Campus News

Christian receives $30,000 from USDA Forest Service

Jason Christian, an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, received $30,000 from the USDA Forest Service to calculate the quantity and distribution of water in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest.

His project, which will be conducted with Catherine Pringle in the Odum School of Ecology and Kyle McKay from the Army Corps of Engineers, will track water flowing through the rainforest so that ecologists and engineers better understand where and when water is flowing and what may be done to conserve and protect forest resources such as migratory fish and shrimp that require minimum stream flows.

Traditional methods used to quantify the water cycle typically only provide average data on a monthly timescale, but Christian and his colleagues plan to use advanced models to estimate water movement on an hourly basis. This data will help determine the best ways to preserve local ecosystems and to manage municipal water withdrawals.