, NCED piloted its new Faculty-to-Faculty program, which, by
involving faculty from Minority-Serving Institutions in NCED research projects, will foster long-term relationships
that will lead to a natural increase in the flow of underrepresented individuals into graduate and postgraduate
positions at NCED and other national research centers. To attract minority students, we must build relations with
MSIs, and the best way to do this is by supporting junior faculty. Programs like the NSF Collaboratives to Integrate
Research and Education (CIRE) program have demonstrated that bringing MSIs and national research centers
together in research collaborations is a successful method of increasing the flow of underrepresented individuals into
graduate and post-graduate positions in some of the best-funded research enterprises in the nation. In the report of
the Geosciences Diversity Workshop, August 2000, NSF, two of the key recommendations were that NSF should
foster educational and research partnerships/collaborations/exchanges between and among minority serving
institutions and research centers and ‘facilitate the establishment/development/enhancement of educational and
research capabilities in minority serving institutions’ [National Science Foundation, 2000]. The Faculty to Faculty
program is designed around these two key goals. NCED will also gain understanding of institutional and other
barriers to participation by underrepresented groups so that we can more effectively work to eliminate them. [Adessa
and Sonnewald, 2003; Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, 1998] By also involving
graduate students from these institutions, NCED will foster the development of new PhDs from underrepresented
groups in NCED disciplines. In addition, faculty at MSIs will gain a new level of excitement and interest in NCED
research, as well as access to NCED teaching material, which we believe will help them in turn excite their students
about NCED research. The research partnerships will also help to build the research infrastructure of the faculty
members’ home institutions. At present, we have F2F connections with Florida A&M University, Texas A&M
University Kingsville and Jackson State University.
F2F was developed based on discussions with MSI leadership and research on best practices in supporting
young faculty [Luna and Cullen, 1995; Sorcinelli, 2000; Turner, 2002]. Individuals from MSIs are identified to
participate in the Faculty to Faculty program based on research interests consistent with NCED’s purpose. Once
identified, NCED develops relationships with these potential participants through professional meetings, visits to
NCED facilities, participation in an NCED working group, and/or the opportunity to deliver an NCED videoseminar. Once selected to participate in Faculty to Faculty, participants will be provided mentoring by NCED PIs
comparable to that provided for junior faculty at NCED institutions, including help in developing a research
program, networking and contacts, and, as appropriate, further research collaboration.
7. Knowledge Transfer
NCED’s Knowledge Transfer Initiative has two main, non-exclusive target groups: application partners and the
broader research community. Applications of NCED research range from land use management and planning
through stream restoration design to exploration and development of subsurface hydrocarbon and water resources.
We strongly believe in the value of basic science in solving problems and in societal needs as a motivation for basic
research. Thus knowledge transfer is intimately interwoven with the work of each IP, as discussed below.
7.1. Desktop Watersheds A major part of the motivation for Desktop Watersheds is the need for better tools for
analyzing, forecasting, and managing landscape and land use dynamics. Hence we will share outcomes of DW
research with the academic and applied geomorphology communities, government regulators, and industrial
scientists to advance and put into practice Desktop Watershed approaches and models. This will be accomplished
through three means. First, we will make models available over the web, as we have done with our model for
estimating probable locations of shallow landslides (SHALSTAB at http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~geomorph). In
collaboration with our Partner, Stillwater Sciences, we are currently assembling the first cut of a Desktop Watershed
model for estimating limiting factors for salmon. By Year 10 of NCED, we plan to have available a dynamic
version of this model. We will also put components of this model, such as channel slope determination, grain size
calculation and stream temperature estimation, on the web using our existing Toolbox format, described below.
Second, in conjunction with model release we will hold workshops and short courses to introduce potential users to
Desktop Watersheds and model applications. Third, we will collaborate with various groups (government and
industry scientists, non-government organizations, and others) in the application of Desktop Watersheds to specific
landscapes. We will purposely seek diverse regions and problems. In addition to these three means, we will write
papers and give talks widely in order to convey what we have learned and receive insight from others. At present,
the DW group meets informally with its Partners Group, which includes CALFED, the USDA-FS, and several
private consulting companies (Stillwater Sciences, R2).
7.2. Subsurface Architecture An ability to predict subsurface architecture is critical to the discovery and
development of societally critical hydrocarbon and water resources. Thus NCED SA research to date has attracted
an industrial Partners Group comprising six companies (Anadarko Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, Chevron,
ExxonMobil, Japan Oil Gas and Mineral, and Shell). Knowledge Transfer activities with this group include annual
meetings, short courses, and research visits. So far NCED has trained over 100 industrial scientists and managers
from five continents in our quantitative, experimentally oriented approach through industrial short courses (typically
two per year). Visits generally focus on experiments designed jointly by NCED PIs and industrial scientists. We will
continue to share insight, data sets, and models generated by the SA IP with the academic, industrial and
government communities by the following means. Experimental data are available over the web. These include
high-resolution time series of surface topography and associated volumes of subsurface stratigraphy. These volumes
will be available both in raw form and as SEGY files for visualization and interpretation using reflection seismic
software. Co-registered grain size and sorting data will also be made available. Analyses leading to the development
of preservation algorithms will be published as will the interpreted data used to capture the scaling and statistical
signature of the processes controlling generation of subsurface architecture. We are committed to working with
industrial, academic and government associates to increase the release of industry collected, 3D seismic data into the
public domain. To help generate momentum for this transfer, NCED will provide as many examples as possible
demonstrating the utility of 3D seismic data in the mass balance approach to quantitative stratigraphic analysis.
Short courses focused on real-time laboratory experiments will continue to be offered to our industrial partners and a
plan is being developed to offer these courses to graduate students and post-docs. Materials summarizing SA IP
results will also be developed for presentation in the class room. Short courses based on these materials will be
offered at selected annual meetings of appropriate professional societies starting in Year 6. In Years 6-10 our SA KT
program will increasingly integrate with that of SR as we develop our joint project on deposition in delta systems
and work to develop environmental applications of stratigraphy. To that end, we have just initiated a new NCED
working group on environmental stratigraphy. The focus includes both groundwater applications for which
prediction of aquifer continuity is critical, and applications of stratigraphic history and reconstruction in the design
of restoration projects. In both arenas, it is essential that we develop better means of taking advantage of the billions
of dollars in subsurface seismic, well-log, and core data already amassed by the oil industry. NCED, with its unique
combination of strengths in restoration and subsurface analysis, is ideally suited to play a leadership role in this.
7.3. Stream Restoration Our goal is to serve as a national center for stream restoration science, a role supported by
our position within research institutions and maintained by an active collaboration with restoration practitioners. The
SR Partners Group includes USGS, USEPA, USACE, USBR, and USDA, state natural resource agencies, and
private consulting companies (e.g. Wildlands Hydrology, Stillwater Sciences, R2). The Partners Group informs
NCED of the training and research needs of the stream restoration community and provides a constituency ready to
improve practice by incorporating new science and knowledge generated by NCED and others. Key elements of this
exchange are the availability of open-source methods and models, access to restoration research, and promotion of
an expectation of predictive design in a two-way collaboration between science and practice. In our partner
interactions, we strive to maintain a consistent, straightforward agenda: improving stream restoration practice
through improved restoration science and knowledge transfer.
Interactions with our Partners Group include a range of meetings, information archiving, and developing
training materials and design models and methods. The primary goal of our annual Partners meetings is to promote
exchange of information needs and available knowledge. We propose to hold this gathering near restoration projects
that provide opportunities for learning; our partners have suggested a ‘best and worst restoration project’
organization. Smaller partner meetings are held on particular subjects, such as developing a rational organization to
current training opportunities. A primary knowledge-transfer vehicle is our online stream restoration Toolbox, a set
of tools supporting channel assessment and design. The tools are presented as Visual Basic modules embedded in
Microsoft Excel documents, with fully worked examples, in order to promote the broadest possible accessibility.
The programs are accompanied by separate Powerpoint documents that explain the theory and use of the module.
The Toolbox will continue to grow in the years to come and will expand to include modules on ecology,
geochemistry, and spatial and statistical analysis. We are collaborating with our partners in an effort to organize and
develop training and educational training opportunities in stream restoration. The SR portal
(http://www.streamrestoration.net) includes a catalog of training and educational courses available throughout North
America. The site will ultimately include course details and curriculum. We are developing stream restoration
training courses that promote a predictive and interdisciplinary approach. We coordinate these efforts with SR
partners active in training, in order to help develop a consistent and rational approach to restoration practice. An
important KT effort in Stream Restoration is our SR newsletter, the Stream Restoration Networker, which had its
first issue in the summer 2005 and will be issued quarterly. More information is at
SR knowledge transfer also involves active collaboration with those engaged in restoration research. Our KT
efforts in this regard include organizing sessions at professional conferences, organizing and supporting workshops
and working groups (see below), presenting training workshops for advanced graduate students and junior faculty,
NCED and sabbatical visitors.
7.4. Additional KT mechanisms
7.4.1. Short courses NCED holds various short courses aimed at both graduate students and professional
practitioners. Topics have included stream restoration, and shallow-water and deep-water processes for oil-industry
practitioners. Our short-course offerings will expand in Year 4 with courses during the summer and around national
meetings – for instance, there will be one on Mountain Rivers after the 2005 Fall AGU meeting. This one will be
free; future ones may involve modest fees but our goal is to be able to offer 2-3 courses per year and subsidize most
of the costs for participation of students and postdocs.
7.4.2. Working groups Based on the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) model,
NCED has since Year 2 been hosting working groups in which a small (10-15) group of researchers convenes for
several days to work intensively on a specific problem of critical interest within NCED’s mission. We attempt to be
catholic in setting up the groups, including Partners, MSI faculty, junior faculty, and postdocs. The program is
growing: it began with one in Year 2 on mathematical modeling methods; in Year 3 this one continued and we
initated two more (carbon storage in floodplains and environmental stratigraphy). In addition, in Year 2 we hosted a
more traditional workshop on dam removal that is expected to lead to a working group on the same topic in Year 4.
Following advice from NCEAS we initially set the topics and appointed the group leader (not an NCED PI in most
cases). As we gain experience, in Years 6-10 we will open working group organization to the community via a
competitive proposal process.
7.4.3. Visitors Program This is the most demanding of NCED’s general KT programs in terms of resources and
time, but it has also been one of the most successful. It allows visitors to come to NCED facilities to carry out their
own research, so far mostly experimental. Visitors are selected competitively based on a short proposal that is
evaluated in terms of feasibility, scientific value, and relevance to NCED’s mission. NCED covers most or all of the
cost including subsistence and the technical cost of designing and setting up the experimental or other required
equipment. Visitors join the mix of informal mentors available to NCED graduate students, giving videoconference
seminars and other talks during their stays. Their enthusiasm and focus while doing visiting research also makes
Visitors ideal advisors for NCED education efforts; indeed some of our most successful education projects
incorporate Visitor research. Visitors are expected to provide a report of their work at the end of their stay and to
keep NCED informed of further developments such as publications and proposals. We strongly encourage Visitors
from outside of academia including industrial and government researchers. So far 19 Visitors have participated in
the program. To date, all have performed research at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory; in 2006, Visitors will also work
at other NCED facilities. In Year 4 the Visitor Program will begin to focus Visitor research on a specified critical
research area that supplements important NCED research. In 2006 the topic is fluvial-sediment and 2d morphology
and includes research on sediment transport monitoring technologies and 2D morphological controls on sediment
transport. The project will involve NCED PI’s, graduate students, NCED Partners, and visiting researchers. Visitor
Program funds will support participation of university researchers, federal agency researchers and visiting
consultants in this community research experiment in the Main Channel Facility at SAFL.
7.4.4. Sabbatical visits NCED has also made funds available to support visits by faculty members on sabbatical, to
pursue topics that contribute to NCED’s mission. We can provide full or partial salary support as well as help with
travel and lodging.
7.4.5. NCED website and data archive The Center website is www.nced.umn.edu. A primary vehicle for NCED
KT, it has evolved in NCED’s first three years from a static site, to a dynamic one which includes news, links,
downloadable NCED seminars and talks, an image bank, a large base of archival sediment and channel geometry
data, and information and results from all three IPs. We have had good results in the last year using wikis and other
online collaboration tools for internal discussion. We have just launched NCED’s forum page,
http://forum.nced.umn.edu/ for project related discussions and internal NCED discussion. In the Spring of 2006, the
forum will be expanded to the larger community, providing online space for discussion and sharing of results on a
variety of topics within NCED’s mission area.
NCED now hosts a fully operational online archive, providing access to NCED-generated and archival data of
importance to the research and education communities. Through a web-based interface, researchers can upload both
data and meta-data, which is then added to a fully secure, mirrored archival server. Descriptive summary
information is added for each experimental “run” or field “campaign”. Visitors to NCED’s website may then
download data, such as “peels” from our subsiding basin or images of our experimental delta, in zipped sets or as
individual images. Data in the archive is discoverable through popular search engines such as Google; metadata is
stored in a manner consistent with developing community standards. NCED staff are in regular contact with efforts
such as CHRONOS, CUAHSI, CLEANER, NEON, GEON and FGIT to ensure that NCED’s data management
practices are consistent with other NSF-funded efforts.
7.5. Research community and related environmental centers
NCED seeks to include the wider research community in its efforts via a range of efforts discussed above. We also
work with related center programs including CUAHSI, SAHRA, WaterCAMPWS, LTER, CLEANER, WSSC,
NEON, CENS, GEON, and CHRONOS. Specific examples include the newly funded SMM Water Planet project,
joint with SAHRA and WaterCAMPWS; and cooperation with CUAHSI including an emerging collaboration on our
SA project and efforts to exploit complementarity between the NCED Desktop Watershed and CUAHSI Digital
Watershed projects. We have worked with NSF personnel to organize a series of forums on defining a vision for
sedimentary geology; four have been hosted so far, and the effort has spawned a working group on environmental
stratigraphy that among other things is now leading development of a research initiative on subsurface applications
to Mississippi Delta restoration. We are also working with NSF to organize a “summit meeting” of environmental
center leaders this winter to promote cross-center coordination. We have also been working closely with the team
leading the push for creation of a Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS), which would provide
tools for numerical modeling of surface dynamics on an open-source basis, created by and available to the research
community. The CSDMS, with its focus on numerical modeling, nicely complements NCED’s focus on developing
tools and algorithms based on field and experimental observation. NCED Director Chris Paola serves on the
leadership team for CSDMS, and two other NCED PIs have been involved in CSDMS planning workshops. A
CSDMS proposal to establish a national center, based on extensive community input fostered by NCED and the
proposed lead organization, University of Colorado/INSTAAR, will be submitted to NSF in February 2006. If
NCED is renewed and CSDMS is funded, NCED will co-fund up to 3 shared “liaison” postdoctoral researchers to
insure that NCED results are quickly incorporated into CSDMS numerical modules.
8. Rationale for the Center concept
The Earth’s surface is “the environment” for nearly all life and human activity. People tend to view the surface
as relatively static. But the more we think on intergenerational time scales and seek resilient, self-sustaining
solutions to environmental problems, the more we must understand the surface as dynamic, evolving in response to
anthropogenic and natural influences. At present, we do not have the tools we need to make reliable, quantitative
predictions of surface evolution to guide decision making and management. The complexity of the surface
environment demands a unified science comprising elements of earth sciences (e.g. geomorphology, geochemistry,
sedimentary geology), engineering (hydrology, hydraulics), ecology, and social sciences. The disciplines involved
span a wide range of programs within NSF. So the first major rationale for tackling Earth-surface dynamics via the
center mode is that integrated Earth-surface dynamics is intrinsically transdisciplinary and cannot be done
effectively within the confines of program-specific support. NCED is to our knowledge the only center in the world
devoted to this unified, transdisciplinary approach to Earth-surface dynamics.
Catalyzing a new approach to science requires time: for researchers from diverse disciplines to understand one
another and develop productive working relationships; to become a focal point for the research community; to carry
out ambitious projects; to have repeated contact with students; and to achieve the kind of major research results that
demonstrate the power of the new approach. In Earth-surface dynamics, time is crucial also because the systems we
work on evolve slowly and in many cases are active infrequently. So the second fundamental rationale for the center
mode is that achieving NCED’s goals requires sustained effort.
Each of the three research IPs is inherently transdisciplinary and ambitious enough to require sustained
collaborative research, so each is individually ‘center-worthy’. But all three benefit strongly by being done together
under the common umbrella of a major research center. The three projects are built on a common scientific core, so
that common problems can be identified and tackled, and advances in one project accelerate progress in the others.
The common scientific core begins with channels and channel networks, with their similarity across environments
and scales, and also includes recurring channel structures (e.g. bedforms, bars, lobes, fans, braiding and
meandering); scaling and similarity; stochastic effects and uncertainty; human impacts on natural processes; and
physical-biological interactions. The center-based approach to Earth-surface dynamics allows us to fully capitalize
on this core of common concepts and methods to accelerate our research and its application to benefit society.
The center structure allows for comprehensive integration of knowledge transfer into NCED’s research
program. The center mode gives NCED researchers immediate access to a national network of agencies and
commercial companies that apply Earth-surface research to problems ranging from landscape management and
restoration to finding hydrocarbons, gives these practitioners access to NCED research results, and allows for
synergies among different application areas – for example, the possibility of using industrial subsurface data to aid
in designing a restoration program for the Mississippi Delta. NCED also functions as a center for the research
community by hosting workshops, working groups, and short courses, supporting leveraged research, and providing
postdoc opportunities and access to NCED facilities via our energetic Visitors Program.
One of the most significant outcomes of center-mode operation is the close collaboration between researchers
and the Science Museum of Minnesota. The first phase of this culminated in the opening of the EarthScapes exhibits
at the SMM near the end of Year 2, as discussed in the Education section of this proposal. There is no way that a
research-education collaboration on this scale could be undertaken outside of a center. The partnership we have
developed over our first three years of operation allowed us to respond quickly to a request to participate in the
Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year, and will provide the basis for further collaboration with the SMM and other
informal education institutions (described above) if NCED is renewed. The center mode also makes possible an
ongoing teacher education program that links the SMM, researchers, and teachers to provide a growing set of
teaching materials that are shared via our website. The continuity provided by the center mode enhances the quality
of the program, helps attract the best teachers to it, and lets us develop new teaching materials in a programmed,
systematic way. The center mode also provides a nexus by which advanced research methods like 3D visualization
and wireless sensor networks can be brought rapidly into education at all levels. Our museum connection allows us
to offer Museum Assistantships to our graduate students, which along with an “extended family” approach to
advising and a greatly enlarged peer network, provides a uniquely rich graduate experience that would not be
possible without the center structure.
The environmental sciences suffer from inadequate representation of our diverse U.S. population. A center
creates a focal point in Earth-surface science for interested minority students, and makes possible summer research
and other access programs to allow minority students to experience the excitement of transdisciplinary surfaceprocess research first hand. Finally, the sustained nature of center activity provides program continuity for our
Native American camps and other minority programs, a factor that numerous studies have shown to be critical for
long-term success.
9. Management Plan
9.1. Goals of NCED Management
The overall responsibilities of NCED management are to articulate the Center’s vision, to keep the Center moving
towards it, and to maximize the Center’s added value: the difference between the whole and the sum of its parts.
NCED management does this by: working with center participants to formulate compelling, well focused initiatives;
facilitating communication about the Center’s goals, initiatives, and expectations among center participants; and
promoting synthesis and synergy across Center initiatives. NCED is neither a “top down” nor a “bottom up”
organization but rather one that encourages shared goals and rapid, clear communication throughout its network of
participants, seeking an optimal balance between consensus and efficiency, and between creative adaptation to
changing circumstances and organizational stability. NCED’s management plan is driven by the goals expressed in
our statement of purpose and developed in our strategic implementation plan (SIP). NCED uses an array of metrics
to measure progress towards these goals; these are available at the renewal supplementary website.
9.2. Administration
Administration of the center is bound by NCED’s by-laws and cooperative agreement, available online at our
website http://www.nced.umn.edu. NCED’s central administrative body organizes and evaluates Center activities at
three interconnected levels: the Directorate, the Executive Committee and the External Advisory Board.
9.2.1. Directorate The Director (Chris Paola) and Co-Director (Efi Foufoula-Georgiou) are responsible for the
overall operation and performance of the Center, in particular for scientific direction and strategic planning, overall
resource allocation, and communication of objectives and strategy with center participants, the Executive
Committee, NSF, and the External Advisory Board. The Deputy Director Administration and staff are responsible
for overseeing day-to-day center management and use of Center resources.
9.2.2. Executive Committee (EC) The Executive Committee is composed of PIs who meet regularly by
videoconference and in person at the site visit and EAB meeting to provide leadership in carrying out the mission
and vision of the Center. Membership includes leaders of NCED major initiatives, the Directors, and one or more
additional PIs chosen by the Director with the advice of the PIs, to provide adequate representation of NCED as a
whole. The Executive Committee is charged with ongoing review of Center performance including progress on
research projects and individual PIs, and also with assisting the Director and Co-Director in formulating policy,
allocating funds, selecting center research personnel, and evaluating NCED management performance. The
Executive Committee includes: Chris Paola (Director), Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Co-Director), Bill Dietrich (Lead PI
DW), Peter Wilcock (Lead PI SR), David Mohrig (Lead PI SA), Mary Power (member at large, NCED PI), Karen
Campbell (Education Director), Diana Dalbotten (Diversity Director), Jeff Marr (Knowledge Transfer Director) and
Rochelle Storfer (Deputy Director, Administration).
9.2.3. External Advisory Board (EAB) The External Advisory Board provides the Center with guidance on
research, education and knowledge transfer accomplishments, plans and goals. NCED meets formally with the EAB
annually and communicates informally with the EAB Chair as needed. The annual meeting includes presentations
on all aspects of NCED’s activities in the current year and an update on its plans. The meeting culminates with a
written report by the EAB, which is provided to the Director within two weeks of the end of the meeting, followed
by a written response from the Director within two weeks. All recommendations given by the EAB, received in the
form of a report, are taken seriously by NCED management and strongly influence NCED policy and direction. The
current membership of the EAB may be found at the NCED web site, www.nced.umn.edu.
9.3. Organizing NCED’s Research
The main challenge for NCED in its first three years has been to narrow its focus sufficiently to bring all its
“research particles” within interaction range of one another. We began narrowing our focus, during Year 2, by
restricting attention to channels and channel networks, the single most striking and widespread self-organized
pattern on Earth (and other planets as well) and a natural focal point for a center devoted to predictive understanding
of Earth-surface dynamics. To further reduce research scattering, during Year 3 we migrated our research program
to a project-based structure, based on the three Integrated Projects discussed above. From the point of view of
management, these IPs provide a natural means of setting priorities, goals, and deliverables by which ongoing and
proposed research projects and PIs can be evaluated. Because the IP goals are intermediate in scale between the
center’s overall mission and its collection of day-to-day research tasks, they serve a crucial management need: to
maintain a clear “line of sight” between long-term and short-term objectives.
The Integrated Projects were chosen to be: (1) scientifically compelling, (2) broad and cross disciplinary, but
also (3) focused enough to allow for measurable progress each year and major progress over several years,
(4) societally relevant, and (5) integrative in terms of our core scientific expertise. In particular, all three IPs
capitalize on NCED’s strength in combining field, laboratory, and theoretical approaches. Each Integrated Project is
led by a project leader and steering committee who, together with NCED management, establish priorities and
targets for work on the IP, determine allocation of resources among research activities, evaluate ongoing or potential
outside collaborations, establish working groups, and select synthesis group postdoctoral researchers and Visitor
Program participants.
Each Integrated Project comprises a set number of priority research areas, which are listed in Section 5 of this
proposal. Identification of the priority research areas is the responsibility of the IP leader with input from all PIs
involved in the IP. Each research topic requires multiple investigators and subprojects to complete. The priority
research area list serves three purposes: 1) it provides organization, direction and timing to the research that needs to
be conducted 2) it provides a structure and guide for what specific research questions need to be answered, in what
order and by which NCED researchers and 3) it provides a means of evaluating progress toward the final goals of
the IP. Tracking of progress within the IP is done by the IP Project Manager. It is the responsibility of the Project
Managers to provide quarterly progress updates to the Lead PI. This information will be compiled by
communicating with the individual NCED PI’s and students and extracting from them project status in terms of
anticipated end dates and percent completion. The IP leader will use this information in determining future direction
for the IP and will report this information to the Directors and Executive Committee.
We expect the Integrated Projects to evolve in time. They will be continuously evaluated in terms of their
scientific importance, societal relevance, and appropriateness for NCED. To insure that we remain open to new
possibilities for growth, we support small research programs in areas that are possible targets for future work and/or
high-risk but potentially high-return topics consistent with our mission but outside our current IP structure.
9.4. Promoting communication and synthesis
The center cannot add up to more than the sum of its parts if the parts don’t communicate. Thus one of the crucial
tasks of center management is to encourage and facilitate communication among the center’s 150+ participants,
deployed across the continental U.S.. We do this via the following means: center meetings, including PIs, grad
students and postdocs, held typically twice per year; weekly videoconferences; use of collaboration as a metric for
PI evaluation; and Partner meetings, workshops and working groups involving PIs, postdocs and graduate students.
The NCED postdoc program is designed to encourage collaboration and synthesis: NCED central administration
provides postdoc funding to PIs as a 50% match, contingent on at least two PIs agreeing to advise and support the
postdoc by providing the remaining 50% of the funding. In Year 3 we added a Grad Student Council, which among
other initiatives plans yearly center-wide graduate retreats to promote communication and exchange of ideas.
9.5. Management and monitoring
9.5.1. Determining NCED Research Goals: selection and termination of projects Multiple NCED PIs conduct
research within a single IP Priority Research Area. The leader and steering committee for each Integrated Project
must recognize when 1) work on an individual research project is complete or 2) insufficient progress is being made,
and/or 3) priorities have changed and require refocusing of resources. Projects are terminated on this basis by the IP
leader with input from the directorate, appropriate NCED PIs, and the Executive Committee. Identification of
completed research or initiation of new research will be led by the Lead PI based on the progress reports compiled
by the Project Manager. Project assessment will be conducted at least semi-annually at NCED PI retreats.
9.5.2. Allocating the Center’s Resources The fundamental expression of NCED priorities is in how we allocate our
resources. This is done by the Director and Co-Director, with guidance from the Executive Committee. One of our
key management decisions has been to allocate nearly all of NCED’s research resources to PIs rather than projects.
This approach reduces compartmentalization of research, allows flexibility, and encourages PIs to contribute to
multiple projects. Once resources are allocated to PIs, responsibility for ensuring the resources are properly and fully
utilized is delegated to the PI with oversight by NCED central administration. The Deputy Director, Administration
is responsible for providing the Directors with information on resource use, especially spending rates and projected
over- or underspending, on a monthly basis. Resources may be redirected based on this information.
9.5.3. Evaluating Research Progress Our strategy of allocating research funds to PIs rather than projects means
that resources available to each project are determined by how PIs allocate their efforts and those of their students
and postdocs. We achieve consistency between PI plans and project needs by direct negotiation among the IP
leaders, the NCED directorate, and the PIs. Research evaluation is then done by comparing each PI’s output with
their stated commitments. Communication of IP project status, budgets, and successes takes place through
videoconferences, retreats and other meetings, and through IP progress reports. This reporting includes status on IP
Priority Research Areas, knowledge transfer, education, and diversity activities, budget status and any relevant
special issues. Evaluation of PIs and center progress on its research initiatives is both formative and summative.
9.5.4. Partnerships: Selection and Integration NCED selects Partners based on relevance to our mission, quality
of work, and national and international impact. We seek to form lasting relationships with federal and state agency,
industrial and non-profit Partners who are engaged in research or practice that parallels NCED’s three Integrated
Projects. The purpose of our partnerships is both to ensure our research is relevant to practitioners and to provide
mechanisms for disseminating NCED research quickly into practice and to the broader scientific community. The
ultimate goal of our partnerships is to keep NCED research informed and societally relevant while
establishing/promoting wide-spread application of NCED’s deliverables, e.g., the Stream Restoration Toolbox or
incorporating desktop watershed models into training programs. Partners are affiliated with IPs via Partners Groups;
communication is done via meetings, visits, and short courses, as described in Section 7 of this proposal.
The process for forming partnerships is unique in each instance as the nature of the relationship differs with
regard to focus area, tools, training and joint research opportunities. Members of the Partners Group are selected to
ensure that members are committed to entering a two-way relationship with NCED, informing NCED research, and
helping to incorporate NCED research into practice. The IP Lead PI is responsible, with input from other NCED PIs,
for assembling and maintaining the Partners Group for each IP.
9.5.5. Changes to NCED Research Personnel The Center may require changes in research personnel either
because of changing priorities or insufficient progress on existing priorities. Potential new PIs are proposed from
within the center and are evaluated by meeting with the candidate (retreats, field sites, national meetings, etc);
presentation of NCED videoconferences; and/or participation in the Visitors Program. Vetted candidates are then
nominated by the Executive Committee and appointed by the Director with the advice of the PIs. PIs may be
dropped from the Center by the Director, in consultation with the Executive Committee.
9.5.6. Tracking Center Internal Data We are in the process of improving our data acquisition strategy by
establishing a data warehouse to provide an integrated set of participant and output information (e.g. papers
submitted, awards, leveraged funding, and student information). Primarily, the data warehouse will facilitate
reporting and strategic decision making by facilitating measurement of the efficacy, relevance and leadership of the
Center’s activities. In addition, the data warehouse will interface with NCED’s website to make it easier to access.
9.6. NCED after 10
We have just completed three years out of a maximum of ten years of STC funding, so it is premature to offer a
detailed plan for extending NCED beyond Year 10. We envision that predictive Earth-surface dynamics will emerge
at the core of basic and applied environmental research and that the essential role of the center in developing,
integrating and supporting research and applications will be widely recognized. To prepare a clear and effective
long-term plan, we will establish a Continuation Committee this year (Year 4) that will present an initial plan at the
next PI retreat in spring, 2006. By articulating this plan six years before the end of NSF support, we expect to enlist
our partners in helping define, and eventually supporting, NCED as a long-term entity. Here we anticipate some of
the elements of our long-term planning: (1) Each NCED Integrated Project provides a uniquely valuable
contribution to applied research and environmental management. Our partners are actively involved and represent
government and industrial entities with substantial resources. Our long-term planning will be a collaboration with
these partners, working toward a shared vision and commitment to basic and applied research. (2) NCED continues
its commitment to integrating experimental research into Earth-surface dynamics, and we expect that this will fuel
demand in the community for access to advanced experimental facilities. The laboratories in NCED could be
structured into a national network to provide community access. Such a national center was called for in an NSFsponsored workshop on the future of geomorphology and Quaternary science [Anderson and Ito, 2000], and
provided a major impetus for NCED’s Visitors Program. A potential model is the National Nanotechnology
Infrastructure Network, http://www.nnin.org/. (3) St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, headquarters of NCED, is itself a
self-supporting organization. Coordinating applied aspects of NCED’s Integrated Projects with SAFL’s applied
research program will help this research attract independent funding, capitalizing on NCED-related SAFL
investments such as the Outdoor Laboratory for Ecogeomorphology and River Restoration (discussed in Section 14
of this proposal). (4) NCED will continue coordinating its efforts with other relevant national programs such as
coordinated national effort in predictive environmental science. We are confident that integrated Earth-surface
dynamics will continue to be central to this effort.
10. Lists of Project Personnel and Institutions
UNIVERSITY PARTICIPANTS (Senior personnel in bold)
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC):
Chris Paola (Professor, Department of Geology and Geophysics)
Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Professor, Department of Civil Engineering)
Vaughan Voller (Professor, Department of Civil Engineering)
Miki Hondzo (Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering)
Fernando Porté-Agel (Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering)
Jacques Finlay (Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior)
Lesley Perg (Assistant Professor, Department of Geology and Geophysics)
Diana Dalbotten (Research Associate)
Karen Campbell (Research Fellow)
Jeff Marr (Research Fellow)
Rochelle Storfer (Administrative Professional)
University of California – Berkeley (UCB):
Jillian Banfield (Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences)
William Dietrich (Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences)
Mary Power (Professor, Department of Integrative Biology)
Princeton University (PU):
Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe (Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):
David Mohrig (Assistant Professor, Dept of Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences)
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College (FDLTCC):
Andrew Wold (Department of Biology)
Holly Pellerin (Gear Up! Director)
Johns Hopkins University (JHU):
Benjamin Hobbs (Professor, Geography & Environmental Engineering)
Peter Wilcock (Professor, Geography & Environmental Engineering)
University of Colorado (UCo):
Nicholas Flores (Associate Professor, Department of Economics)
University of Illinois – Urbana/Champagne (UIUC):
Gary Parker (Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Gregory Wilkerson (Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM)
Patrick Hamilton (Director, Environmental Sciences and Earth System Sciences)
CALFED: Bay-Delta Program (Johnnie Moore)
US Department of Agriculture: National Sedimentation Laboratory (Doug Shields)
US Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service (Jerry Bernard; Jon Fripp)
US Department of Agriculture: US Forest Service (John Buffington; John Potyondy)
US Department of Commerce: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Fisheries (Brian Cluer)
US Department of Defense: Office of Naval Research (Tom Drake)
US Department of Defense: US Army Corps of Engineers (Meg Jonas; Craig Fischenich; Rebecca Soileau)
Environmental Protection Agency (Thomas Davenport; Elise Striz)
US Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management (Jim Fogg)
US Department of the Interior: Fish and Wildlife Service (Janine Castro; Alan Temple)
US Department of the Interior: National Park Service (Hal Pranger; Bill Jackson)
US Department of the Interior: US Bureau of Reclamation: Sediment and River Hydraulics Group (Drew
Baird; Lisa Fotherby; Tim Randle)
US Department of the Interior: US Bureau of Reclamation: Trinity River Restoration Program (Andreas
US Department of the Interior: US Geological Survey (John Gray; Robert Jacobson)
CHRONOS (Iowa State Univ., Cinzia Cervato)
Fond du Lac Ojibwe School (Holly Pellerin)
Lawrence University: Dept. of Geology (Jeff Clark)
San Francisco State University: Department of Geosciences (Leonard Sklar)
Texas A&M, Kingsville: Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (Jennifer Ren)
Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas (Jose Lopez)
Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina (Mario Amsler)
University of Arizona: Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (Jim Shuttleworth)
University of California, Berkeley: Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Engineering
(Matt Kondolf)
University of California, Los Angeles: Center for Embedded Network Sensing (Deborah Estrin; Karen
Kim; Wesley Uehara)
University of Colorado: INSTAAR (James Syvitski )
University of Florida: National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (Ramesh Shrestha)
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign: Advanced Materials for Water Purification (Mark Shannon)
University of Maryland: Department of Entomology and Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (Margaret
University of Michigan: Geowall Consortium (Paul Morin)
University of Minnesota: Minnesota Supercomputing Institute / Digital Technology Center (Don Truhlar;
Andrew Odlyzko)
University of Minnesota: Graduate School Outreach Office (Kathryn Johnson)
University of Minnesota: Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (Doug Arnold)
University of Minnesota: Minnesota Geological Survey (Harvey Thorliefson)
University of Minnesota: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory Applied Research Group (Omid Mohseni)
University of North Carolina: Dept. of Geography (Martin Doyle)
University of Washington: Center for Water and Watersheds (Derek Booth)
Utah State University: Department of Aquatic, Watershed and Earth Resources (Jack Schmidt)
West Virginia University: Department of Geology and Geography (Steve Kite)
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (Todd Greene)
ChevronTexaco (Marty Perlmutter, Frank Harris)
ConocoPhillips (Al Shultz, Julia Ericsson)
ExxonMobil Upstream Research (Penny Patterson, Frank Goulding)
Japan Oil Gas and Mineral Exploration Company (Osamu Takano)
R2 Resource Consultants (Dudley Reiser, Paul DeVries)
Shell International Exploration and Production Company (Carlos Pirmez)
Stillwater Sciences (Frank Ligon, Bruce Orr; Peter Downs)
Wildland Hydrology (David Rosgen)
American Indian Higher Education Consortium (Dana Grant)
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (Pamela Silas)
Association for Women Geoscientists, Minnesota Chapter (Lesley Perg)
Canaan Valley Institute (Ron Preston)
Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Division of Indian Work (Louise Mattson)
Dragonfly TV (Richard Hudson)
Laurentian Center (Kristian Jankofsky)
Quality Education for Minorities (Shirley McBay)
Science Center at the Maltby Nature Preserve (Jeff Maltby, Sil Pembleton)
SciTech Hands On (Ronen Mir)
Richard Sparks, Chair (Director of Research, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center)
David Cacchione (Senior Oceanographer, Coastal and Marine Environments)
Dhamo Dhamothran (Senior Vice President and Regional Manager, URS Corporation)
David Furbish (Professor and Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt
Richard Hooper (Executive Director, CUAHSI)
Jean Moon (Director, Board on Science Education, National Research Council)
Anthony Paul Murphy (Assistant Professor, College of St. Catherine)
Margaret Palmer (Director and Professor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland
Center for Environmental Sciences)
Rick Sarg (Senior Advisor – geosciences William M. Cobb and Associates Inc. World wide Petroleum
David V. Taylor (Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Morehouse College)
Madonna Yawakie (President and CEO, Turtle Island Communication, Inc.)
The list of reviewers with potential conflicts of interest is voluminous. An Excel workbook containing this list
will be submitted to NSF electronically.
11. Intellectual Property Rights
The National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics (NCED) will develop new methodologies for laboratory
experiments, new field equipment and instrumentation, and new computer models for modeling and prediction of
landscapes, including meandering rivers, braided rivers and alluvial fans. Some examples of new laboratory
measurement technologies include dye-based methodologies for measuring flow over complex surfaces,
development of laser-based methods for measuring surface elevation with millimeter accuracy in the vertical and
over extensive areas, the development of a rotating cylindrical channel to test bedrock incision theories, and
development of basins with a programmable subsiding floor. Some example computer models include the “River
Restoration Toolbox” and algorithms for the extraction of channels, floodplains and other topographic features from
high resolution LIDAR data. These new tools will be developed from the staff of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
or any other NCED participating institution, from government research organizations and from the private sector.
Intellectual property is defined as all inventions, devices, processes, methods, software products, whether
patentable or not, and works of authorship, and related know-how conceived or first actually reduced to practice in
the course of research conducted by the Center researchers or at the Center by its participants. Intellectual property
will be allocated according to applicable employment contracts and U. S. Patent Law (Title 35 U. S. Code) and U. S.
Copyright Law (Title 17 U. S. Code) in effect at the time the intellectual property was created. Federal agency
participants’ rights to intellectual property are governed by the Bayh-Dole Act. The U.S. Government has rights to
intellectual property developed all or in part in the Center with the use of federal funds. Protection and transfer of
Center intellectual property shall be managed by the University of Minnesota in consultation with the Center’s
participants. Any income, less costs, to protect Intellectual property, shall be shared with inventors and developers
or works of authorship according to the policies of their employers.
The Center invites participation by industry. Industrial participation in Center-funded activities, however, will
be predicated on the concept of open research producing openly available results. Separately funded spinoffs from
Center research may be subject to reasonable disclosure agreements with the Center and the University of
Minnesota. In some cases of separately funded spinoffs the intellectual property rights may accrue to the company in
question rather than the Center. Any commercial license to intellectual property resulting from work conducted
under the Center’s funding is, of course, subject to the rights of the federal government. The Center is committed to
the distribution of free shareware based on the results of research, primarily via our website www.nced.umn.edu.
12. Shared Experimental Facilities
12.1. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL)
The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory for Engineering, Environmental, and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics is located
on an island just downstream of the only major waterfall on the Mississippi River – St. Anthony Falls. The site
provides access to about 14m of hydraulic head to drive water through SAFL’s experimental basins and channels.
Availability of water is thus not a limiting factor in designing experiments. SAFL is one of the few university-based
experimental laboratories in the United States where engineering sediment transport, geomorphology, sedimentary
geology, hydrology and ecobiological fluid dynamics are completely and seamlessly integrated.
SAFL comprises 4460 m2 of flumes, basin, tanks and offices. It has a number of unique facilities, including (1)
a channel running the length of the laboratory (84m), fed directly from the Mississippi River for large-scale
experiments; (2) a 2.7m deep aquarium-grade tank with a suspended inner channel for subaqueous flow
experiments; (3) a recirculating turbidity-current flume for studying sustained turbidity currents; (4) a boundarylayer wind tunnel capable of speeds up to 45m/s; and (5) a basin equipped with a programmable subsiding floor used
to reproduce patterns of tectonic subsidence and uplift. SAFL also houses several smaller labs, including wet
chemistry, sediment analysis, and a biological laboratory with plant-growth chambers, incubators and
spectrophotometers. SAFL major facilities include:
Experimental EarthScapes (XES) Basin
Size: 12.2m x 0.5m x 1.2 m
The Experimental EarthScapes facility (a.k.a. “Jurassic Tank”) is a unique experimental basin equipped with a
programmable subsiding floor that can produce up to 1.3m of differential vertical movement. Since base level is
also independently controllable, the XES basin can reproduce patterns of uplift as well as subsidence, by simply
subsiding one region more slowly than another. It thus can be adapted for the study of erosionally driven drainage
basin formation as well as depositionally driven processes. Submarine as well as subaerial processes can be
modeled. The XES basin is equipped with laser and sonar systems for subaerial and submarine topography,
respectively, overhead digital cameras, and a unique telecentric panel-scanning camera that provides grain-scale
resolution in images of arbitrary size.
Main Test Channel
Size: 84.0m x 2.75m x 1.80m; Discharge capacity: 8,500 l/s
The main channel at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory receives flow directly from the Mississippi River, providing
discharges as high as 7 m3/s. It has a variable-speed motor-driven carriage, a wavemaker at one end, facilities for
recirculating sediment, a glass-wall observation section, towing carriage with 6 m/s maximum velocity, and a
measurement carriage.
Submarine Flow Tank
Size: 10.0m x 3.0m x 0.6m
This facility is designed for the study of both subaqueous and subaerial debris and turbidity flows. The walls on
three sides are constructed from 32 mm thick aquarium-grade glass to resist up to 3 m of hydrostatic water
pressure. Inside the tank is a channel with a width of 20cm down which the experimental flows run. The slope of
this channel can be varied from 0° - 20°. A system of video recorders, acoustic profilers, sediment siphons and
freeze corers, along with a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system for velocity measurements allows for complete
documentation of flows.
Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel
Test Section 1: 16.0m x 1.5m x 1.7m; Discharge velocity: 45 m/s
Test Section 2: 18.0m x 2.4m x 2.4m; Discharge velocity: 19 m/s
The SAFL wind tunnel is a recirculating tunnel with two sections. It is a boundary layer tunnel that is designed for
the study of the Earth surface/atmospheric interaction. It has been used for, among other things, studies of wind in
vegetation canopies, wind patterns around obstacles, blown snow and evapotranspiration. It is presently adapted for
the verification of Large Eddy Simulation (LES) models of geophysical turbulence in the bottom boundary layer of
the atmosphere.
Tilting Bed Flume
Size: 12m x 0.5m x 0.91m
The slope of the tilting flume can be varied by motor control from 0 to 5%. The flume has an elevator sediment feed
at the upstream end and a sediment trap at the downstream end. Sediment can either be recirculated or fed.
Size: 12.2m x 0.15m x 0.4m; Discharge capacity: 14 l/s
The bioflume, with its plexiglass observation walls, is designed for conducting experiments on interaction of fluids
and biota.
General Purpose Flumes
Two 15 cm Flumes - Size: 12.2m x 0.15m x 0.4m; Discharge capacity: 14 l/s
50 cm Flume - Size: 9.1m x 0.5m x 0.7m; Discharge capacity: 113 l/s
60 cm Flume - Size: 15.2m x 0.6m x 0.4m; Discharge capacity: 113 l/s
Sediment Channel - Size: 27.0m x 0.5m x 0.6m; Water discharge: 20 to 125 l/s
30 cm Channel - Size: 16.2m x 0.3m x 0.65m
Main River Model Basin - Size: 47.0m x 7.0m x 0.6m; Discharge capacity: 450 l/s
Delta Basin - Size: 5.0m x 5.0m x 0.64m
Unconfined Debris Flow Basin - Size: 4.0m x 1.8m x 0.6m; Discharge capacity = 42 l/s
SAFL has a fully equipped machine shop that can construct new basins or modify existing ones to meet special
needs. The SAFL staff are particularly experienced in building scale models, such as approach channels and intakes,
and sections of natural rivers. In addition to the above facilities for NCED research, SAFL has a suite of
instrumentation and equipment available to measure temperature, pressure, velocity, flowrate, water surface
elevation, dynamic forces (e.g., lift and drag), sub-aerial and sub-marine topography, weather parameters, air
pressure, solar radiation, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, chlorophyl concentration, particle size and
concentration, turbidity, etc., including: two Scani-Valves, one JSR Pulser, one xyz positioning system, one
Telecentric Sediment Scanner, four Keyence LK2500 Series laser displacement sensors, three Massa M5000/220
smart ultrasonic sensors, three Campbell Scientific CR10X dataloggers, one Sontek PC-ADP acoustic doppler
velocity profiler, and one Sontek micro ADV acoustic doppler velocity meter.
12.2. University of California – Berkeley: Angelo Coast Range Reserve
NCED field work will be carried out in the South Fork of the Eel River, within the Angelo Coast Range
Reserve, located 3.5 hours by car from the U.C. Berkeley Campus and the San Francisco or Oakland airports. The
entire study area is protected from unrestricted public access by a gated road, which provides easy transportation of
material and equipment to field sites. The Reserve Steward, Peter Steel, who lives year-round at the Reserve,
provides site supervision and is available for rapid response to hardware malfunctions. Co-PI Mary Power is the
Faculty Manager of this University of California Natural Reserve System Preserve. Various buildings and
outbuildings on the reserve are available for year-round housing, laboratory use, and equipment storage. A new $1.4
M Environment Science Center, constructed in 2002 with a gift from the Goldman Fund, includes a two large
laboratories (with ovens, muffle furnace, fume hood, and extensive workspace), a computer lab and DSL
connectivity to all rooms where sensors can be calibrated etc., a herbarium, and a facility providing access to the
canopy of old growth redwood and Douglas fir trees along a river to ridgeline gradient. At present, in collaboration
with fellow STC the Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS), we are constructing a wireless network at
ACRR. This network is being designed by DW project manager Collin Bode with input from the SAFL technical
staff, based on a viewshed analysis of ACRR using recently acquired NCED bare-earth and canopy LIDAR data
acquired by NCED in collaboration with the NCALM airborne-laser center. The network will support automated
environmental sensors of light, temperature, and soil moisture, plus imaging for algal blooms and acoustic detection
of bats. The LIDAR also supports analysis of relations between network structure and habitat, local channel
properties, and vegetation as discussed above under the Desktop Watersheds IP (Section 5.3.1). Finally, in view of
the importance of nitrogen to the ACRR system, we are also developing a new nitrate probe based on genetically
engineered bacterial technology that will be tested at SAFL and then deployed at ACRR. The next year or so will
see expansion of metabolism studies at ACRR to cover 12 positions from 1 to 310 km2 drainage area.
12.3. University of California – Berkeley: Richmond Field Station
The Richmond Field Station (RFS) is an academic teaching and research off-site facility located 6 miles
northwest of the UC Berkeley Central Campus on the San Francisco Bay that has been used primarily for large-scale
engineering research since 1950. The 152-acre property consists of 100-acres of uplands with the remainder being
marsh or bay lands.
The Field Station has several flumes and channels available for NCED’s use, including a 30 m long by 0.86 m
wide sediment feed flume, a 7 m long 1.5 m wide sediment feed flume, a 7 m by 4 m sediment basin for conducting
experiments on self formed channel, a 12 m by 7 m sediment basin for conducting experiments on self formed
channels, a 7m by 3m basin for conducting experiments on tie channels, and a 4 m vertically rotating drum for
conducting experiments on granular and debris flows.
12.4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Experimental Sedimentology and Geomorphology Laboratory
The Morphodynamics Laboratory of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences is located in
Building N9 on the MIT campus. The laboratory has a footprint of 380 m2 and contains three long channels for
investigating channel-bed evolution associated with sediment-transporting unidirectional flows, 1 large duct for
studying sediment transport under conditions of combined flow (reversing current + unidirectional flow), and a large
tank for studying depositional and erosional patterns associated with unconfined to fully channelized density
currents. In addition to this infrastructure the lab operates a Horiba LA-300 laser particle-size analyzer and a
Retsch Technology CAMSIZER (digital image-processing particle-size analyzer) providing high-resolution grain
size and shape data for the ongoing morphodynamic studies.
Experimental turbidity current tank
The experimental turbidity current tank is used to study depositional turbidity currents in various channel
geometries by preparing crushed silica in the reservoir tank, and then pumping to a constant head tank,
which then delivers a steady flow to the main tank. The ambient water in the main tank is less dense than
the sediment mixture, and so the sediment mixture flows out into a constructed channel as a turbidity
current, i.e. along the bottom and beneath the ambient fluid. The design allows study of the effects of
varying discharge, sediment concentration and channel geometry on the fluid dynamics and depositional
behavior of turbidity currents.
Combined flow duct
Size: 9.8m x 1.2m x 0.6m
The combined flow duct is an enclosed flume that allows study of sediment transport and bed evolution
under oscilliatory flow (wave), unidirectional flow (current), and combined wave and current conditions
(combined flow). This experimental facility was specifically designed so that peak velocities for reversing
currents were sufficient to suspend natural particles as large as lower coarse sand in size. These high
velocities are generated using a two-piston drive that acts on water filled columns connected to each end of
the test chute.
Narrow accelerating turbidity current channel
Size: 12.0m x 0.5m x 1.5m
The narrow accelerating turbidity current channel is used to study flow and deposition of turbidity currents
in 2D. The large depth allows us to install platforms of various geometries and slope to study the behavior
of turbidity currents over varying topography. In particular, sloped ramps may be installed to examine
turbidity current acceleration and subsequent changes in fluid entrainment, deposition and flow velocity.
Narrow unidirectional flume
Size: 10.0m x 0.2m x 0.25m
The narrow unidirectional flume is used to study two-dimensional ripples, bedform interaction, and also as
a teaching flume for demonstration of hydraulics and sediment transport. Bed geometry is documented in
the flume using a laser displacement sensor from Banner Engineering, which allows profiles to be pulled by
sweeping over the bed, or can be left in place to measure ripples translating past a fixed location. Bedform
evolution has also been documented using time lapse photography at the sidewall of the channel.
Wide unidirectional flume
Size: 10.0m x 2.0m x 0.5m
The wide unidirectional flume allows us to study the full range of bedforms that occur in a natural river,
including large dunes with ripples superimposed on them, and sandy bars whose depth is comparable to the
flow depth.
12.5. University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign: Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory (VTCHL)
The Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory covers a surface area of about 1100 m2. It contains several large
flumes, physical models, and other experimental facilities. Special purpose research facilities include: an oscillatory
flow facility that has been used to make preliminary observations on contaminant fluxes at sediment-water
interfaces, an apparatus for studying sediment transport in unsteady flows, an annular flume for sediment
flocculation studies, a stratified flow facility for modeling sediment-laden gravity currents, and a tank for studying
sediment dynamics on a continental shelf. The VTCHL also houses several smaller facilities, including a
sedimentation lab and computer facilities.
Large Tilting Flume
Size: 49.0m x 1.83m x 1.22m
The motor-operated jack system may be used to set the channel at slopes from 0 to 2.5%. Near the headbox
of the channel is a sediment feed hopper set into the bed of the channel. A large hydraulic cylinder supports
the bottom plate of the sediment feed hopper. A hydraulic system drives this upward at various rates to
allow material at the bed elevation to be sheared off by the flow. Near the tail gate of the channel is a
sediment collection hopper that may be flushed through a pinch valve on the side of the channel. The bed
plates and side plates of the channel are all independently adjusted for alignment. The No. 7 pump normally
supplies the channel and discharge returns to the main and auxiliary sumps by the floor channel system.
However, experimenters may isolate the north floor channel from the remainder of the system by inserting
bulkheads with inflatable seals. They may isolate the auxiliary sump from the main sump by closing the
valve on the connecting line. Thus, the 161-ft channel, the north floor channel, and the auxiliary sump may
function as a closed recirculating system.
Smaller Tilting Flume
Size: 19.51m x 0.91m x 0.61m
There is a 4' deep section near the headbox that may be used for section models. A pin and two
mechanically connected screwjacks that may be set at slopes from 0 to 10% provide the mounting for the
channel. In other respects it is similar to the large tilting flume.
Smallest Tilting Flume
Size: 9.14m x 0.46m x 0.61m
Hydraulically operated cylinders provide slope regulation from -5% to +15%. When operating the tilting
mechanism it is important to switch on the oil pump to avoid spilling oil forced out of one set of cylinders
over the floor. The head gate and tail gate are also hydraulically operated - city water supply provides the
pressure. At 12" intervals along the channel floor are brass inserts. These have a 1/4-20 female thread to
permit attaching models and other devices.
Large Oscillating Water Sediment Tunnel (LOWST)
This flume, one of the largest of its kind in the world, allows for research into boundary layer flows,
turbulence, ripple formation, and cylinder burial.
12.6. Johns Hopkins University: Erosion and Sedimentation Laboratory
The Erosion and Sedimentation Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University is located in a newly renovated industrial
space. The lab footprint is approx. 175 m2 and includes two flumes and a 4m x 16m open space with 3.5m clearance
and a below-grade sump (section dimensions 1.3m x 1.3m), for scale models or a stream table.
Large tilting flume
Size 17m x 0.6m x 0.35m
A motor operated jack system adjusts the slope between 0-2.75 %. The channel is constructed of clear plastic,
allowing viewing of the full sediment bed and transport. Water is recirculated from a tailbox through two 750 gpm
centrifugal pumps. Sediment up to 32 mm can be recirculated through an air-driven diaphragm pump or fed from a
conveyor belt above the flume headbox..
Small tilting flume
Size 4m x 0.15m x 0.35m
Slope is manually adjustable between 0-12 %. The channel is constructed of clear plastic, allowing viewing of the
full sediment bed and transport. Sediment is fed from a conveyor belt above the flume headbox.. Design is intended
for pilot tests and large numbers of replicates of simple experiments.
13. Committed Funding by Source
The first and third lines of Table 1 below show the NCED NSF request and match, respectively. Lines two, four, and
five represent commitments by our Partners. Partners contribute substantial funding to NCED collaborations,
primarily through personnel time and internal research support. The effort includes participation in IP Partners
meetings as well as meetings of Partner subgroups (e.g. restoration training), and direct participation in research
projects. An example collaboration is a series of experiments this year at SAFL in which researchers from the
USGS, US Bureau Reclamation, and USDA Forest Service will participate in testing sediment-transport techniques
and instrumentation as part of the 2006 Visitors Program.
Table 1 shows spending by Partners directly on NCED activities. It does not include much larger amounts spent by
our Partners on their own research that contributes to NCED’s mission and in many cases is coordinated with NCED
research. For example, our collaboration with the US Bureau of Reclamation includes projects on dam removal,
development of restoration strategies for braided channels, and development of design procedures for river
structures; Bureau of Reclamation research on these topics involves personnel spending in excess of $350k per year.
Collaboration with Stillwater Science and CALFED on experimental studies of dam removal, gravel augmentation,
and channel geometry currently involves support in excess of $1M through the California Bay-Delta Authority. We
expect both research and training collaborations with Partners in all three IPs to continue through Years 6-10 and
have received commitments from many of our Partners to that effect. The figures provided below are very
conservative estimates for the Year 6-10 continuation of agency and industry Partner direct spending on NCED
Table 1 Committed funding by source, in thousands of dollars
Year 6
Cash In Kind
Year 7
Cash In Kind
Year 8
Cash In Kind
Year 9
Cash In Kind
Year 10
Cash In Kind
Other Govt.
704 14. Institutional and Other Sector Support
Several major developments have taken place at leading NCED institutions that reinforce and accelerate NCED’s
mission of developing an integrated, predictive science of Earth-surface dynamics and communicating this with
diverse stakeholders. The University of Minnesota has embarked on a series of six new presidential level initiatives,
one of which is in environmental science. At present, $1.5 million has been allocated to this initiative, which will
provide small grants and new faculty hires across the Twin Cities campus in support of environmental science. The
University’s presidential initiative will complement and synergize with NCED in an expanded UMTC effort in
predictive environmental science over the next several years. Another major development last year was our success
at UMTC in obtaining a new IGERT grant ($2,199,669 over five years) in nonlinear dynamics as a unifying theme
in the environment. The IGERT program involves ecology, civil engineering, and geology, the three departments
involved in NCED, and four NCED PIs are participants, including two lead IGERT PIs. It extends the NCED
transdisciplinary effort to a much larger group of UMTC faculty and, with its emphasis on quantitative analysis,
nicely complements NCED’s core research program.
St Anthony Falls Laboratory has also continued its strong commitment to investing in the joint future of the lab
and NCED. In support of NCED’s stream restoration IP, and recognizing the future potential of stream restoration
for the lab itself, SAFL is working to develop two floodway channels adjacent to its main building into a new
Outdoor Laboratory for Ecogeomorphology and River Restoration (OLERR). This unique research facility will
comprise two parts: (1) The Riverine Corridor Laboratory, 120 m long with flow capacity up to 8.5 m3/s, will be
used to study a broad range of channel and floodplain processes. The channel pattern and shape will be configurable
according to research needs. It will be designed for mobile bed/sediment transport research, to study the interactions
among the channel, floodplain and vegetation. (2) The Ecology and Land Use Dynamics Basin will be a 30 m by 12
m area, with flow capacity 0.8 m3/s, that will be designed to accommodate channel research, to impound water for
studying reservoir, lake, and ocean processes and will be equipped with a computer-controlled weir for water
surface elevation control. The guiding principle of the OLERR design is to allow study of a wide range of ecological
and biogeochemical processes under controlled conditions. The research topics we envision for the OLERR facility
include channel-floodplain interactions, vegetation and channel dynamics, natural and biodegradable bank
stabilization, biogeochemical processes in streams, physical controls on fish habitat, dam removal, and channel
realignment and reconstruction schemes.
14.1. Additional institutional support
All institutions participating in NCED are contributing cost share to NCED. Here we highlight cash contributions
and other related support for NCED. The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities has committed a total of
$3,845,383 of matching funds to the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. Of these funds, $2,394,708 is in
cash: $1,000,000 from the Office of the Vice President for Research; $721,000 from the Institute of Technology
Dean’s Office; $237,408 from the Department of Civil Engineering; $94,962 from the Department of Geology and
Geophysics; and $340,900 from SAFL. These funds will pay for essentially all of NCED administration, freeing us
to use nearly 100% of our NSF funds for research, education, knowledge transfer, and diversity. The Science
Museum of Minnesota has committed $120,000 of in-kind matching funds to the Center and continues to
energetically pursue leveraged successes such as its new Water Planet program involving three STCs (NCED,
WaterCAMPWS, and SAHRA), which was funded in 2005 for $2,698,988 (NSF, NOAA). In addition, the Museum
continues to commit a major portion of its outdoor Science Park (the “Big Back Yard”) for EarthScapes exhibits.
Finally, the Museum has committed both space and facilities pertaining to its Youth Science Center and Science
Outreach Program for use in the Center’s educational and knowledge transfer missions. The University of
California, Berkeley Department of Earth & Planetary Science and Department of Integrative Biology have
committed a total of $359,788 of cash and $164,912 of in-kind matching funds to the Center. In addition, Berkeley
has committed access and support for the Angelo Coast Range Reserve and Richmond Field Station for field
research. ACRR is a major field research site, with a recently completed $1,400,000 Environmental Center. Support
from the UC system for maintenance and management will amount to approximately $320,000 over Years 6-10. A
proposal currently under consideration by the Keck foundation would provide high-resolution (time and space)
monitoring of precipitation, humidity, temperature, soil moisture and runoff geochemistry in the Elder Creek
watershed in the ACCR. At the Richmond Field Station over $1,000,000 has been spent in the past two years
renovating a building and constructing new flumes. The University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign has committed
$74,884 of cash and $176,461 of in-kind matching funds to the Center. Johns Hopkins University and MIT will
cover tuition for NCED graduate students, in the amounts of $215,790 and $126,600 respectively. The remaining
institutional matches are in kind, and are detailed in the budget section of this proposal.
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and long profiles of rivers, Proceedings, International Conference on Civil and Environmental Engineering
(ICCEE), Hiroshima University, Japan, July 27-28, 2004.
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Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, Barcelona, Spain, September 1-5.
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Plant Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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age, and channel migration rate from Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) analysis of floodplain deposits,
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16. Biographical Sketches
Biographical sketches have been removed from the public version of the renewal proposal. Information is
available from David Olsen at [email protected]
pages 41 - 82
17. Budget and Budget Justification
The budget and budget justification has been removed from this version of the renewal proposal.
Information is available from David Olsen at [email protected]
pages 83 - 159
18. Current and Pending Support
Information on senior personnel current and pending support has been removed from the public version of
the renewal proposal. Information is available from David Olsen at [email protected]
pages 160 - 190
FACILITIES: Identify the facilities to be used at each performance site listed and, as appropriate, indicate their capacities, pertinent
capabilities, relative proximity, and extent of availability to the project. Use “Other” to describe the facilities at any other
performance sites listed and at sites for field studies. Use additional pages if necessary.
Laboratory: University of Minnesota, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (see shared facilities section)
MIT – Experimental Sedimentology and Geomorphology Laboratory (see shared facilities section)
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign – Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory (see shared facilities section)
Johns Hopkins University, Erosion and Sedimentation Laboratory. 175 sq. m laboratory space, including 4m x 16m open
space with large below-grade sump for model construction or stream table.
Clinical: n/a
Animal: n/a
Computer: NCED researchers have access to supercomputing facilities at participating institutions, including the
Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Office: In addition to the spaces provided at participating institutions to house faculty and students, SAFL has dedicated
11 offices for NCED research, staff and visitor use
Other: Field Sites
University of California, Berkeley - Angelo Coast Range Reserve (see shared facilities)
University of California, Berkeley - Richmond Field Station (see shared facilities)
MAJOR EQUIPMENT: List the most important items available for this project and, as appropriate, identify the location and
pertinent capabilities of each.
In addition to the facilities described in Section 12 and computers, digital cameras, standard equipment and supplies
made available by participating institutions for use in laboratory and field work, the following major pieces of equipment
are utilized extensively by NCED researchers:
SAFL:two Scani-Valves, one JSR Pulser, one xyz positioning system, one Telecentric Sediment Scanner, four Keyence
LK2500 Series laser displacement sensors, three Massa M5000/220 smart ultrasonic sensors, three Campbell Scientific
CR10X dataloggers, one Sontek PC-ADP acoustic doppler velocity profiler, and one Sontek micro ADV acoustic doppler
velocity meter
ACRR & Power Lab: In addition to standard equipment and supplies used in lab and field work: 3 Hydrolab Datasonde
4a (TM) portable data loggers, 1 Epifluorescence microscope, 2 compound light microscopes, 4 dissecting microscopes,
2 Carlo Erba CHN analyzers, 2 Wiley Mills and other stable carbon and nitrogen isotope sample preparation equipment,
2 Europa dual inlet mass spectrometers, 1 Spectronics 21 spectrophotometer, 1 Turner Designs Model TD 700
fluorometer, 1 Shimadzu TIC/TOC analyzer for total inorganic and organic dissolved carbon, 1 Mettler and Ohaus
laboratory and field balances, 1 Cahn microbalance, 2 large drying ovens, 2 muffle furnaces, refrigerators and freezers
for sample storage, 2 portable YSI DO meters (Model 550), 1 YSI conductivity and salinity meter, 1 Licor underwater
photometer and spherical radiometer, 1 Unidata 1 m capacitive water depth probe for low-stage monitoring, 1 Digital
stage recorder for winter flood stage measurements
Banfield Lab: X-ray diffractometer, Ion chromatograph, BET instrument, laminar flow hoods, autoclaves, centrifuges and
other laboratory equipment for microbiological studies
OTHER RESOURCES: Provide any information describing the other resources available for the project. Identify support services
such as consultant, secretarial, machine shop, and electronics shop, and the extent to which they will be available for the project.
Include an explanation of any consortium/contractual/subaward arrangements with other organizations.
SAFL’s instrumentation lab and machine shop are available as needed for the construction of specialized equipment or
customization of laboratory facilities.
NSF Form 1363 (10/99)
20.1. List of NCED publications
Abreu, V., M. Sullivan, C. Pirmez, and D. Mohrig (2003), Lateral accretion packages (LAPs); an important reservoir
element in deep water sinuous channels, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 20, 631-648.
Basu, S., E. Foufoula-Georgiou, and F. Porte-Agel (2004), Synthetic turbulence, fractal interpolation and large-eddy
simulation, Physical Review E, 70, 026310, doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.70.026310.
Bergstedt, M., M. Hondzo, and J. B. Cotner (2004), Effects of small-scale fluid motion on bacterial growth and
respiration, Freshwater Biology, 49, 28-40.
Blom, A., and G. Parker (2004), Vertical sorting and the morphodynamics of bedform-dominated rivers: a modeling
framework, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 109, F02007, doi: 10.1029/2003JF000069.
Cantelli, A., C. Paola, and G. Parker (2004), Experiments on upstream-migrating erosional narrowing and widening
of an incisional channel caused by dam removal, Water Resources Research, 40, doi: 10.1029/2003WR002940.
Carper, M., and F. Porte-Agel (2004), The role of coherent structures and subfilter-scale dissipation rates of
turbulence measured in the atmospheric surface layer, Journal of Turbulence, 5, 1-24.
Casadei, M., W. E. Dietrich, and N. L. Miller (2003), Testing a model for predicting the timing and location of
shallow landslide initiation in soil mantled landscapes, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 28, 925-950.
*Caylor, K. K., S. Manfreda, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2005), On the coupled geomorphological and ecohydrological
organization of river basins, Advances in Water Resources, 28, 69-86.
Caylor, K. K., T. M. Scanlon, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Feasible optimality of vegetation patterns in river
basins, Geophysical Research Letters, 31, doi: 10.1029/2004GL02060.
Cazanacli, D., C. Paola, and G. Parker (2002), Experimental steep, braided flow: Application to flooding risk on
fans, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 128, 322-330.
Cui, Y., G. Parker, C. Braudrick, W. E. Dietrich, and B. Cluer (2005), Dam Removal Express Assessment Models
(DREAM), Part 1: Model development and validation, Journal of Hydraulic Research, in press.
Cui, Y., G. Parker, C. Braudrick, W. E. Dietrich, and B. Cluer (2005), Dam Removal Express Assessment Models
(DREAM), Part 2: Sample runs/sensitivity tests, Journal of Hydraulic Research, in press.
Cui, Y., G. Parker, T. Lisle, J. Gott, M. Hansler, J. E. Pizzuto, N. E. Allmendinger, and J. M. Reed (2003), Sediment
pulses in mountain rivers Part 1: Experiments, Water Resources Research, 39, 1239.
Cui, Y., G. Parker, J. E. Pizzuto, and T. Lisle (2003), Sediment pulses in mountain rivers Part 2: Comparison
between experiments and numerical predictions, Water Resources Research, 39, 1240.
Daly, E., A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Coupled dynamics of photosynthesis, transpiration and soil
water balance: I. Upscaling from hourly to daily level, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5, 546-558.
Daly, E., A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Coupled dynamics of photosynthesis, transpiration and soil
water balance: II. Stochastic analysis and ecohydrological significance, Journal of Hydrometeorology, 5, 559566.
Daly, E., A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2005), Ecohydrological significance of the coupled dynamics of
photosynthesis, transpiration and soil water balance, Journal of Hydrometeorology, in press.
Daly, E., A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2005), Modeling photosynthesis, transpiration and soil water
balance hourly dunamics during inter-storm periods, Journal of Hydrometeorology, in press.
Das, H. S., J. Imran, C. Pirmez, and D. Mohrig (2004), Numerical modeling of flow and bed evolution in
meandering submarine channels, Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, C10009 doi: 10.1029/2002JC001518.
*Dietrich, W. E., D. Bellugi, A. M. Heimsath, J. J. Roering, L. Sklar, and J. D. Stock (2003), Geomorphic transport
laws for predicting landscape form and dynamics, in Prediction in Geomorphology, edited by P. Wilcock and R.
Iverson, pp. 103-132.
Dietrich, W. E., P. A. Nelson, E. Yager, J. G. Venditti, M. P. Lamb, and B. R. Collins (2005), Sediment patches,
sediment supply and channel morphology, in River, Coastal, and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005,
edited by G. Parker and M. H. Garcia, pp. 79-90, Taylor & Francis, London.
D'Odorico, P., F. Laio, A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2003), Hydrologic controls on soil carbon and
nitrogen cycles. II A case study, Advances in Water Resources, 26, 59-70.
D'Odorico, P., A. Porporato, F. Laio, L. Ridolfi, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Probabilistic modeling of nitrogen
and carbon dynamics in water-limited ecosystems, Ecological Modeling, 179, 205-219.
Dodov, B., and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2004), Generalized hydraulic geometry: Derivation based on a Multi-scaling
Formalism, Water Resources Research, 40, W06302 doi: 10.1029/2003 WR002082.
Dodov, B., and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2004), Generalized hydraulic geometry: Insights based on fluvial instability
analysis and a physical model, Water Resources Research, 40, W12201 doi: 10.1029/2004 WR003196.
Dodov, B., and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2005), Floodplain morphometry extraction from a high resolution digital
elevation model: a simple algorithm for regional analysis studies, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters,
Frontier Tools and Techniques for Surficial Mapping, Analysis and Characterization: Relevance to
Geosciences (a special issue), in press.
*Dodov, B., and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2005), Fluvial processes and streamflow variability: interplay in the scale
frequency continuum and implications for scaling, Water Resources Research, 41, W05005 doi: 10.1029/2004
Dodov, B., and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2005), Incorporating the spatio-temporal distribution of rainfall and basin
geomorphology into nonlinear analyses of streamflow dynamics: Methodology development and a
predictability study, Advances in Water Resources, 28, 711-728.
Federici, B., and C. Paola (2003), Dynamics of channel bifurcation in non-cohesive sediments, Water Resources
Research, 39, 3-15.
Fernandez-Illescas, C., and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2003), Hydrologically driven hierarchical competition-colonization
models: the impact of interannual climate fluctuations, Ecological Monographs, 73, 207-222.
Fernandez-Illescas, C., and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), The impact of inter-annual rainfall variability on the spatial
and temporal patterns of vegetation in a water-limited ecosystem, Advances in Water Resources, 27, 83-95.
Finlay, J. C. (2004), Patterns and controls of lotic algal stable isotope ratios, Limnology and Oceanography, 49, 850861.
Grams, P., P. Wilcock, and S. M. Wiele (2005), Entrainment and nonuniform transport of fine sediment in coarsebedded rivers, in River, Coastal, and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005, edited by G. Parker and M.
Garcia, pp. 1074-1081, Taylor and Francis, London.
*Green, E. G., W. E. Dietrich, and J. F. Banfield (2005), Quantification of chemical weathering rates across an
actively eroding hillslope, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, in press.
Gupta, R., V. Venugopal, and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2005), A methodology for merging multisensor precipitation
estimates based on expectation-maximization and scale recursive estimation, Journal of Geophysical Research,
in press.
Guswa, A. J., M. A. Celia, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2002), Models of soil moisture dynamics in ecohydrology: a
comparative study, Water Resources Research, 38, 5.1-5.15.
Guswa, A. J., M. A. Celia, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Effect of vertical resolution on prediction of transpiration
in water-limited ecosystems, Advances in Water Resources, 27, 467-480.
Guswa, A. J., M. A. Celia, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2005), Effect of vertical resolution on predictions on
transpiration in water-limited ecosystems, Advances in Water Resources, in press.
Guzina, B. B., V. R. Voller, and D. H. Timm (2004), Crack spacing in strained films, Journal de Physique IV, 120,
Haider, Z., M. Hondzo, and F. Porte-Agel (2005), Advective velocity and energy dissipation rate in an oscillatory
flow, Water Research, 39, 2569-2578.
Harbitz, C. B., G. Parker, A. Elverhi, J. G. Marr, D. Mohrig, and P. Harff (2003), Hydroplaning of subaqueous
debris flows and glide blocks: analytical solutions and discussion, Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, doi:
10.1029/2001 JB001454.
Hasbargen, L., and C. Paola (2003), How predictible is local erosion rate in erosional landscapes?, in Prediction in
Geomorphology, edited by P. R. Wilcock and R. M. Iverson, pp. 231-240, American Geophysical Union,
Washington, D.C.
Hickson, T. A., B. A. Sheets, C. Paola, and M. Kelberer (2005), Experimental test of tectonic controls on three
dimensional alluvial facies architecture, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 75, doi: 10.2110/jsr.2005.057, 710722.
*Hondzo, M., T. Feyaerts, R. Donovan, and B. O'Connor (2005), Universal scaling of dissolved oxygen distribution
at the sediment-water interface: A power law, Limnology and Oceanography, 50, 1667-1676.
Hondzo, M., and Z. Haider (2004), Boundary mixing in a small stratified lake, Water Resources Research, 40,
W03101, doi: 10.1029/2002WR001851, 1-12.
Hondzo, M., and H. Wang (2002), Effects of turbulence on growth and metabolism of periphyton in a laboratory
flume, Water Resources Research, 38, doi: 10.1029/2002WR001409, 13.1-13.9.
*Jerolmack , D. J., and D. Mohrig (2005), A unified model for subaqueous bedform dynamics, Water Resources
Research, in press.
Jerolmack, D. J., and D. Mohrig (2005), Frozen dynamics of migrating bedforms, Geology, 33, 57-60.
Jerolmack, D. J., and D. Mohrig (2005), Interactions between bedforms and their roles in determining stream-bed
profiles, Journal of Geophysical Research, in press.
Jerolmack, D. J., D. Mohrig, and B. McElroy (2005), A unified description of ripples and dunes in rivers, in River,
Coastal, and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005, edited by G. Parker and M. H. Garcia, pp. 843-852,
Taylor & Francis, London.
Jerolmack, D. J., D. Mohrig, M. T. Zuber, and S. Byrne (2004), A minimum time for the formation of Holden
Northeast fan, Mars, Geophysical Research Letters, 31, L21701, doi: 21710.21029/22004GL021326.
Kennedy, T. A., J. C. Finlay, and S. E. Hobbie (2005), Exotic saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima) alters food web
structure in a desert stream by changing resource availability, Ecological Applications, in press.
Kim, W., C. Paola, V. R. Voller, and J. B. Swenson (2006), Experimental measurement of the relative importance of
controls on shoreline migration, Journal of Sedimentary Research, in press.
Kubo, Y., J. Syvitski, C. Paola, and E. W. Hutton (2005), Advance and application of the stratigraphic simulation
model 2D-SedFlux: From tank experiment to geological scale simulation, Sedimentary Geology, in press.
Lamb, M. P., T. A. Hickson, J. G. Marr, B. A. Sheets, C. Paola, and G. Parker (2004), Surging vs. continuous
turbidity currents: flow dynamics and deposits in an experimental intraslope minibasin, Journal of Sedimentary
Research, 74, 148-155.
Lima-Vivancos, V., and V. R. Voller (2004), Two numerical methods for modeling variably saturated flow in
layered media, Vadose Zone Journal, 3, 1003-1037.
Mohrig, D., and J. G. Marr (2003), Constraining the efficiency of turbidity current generation from submarine debris
flows and slides using laboratory experiments, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 20, 883-899.
Mohrig, D., K. M. Straub, J. Buttles, and C. Pirmez (2005), Controls on geometry and composition of a levee built
by turbidity currents in a straight laboratory channel, in River, Coastal, and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM
2005, edited by G. Parker and M. H. Garcia, pp. 579-584, Taylor & Francis, London.
Paola, C. (2003), Floods of record, Nature, 425, 459.
Paola, C. (2004), Improving public understanding of scientific research: A view from the research side, in Creating
Connections: Museums and the Public Understanding of Current Research, edited by D. Chittenden, et al.,
Altamira Press, Walnut Creek, CA.
*Paola, C., and V. R. Voller (2005), A generalized Exner equation for sediment mass balance, Journal of
Geophysical Research Earth Surface, in press.
*Parker, G., and M. H. Garcia (eds) (2005), River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics I,II, 1246 pp., Taylor
and Francis, London.
Parker, G., and T. Muto (2003), 1D numerical model of delta response to rising sea level, Proceedings of 3rd IAHR
Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, Barcelona, Spain, September 1-5.
*Parker, G., and L. A. Perg (2005), Probabilistic formulation of conservation of cosmogenic nuclides: Effect of
surface elevation fluctuations on approach to steady state, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, in press.
Parker, G., L. Solari, and G. Seminara (2003), Bed load at low Shields stress on arbitrarily sloping beds: Alternative
entrainment formulation, Water Resources Research, 39, doi: 10.1029/2001WR001253, 2.1-2.11.
Parker, G., C. M. Toro-Escobar, M. Ramey, and S. Beck (2003), The effect of floodwater extraction on mountain
stream morphology, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 129, 885-895.
Parsons, J. D., C. T. Friedrichs, P. Traykovski, D. Mohrig, J. Imran, J. Syvitski, G. Parker, P. Puig, and M. H. Garca
(2005), Chapter 7: The mechanics of marine sediment gravity flows, in Continental Margin Sedimentation:
Transport to Sequence, Special Publication, edited by C. Nittrouer, et al., in press.
Pasternack, G. B., C. Ellis, K. A. Leier, B. L. Valle, and J. G. Marr (2005), Convergent hydraulics at horseshoe steps
in bedrock rivers, Geomorphology, in press.
Perg, L. A., R. S. Anderson, and R. C. Finkel (2002), Reply, Geology, 30, 1148.
Perg, L. A., R. S. Anderson, and R. C. Finkel (2003), Use of cosmogenic radionuclides as a sediment tracer in the
Santa Cruz littoral cell, Geology, 31, 299-302.
Porporato, A., E. Daly, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2004), Soil water balance and ecosystem response to climate
change, American Naturalist, 164, 625-632.
Porporato, A., P. D'Odorico, F. Laio, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2003), Hydrologic controls on soil carbon and
nitrogen cycles. I Modeling scheme, Advances in Water Resources, 26, 45-58.
Porte-Agel, F. (2004), A scale-dependent dynamic model for scalar transport in LES of the atmospheric boundary
layer, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 112, 81-105.
Power, M. E. (2003), Life cycles, limiting factors, and the behavioral ecology of four Loricariid catfishes in a
Panamanian River, in Catfishes, edited by G. Arratia, et al., pp. 581-600, Science Publishers, Inc., Enfield, NH.
*Power, M. E., N. Brozovic, C. Bode, and D. Zilberman (2005), Spatially explicit tools for understanding and
sustaining inland water ecosystems, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3, 47-55.
Ridolfi, L., P. D'Odorico, A. Porporato, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2003), Stochastic soil moisture dynamics along a
hillslope, Journal of Hydrology, 272, 264-275.
Rodriguez-Iturbe, I., and A. Porporato (2004), Ecohydrology of Water Controlled Ecosystems: Soil Moisture and
Plant Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Roering, J. J., J. Kirchner, and W. E. Dietrich (2005), Characterizing structural and lithologic controls on deepseated landsliding: Implications for topographic relief and landscape evolution in the Oregon Coast Range,
USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin, in press.
Roering, J. J., K. M. Schmidt, J. D. Stock, W. E. Dietrich, and D. R. Montgomery (2003), Shallow landsliding, root
reinforcement, and the spatial distribution of trees in the Oregon Cost Range, Canadian Geotechnical Journal,
40, 237-253.
Rowland, J., and W. E. Dietrich (2005), The evolution of a tie channel, in River, Coastal, and Estuarine
Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005, edited by G. Parker and M. H. Garcia, pp. 725-736, Taylor & Francis, London.
Rowland, J., W. E. Dietrich, K. Lepper, and C. J. Wilson (2005), Tie channel sedimentation rates, oxbow formation
age, and channel migration rate from Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) analysis of floodplain deposits,
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, in press.
Scanlon, T. M., K. K. Caylor, S. Manfreda, S. Levin, and I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2005), Dynamic response of grass
cover to rainfall variability: Implications for the function and persistence of savanna ecosystems, Advances in
Water Resources, 28, 291-301.
Schmidt, J. C., and P. Wilcock (2005), Living with Dams- Geomorphology's role in modern dam management,
Geomorphology, in press.
Sklar, l., and W. E. Dietrich (2004), A mechanistic model for river incision into bedrock by saltating bedload, Water
Resources Research, 40, W06301 doi: 10.1029/2003WR002496.
Sklar, L., and W. E. Dietrich (2005), Steady-state bedrock channel slope: implications of the saltation-abrasion
incision model, Geomorphology, in press.
Stock, J. D., and W. E. Dietrich (2003), Valley incision by debris flows: evidence of a topographic signature, Water
Resources Research, 39, 1.1-1.25.
Stock, J. D., D. R. Montgomery, B. R. Collins, W. E. Dietrich, and L. Sklar (2005), Field measurements of incision
rates following bedrock exposure: Implications for process controls on the long profiles of valleys cut by rivers
and debris flows, GSA Bulletin, 117, 174-194.
Stoll, R., and F. Porte-Agel (2005), Effect of roughness on surface boundary conidtions for large-eddy simulation,
Boundary-Layer Meteorology, in press.
Strayer, D. S., M. E. Power, W. F. Fagan, S. T. A. Pickett, and J. Belnap (2003), A classification of ecological
boundaries, BioScience (Special Section on Ecological Boundaries), 53, 723-729.
Strong, N., B. A. Sheets, T. A. Hickson, and C. Paola (2005), A mass-balance framework for quantifying
downstream changes in fluvial architecture, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII, edited by M. Blum, et al., Blackwell
Pub., Malden, MA
Suttle, K. B., M. E. Power, J. A. Levine, and F. C. McNeely (2004), How fine sediment in river beds imparis growth
and survival of juvenile salmonids, Ecological Applications, 14, 969-974.
Swenson, J. B., C. Paola, L. Pratson, V. R. Voller, and A. B. Murray (2005), Fluvial and marine controls on
combined subaerial and subaqueous delta progradation: Morphodynamic modeling of compound-clinoform
development, Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, F02013 doi: 10.1029/2004JF000265.
Tal, M., K. Gran, A. B. Murray, C. Paola, and D. M. Hicks (2004), Riparian vegetation as a primary control on
channel characteristics in noncohesive sediments, in Riparian Vegetation and Fluvial Geomorphology:
Hydraulic, Hydrologic, and Geotechnical Interactions, edited by S. J. Bennett and A. Simon, American
Geophysical Union.
Toniolo, H., P. Harff, J. G. Marr, and G. Parker (2004), Experiments on reworking by successive unconfined
subaqueous and subaerial muddy debris flows, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 130, 38-48.
Tyson, G. W., I. Lo, B. B. Baker, E. E. Allen, P. Hugenholtz, and J. F. Banfield (2005), Genome-Directed Isolation
of the Key Nitrogen Fixer, Leptospirillum ferrodiazotrophum sp. nov., from an Acidophilic Microbial
Community, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, in press.
van der Mark, C. F., A. Blom, S. J. M. H. Hulscher, S. F. Leclair, and D. Mohrig (2005), On modeling the
variability of bedform dimensions, in River, Coastal, and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005, edited, pp.
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Venugopal, V., S. Basu, and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2005), A new metric for comparing precipitation patterns with
application to ensemble forecasts, Journal of Geophysical Research, in press.
Venugopal, V., F. Porte-Agel, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, and M. Carper (2003), Multiscale interactions between surface
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Venugopal, V., S. Roux, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, and A. Arneodo (2005), Revisiting multifractality of high resolution
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Venugopal, V., S. G. Roux, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, and A. Arneodo (2005), Scaling behavior of high resolution
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Vinuesa, J. F., and F. Porte-Agel (2005), A dynamic similarity subgrid model for chemical transformations in LES
of the convective atmospheric boundary layer, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L03814, doi:
Violet, J. A., B. A. Sheets, L. Pratson, C. Paola, R. T. Beaubouef, and G. Parker (2005), Experiment on turbidity
currents and their deposists in a model 3D subsiding minibasin, Journal of Sedimentary Research, in press.
Voller, V. R. (2004), A Monte Carlo scheme for tracking filling fronts, Journal of Computational Physics, 200, 399411.
Voller, V. R., and F. Porte-Agel (2002), Moore's law and numerical modeling, Journal of Computational Physics,
179, 698-703.
Voller, V. R., J. B. Swenson, W. Kim, and C. Paola (2005), A fixed grid method for moving boundary problems on
the Earth's surface, International Journal for Heat and Fluid Flow, in press.
Voller, V. R., J. B. Swenson, and C. Paola (2004), An analytical solution for a Stefan problem with variable latent
heat, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 47, 5387-5390.
Wang, H., M. Hondzo, B. Stauffer, and B. Wilson (2004), Phosphorus dynamics in Jessie Lake: Mass flux across the
sediment-water interface, Lake and Reservoir Management, 20, 333-346.
Wang, H., M. Hondzo, C. Xu, V. Poole, and A. Spacie (2003), Dissolved oxygen dynamics of streams draining an
urbanized and an agricultural catchment, Ecological Modeling, 160, 145-161.
Wilcock, P., and B. T. DeTemple (2005), Persistence of armor layers in gravel-bed streams, Geophysical Research
Letters, in press.
Wilkerson, G. V., K. C. Trowbridge, and S. D. Prager (2005), Risk assessment methodology using a regional
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Parker and M. H. Garcia, pp. 1163-1172, Taylor and Francis, London.
Williams, K. H., D. Ntarlagiannis, L. D. Slater, A. Dohnalkova, S. S. Hubbard, and J. F. Banfield (2005),
Geophysical imaging of stimulated microbial biomineralization, Environmental Science and Technology, in
Wong, M., and G. Parker (2005), Flume experiments with tracer stones under bedload transport, in River, Coastal,
and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2005, edited by G. Parker and M. Garcia, pp. 131-139, Taylor and
Francis, London.
Yoo, K., R. Amundson, A. M. Heimsath, and W. E. Dietrich (2005), Spatial patterns of soil organic carbon on
hillslopes: Integrating geomorphic processes and the biological C Cycle, Geoderma, in press.
Yoo, K., R. Amunson, A. M. Heimsath, and W. E. Dietrich (2005), Erosion of upland hillslope soil organic carbon:
coupling field measurement with a sediment transport model, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, in press.
Note: Ten most significant publications indicated by *
20.2. List of Disclosure of Inventions, Patent Applications, Patents (including patent number), New
NCED’s research program is aimed at basic and applied environmental science. Our work is not intended to produce
patentable inventions or technology. Through our stream-restoration Toolbox and other quantitative research
programs, we are committed to developing and sharing software via our website. The only invention during
NCED’s first three years was a scanning sediment panel camera capable of producing continuous, undistorted
images of arbitrary size with submillimeter resolution. We do not intend to patent this device but will publish a
description of the design in an appropriate journal in the coming year.