poulos receives $300k nasa research grant

 Dr. Helen Poulos, adjunct assistant professor of environmental studies, has been awarded a $300,000 NASA grant to examine forest type-conversion through the lens of evapotranspiration (plant sweat) in response to high-severity wildfire in southeastern Arizona. Poulos and her team will conduct their research using imagery gathered by the ECOSTRESS sensor mounted on the International Space Station. It will be the first-ever test of the ECOSTRESS sensor’s applicability for wildfire-related research.

Plants facing the aftermath of wildfire often have insufficient water, which causes their temperature to rise. The ECOSTRESS radiometer measures the temperatures of plants across Earth to an extraordinarily accurate degree. Poulos’s NASA-funded project will specifically investigate the effects of the 2011 Horseshoe Two Fire on post-fire plant and site water balance and evaluate the potential of using data gathered from the ECOSTRESS sensor to predict wildfire effects on plant community structure and water relations in an Arizona Sky Island pine-oak forest.

Read more

versey, ritter ‘19 explore environmentally induced displacement with coe faculty-student research grant

Assistant Professor of Psychology H. Shellae Versey, PhD and Emma Ritter ’19 launched a faculty-student research collaboration during the 2018-2019 academic year exploring Communities in Crisis: The impact of disasters on mental health. The research focused on environmental hazardsboth natural and manmadeand the resulting effect on health and displacement among various communities. A COE faculty-student research a grant provided Versey and Ritter the opportunity to conduct research that would not have been otherwise possible.

Read more