News Archives: February, 2018
The following communication was released on January 26 by Dr. Suzanne Iacono, Head of NSF's Office of Integrative Activities:
Effective January 22, 2018, Dr. Loretta A. Moore will serve as the Section Head for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) section of the Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) at the National Science Foundation (NSF).
On February 1, 2018, NSF featured a story about Missouri EPSCoR as one of the agency's "Impact" news articles. Developing drought-tolerant corn that makes efficient use of available water will be vital to sustain the estimated 9 billion global population by 2050. University of Missouri researchers have developed two robotic systems, the Vinobot and the Vinoculer to study how corn maintains root growth during drought conditions. The mobile robots have sensors and robotic arms to collect temperature, humidity and light intensity at three different heights on the corn plant, assessing growth, development, yield, tolerance and resistance to environmental stressors by correlating these to physiology and shape of the plants. Inexpensive and efficient, the Vinobots generate more data than aerial vehicles and are changing the way agriculturalists collect data.
In Guam, researchers developed a method for mapping underwater areas that is transforming how oceanographers observe the seafloor. Data from global positioning satellites are the primary method for mapping the Earth, but it's impossible for global positioning system (GPS) signals to pass through water, making detailed mapping of underwater features difficult. By synchronizing underwater cameras with GPS buoys and using software to geo-tag photographs, NSF-funded researchers have mapped all of Guam's Pago Bay and Apra Harbor.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Just before a surprise eruption of New Zealand’s Ruapehu volcano in 2007, seismic tremor near its crater became tightly correlated with twice-monthly changes in the strength of tidal forces, a new study has found. The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests that signals associated with tidal cycles could potentially provide advanced warning of certain types of volcanic eruptions.
“Looking at data for this volcano spanning about 12 years, we found that this correlation between the amplitude of seismic tremor and tidal cycles developed only in the three months before this eruption,” said Társilo Girona, the study’s lead author. “What that suggests is that the tides could provide a probe for telling us whether or not a volcano has entered a critical state.”
Girona, a NASA postdoctoral fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, led the research during a postdoctoral appointment at Brown University, working with Brown professor Christian Huber and Corentin Caudron, a postdoctoral researcher at the Ghent University in Belgium.
Cloud seeding for snow: Does it work? University of Wyoming Scientist Contributes to Report on First Quantifiable Observations
For the first time, scientists have obtained direct, quantifiable observations of cloud seeding for increased snowfall -- from the growth of ice crystals, through the processes that occur in clouds, to the eventual snowfall.
The National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported project, dubbed SNOWIE (Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime Clouds -- the Idaho Experiment), took place from Jan. 7 to March 17, 2017, in and near Idaho's Payette Basin, located approximately 50 miles north of Boise.
The research was conducted in concert with the Boise-based Idaho Power Company, which provides a large percentage of its electrical power through hydroelectric dams.