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  • The Center for Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing (CEARS) is a state of the art research facility developed by several Virginia Tech researchers from multiple departments who have formed partnerships with other industries, institutions, and governments to solve a wide array of environmental problems. The Virginia Tech Office of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (OGIS), a coordination point for GIS and Remote Sensing on the Virginia Tech campus, was also very instrumental in the development of CEARS. Virginia Tech departmental partnerships include Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering, Civil Engineering, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Entomology, Fisheries and Wildlife, Forestry, Geography, Landscape Architecture and Urban Affairs and Planning. Other partnerships include NASA, National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Research, Inc., USDA Fund for Rural American, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Geographical Survey Biological Research Division, Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Virginia Department of Forestry, and Fish and Wildlife Information Exchange. CEARS is a full partner in the National Environmental Monitoring Framework and the NASA Center of Excellence in applications of remote sensing for regional and global environmental assessments. NASA awarded a $419,956 grant to establish the center which is one of the most comprehensive GIS and remote sensing labs in the world. Future plans are to have a larger role in the national environmental monitoring framework and to strengthen our ties with industry.
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    1. 1. Environmental Research and Outreach at Virginia Tech Richard C. Rich ( Department Chair Political Science
    2. 2. Center For Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing CEARS and partners in the Virginia Tech aerospace and ocean engineering department have built an electric, remotely piloted vehicle capable of carrying small sensor payloads.
    3. 4. All plant biomass consists of cellulose fibers held together by a non-crystalline lignin-carbohydrate matrix. Ligno-cellulosic resources from agriculture and forestry have recently become the target for development of a wide range of new environmentally benign materials and products. We are involved in research to produce engineering fiber and chemical products via non-conventional processing of the ligno-cellulosic resource.
    4. 5. Fisheries and Wildlife Population Dynamics Studies & Projects <ul><li>Individual Based Models </li></ul><ul><li>Metapopulation Models </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty and Risk Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Instream Flow and Hydropower Relicensing </li></ul>
    5. 6. Environmental Programs in Biology <ul><li>Aquatic Program began in 1968 under Dr. John Cairns, Jr ., Director of Center for Environmental Studies </li></ul><ul><li>12 Faculty involved from microbiology, botany and zoology </li></ul><ul><li>Current Environmental Research Topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catastrophic events on aquatic ecosystem integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact of energy production on aquatic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restoration/recovery of damaged ecosystems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of toxic substances in industrial effluents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acute chronic and in situ toxicity testing of water and sediments </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Environmental Programs in Biology <ul><li>Environmental Research Topics, Contd. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Laboratory/field validation of water quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental impacts of abandoned mined land discharges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictive modeling of aquatic environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watershed ecological restoration/management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollutant effects on structure/function of algae & fungi </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation of microorganism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aerial dispersion on public health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control of invading exotic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>species of Asian clams & zebra mussels </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Biology Faculty and their Research <ul><li>E. F. Benfield (, Stream Ecology, Ecosystem Processes, Biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>R. E. Benoit (, Microbiology, Physiology and ecology of aquatic anaerobic bacteria, Degradation of toxic organic compounds </li></ul><ul><li>A. L. Buikema (, Pollution and Physiological Ecology of Aquatic Organisms </li></ul><ul><li>D. S. Cherry (, Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Emphasizing Fish, Invertebrate, Algal and Bacterial Populations </li></ul><ul><li>A. C. Hendricks (, Aquatic Ecology, Water Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>A. G. Heath (, Environmental Animal Physiology </li></ul>
    8. 9. Biology Faculty (cont.) <ul><li>R. H. Jones (, Plant Ecology, Ecology of forested wetlands </li></ul><ul><li>F. M. A. McNabb (, Developmental Endocrinology, Disruption of thyroid function by chemical pollutants </li></ul><ul><li>P. S. Nagarkatti (, Cellular and Molecular Immunology Effect of environmental pollutants on immune response (Immunotoxicology) </li></ul><ul><li>H. M. Valett (, Ecosystem and Microbial Ecology of Groundwater, Streams, and Lakes </li></ul><ul><li>J. R. Webster (, Stream Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology </li></ul>
    9. 10. VT Department of Chemistry <ul><li>33 full time faculty members, 40 support staff </li></ul><ul><li>30 post docs, 15 research scientists </li></ul><ul><li>110 graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.) </li></ul><ul><li>250 undergraduate chemistry majors </li></ul><ul><li>3 research centers </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty Involved in Environmental Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Gary L. Long, Environmental Analytical Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Harold M. McNair, Analytical Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Larry T. Taylor, Analytical Chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>James M. Tanko, Organic Chemistry (“green chemistry”) </li></ul>
    10. 11. Ongoing Environmental Projects of the Department of Chemistry <ul><li>Determination of pesticides from soils using microwave assisted extraction. </li></ul><ul><li>Field sampling methods for rapid determination of toxic materials using Headspace GC. </li></ul><ul><li>Determination of metals in soils using chelate assisted microwave extraction and chelate assisted pressurized liquid extraction. </li></ul><ul><li>Pesticide extraction and determination using Supercritical Fluids. </li></ul><ul><li>Free Radical Chemistry in Supercritical CO 2 . </li></ul>
    11. 12. ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING FACULTY And Their Areas of Specialization <ul><li>Gregory D. Boardman, Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial wastewater treatment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous waste management </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental toxicology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Andrea M. Dietrich, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis of trace organic chemicals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Characterization of organic chemicals in complex environmental samples </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Toxicity mechanisms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DBPs and taste-and-odor in water treatment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Marc Edwards, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corrosion of drinking water conduits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physiochemical treatment processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Applied aquatic chemistry </li></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 13. ENVIRO. ENGINEERING FACULTY, Contd. <ul><li>Daniel L. Gallagher, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modeling fate and transport of subsurface contaminants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interaction of surface water and ground water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mathematical optimization and statistical analysis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Statistical design of environmental monitoring programs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Geographical information systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>J. Martin Hughes, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air pollution control technologies </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stack gas characterization </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air quality modeling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Atmospheric environment, energy consumption and resource utilization </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 14. ENVIRO. ENGINEERING FACULTY Contd. <ul><li>John C. Little, Associate Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mass transfer and process dynamics in environmental systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hypolimnetic oxygenation of stratified reservoirs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Characterizing sources and sinks in the indoor environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure to chemical contaminants in drinking water </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Microbial acquisition of nutrients from mineral surfaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Containment of hazardous waste using subsurface barriers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Nancy G. Love, Assistant Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Catabolism of xenobiotic compounds and associated stress responses in bacteria </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Application of biotechnological principles to environmental engineering problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Development of biosensor technologies for environmental applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial and wastewater treatment processes </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 15. ENVIRO. ENGINEERING FACULTY, Contd. <ul><li>William R. Knocke, W. Curtis English Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of alternative oxidants in water treatment practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residuals management eg: sludge dewatering and disposal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial waste management for heavy metals treatment and recovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optimization of water treatment processes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>John T. Novak, Nick Prillaman Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sludge characterization, dewatering, and disposal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Microbial degradation of subsurface contaminants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hazardous waste planning and site evaluations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Biological wastewater treatment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Clifford W. Randall, C. P. Lunsford Professor </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Design and biochemistry of biological nutrient removal processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial and biological wastewater treatment processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watershed management for eutrophication control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water supply and waste disposal in developing countries </li></ul></ul></ul>
    15. 16. Production, Harvest, Storage, and Delivery of Herbaceous Biomass <ul><li>Faculty in the Departments of Crop and Soil Environmental Science (CSES) and Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) have worked for over 10 years with the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program (BFDP) at ORNL to develop switchgrass as a feedstock for fuel and chemicals. Current projects are funded by the BFDP and the USDA National Needs Program . </li></ul><ul><li>CSES Contact: Dr. David Parrish, [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>BSE Contact: Dr. John Cundiff, [email_address] </li></ul>
    16. 17. The Bioconversion Initiative A multidisciplinary group from The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The College of Engineering, and The College of Forestry and Wildlife is in the planning stages of creating a large scale bioconversion research, education, and service facility for Virginia Tech.
    17. 18. Bioconversion Initiative Activities: Solid-State Fermentation —solid waste from the university will be composted and applied to university cropland. Bioenergy —Pilot plant activities to demonstrate technologies for production of solid, liquid, and gaseous fuel from renewable resources. Bio-based Materials —Pilot plant activities to demonstrate technologies for production of industrial products from renewable resources.