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Critical Zone Observatory seeks to answer climate change questions
Date:9/28/2009

The University of Delaware, in collaboration with Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, Pa., has received a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the Christina River Basin as a new "Critical Zone Observatory" for researching questions relating to climate change.

Scientists define the "critical zone" as the portion of the planet from the treetops to the groundwater that sustains terrestrial life.

The observatory is one of only six in the United States. It is funded through a competitive, five-year grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Donald Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair in Soil and Environmental Chemistry and director of the new Delaware Environmental Institute at UD, will lead the effort, which involves a multidisciplinary team of scientists.

Sparks's co-principal investigators on the grant include Kyungsoo Yoo, assistant professor of plant and soil sciences, and James Pizzuto, professor of geological sciences, both at UD; and Anthony Aufdenkampe, assistant research scientist, and Louis Kaplan, senior research scientist, both at Stroud Water Research Center.

The research team also includes Shreeram Inamdar, associate professor of bioresources engineering; Delphis Levia, associate professor of geography; Yan Jin, professor of plant and soil sciences; Paul Imhoff, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Holly Michael, assistant professor of geological sciences; and Dominic DiToro, Edward C. Davis Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering -- all from UD; senior research scientists Denis Newbold and Tom Bott at Stroud Water Research Center; and Rolf Aalto, who is on the faculty at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and at the University of Washington.

Using the 565-square-mile Christina River Basin as their laboratory, the scientific team will be working to determine how, an
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Contact: Tracey Bryant
tbryant@udel.edu
302-831-8185
University of Delaware
Source:Eurekalert  

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