Characterizing Watershed Health Using Heterogenous Data

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019525
Agency Tracking Number: 242714
Amount: $231,467.60
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 01b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001940
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-02-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-02-18
Small Business Information
1777 Highland Drive, Suite B, Ann Arbor, MI, 48108-2285
DUNS: 969868298
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Lewis
 (734) 276-8359
 mlewis@michaero.com
Business Contact
 Dawn Turner
Phone: (734) 975-8777
Email: dturner@michiganaerospace.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
In order to better understand and protect watersheds, we must: 1) Collect data characterizing these systems; 2) Analyze these data in an integrated and holistic fashion to characterize the state of the watershed in a meaningful and actionable way; and, 3) Leverage this characterization to build predictive models capable of anticipating the response of a watershed to specific events including, e.g., climate change, pollutants, and the introduction of invasive species. These are difficult tasks because the data collected is at once voluminous, heterogenous, and intrinsically complex. The goal of this project is to produce a framework that will allow ecologists and land managers to easily ingest data from a variety of sources—e.g., observations of field ecologists, ground-based sensors, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and others—in order to generate a coherent picture of watershed health. The coherent picture will comprise actionable data products, including automatically generated maps of landcover, vegetative species, water levels, flow rates, and pollutant contamination levels, as well as calibrated watershed simulations that rely on these measurements. We propose to build the Adaptive WaterShed Management (AWSM) framework that: 1) Ingests data from ground and air sensors, as well as watershed simulations; 2) Cleans data and translates it into a common data format (CDF); 3) provides an API for processing CDF data to produce actionable data products and to calibrate watershed simulations. In Phase I, these data products will include automatically generated land-use maps, species maps (including native and non-native species of interest), and calibrated hydrological simulations of target watersheds. The end result will be a framework that researchers in the private, state, and federal sectors can use to ask and answer questions about watershed health. Users of this tool will include land managers at Michigan’s Department of National Resources and Department of Environmental Quality, equivalent agencies in other states, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as private companies contracted to execute environmental assessment. This tool will drive down the cost of such surveys, while at the same time increasing their temporal and spatial resolution. Data can be more easily shared between state and federal levels, and tools developed in one place can be used with little or no modification in another. The increased precision and resolution will help ecologists, land managers, and contractors better assess risk, plan interventions, and ultimately protect watersheds.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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