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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • J. Val Klump
  • (414) 382-1700
  • Jerry L Kaster
  • Richard A MacKenzie
  • Marissa R Jablonski
  • Timothy J Grundl
Award Date:06/11/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 299,772
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 299,772
  • FY 2021=$299,772
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.079
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:IRES Track I: Integrating freshwater science and sustainability: Training opportunities in a rapidly changing Yucatan Peninsula ecological corridor.
Federal Award ID Number:2106454
DUNS ID:627906399
Parent DUNS ID:041188822
Program:IRES Track I: IRES Sites (IS)
Program Officer:
  • Kleanthis Psarris
  • (703) 292-5048

Awardee Location

Street:P O BOX 340
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Street:P O BOX 340
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

It has been suggested that the ultimate challenge of the 21st century is to reconcile the inherent conflict between human activity and environmental sustainability. Nowhere is this challenge greater than in dealing with increasing pressure on freshwater resources. Using a theme: “A River Runs Through It: Building a future from the flow of history and hydrology in an ecological corridor”, this IRES program will expose ~21 U.S. students in 3 cohorts over 3 years to a 7-week field experience. Each year will focus on the approaches, methods, and challenges inherent in resolving such conflicts in the Bacalar Ecological Corridor in the Yucatan, Mexico. This region, which has been extensively inhabited by humans for well over 3000 years dating back to the Mayans, is under consideration as a Ramsar Convention of Wetlands of International Importance site. Along with the local community, this region finds itself at the leading edge of experiencing the economic benefits of eco-tourism, and the challenge of maintaining the pristine environment which is driving a growing economy and a rapidly increasing level of use and occupation. Immersing students in an environment where the complexity of maintaining sustainable economic growth is front and center, the importance of water is obvious and compelling, and the role of science is recognized, both for fundamental understanding and for societal relevance, is the overarching goal of this project. The program seeks three major broad impacts: 1) interdisciplinary training in freshwater studies, 2) integrated, collaborative research that can ultimately inform management and policy, and 3) new cultural and personal experiences, exchange, and appreciation. All three will take advantage of traditional ecological knowledge, social context, and cultural awareness, and provide students the opportunity to experience the challenges of natural resource conservation and economic growth as adjudicated through policy and its underlying societal pressures. The concept of flow is a unifying principle, not only in water science, but in the course of human events. Like freshwater ecosystems everywhere, three major forces come together in this system and understanding their interactions is essential for viable, sustained environments and economies whose benefits accrue both today and into the future: 1) Surficial and subterranean hydrologic system dynamics, 2) Ecological complexity, and 3) Human use, the built environment, and engagement. These forces are a common feature of every freshwater system. Bacalar serves as a laboratory in which these forces are playing out in real time and the “flows” are changing rapidly. Opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student research exist across related areas giving the program latitude in matching student interests to a variety of fields including hydrogeology, aquatic biogeochemistry, mangrove and wetland ecology, carbon cycling, stromatolite ecology, climate dynamics, GIS mapping, remote sensing, community engagement, resource management and decision making. The program will take advantage of collaborations with the El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) a federally supported research lab and college in Chetumal, the Centro Regional de Educación Normal. Lic. Javier Rojo Gómez (Bacalar Normal College), and the Bacalar Public High School system (COBACH). This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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