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Idaho EPSCoR 2012 in Review

Table of Contents Winter 2012 Newsletter

Dr.Alex Punnoose 2012 Jean’ne M. Shreeve Award........................................................................3

Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN) Release New Data Portal........................................................3

Professoriate in Idaho (Keith Reinhardt)....................................................................................4

Regional Initiative (Matt Germino, Great Basin LCC).....................................................................5

College of Southern Idaho Takes Teachers to Craters of the Moon......................................................6

EPSCoR Faculty Lead LiDAR Software and Algorithm Development.....................................................6

McCall Outdoor Science School Earns ID21 Award.........................................................................7

Summer 2012 Newsletter

Programs Expands Climate Science Education Opportunities in Idaho.................................................8

High-Performance Server Capability to a Remote Idaho Research Center.............................................9

Idaho’s Roadmap to an Innovation Economy...............................................................................10

Introducing HydroPad and HydroServer Lite..............................................................................10

Spring 2012 Newsletter

Increased Connectivity Benefit Region.....................................................................................11

First Cyberlearning Summit..................................................................................................12

ISU Students Attend CI Program at Clemson University..................................................................12

HOIST Expands Outreach Efforts............................................................................................13


Adventure Learning Through Water and MOSS............................................................................15

STEM Diversity Workshop......................................................................................................15

Thermal Imager for Landsat 8...............................................................................................16

CI Day held at the UI..........................................................................................................16 • 2 •

Dr. Alex Punnoose Receives the 2012 Jean’ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award

Winter 2012

Boise State University Distinguished Professor of Physics Dr. Alex Punnoose was selected as the recipient of the 2012 Jean’ne M. Shreeve NSF EPSCoR Research Excellence Award. The award was established to recognize the accomplishments of a faculty member at Boise State University, Idaho State University, the University of Idaho, or other state institution of higher education who has actively participated in the NSF EPSCoR program and whose research career has been propelled by NSF EPSCoR in Idaho. This is the second time the award has been made; Jean’ne M. Shreeve was the first recipient in 2011. The award, which includes a plaque and $5,000, was presented at a lunch during the Idaho EPSCoR Annual Meeting at the Grove Hotel on October 3, 2012. Punnoose’s major areas of research focus on nanotechnology and include nanoparticle-based cancer and antibacterial therapies, spintronics, nanotoxicology and nanosensors. Beyond his own department, he has served on graduate thesis committees and won joint research grants with faculty across disciplines. He is the recipient of the 2007 Foundation Scholar Award for Research. Punnoose received his Ph.D. and M.S. in physics from Aligarh University, India, and his B.S. in physics from the Mahatma Gandhi University, India. *article provided by Kathleen Tuck, BSU Campus News

Idaho EPSCoR Collaborates with the Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN) in Release of New Data Portal

Winter 2012

Idaho EPSCoR has helped stimulate new data management leadership within the region through creation of the Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN). The NKN is a data management system that provides researchers, educators, and the public with storage, retrieval, and protection services across the data lifecycle. NKN partners include several University of Idaho departments and offices; universities in Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, and Washington; the Idaho National Laboratory, and several state and federal agencies. The NKN provides a range of research data backup, archival storage, management, secure sharing, public access, support tools, high performance computing, and support staff services. The Idaho EPSCoR Data Portal developed under the Track 1 Research Infrastructure Improvement grant was created by the NKN. NKN is in the beta-testing stages of this on-line data portal that users may access using a secure password and acknowledging their acceptance of the Beta Test Agreement. Mr. Greg Gollberg and Dr. Luke Sheneman serve as NKN contacts and work to ensure that emerging CI challenges will provide Idaho EPSCoR and other NKN partners with opportunities to “lead on behalf of the research and outreach enterprise.” Specifically, the NKN seeks to provide data management services that address changes in cross-disciplinary research data sets’ demand and supply. Such demand and supply changes are motivated and influenced by several factors. Recent government mandates compel researchers seeking grant funding to include data management plans in their • 3 •

submitted grant proposals and to make their compiled data accessible. The general public has expressed an increased (Continued from Page 3) desire for data access. Technological advances that permit massive data collection directly affect data demand and supply. Moreover, public institutions and researchers are increasingly dedicated to ensuring research data sets are so that they may be of greatest usefulness in models, applications, and tools that assist decision makers in making informed judgments that address “real-world” issues. To achieve these goals – which are consistent with those of EPSCoR and other major research initiatives – the NKN’s mission focuses upon making “research data more accessible, comprehensible, usable and secure for data providers and data users, and to facilitate data usage across the disciplines by promoting commonly accepted policies, standards, and protocols; facilitating the application of modeling, mining, simulation and visualization tools; and supplying data and computing services that are adaptive to changing data storage and management needs.” Learn more about the NKN Data Portal at

Adding to the Professoriate in Idaho

Winter 2012

Strong, interdisciplinary collaborations with Idaho faculty facilitated assistant professor Keith Reinhardt’s recent transition from a post-doctoral position at Idaho State University (ISU) to that of full-time faculty as an assistant professor of Plant Physiological Ecology in ISU’s Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Reinhardt credits the collegial connections he established working with ISU faculty and other Idaho faculty while completing his post-doctoral tenure as a motivating factor in his decision to remain in Idaho. Dr. Reinhardt notes, “I really valued my new connections and research potential with these colleagues. Also, the incredible natural-science research opportunities within Idaho greatly appeal to me!” Dr. Reinhardt’s current research projects change experiments, and his interdisciplinary academic background directly align with Idaho research emphases. Ecohydrology investigates paths both directly and indirectly and is still Idaho-based research is showing that changes as important as changes in precipitation modified by other factors such as soil depth research goals include developing the concept semi-arid systems, which reframes the standard envelopes” model commonly used to model

largely focus on manipulative climateecohydrological research interests and EPSCoR Water Resources in a Changing Climate how vegetation affects hydrological flow an emerging research area. Dr. Reinhardt’s in precipitation seasonal timing are at least amount, and these changes are further and texture. Ultimately, Dr. Reinhardt’s of “ecohydrological niches” for plants in temperature-precipitation “bioclimatic changes in plant species distributions.

During summer 2012, Dr. Reinhardt began a project that investigates environmental constraints upon sagebrush regeneration. Specifically, the project seeks to identify which environmental parameters (e.g., temperature regimes and hydroclimate) or biotic factors (e.g., vegetative competition or facilitation; herbivory) limit sagebrush seedling survival. Additionally, the project seeks to address how sagebrush seedling “recruitment” will respond to climate change. A transect of four research sites that span from Great Teton National Park to the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area combines existing EPSCoR research sites with newly-established sites. The transect spans the Snake River Plain, and encompasses high-elevation, cool sites to low-elevation, warm sites. • 4 •

Some of the research sites house on-going, climate-change manipulation experiments. The research transect expanse and experimental breadth will permit Dr. Reinhardt and his colleagues to investigate shrub reproduction-capacity and seedling establishment-success across a large climate gradient. Dr. Reinhardt’s research is timely as semi-arid shrub ecosystems occupy nearly a third of the world’s land area. Semi-arid shrub ecosystems provide multiple “services,” including water storage, biodiversity, and habitat and food for endangered and endemic animal species, and rangeland expanses that are huge in spatial scale and important to human populations. Reliance upon local shrubland ecosystem services is increasing as human populations expand into regions that were previously sparsely occupied, as has been the case in the state of Idaho. Recent studies predict semi-arid shrublands potentially may serve as carbon sinks, and as such, will help mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. To understand ecosystem responses to changes in hydroclimate, Dr. Reinhardt routinely collaborates with multiple Idaho EPSCoR faculty researchers, including Dr. Kathleen Lohse (ISU, soil biogeochemistry); Dr. Marie-Anne deGraaff (BSU, ecosystem ecology); Dr. Sarah Godsey (ISU, hydrology); and Dr. Matt Germino (formerly ISU now at USGS, ecosystem ecology). Dr. Reinhardt’s collaborative research efforts will help predict how vast sagebrush landscapes react to climate change and such changes fundamentally impact human populations.

Remaining dedicated to collaborative ecosystem services conservation research, Idaho State University Professor Matt Germino has transitioned from a regular faculty appointment to serving as the supervisory research ecologist and scientist for the Great Basin Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) managed by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center. The Great Basin LCC is one of twenty-two LCCs that have been formed nationwide as a result of the September 2009 Department of Interior Secretarial Order 3289 that also established eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSC), which are regional hubs of the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The Great Basin LCC is directed by Ms. Linda Kelly of the Bureau of Land Management and operates upon a stakeholder steering committee partnership premise that permits LCC collaborators to generate consensus on prioritizing land management issues and information needs. According to Dr. Germino, the LCCs “promote forward looking analyses of our landscape, particularly with respect to understanding and adapting to climate shifts as they overlay on shifting disturbances and land uses.” While a professor at ISU, Dr. Germino’s research focused upon sagebrush rangelands, which are one of the most endangered yet widespread North American ecosystem types. His work with EPSCoR faculty and other colleagues demonstrated that a given site’s condition and restoration prospects are strongly controlled by how the site fits into the surrounding landscape. This landscape impact understanding is integral to Great Basin LCC management. To help implement effective, regional-level management planning, the Great Basin LCC will assist with summarizing and interpreting Rapid Ecological Assessments (REAs) that are done by the Bureau of Land Management; make management plan recommendations; and identify information and research needs. REA analysis is guided by management questions that investigate how areas and species with high ecological value, termed conservation elements, respond to change agents. Within the Great Basin LCC, sagebrush habitats and dependent species are primary conservation elements as

Idaho Faculty Provide

Leadership to Major Regional Initiative Winter 2012 fire, climate, invasive plant, and development change agents all impact the landscape’s resistance and resilience. The central Great Basin REA contains over 900 GIS/Map analyses that have been produced for 7 soil types; 26 different ecosystem types; and over 350 plant and animal species. Dr. Germino’s broad plant-soil-climate interaction expertise will help to identify how Great Basin LCC management objectives may be realized. In his current role as a U.S. Geological Service scientist, Dr. Germino has greater ability to participate in and direct collaborative research efforts that include EPSCoR Tri-State Consortium faculty. To this end, Dr. Germino is helping to plan the second annual meeting of the Great Basin Consortium that will be held in Boise, Idaho, from January 14 – 16, 2013. Invited faculty from Nevada and Idaho will give research presentations or engage in an “Ignite”-style panel discussion regarding opportunities to connect EPSCoR biometeorology instrumentation transects to land management needs, with an emphasis upon upland areas. Great Basin LCC research findings and publications are increasingly being used in federally-funded, post-fire, rangeland vegetation restoration programs. From an adaptive resource management perspective, Great Basin LCC stakeholder groups, including elected officials, federal agency and business industry representatives, university researchers, and Native American tribal communities, are also integral to promoting resilient landscapes. Dr. Germino notes that engaging stakeholder groups “on the science and practice of adapting management to the salient, sweeping changes across our landscapes is the [Great Basin LCC’s] main, broad impact.”

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College of Southern Idaho Takes

Teachers to Craters of the Moon Winter 2012 The College of Southern Idaho (CSI) in conjunction with Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve was recently awarded a Park Teacher grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF). The focus of the Park Teacher grant is to develop Place Based Inquiry Learning curriculum, which can be provided to teachers to encourage them to bring their students to Craters of the Moon on Place Based Learning expeditions. The field trips are designed so that students can gather research data and review data gathered by other classes. Activities involve forming and testing hypotheses; gathering, analyzing, graphing data from their own field measurements; and using inference, observation, and critical thinking to gain some enduring understanding of how life can survive in an extreme environment. With support from Idaho EPSCoR, CSI was able to recruit and provide scholarships for 10 teachers to participate in a 1 credit CSI class. Teachers were paired with a CSI student (pre-service teacher) or a high school student enrolled in EDUC 203, and were given 15 hours of training on use of various measurement devices. Teachers were also required to take their students on a day long Place Based learning Activity at Craters of the Moon National Park. They received funding to help defray the cost of the field trip.

Jo Dodds, teacher from theTwin Falls School District along with some of her students participate in the Place Based Discovery Learning at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Doug Owen, far right, is a Geologist and Education Specialist as well as Research Coordinator for the Naturalist Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Teachers and students used the equipment, explored caves and interacted with Craters of the Moon field guides. In addition to the “hands on” field trip, students follow up by creating posters, and in one particular class, each student will write a creative story about a plant, animal or bug that is new to Craters.

EPSCoR Faculty Lead LiDAR Software and Algorithm Developments The Idaho LiDAR Consortium (ILC) is an outcome of the dynamic activity associated with LiDAR data in the State of Idaho and Idaho’s participation in the IdahoView program. The ILC’s informal group of partners from education, local, state, and federal government, and private industry, share a common goal of fostering collaboration and data sharing. The ILC focuses on data sharing of terrestrial, airborne, and satellite LiDAR data. This website can be used as a starting point for identifying where LiDAR data have been collected and communication about future LiDAR data collects in the State of Idaho. The website also hosts a wealth of information about LiDAR publications and analysis tools. The Idaho LiDAR Consortium website (http://www. currently provides a gateway to LiDAR data and information in the state. A total of 19 users (4 from private sectors, 4 from federal agencies, 1 state agency and 10 from universities) have registered in the

Winter 2012

website. During Year 4 of the Idaho EPSCoR Program, new updates were posted to Google Code repository as an open source project (http://code. This is expected to increase wider participation by the open source science community in developing and testing of the tools. LiDAR processing software and algorithm development have been a core part of the effort. This has not only resulted in several innovations in LiDAR research and development, but has also further enhanced capability and collaborations amongst various EPSCoR and nonEPSCoR scientists for new research efforts. Some of

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the highlights of LiDAR algorithm development effort during the period of 2011-2012 include: • Developed algorithm to detect individual trees using multi-resolution segmentation. • Developed method to register airborne LiDAR and terrestrial laser scanning data. • Developed method to normalize intensity and calibrate gain corrections. • Algorithms for height filtering of lidar data. • Algorithm slope-based surface matching of the LiDAR point cloud. Since January 2011, different versions of the tools have been downloaded more than 4,400 times. During this period, the Google Code site received more than 8,000 visitors and more than 38,000 page views. The website also has built a sizeable social media presence through Twitter account. The site received more than 4,600 visits during the period of June 2011-May 2012, 62% of which were from United States (see Figure), and the rest from other 89 countries. Currently , 42% of the raw LiDAR data and 40% of derived products (raster DEM, hillshade, vegetation models, etc.) are available online through various channels such as Inside Idaho, Open Topography, USGS CLICK, and NOAA Digital Coast. The online availablity of raw LiDAR data and derived product will increase use of LiDAR in research and applications across various sectors in Idaho.

McCall Outdoor Science School Earns ID21 Award for Innovative Teaching Winter 2012 MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) is one of six recipients of the ID21 Awards from the J.A. & K. Albertson Foundation for 2012. As one of the recipients from a pool of 167 nominees, MOSS will receive $50,000 and was honored at the foundation’s award ceremony on Oct. 16 at the Boise Egyptian Theater. “This prestigious award from the J.A. and K. Albertson Foundation validates the excellence of the MOSS programs in achieving our goals of providing innovative learning opportunities for K-12 students,” said University of Idaho President M. Duane Nellis. “MOSS is one example of the university’s commitment to the advancement, sustainability and development of 21st century learning opportunities in STEM education in the state and beyond.” The ID21 Awards are designed to discover and reward programs in Idaho that revolutionize how students learn. MOSS is recognized in the category for “challenging traditional education with creativity and innovation. Nominees in this category are required to establish that programs are innovative, empowering, successful, creative and sustainable.

“Receiving this grant is an affirmation of the innovative approaches we’re taking at MOSS to effectively engage students in science, engineering, technology and math,” said CNR Dean Kurt Pregitzer. “When we invest in Idaho’s students, we are investing in Idaho’s future – and our future is bright.” “We challenge the traditional understanding of what science is, how it is practiced and who can participate,” said Greg Fizzell, MOSS program director. “Our vision is that when teachers and students are asked to describe science and the people involved in the profession, they talk about themselves.” For more than 10 years, MOSS youth, AmeriCorps, teacher education and community programs have engaged more than 18,000 Idaho K-12 students and more than 100 U-Idaho graduate students and 2,000 adult learners in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

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EPSCoR Collaboration with NASA, NSF and USDA-funded Programs

Summer 2012

Expands Climate Science Education Opportunities in Idaho Idaho EPSCoR recently partnered with the Intermountain Climate Education Network (ICE Net) and the Regional Approaches to Climate Change in Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH – PNA) to increase outreach efforts to 2-yr. and 4-yr. colleges around the state of Idaho. The goal of this partnership was to create a seamless transition between K-12 and 2-yr. and 4-yr. college instruction on climate change in Idaho by educating the teachers and instructors themselves, and focusing on place-based education in climate change. One of the challenges to climate change education is that it is abstract, and many of the prominent educational lessons and media topics focus on sealevel rise, which Idaho students are disconnected from. This partnership is working towards developing resources and activities that are relevant to Idahoans, their economy, lives and values, that can be utilized by teachers in both K-12 classrooms and in higher education. A 3-day workshop was held in June at UI-Moscow for K-12 science teachers from Idaho and Washington and 2-yr. and 4-yr. college instructors from Idaho. Approximately 20 participants attended the workshop, where they were able to hear presentations on the latest climate science and resources available to them given by leading experts from the University of Idaho. They were also introduced to the newly developed Idaho-based climate science activities, and provided with materials to use in their classrooms this fall. Finally, participants toured both the Washington State University Cook Experimental Farm and the University of Idaho Parker Farm, where they observed the latest climate science in action and conducted an entomology experiment with REACCH investigators. The effort is broadly collaborative across four colleges at the University of Idaho and involves numerous departments, faculty and other externally-funded research projects. Numerous NSF EPSCoR participants are involved in these projects. ICE Net is funded by NASA, and includes faculty from the College of Education, College of Science, and College of Natural Resources. REACCH is funded by the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and includes faculty from the College of Agriculture, the College of Science, the College of Natural Resources at the University of Idaho, as well as other faculty partners at Washington State University, Oregon State University, and the USDA. In addition to ICE Net and REACCH, other partner projects in this effort include Summer of Innovation (SOI), a NASA-funded program focused on teaching native students science, and Adventure Learning@ (AL@), an adventure-based education program run by the College of Education and funded by NSF Office of Polar Programs. Crystal Kolden, new EPSCoR faculty in the Department of Geography at UI and a key partner in the EPSCoR project collaboration, serves as co-PI on the ICE Net grant. According to Dr. Kolden, there are three significant outcomes that will result from this collaboration. The next generation of Idaho residents will have a better understanding of climate science, the connections between their actions, climate change, and its impact on their lives. There will also be increased participation in STEM fields through the gateway of climate change. Climate science is an integrated science that is also very accessible; student interest in climate change in K-12 and 2-yr. and 4-yr. college classes can lead to a greater likelihood of those students majoring in STEM fields at the University and working in STEM fields for careers. Finally, there will be decreased vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. As Dr. Kolden states, “Our economy is heavily based on natural resources, agriculture, and tourism, all of which will be significantly altered by climate change in the next century. Both ICE Net and Summer of Innovation (SOI), a program funded by NASA, are working specifically with tribal and rural communities, as these communities are some of the least-resilient and most vulnerable to climate change. Through education, we can get communities thinking about mitigation and adaptation strategies through their children.” • 8 •

Summer 2012

Connecting the Dots: Leveraging Cyberinfrastructure Investment to Deploy

High-Performance Server Capability to a Remote Idaho Research Center

Located in rural Southeast Idaho, Extension Center (KREC) provides facilities for the University of Idaho Allen, Professor of Water Resources of Idaho, along with his students, study Idaho water resources in the under the current NSF EPSCoR RII amounts of sensor data from several these data locally on servers within

The Kimberly Research and joint agricultural research and the USDA. Dr. Richard Engineering at the University work from this center as they context of a changing climate grant. Dr. Allen collects large flux tower instruments, storing the KREC facility.

An EPSCoR C2 grant recently significant network upgrades to the enable practical and reliable public important research data products. increased, the aging data storage overwhelmed.

provided funding last year for Kimberly research facility to and collaborative access to However, as network traffic infrastructure at KREC was

L-R: David Vollmer (Web Developer for Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN)), Luke Idaho NSF EPSCoR previously Sheneman (EPSCoR Data Manager and Systems provided significant investments Architect for NKN), Jeff Falgout (Systems to help establish a statewide research data management Administrator from USGS) infrastructure known as the Northwest Knowledge Network (NKN). Leveraging the foundational EPSCoR seed investments in NKN, the University of Idaho leased significant server and storage equipment to enable access to big research data via NKN. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) fully matched the University of Idaho’s investment and purchased similar equipment that is currently hosted at the INL datacenter in Idaho Falls. In total, this equipment provides 500 terabytes (TB) of high-performance, redundant, geographically distributed data capacity to researchers in Idaho and the greater region. The University of Idaho and INL multiplied EPSCoR’s initial investments many times over to provide significant, transformative data management infrastructure that enables collaborative, crossdisciplinary, data-based research. In order to even further leverage the network infrastructure improvements to the KREC as well as the investments in data management capacity via NKN, Idaho EPSCoR worked with KREC personnel to purchase and deploy a co-managed server. This server, jointly managed by NKN and KREC, offers significant performance with local data storage capacity in Kimberly while being connected to NKN through KREC’s upgraded network. Important research data products are automatically and periodically replicated to NKN for the purposes of backup, data sharing, disaster recovery, and more. This server deployment was designed to leverage multiple, existing infrastructure improvements to provide data management capacity that would not have been available otherwise.

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Summer 2012 The Idaho State Board of Education, in conjunction with Idaho EPSCoR and other stakeholders, are working together to develop a strong K-20 plan for the future of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. The Idaho State Board of Education led the Idaho STEM Summit on May 8-9 in Boise, Idaho to begin the development of Idaho’s STEM Roadmap. A Roadmap will be an integral part of the State’s goal to develop an education system that prepares our students to compete globally in an “innovation economy.” Idaho EPSCoR’s specific role is to provide leadership in the State of Idaho’s focus on promoting equitable access to K-20 STEM opportunities. This will increase the diversity and success of underrepresented and first-generation college students and workers entering STEM fields. It also will also foster more effective recruitment, retention, and advancement strategies. For several years, stakeholders have been meeting regularly to assess the programs and their progress for STEM education in Idaho. Idaho EPSCoR representatives serve on the state-wide planning committee, led by the Idaho State Board of Education, to create the state’s Roadmap for STEM education. State planning efforts, in which Idaho EPSCoR leads the diversity component of the State roadmap, are exploring innovative ways to strengthen the capacity of Idaho’s educational system. Idaho EPSCoR is promoting the concept of “ONEIdaho,” as a mechanism to bring together key STEM leaders to discuss ways to promote inclusion of underrepresented students in STEM education, and development of collaborations to best prepare Idaho’s future workforce.

Introducing HydroPad and HydroServer Lite: Two New Ways to Manage Hydrologic Data With support from Idaho NSF EPSCoR, researchers at Idaho State University are developing two new applications to facilitate simpler discovery, management, and visualization of hydrologic data. Both applications are continuations of previous work with Hydrologic Information Systems (HIS) through the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI). HydroPad is a mobile application for tablet computers that is compatible with both Apple iPad and Android-based platforms. HydroPad is being developed for users that prefer mobile data management options. It replicates many of the core functions of the existing HydroDesktop application, including map-based data search and data visualization. HydroPad users have the capability to discover and monitor data with the option to export data as an email attachment for external analysis. Additionally, HydroPad provides simplified database management of a user’s HydroServer, giving mobile users the ability to add new sites, variables, and methods as well as the ability to upload data using authenticated connections. HydroPad is currently in the design and early prototyping stages. Users that lack the hardware and software requirements and/or a technical background to implement a traditional HIS HydroServer can take advantage of HydroServer Lite, a lightweight version of the CUAHSI HydroServer. HydroServer

Summer 2012

Lite version 1.0 was successfully deployed at the McCall Outdoor Science School and is currently undergoing testing with their K-12 field science programs. HydroServer Lite can be easily deployed as a standalone package on any web hosting service that provides PHP web hosting services (e.g. GoDaddy or BlueHost). HydroServer Lite is fully compatible with the CUAHSI HIS system. HydroServer Lite includes intuitive web-based tools for database management, data entry, data discovery, and visualization. It also contains a user management system with different levels of authorization for database editing. Database management tools include forms for adding new sites, sources, methods, and variables. Data entry functionality includes forms for entering single data points, multiple data points, and uploading a text file of data to support multiple data entry needs. Data visualization includes map-based variable discovery, which leads to detail windows that include graphs and tables of data that can be saved to a local computer. For more information or to follow the development of HydroPad or HydroServer Lite, visit the projects’ CodePlex pages ( orhttp:// or contact Tifani White at

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EPSCoR investments make new fiber connections and an Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) Point of Presence possible in the Education Cooridor in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for improved academic collaboration and service to the North Idaho Community.

North Idaho College and University of Idaho Collaboration for

Spring 2012

Increased Connectivity Benefit Region

Institutional collaboration between Northern Idaho College (NIC) and the University of Idaho (UI) is bridging broadband access gaps at twoyear and four-year institutions that traditionally perform less research to foster greater opportunities for collaborative research and research-based education. These institutions serve sizable Native American, Hispanic, and rural firstgeneration college student populations. Promoting “collaboration and cooperation,” the $1.2 million NSF EPSCoR Intra- and Inter-Campus Connectivity (C2) project was awarded to Idaho in September 2010, to provide and upgrade cyberinfrastructure connectivity on and between campuses. Since that time, the project has facilitated NIC’s Idaho Research Optical Network (IRON) Associate Membership and resulted in a new IRON “point of presence” (POP) at the existing NIC Molstead Library data center. This improved high-speed access to the internet leverages investments of all Idaho Education Corridor partners, including UI, NIC, Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) and the City of Coeur d’Alene. This Education Corridor in downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was dedicated in a ground breaking ceremony in June 2011. It promises to provide vastly expanded education opportunities in North Idaho, including strong secondary school access to Idaho Education Network (IEN) video classes.

All Education Corridor partner institutions utilize IRON for daily and ongoing operational connections and benefit from the efficiency, innovation, quality, cost reduction and simplicity the network provides. The institutions of higher education successfully worked with the Lake City Development Corporation (LCDC) to utilize LCDC’s underground conduit as a means of establishing an “education corridor” between NIC and UI partners. The City of Coeur d’Alene has granted participating institutions access to underground conduit between the Education Corridor and the UI campus in Coeur d’Alene. As a result, IEN dual enrollment classes have improved capacity and reliability, and the fall 2012 NIC course schedule will include the first interactive videoconference (IVC) room in the Seiter Science/Math hall. Networking staff at NIC, UI and LCSC collaborate with each other and the IRON consortium of research institutions to share expertise, location advantages, equipment capabilities and other unique or formerly independent resources. NIC staff are spearheading IVC engineering and joining all IEN technical meetings to develop best video class investment strategies and planning practices. Work is already underway to increase network bandwidth to 5 UI-operated classrooms • 11 •

inside the NIC Molstead Library Building. Students will have access to high speed wireless networking, and faculty will benefit from high speed video and computer connections. UI, NIC and LCSC have the ability to purchase even more bandwidth from IRON, and IRON will be able to offer services and interconnections to additional entities such as K-12 schools, hospitals, and government agencies. This program also is transforming how research results are disseminated and communicated. Increased access to interactive visualization, environmental observation and modeling result databases, and data-sharing will lead to a high level of collaboration among institutions and will facilitate better communication among institutions. EPSCoRC2 college coordinators are also involved in synergistic activities, including the Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence. The data management plan for Idaho’s main Research Infrastructure Improvement project is resulting in centralized archives of data related to climate and water resources research in Idaho that will be valuable resources for many local, regional, and national constituents, including academic institutions, state and federal agencies, stakeholders, K-12 schools, and the general public.

First Cyberlearning Summit a Success

Spring 2012

A group of EPSCoR collaborators from New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho joined together in Jemez Springs in January to

discuss cyberlearning (CL) activities, programs, and materials that have been developed with support from the NSF EPSCoR Track 2 award that established the Western Tri-State Consortium. One component of the Western Tri-State Consortium of NV, NM and ID is the utilization of cyberinfrastructure to integrate research with education. Consequently, each of the states has developed CL tools related to the theme of water resources and climate change. Participants from all three states convened in New Mexico to explore synergies that exist amongst the projects. During the two-day CL Summit, representatives of each state led demonstrations of the K-12 CL materials/ programs that had been developed or expanded with NSF EPSCoR funding, including for example the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) in Idaho, Growing up Thinking Scientifically (GUTS) in New Mexico, and implementation of Climate Change Cyberlearning Curriculum Development (C4D) in Nevada. In addition to learning about the programs, a goal of the summit was to identify components of the projects that were suitable for scaling up and dissemination to the other states. During the summit, it became clear that the programs developed individually were complementary and would likely provide even more effective learning opportunities for students by incorporating various aspects across different projects. As a result, CL leaders from each state contributed to a proposal to NSF’s “Cyberlearning: Transforming Education” program that would support development of a research program to consider how the various approaches used by each state and their respective strengths could best be integrated and leveraged. Dr. Karla Eitel Bradley from the University of Idaho MOSS Program, served as Principal Investigator for the proposal. Finally, the Summit also resulted in ideas for several cyberlearning sessions that will be offered at the upcoming 4th Annual Tri-State Meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Idaho State University Students Attend Cyberinfrastructure Program Spring 2012 at Clemson University The National Science Foundation has awarded Clemson Unviersity and the University of Kentucky funds to engage and prepare more undergraduate and graduate students from institutions in EPSCoR jurisdictions in th euse of computing to advance science, engineering, and scholarly studies. This year long program was kicked-off/orientation meeting at Clemson University. Four Idaho State University Geosciences students – 3 graduate students, Peter Olsoy (MS in GIScience), Adam Koster (MS in Geology), and Carlos Osorio Murillo (PhD in EAS), and one undergraduate student, Stephen Joy, were selected from among a large pool of candidates to participate. The program provides students hands-on experience with supercomputers, high performance computing, high throughput computing, parallel programming, campus-wide grids, and national supercomputer grids. These state-of-the-art computer systems are designed to support computational science research at the petascale through data modeling, mining, management, visualization, networking and cloud services.. The awards also include financial support for travel to Clemson University to participate in project activities with other students and attend the International Supercomputing conference in November of this year ( Congratulations to these outstanding students.

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HOIST Expands Outreach Effort

Spring 2012

The University of Idaho’s Native American Student Center (NASC) staff is eagerly anticipating the June 2012 campus arrival of Helping Orient Indian Students and Teachers (HOIST) summer program student participants. The NASC-administered HOIST summer program welcomes up to twenty Native American high school students who have demonstrated potential in and expressed interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) fields. This summer, the HOIST program will convene on Sunday, June 10, 2012, and will end Wednesday, July 25, 2012. With the creation of a new HOIST program website, prospective HOIST student participants and their faculty recommenders can easily complete and securely submit their program application and recommender forms online at With each successive HOIST program, the caliber of student participants has steadily increased. To reflect this positive trend, program expectations of HOIST students have also increased, and student applicants can expect to be interviewed by telephone regarding their desire to participate in the six-week summer program. As in previous HOIST programs, this summer’s activities are devoted to improving Native American students’ comprehension and application of math and science concepts. To make these goals a reality, NASC staff and HOIST teaching faculty have committed to promoting Indigenous science and incorporating cultural knowledge into math and English course curricula. Moreover, student participants’ “free time” will be structured to reinforce Indigenous science concepts. HOIST 2012 students can look forward to a planned visit to Seattle, WA, where they tour various museums within the city and draw connections between what they observe and what they have discussed in the classroom. In keeping with a handson learning philosophy, HOIST students also will visit the McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS), where they have the opportunity to participate in various MOSS restoration projects. As NASC Director, Steven Martin (Muscogee Creek), stated, “All HOIST 2012 program activities are intended to be science-relevant and to address and overcome any student hesitancy to pursue a STEM degree, or higher education for that matter.” Past HOIST student participants can attest to the program’s efficacy in promoting higher education. Effie Hernandez, an enrolled member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Fort Hall, Idaho, is a first-generation, UI freshman majoring in Anthropology who participated in the HOIST 2010 program. She states, “HOIST prepared me to be more openminded... taught me that [college] is what you make of it and don’t be scared to try something new.” This summer, Miss Hernandez will serve as a HOIST 2012 student mentor along with Leanna Dann (Western Shoshone), a HOIST 2011 participant and current UI freshman. Both young women will participate in welcoming prospective HOIST 2012 students on Friday, April 27th, when the NASC will host a “HOIST STEM Day” campus visit for the first time. The April 27th HOIST STEM Day will allow prospective HOIST 2012 students to tour the UI campus; speak with Native American STEM faculty, including Dr. Ed Galindo (Yaqui) and Dr. Aaron Thomas (Navajo); and attend workshops moderated by UI All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ANLSAMP) undergraduate scholars. The HOIST STEM Day will provide students with a preview of HOIST 2012 student activities and expectations prior to the program application deadline of May 18, 2012. Miss Hernandez best summarizes HOIST STEM Day and HOIST 2012 objectives, stating, “I hope to impart that you get to have this great opportunity to do all these great things, use it well... Only you can push yourself forward to success.” • 13 •

E-CAMP/E-DAY: Gearing Up for Busy Spring and Summer The College of Engineering at Boise State University, with support from Idaho EPSCoR, is gearing up to host their 4th annual e-Day and e-Camp activities. The e-Day program, which is titled “Discover Engineering,” takes place on April 14, 2012 and is a free one-day camp designed to explore engineering and technical careers. The goal of e-Day is to encourage students in the 7th – 10th grade, especially those from underrepresented minority (URM) groups, to pursue engineering and other STEM fields. Participants take part in STEM activities such as Edible Aquifer, Designer Bridges, and Amazing Robotics – increasing their excitement in STEM. The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Boise State University student chapter, also provides mentoring for the visiting students. The program, which is coordinated by Leandra AburusaLete, Student Support Coordinator for the BSU College of Engineering, has shown tremendous progress since its beginning. Last year, a total of 60 students attended the event with 70% from URM groups, an increase of almost 20% from the previous year. Female participation also increased to 65%, an increase of about 15% from the previous year.

Spring 2012

projects involving self discovery, cooperative learning, critical thinking, and problem solving while living on campus in a college dormitory. Activities include a minidesign competition, robotics activity, rocket launch on the BSU football stadium, the Physics of Rock Climbing, and a final design-build competition. All food, housing and recreational activities are provided as well as free transportation to and from Treasure Valley high schools. Leandra and the rest of the e-Camp and e-Day staff conduct extensive outreach to Idaho’s schools, sending program information to all 290 middle schools and high schools in the state of Idaho. Significant collaborations with middle school science teachers and counselors in Wilder, Homedale, Nampa, and Caldwell have continually increased the awareness of the programs. The programs also provide opportunities to contribute to the diversity of the STEM pipeline by informing and encouraging students to participate in a variety of other educational programs including BSU MOSAIC program for URM high school students, Department of Education TRIO Programs, College Assistant Migrant Program (CAMP), NSF Alliances for Minority Participation (AMP), and the NSF STEP Summer Bridge program at Boise State.

On June 3-5, BSU will host “e-Camp” which targets grades 8-9. Students engage in hands-on activities and

Students work with BSU faculty in preparation for their rocket launch

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Adventure Learning Through Water and MOSS

Spring 2012

The McCall Outdoor Science School is the recipient of a new grant from the National Science Foundation – Office of Cyberinfrastructure (OCI). Project co-principal investigators include University of Idaho faculty, Drs. Karla Bradley Eitel, and Jan Eitel, with Brant Miller, serving as Principal Investigator. The project “CI-TEAM Demo: Adventure Learning through Water and MOSS” is engaging K-12 students throughout Idaho with meaningful inquiries into water resource issues through outdoor data-collection expeditions supported by an online learning environment. Students collect authentic data related to an inquiry-based curriculum, and these data are shared within the online environment. Students, teachers, and content experts from throughout Idaho then communicate and work together in meaningful ways with data using the latest in low cost, high tech instrumentation. The McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) is serving as an informal science education provider, and cornerstone to the project mission, by serving as the base camp for water expeditions. Water expeditions are inquiry-driven and focus on various aspects of water resources inherent in the four seasons. MOSS also serves as the cyberlearning host for which online environment development is taking place. Seed funding through Idaho EPSCoR has provided the means to design initial web interface components ( Many of the student groups participating in MOSS activities are from underrepresented groups. In addition, through the online environment many of the barriers to participation are eliminated for underrepresented students. The program is helping participating students secure invaluable skills through their participation in the online learning environment as well as helping them develop and exercise key 21st Century workforce skills.

STEM Diversity Workshop Hosted in Boise Spring 2012 On March 1st, Idaho EPSCoR hosted a STEM Diversity Workshop in Boise, Idaho to explore innovative ways to strengthen the capacity of Idaho’s educational system. The Diversity Workshop was created as a mechanism to bring together key STEM leaders in an effort to discuss ways to promote underrepresented student inclusion in STEM education, and development of workforce collaboration efforts. Approximately 40 participants gathered to learn specific challenges facing Idaho, the current status of STEM programs in Idaho, and then to explore opportunities for collaboration. Participants expressed a need for stronger statewide STEM coordination in Idaho, an examination of STEM teacher education, and a need to build the capacity

of existing STEM programs in Idaho. Participants also discussed the need for greater outreach, including expanding STEM internships and mentoring opportunities for underrepresented students in Idaho. The information gathered from the Diversity Workshop will also be used to assist in the development of a roadmap to promote STEM readiness for Idaho’s K-20 students during the upcoming Idaho STEM Summit set for May 8-9, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.

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Spring 2012

Thermal Imager for Landsat 8

Idaho EPSCoR faculty are playing a key role in demonstrating the need and benefit of NASA’s latest Landsat 8 satellite development. The Landsat 8 satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), incorporates a thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) to measure the Earth’s temperature with new technology that applies quantum physics to detect heat. From project design to completion, the TIRS was built in an unprecedented 43 months, a full year ahead of the typical schedule for new spaceborne instruments. Dr. Rick Allen was instrumental to ensuring TIRS would be included in the LDCM satellite as his Idaho EPSCoR-enabled, as well as other, research provided an impetus for TIRS funding. According to Dr. Allen, director of water resources research at the University of Idaho, in Kimberly, Idaho, “nearly 80 percent of the fresh water in the Western U.S. [is] being used to irrigate crops.” State water resource managers rely on the highly accurate measurements of Earth’s thermal energy obtained by NASA satellites to track how land and water are being used. More than 20 nations on six continents operate local receiving stations for Landsat data. “TIRS will become an invaluable tool for managing water consumption,” stated Dr. Allen. Using Quantum Well Infrared Photo detectors (QWIPs), the TIRS detects long wavelengths of light emitted by the Earth that possess intensities that depend on Earth’s surface temperature. These Earth surface temperature-dependent light wavelengths, called thermal infrared, are well beyond the range of human vision, and while devices for thermal infrared night “vision” have long been available, QWIPs offers a lowercost alternative to conventional infrared technology. Moreover, the QWIPs that the TIRS uses are sensitive to two thermal infrared wavelength bands, which help the TIRS separate the temperature of the Earth’s surface from that of the atmosphere. The LDCM Landsat 8 is scheduled to launch in January 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. In recognition of his research contribution, Dr. Allen will attend the rocket launch in January 2013 with the rest of the Landsat 8 Science Team. NASA (February 2012) NASA Landsat’s Thermal Infrared Sensor Arrives at Orbital, retrieved from

The University of Idaho recently hosted

Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Day held at the University of Idaho

Spring 2012

Cyberinfrastructure Days (CI) Days on March 29, 2012 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm in the Horizon Room at the Idaho Commons. As envisioned in Idaho’s NSF EPSCoR Intra- and Inter-Campus Connectivity (C2) proposal, the event was designed to promote education and outreach as well as provide an opportunity to explore CI issues together with faculty, students, staff,and the public. Participants were able to gain further understanding of CI including why it is important, and the infrastructure necessary for research to grow and flourish at the University of Idaho. NKN is a data management system that provides storage, retrieval and protection services across the life cycle of data. NKN serves researchers, educators, and the public specializing in crossdisciplinary data and its application to issues of note in the state and northwest region. Other sponsors include the University of Idaho Library (UI-L) and Research Office (UI-ORED), Idaho National Laboratory (DoE-INL), Idaho INBRE – IdeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, and Regional Approaches to Climate Change – Pacific Northwest Agriculture (REACCH). For more information on CI Days and future events visit the NKN website at:

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Idaho EPSCoR 2012 in Review  
Idaho EPSCoR 2012 in Review  

The primary objective of EPSCoR is to stimulate research in niche areas that can become fully competitive in the disciplinary and multidisci...