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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Denison University
  • Anjali M Fernandes
  • (504) 908-0639
  • Antoinette V Abeyta
  • Robert C Mahon
  • Travis E Swanson
Award Date:12/06/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 199,947
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 199,947
  • FY 2020=$199,947
Start Date:12/15/2019
End Date:11/30/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:RAPID: Characterizing the Sedimentary Archive of the Longest Mississippi River Flood on Record, while Implementing a New Model for Inclusive Undergraduate Geoscience Research
Federal Award ID Number:2005439
DUNS ID:069059111
Parent DUNS ID:069059111
Program:Sedimentary Geo & Paleobiology
Program Officer:
  • Dena Smith
  • (703) 292-7431

Awardee Location

Street:100 W. College St.
Awardee Cong. District:12

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Denison University
Street:100 West College Street
Cong. District:12

Abstract at Time of Award

Vast areas of the Mississippi River Delta are rapidly disappearing due to subsidence, dwindling sediment supply, and rising sea levels. Billions of federal dollars are currently invested in mitigation strategies to combat land loss in coastal Louisiana. These strategies include the construction of engineered diversions to direct sediment-laden flood waters to regions that have sunk beneath sea-level. In response to these urgent needs, the basic science that underpins these strategies must be advanced apace. The spring flood of 2019 lasted several months and prompted the opening of Bonnet Carre Spillway to protect New Orleans from flooding. The diverted floodwaters constructed a large deposit in the spillway. This grant supports 17 undergraduate researchers and 4 early-career investigators to collect, archive and analyze sediment data from this deposit, which serves as an analog for engineered land construction. Querying the 2019 Mississippi River flood deposits that fill Bonnet Carre Spillway will: 1) advance our understanding of the hydrodynamic controls on the sedimentary architecture of floodplain deposits, and 2) bolster models that predict the dynamics of basin filling at the outlets of sediment diversions using these hydrodynamic variables. Analyzing data from this deposit will allow the investigators to address fundamental questions in coastal restoration science. Creative scientific solutions for a diverse society require a diverse scientific workforce. The geoscience community must create accessible research opportunities that will include African American, Hispanic and Native American students, who currently comprise less than 9 percent of all students enrolled in geoscience graduate programs. This grant will improve diversity in the future geoscience workforce through targeted recruiting efforts and alliances with institutions in under-served communities. The funding facilitates an inclusive field research experience by providing financial assistance for students and opportunities to analyze collected data at home institutions amongst students’ communities. This undergraduate research framework is intended as a template for fostering diversity and inclusion in Earth science. This research will provide training for undergraduate researchers in traditional methods in sedimentology and advanced techniques in digital data collection and quantitative analysis, thereby delivering training in data-analysis to a diverse cohort of students preparing to join the STEM workforce. 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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