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Cybernetwork to help K-State researchers study tallgrass prairie, respond to global warming
Date:9/18/2009

Research at the Konza Prairie Biological Station and beyond will benefit from a cyber infrastructure grant to connect Kansas State University with other universities in the region.

A group of researchers, led by Paul Risser at the University of Oklahoma, has been awarded $6 million from the National Science Foundation to develop cyber infrastructure that will facilitate ecological forecasting and education efforts. Leading K-State's portion of the project are Walter Dodds, university distinguished professor in the Division of Biology, and Daniel Andresen, associate professor of computing and information science. They are joining a multidisciplinary team from Oklahoma State University and the Universities of Kansas and Oklahoma.

Dodds said development of this infrastructure will benefit K-State faculty and students whose research centers on Konza Prairie, a 3,487 hectare native tallgrass prairie preserve jointly owned by K-State and The Nature Conservancy.

"The main benefit to K-State will be getting Konza wired up so we can stream more data directly from the site in real time and link to similar data from other sites," Dodds said. "It will also increase regional data on distribution of plants and animals. This will benefit any researchers using Konza, whether at K-State or elsewhere."

The project title is "Oklahoma and Kansas: A cyberCommons for Ecological Forecasting." It will link K-State with KU and the Oklahoma universities to integrate computer hardware, sensor networks and computer databases. This integration will stimulate collaboration and integration by allowing researchers to share scientific information like data, models and analytical synthetic efforts.

"Multidisciplinary approaches are essential to forecasting environmental trends, and this proposal will help K-State researchers share ecological data streams and connect with researchers at regional institutions," Dodds said.

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Contact: Walter Dodds
wkdodds@k-state.edu
785-532-6998
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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