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Minimize RSR Award Detail

Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • Betsy M Summers
Award Date:01/13/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 200,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 200,000
  • FY 2020=$200,000
Start Date:01/15/2020
End Date:12/31/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:CREST-PRF: Identifying Zones of Biological Activity Using a Spatially Distributed Metabolism Model in an Aridland River
Federal Award ID Number:1914778
DUNS ID:111111111
Program:Centers for Rsch Excell in S&T
Program Officer:
  • Emanuel WAddell
  • (703) 292-4644

Awardee Location

Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of New Mexico
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

The Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology-Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (CREST-PRF) track within the CREST program supports beginning CREST Center investigators with significant potential and provides them with training and research experiences that will broaden perspectives, facilitate interdisciplinary interactions and establish them in positions of leadership within the scientific community. This CREST-PRF project is aligned with the research focus of the CREST Center for Water and the Environment (CWE) at the University of New Mexico. The goal of this research is to measure the extent of time and space variability in primary production and ecosystem respiration in an aridland river system. Aridland rivers have characteristic zones of primary production at the river edges (i.e., bathtub ring) that provides a substantial food source to consumer organisms. Yet, metabolism of these systems is likely underestimated when applying common methods for whole-system metabolism. Addressing space variation into metabolism models will offer new insight on methods for quantifying gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) and understanding of drivers of metabolism. The following objectives focus on a 9 km study reach in the middle Rio Grande, New Mexico: Objective 1 is to identify space and time variability of gross primary production and ecosystem respiration; Objective 2 is to compare methodology used to quantify metabolism; and Objective 3 is to explore the influence of changing discharge on the zone of biological productivity. The knowledge gained is transferrable to other river systems and can be used as a tool to inform managers on environmental flows that are most effective at restoring aquatic habitat, ecosystem function and survival of endangered species. Dryland rivers, which encompasses aridland rivers, are poorly studied systems in the field of metabolism; yet, are the most vulnerable systems regarding changing climate conditions. Spatiotemporal information learned about metabolic rates in an aridland river network can be integrated into estimates of regional and global carbon budgets analyzed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Common methods of whole-system metabolism assume estimates of GPP and ER are representative of the whole reach. However, stream metabolism is not homogeneous and varies spatially in aridland rivers. The level of spatial and temporal complexity analyzed in this research project will advance fundamental knowledge in controls on carbon processes at multiple scales. This project integrates multiple sources of longterm, high resolution environmental data collected by several entities and leverages robust computational resources to process big data. Taking a holistic approach, this research will contribute to the basic understanding of the productivity of aridland rivers and the role in regional carbon budgets. Moreover, this research site is germane to engineered river systems undergoing reductions and alterations of streamflow and subsequent degradation of water quality and nutrient pollution downstream. Modeling methods and results will be transferable to large river systems. 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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