Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute

Lyndhurst, NJ, United States

Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute

Lyndhurst, NJ, United States
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Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Pechmann I.C.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2010

The invasion of the exotic common reed (Phragmites australis) is increasingly displacing local native species from northeastern coastal estuaries. This study evaluates the accuracy of a remote sensing technique to map the distribution of common reed, monitor the rate of invasion and determine areas of natural resistance to invasion. The current invasion footprint of Phragmites in the Hackensack Meadowlands District in Northern New Jersey was determined using high spectral and spatial resolution hyperspectral imagery. A tethered balloon-based imaging device with limited coverage area was used to assess the accuracy of the hyperspectral imagery classification. The accuracy assessment based on true color balloon images revealed that the hyperspectral classification technique from images covering hundreds of hectares was 90% accurate in separating the dominant common reed-invaded areas from the native vegetation. Furthermore, linear spectral un-mixing techniques for sub-pixel classification revealed that for mixed areas where Phragmites covered 75% or more of a pixel, the classification was correct 96% of the time. The accuracy dropped to 52% for pixels that contained 25% or less of Phragmites cover, and was only 4% for pixels where invasive and native species cover was the same (50-50%). © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Song F.,Rutgers University | Shin J.Y.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Jusino-Atresino R.,Rutgers University | Gao Y.,Rutgers University
Atmospheric Pollution Research | Year: 2011

To characterize the relationships among the springtime NOx (NO + NO2), O3 and NO3 (defined as the combination of gaseous nitric acid, HNO3, and aerosol nitrate, NO3 -) concentrations in the ambient air of the vicinity of highways, an intensive sampling was carried out in spring 2007 at Lyndhurst, NJ in the U.S. East Coast. Ambient concentrations of O3 and NOx were measured by O3 and NOx analyzers, while NO3 was collected using a ChemComb cartridge and determined by ion chromatography. Significant variations in O3 concentrations were observed diurnally as well as between weekdays and weekends, with higher concentrations occurring during the daytime and on weekends. The 24-h diurnal variations of O3 and NOx could be divided into four periods: (1) morning NOx peak, (2) mid-day O3 formation, (3) afternoon NOx accumulation and (4) nighttime balancing. Daily averaged relative humidity and wind speed were the two weather parameters affecting O3 levels more than other averaged parameters, and daily maximum temperature was positively correlated to the maximum O3. Via photochemical reactions and emission- diffusion balance, NOx showed primarily negative influences on the daily O3 variations with decayed exponential correlations, in particular during nighttime and weekdays, indicating a possible VOC-sensitive characteristic of the study area. A negative correlation between NO3 - and O3 concentrations was found while no obvious influence of HNO3 on O3 was observed. Results by a multi-regression model involving three parameters (NO2/OX ratio, NO2 and HNO3) reveal that the NO2/OX ratio is an important parameter controlling the ground O3 level in the study area. © Author(s) 2011.

Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2014

Information from the Census is tied to a State, County or Township boundaries and is dated to when the information was collected. Similarly, water quality, electricity consumption, and sociolinguistic accents are tied to geography and dated to when they were measured. Any attribute that is spatially explicit can be explored using Geographical Information Systems (GIS). GIS is a tool to find relationships and visualize trends and patterns between datasets that share the same geography. Researchers may be familiar with GIS's visually appealing results and its analytical powers and may even have ideas on how to apply this tool to their own research questions but have never had the chance to actually use this tool to generate tangible results on their own. These compressed hands on tutorial exercises on spatial analytics for open government data are designed to expose participants to levels of complexity that build on each other and explore an increasing range of functionalities offered by modern GIS. As a result, participants walk away having experienced the entire cycle of spatial analysis from identifying and importing data, performing overlays for spatial analysis and preparing map layouts and presentations to communicate the findings. Through this tutorial, participants should gain a basic understanding and practice of GIS to utilize this tool and address research problems in their own fields of expertise. Copyright © 2014 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Shin J.Y.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Hobble C.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Marti-Donati A.,Barcelona Supercomputing Center | And 2 more authors.
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2015

The study compares the amounts of carbon fixed via photosynthesis of a restored tidal marsh to the total organic carbon remaining in sediments of a natural tidal marsh and arrives at preliminary baselines for carbon sequestration and storage over time. The Eddy-covariance method (indirect method) was used to estimate marsh canopy net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and measured an annual gross primary production of 979gCm-2, while the loss through respiration was 766gCm-2, resulting in a net uptake of 213gCm-2yr-1. Time of the day, solar irradiation, air temperature, humidity and wind direction all together explained 66% of the variation in NEE. The high marsh community of Spartina patens showed NEE to be significantly higher than the low marsh community. The net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) over long time scales was estimated by measuring the actual amount of total organic carbon contained in dated sediment cores from a natural marsh (direct method), which resulted in a carbon accumulation rate of 192.2gm-2yr-1. Changes in total organic carbon content over time in the core sample showed that 78% of organic carbon remained stored in the sediments after 130 years and only the most recalcitrant carbon (50%) remained under storage beyond 645 years. Overall the study showed that temperate macrotidal salt marshes are net sinks of carbon with potential for long term carbon storage. The marsh turned into a carbon sink at the beginning of May and switched back to being a source in late November. The average sedimentation rate estimated from the 137 CS dating (1950s to present) was 1.4mmyr-1 which is similar to accretion rates of comparable S. patens patches in the east coast. Accretion rates derived from our study are slightly lower than the 60+ year rate of sea level rise (2.6mmyr-1) recorded by tide gauge measurements in the Northeast. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

ElBishlawi H.,Princeton University | Shin J.Y.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Jaffe P.R.,Princeton University
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2013

Two tidal marshes in the New Jersey Meadowlands, one constructed and one natural were characterized to compare their ability to immobilize trace metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Zn). Surface and pore waters were sampled four times a year between 2008 and 2010 and sediment cores were collected yearly in the constructed marsh and once in 2010 in the natural marsh. Interactions of trace metals with redox active species such as iron and sulfide as well as with organic matter were investigated. Precipitation with sulfides played a major role in immobilizing certain trace metals, including Cr, Mn, and Pb. At both sites, the presence of sulfide did not preclude the presence of dissolved trace metals in pore-water at concentrations exceeding their metal sulfide solubility product. Thermodynamic equilibrium modeling indicated these dissolved metals remained in solution due to an association with heterogeneous dissolved organic carbon. No net trace metal accumulation in the surficial sediments of the constructed marsh was noted between 2007 and 2010. This implied that a dynamic equilibrium of trace metal flux into and out of the sediments was established, rather than a long-term net accumulation of trace metals. In the constructed marsh, little difference was found between the immobilization potential in the area of intermittent flooding (high marsh) and the area of sustained flooding (low marsh). The newly constructed wetland immobilized significantly more Cr, Mn, and Zn than the natural marsh and similar concentrations of Cd, Cu, and Pb. This may be due to increased redox buffering through a larger FeS buffering pool against tidally induced oxygen delivery. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Chun S.A.,CUNY - College of Staten Island | Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2013

This study presents a Sensor Network based Tide Gate Monitoring System (SensorTGMS) that automatically collects the real-time water levels at tide gates in the New Jersey Meadowlands District where ninety percent of which lies within two feet of the high water mark. We report our experience of developing the SensorTGMS, and how the real-time water level data from the sensor-enabled tide gates provide water level alerts for government officials and citizens for planning evacuations and allocating resources by identifying risk areas in timely manner. The data, augmented with the social media data shared by citizens on their flood incident episodes can provide real-time situation awareness and promote community-based incident management during and after a disaster. Additionally, the SensorTGMS data supports the objective unbiased account of the progression of flood events. The animated visualization of the water levels over a time line can be a powerful tool for understanding where and how residents and infrastructure were affected by a high energy rain event and/or a tidal surge. This objective data captured by the system can be used as a forensic tool for understanding the weak points of coastal defenses and to assess the magnitude of the flood damages.

Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Chun S.A.,CUNY - College of Staten Island
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2013

The Open Government Data initiative accelerated publishing and sharing of diverse government data with enterprises, software developers and citizens. The key challenge with this unprecedented amount of government data is to make sense of them in a timely manner i.e. find the meaning of the data to assist in decision making. The analytical tools and apps to filter, sort, aggregate for summary along different spatio-temporal dimensions will help find trends and outliers. The capabilities to combine diverse data from different sources may also help users to understand the information and knowledge embedded in data sets. One of most powerful data exploration and analytics is data visualization. In this tutorial, we present two different tools for visual exploration and analytics for citizens and researchers, making use of diverse data sets from different sources, such as government, social media and enterprise or personal collections. Specifically, we focus on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for mapping data using ArcGIS Explorer, a cloud based data integration and visualization tool and Google Fusion Tables for tabular data. The tutorial is geared toward social science researchers, students and citizens in general.

Jung K.-H.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Jung K.-H.,Rutgers University | Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Shin J.Y.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2011

This study measures the effect of emissions from an airport on the air quality of surrounding neighborhoods. The ambient concentrations of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-, m-, and p-xylene (BTEX) were measured using passive samplers at 15 households located close to the airport (indoor, outdoor, and personal), at the end of airport runways and an out-of-neighborhood location. Measurements occurred over a 48-h period during summer 2006 and winter 2006-2007. The average concentrations were 0.84, 3.21, 0.30, 0.99, and 0.34 μg/m3 at the airport runways and 0.84, 3.76, 0.39, 1.22, and 0.39 μg/m3 in the neighborhood for benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m-, p-, and o-xylene. The average neighborhood concentrations were not significantly different to those measured at the airport runways and were higher than the out-of-neighborhood location (0.48, 1.09, 0.15, 0.78, and 0.43 μg/m 3, each BTEX). B/T ratios were used as a tracer for emission sources and the average B/T ratio at the airport and outdoors were 0.20 and 0.23 for the summer and 0.40 and 0.42 for the winter, suggesting that both areas are affected by the same emission source. Personal exposure was closely related to levels in the indoor environment where subjects spent most of their time. Indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios for BTEX ranged from 1.13 to 2.60 and 1.41 to 3.02 for summer and winter. The seasonal differences in I/O ratios reflected residential ventilation patterns, resulting in increased indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds during winter. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Shin J.Y.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Artigas F.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Hobble C.,Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute | Lee Y.-S.,Dongguk University
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2013

Concentrations of selected heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Fe, and Zn), nutrients (NO 3 - and NH3), fecal coliform colonies, and other multiple physical-chemical parameters were measured seasonally from 12 locations in an urban New Jersey estuary between 1994 and 2008. Stepwise regression, principal component analysis, and cluster analysis were used to group water quality results and sampling locations, as well as to assess these data's relationship to sewage treatment effluents and the distance to the mouth of the river. The BOD5, NH3, NO 3 - and fecal coliform counts clustered as one group and positively correlated to the distances from treated effluent and the measures of magnitude at the discharge points. Dissolved solids and most metal species scored high along a single principal component axes and were significantly correlated with the proximity to the industrialized area. From these data, one can conclude that the effluent discharge has been a main source of anthropogenic input to the Hackensack River over the past 15 years. Therefore, the greatest improvement to water quality would come from eliminating the few remaining combined sewer overflows and improving the removal of nutrients from treated effluents before they are discharged into the creeks and river. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

PubMed | Tsinghua University, Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute and Environmental and Occupational Health science Institute
Type: | Journal: Atmospheric environment (Oxford, England : 1994) | Year: 2015

Airborne hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) is a known pulmonary carcinogen and can be emitted from both natural and anthropogenic sources, including diesel emissions. However, there is limited knowledge about ambient Cr(VI) concentration levels and its particle size distribution. This pilot study characterized ambient Cr(VI) concentrations in the New Jersey Meadowlands (NJ ML) district, which is close to the heavily trafficked New Jersey Turnpike (NJTPK) as well as Chromium Ore Processing Residue (COPR) waste sites. Monitoring was simultaneously conducted at two sites, William site (~50 m from NJTPK) and MERI site (~700 m from NJTPK). The distance between the two sites is approximately 6.2 km. Ambient Cr(VI) concentrations and PM

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