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From Clay Basins to Satellite Imagery, UC Research Highlights Ancient and Modern Sustainability Innovations

UC researchers will give multiple presentations on sustainability-related science at the Association of American Geographers annual meeting from April 9-13.

Date: 4/9/2013 1:53:00 PM
By: Tom Robinette
Phone: (513) 556-1825
Photos By: Provided by Amy Townsend-Small

UC ingot   Four University of Cincinnati research presentations related to sustainability efforts – by ancient Maya and modern-day scientists – will be given at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting to be held April 9-13 in Los Angeles. The interdisciplinary forum is attended by more than 7,000 scientists from around the world and features an array of geography-related presentations, workshops and field trips.
Student researcher Lily Soderlund collects soil samples in Burnet Woods.

UC research to be presented at the AAG meeting includes:

- Amy Townsend-Small, a UC assistant professor of geology and geography, has studied the effects lawn-management techniques have on greenhouse gas production in urban landscapes and found a high energy cost associated with common lawn-care methods. Her research shows that intensive mowing, irrigation and fertilization efforts aren’t worth the atmospheric side effects.

- Jeffrey Brewer, a UC doctoral student in geography, has found unique ways ancient Maya populations in remote settlements adapted to the hydrological challenges of their landscape. Special water conservation and purification methods allowed these residents on the outskirts of larger Maya sites to remain more independent.

- Shujie Wang, a UC doctoral student in geography, uses remote-sensing images recorded by satellites to gather data on the velocity of Antarctica’s ice motion. Through analysis of fluctuations in ice flow velocity, Wang hopes to further understand the process of ice motion and be able to predict changes to Antarctica’s landscape – and possibly estimate any influence on the sea level.

- Bo Yang, a UC graduate student in geography, developed a formula for combining thermal data from two different types of polar-orbiting satellite systems. His method quickly blends two massive sets of parallel data to create an intricately detailed map covering a large surface area that allows geographers to derive surface temperature and emissivity information.

For a roundup of additional UC research that will be presented at the AAG meeting, click here.