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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.24-7pressrelease.com

RENO, NV, May 11, 2017-- Dr. Joseph Crowley is a celebrated Marquis Who's Who biographee. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to name Dr. Joseph Crowley a Lifetime Achiever. An accomplished listee, Dr. Crowley celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field.Prior to his retirement, Dr. Crowley served as president emeritus for the University of Nevada, serving for 23 years.In addition to his status as a Lifetime Achiever, Dr. Crowley is the recipient of the Thornton Peace Prize from the University of Nevada, Humanitarian of the Year Award from the conference of Christians and Jews and the Alumnus of the Year Award from California State University, Fresno. He has also been awarded the ADL Champion of Liberty Award and a Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Iowa. In addition, he is the recipient of the Giant Step Award from the Center for Study of Sport in Society and the William Anderson Award for health. He has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Consortium for Academies and Sports and the Nevada Arts and Humanities Award for public service. Dr. Crowley also received the Distinguished Nevadan Award from the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Dr Crowley served a two-year term as President of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and authored the book of the NCAA's centennial history (In the Arena: The NCAA's First Century), published by the NCAA in 2006. Adding to Dr. Crowley's accolades he has also been included in several Marquis publications, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Education, Who's Who in American Politics and Who's Who in the West.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com


"The support team at YuJa is extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with. Often times we get notified proactively if any of our recorders go offline and in the cases where we call in for assistance we've always gotten a live person. Additionally, the team at YuJa is genuinely interested in understanding our needs and has been able to implement product enhancements based directly on our feedback. In regards to the platform, it's reliable, feature rich, and integrates seamlessly with our LMS. The ability to live stream, perform both hardware and software captures, and automatically caption both captured and uploaded content has made this an invaluable system for our institution. Nevada State College is extremely pleased to have transitioned to YuJa and we look forward to continue our relationship into the future," said Brian Chongtai, Director of Information & Technology Services at Nevada State College. Nevada State College replaced their existing capture hardware with the YuJa RCS-430 Hardware Hub and integrated their Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) with the cloud-hosted YuJa Enterprise Video Platform. Using YuJa, Nevada State College is able to deploy video learning solutions in their classrooms, conference rooms and auditoriums. This enables a number of key scenarios for Nevada State College including: "We have been working with Nevada State College since 2015 and this expanded multi-year commitment is a recognition of our organization's commitment to providing not only outstanding enterprise video solutions, but also unmatched support and value," said Dr. Ajit Singh, President of YuJa Corporation. The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform provides administrators, faculty, staff and students with a comprehensive and engaging experience that fully integrates into Nevada State College's existing Canvas Learning Management system. This has enabled Nevada State College to extend their existing enterprise technology investments into modern digital learning and pedagogies. About Nevada State College Nevada State College is a four-year public institution and a member of the Nevada System of Higher Education. Nevada State College places a special emphasis on the advancement of a diverse and largely under-served student population. Located on a developing 500-acre campus in the foothills of Henderson, Nevada, the college was established in 2002 as a new tier in the state system between the research universities and the two-year colleges. About YuJa YuJa Corporation powers enterprise video everywhere. Our Enterprise Video Platform empowers education enterprises of all sizes - higher-ed, K-12 and corporate - to deliver media-centric learning experiences including lecture capture, live streaming, media management, video classrooms, and immersive social & mobile learning tools. We have U.S. offices in sunny Silicon Valley, California and Canadian offices in Waterloo and Toronto. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nevada-state-college-extends-and-signs-3-year-agreement-with-yuja-corporation-to-provide-campus-wide-room-based-capture-and-video-management-300457201.html


News Article | December 5, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

RENO, Nev. - An earthquake much more powerful and damaging than last year's 7.8 magnitude quake could rock Kathmandu and the Himalayan Frontal Fault, an international team of seismic experts has concluded. The unsettling news comes after field research and analysis in the year following the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, which killed 9,000 people and destroyed 600,000 structures throughout the region. Geophysics professor and director of the Center for Neotectonic Studies, Steve Wesnousky of the University of Nevada, Reno, has been studying the Himalayan Frontal Fault for 20 years. He was one of the first scientists into the region to assess the geophysical impacts following last year's quake. His latest research was published in the Elsevier science journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. "We conducted a number of paleoearthquake studies in the vicinity of Katmandu in the past year, digging trenches and studying soils and faultlines looking back over the past 2,000 years," Wesnousky said. "Coupled with the historical record, it's apparent the faults are capable of earthquakes far greater than the Gorkha earthquake." Last year's earthquake and aftershocks could be viewed as a warning of a more powerful earthquake that could rock the region with even more devastating effects. The team's observations shows the Tribeni site is probably approaching or is in the later stages of strain accumulation before a large earthquake, which could produce 15- to 30-foot high fractures in the earth. "The sum of our observations suggest that this section of the Himalayan Frontal Thrust fault, extending about 200 kilometers from Tribeni to Bagmati, may rupture simultaneously, and the next great earthquake near Kathmandu may rupture an area significantly greater than in the Gorkha earthquake," Wesnousky said. "It is prudent to consider that the fault near Kathmandu is in the later stages of a strain accumulation cycle prior to a great thrust earthquake, much greater than occurred in 2015. In these regards, the 2015 Gorkha earthquake did not diminish the current level of seismic hazard in Kathmandu." Funded by the National Science Foundation, the team visited the Kathmandu region several times for hands-on study of the faultlines. They dug two deep trenches near the mouths of major rivers at Tribeni and Bagmati. They examined structural, stratigraphic (layers of rocks and soils) and radiocarbon relationships in trenches across the fault where it has produced steep banks in soil deposited by the rivers. In these trenches is evidence that earthquake displacement along this part of the Himalayan Frontal Thrust has produced surface ruptures resulting in a scarp, a steep bank, of at least five meters or 15 feet vertical separation sometime between the years 1221 and 1262 in Tribeni, located about 200 kilometers south of Kathmandu. At the Bagmati site, the vertical separation across the scarp registers about 10 meters, or 30 feet and possibly greater, and was formed between 1031 and 1321 AD. "The scenario we developed hypothesizes that the next great earthquake may begin to the west near Tribeni and propagate into the section of fault beneath Kathmandu that did not rupture during the 2015 Gorkha earthquake," Wesnousky said. "The length of such a rupture would be about 200 kilometers or greater and capable of producing a magnitude 8 or greater earthquake. This scenario is not unique." Wesnousky's research team includes Deepak Chamlagain, a professor at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Yashurhiro Kumahara a professor at Hiroshima University in Japan, Ian Pierce of the Center for Neotectonics Studies and the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno, Alina Karki of Tribhuvan University and Dipendra Gautam of the Centre for Disaster and Climate Change Studies in Kathmandu. Wesnousky, a member of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory in the College of Science, has six peer-reviewed scientific papers about the Himalayan fault and more than 100 papers about earthquakes published during his career. His work centers on the foothills south of Kathmandu, just over the border in India and he has expanded his study area following the historic quake, the first large quake in that area since 1930. Following the April 2015 quake he and two of his doctoral students, Ian Pierce and Steve Angster, spent six days in the area south of Kathmandu looking for ground ruptures, following leads from villagers and residents as well as visiting various other sites studied in the past. During their studies, the graduate students sent photos and updates about their work in the Himalayas, which are posted on the University's website at http://www. . Their observations are working to further define the seismic hazard of the region as well as the mechanics of fault rupture along major continental thrust faults. A Fulbright Scholar, Wesnousky has studied earthquakes, faultlines and seismic activity throughout Nevada and parts of South America, California, Pakistan, New Zealand, Mexico, Japan, the Solomon Islands, China and India. "Steve embodies the quintessential University professor and scientist, conducting a full body of relevant research, successful teaching and community outreach," Jeff Thompson, dean of the College of Science, said. "He has done a wonderful job with the neotectonics center, informing the body of knowledge on the world's most hazardous earthquake fault zones." Photo cutline: Professor Steve Wesnousky of the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno examines layers of rock and soil in a trench in Tribeni, a small town in central Nepal, to study the frequency of large earthquakes on the Himalayan Frontal Fault. In a recently published study, his team concludes this 200-kilometer long section of the earthquake fault could rupture spontaneously in a magnitude 8 or greater earthquake. Photo courtesy of the University of Nevada, Reno. Nevada's land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno ranks in the top tier of best national universities by U.S. News and World Report and is steadily growing in enrollment, excellence and reputation. The University serves more than 21,000 students. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University is home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and Wolf Pack Athletics. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Reno, Nev. (Feb. 16, 2017) - Nevada's unmanned cloud-seeding research team has realized another fundamental capability in their effort toward enhancing snowfall in mountainous regions of the West. Flown at Hawthorne Industrial Airport under Nevada UAS Test Sites Certificate of Authorization (COA) and led by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) flight operations node, the Drone America Savant unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft reached an altitude of 1,500 feet and completed a one-hour BVLOS flight covering a total distance of 28 nautical miles on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. The test flight of the Savant cloud-seeding aircraft was the longest unmanned, cross-country round-trip flight in Nevada history. Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) describes an aviation event in which the unmanned aircraft flies autonomously over a long distance. Flight crew members control and track the aircraft in real-time using computer-aided controls, but the pilot is not capable of visually following the aircraft during flight with the naked eye. "We have now demonstrated without a doubt that our unmanned cloud seeding technology and capabilities can move beyond line of sight - a significant hurdle in this industry," said Adam Watts, Ph.D., principal investigator on the project and an assistant research professor at DRI. "Most importantly, we have done this safely and in following all FAA regulations and guidelines." For more than a year a DRI-led research team, supported by the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development through the Knowledge Fund, has been working to develop an unmanned cloud seeding aircraft capable of helping communities address the ongoing impacts of drought and explore innovative solutions for natural-resource challenges such as augmenting regional water supplies. The research team combines more than 30 years of weather modification research and expertise at DRI with the proven experience in aerospace manufacturing and flight operations of Reno-based Drone America, and the industry leading unmanned aerial data services of Las Vegas-based AviSight. "Reaching this milestone allows us to now focus on higher altitude, longer distance flights; as well as the extreme challenges of flying our advanced unmanned fixed-wing aircraft in the harsh, icy weather that come with optimal winter cloud-seeding conditions," said Mike Richards, President and CEO of Drone America. The field operation was supported by multiple ground-based safety officials and visual observers. "Hawthorne offers an ideal location for BVLOS testing for both small and large UAS (greater than 55 pounds)," said Chris Walach, Ph.D., Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site. "And, when combined with the NASA tested BVLOS drone flights at one of the Nevada UAS Test Sites late last year, this again demonstrates Nevada's foremost capability to lead and support the nation's UAS industry and help advance BVLOS techniques and procedures that can eventually lead to safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace." For more information on DRI's unmanned cloud seeding project and UAS industry support visit - http://www. Additional photos and video available upon request. About the Desert Research Institute: DRI, the nonprofit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people's lives throughout Nevada and the world. For more information about DRI please visit http://www. About Drone America: Drone America strives to be one of the World's Top Providers of Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles, high tech equipment and services. Our mission is to use UAS technologies as a means to survey, protect, and preserve human life and strategic resources around the Globe. For more information about Drone America please visit http://www. About AviSight: AviSight is an aerospace and remote sensing services company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our company employs Aerospace systems, Remote Sensing technology, Analytics, and Data Collection/Distribution systems for commercial and government clients. For more information about AviSight please visit http://www. About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site leads the growth of the Nevada Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada. Learn more at http://www. .


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

RENO, Nev., Feb. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nevada's unmanned cloud-seeding research team has realized another fundamental capability in their effort toward enhancing snowfall in mountainous regions of the West. Flown at Hawthorne Industrial Airport under Nevada UAS Test Sites Certificate of Authorization (COA) and led by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) flight operations node, the Drone America Savant™ unmanned cloud-seeding aircraft reached an altitude of 1,500 feet and completed a one-hour BVLOS flight covering a total distance of 28 nautical miles on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. The test flight of the Savant™ cloud-seeding aircraft was the longest unmanned, cross-country round-trip flight in Nevada history. Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) describes an aviation event in which the unmanned aircraft flies autonomously over a long distance. Flight crew members control and track the aircraft in real-time using computer-aided controls, but the pilot is not capable of visually following the aircraft during flight with the naked eye. "We have now demonstrated without a doubt that our unmanned cloud seeding technology and capabilities can move beyond line of sight – a significant hurdle in this industry," said Adam Watts, Ph.D., principal investigator on the project and an assistant research professor at DRI. "Most importantly, we have done this safely and in following all FAA regulations and guidelines." For more than a year a DRI-led research team, supported by the Nevada Governor's Office of Economic Development through the Knowledge Fund, has been working to develop an unmanned cloud seeding aircraft capable of helping communities address the ongoing impacts of drought and explore innovative solutions for natural-resource challenges such as augmenting regional water supplies. The research team combines more than 30 years of weather modification research and expertise at DRI with the proven experience in aerospace manufacturing and flight operations of Reno-based Drone America, and the industry leading unmanned aerial data services of Las Vegas-based AviSight. "Reaching this milestone allows us to now focus on higher altitude, longer distance flights; as well as the extreme challenges of flying our advanced unmanned fixed-wing aircraft in the harsh, icy weather that come with optimal winter cloud-seeding conditions," said Mike Richards, President and CEO of Drone America. The field operation was supported by multiple ground-based safety officials and visual observers. "Hawthorne offers an ideal location for BVLOS testing for both small and large UAS (greater than 55 pounds)," said Chris Walach, Ph.D., Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site. "And, when combined with the NASA tested BVLOS drone flights at one of the Nevada UAS Test Sites late last year, this again demonstrates Nevada's foremost capability to lead and support the nation's UAS industry and help advance BVLOS techniques and procedures that can eventually lead to safely integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace." For more information on DRI's unmanned cloud seeding project and UAS industry support visit – www.dri.edu Photo Caption: The Drone America Savant™ unmanned fixed-wing aircraft during its historic 28 nautical-mile BVLOS flight on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Credit: Zach Clark/Drone America Additional photos and video available upon request. About the Desert Research Institute: DRI, the nonprofit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education, is a world leader in environmental sciences through the application of knowledge and technologies to improve people's lives throughout Nevada and the world. For more information about DRI please visit www.dri.edu About Drone America: Drone America strives to be one of the World's Top Providers of Autonomous Unmanned Vehicles, high tech equipment and services. Our mission is to use UAS technologies as a means to survey, protect, and preserve human life and strategic resources around the Globe. For more information about Drone America please visit www.droneamerica.com/ About AviSight: AviSight is an aerospace and remote sensing services company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our company employs Aerospace systems, Remote Sensing technology, Analytics, and Data Collection/Distribution systems for commercial and government clients. For more information about AviSight please visit www.avisight.com/ About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site leads the growth of the Nevada Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada. Learn more at www.nias-uas.com. For additional photos and b-roll media contacts are: Justin Broglio Communications Officer, Desert Research Institute Ph: (775) 673-7610 media@dri.edu Mark Barker  Director of Business Development and Marketing, the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS)  Ph: (702) 793-4218  Mark.Barker@nias-uas.com Photos accompanying this release are available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=42193 http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=42194


Today, Pearson announced an expanded partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno, to launch its second online degree collaboration with the university. The new online Master of Public Health (MPH) degree program builds on Pearson’s existing partnership with the University, to support the online Master of Social Work (MSW). Designed to fit the schedules of working professionals, the MPH program meets the needs of career advancers and career changers in the public health field. Through its online program management (OPM) group, Pearson is providing comprehensive services including marketplace research, program design consulting, institutional preparedness assessment, marketing, recruitment, retention-focused student support, course development, 24/7/365 helpdesk, and faculty training in online tools, methodologies and pedagogical approaches. “We are excited to offer an online option to enhance and expand the practical skills needed for a successful career in public health practice,” said Dr. Trudy Larson, the University’s director of School of Community Health Sciences. “Whether students are currently working in public health or new to the field, we believe this curriculum offers them an opportunity to develop skills that will make them highly competitive in many careers.” “The demand for many types of public health professionals is increasing annually and Nevada is no stranger to this growing demand,” said Kevin Carman, the University’s executive vice president and provost. “We see an obvious need to develop a pipeline of well-educated, healthcare professionals ready to fill positions in our own backyard, but also to bridge the gap across the country.” Various types of public health professionals are expected to see much higher demand in the near future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some of the highest paid public health positions include health and safety engineer, environmental scientist, healthcare administrator, and epidemiologist. “Through our expanded partnership with the University, we are honored to have this opportunity to help learners advance their education to pursue successful and rewarding careers in this vitally important field of public health,” said Todd Hitchcock, senior vice president of online learning services, Pearson. Pearson provides comprehensive online program management (OPM) services, and partners with more than 40 higher education institutions across the country to implement and sustain over 250 undergraduate and graduate programs, which have produced more than 30,000 graduates. In 2016, a total of 6,893 students graduated from programs powered by Pearson’s student support and retention services, a component of many OPM partner solutions. About Pearson Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit http://www.Pearsoned.com. About the University of Nevada, Reno Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno ranks in the top tier of best national universities by U.S. News & World Report and is steadily growing in enrollment, excellence and reputation. The University serves nearly 21,000 students. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University is home to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and Wolf Pack Athletics. Through a commitment to world-improving research, student success and outreach benefiting the communities and businesses of Nevada, the University has impact across the state and around the world. For more information, visit http://www.unr.edu.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Cooperative Agreement | Program: | Phase: RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROV | Award Amount: 12.00M | Year: 2013

In this five-year project, Nevada Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NV-EPSCoR) addresses critical practical problems of relevance to large-scale solar installations in arid desert lands. The project combines research on solar thermal energy generation with the understanding of eco-hydrological impacts of solar installation in desert regions to advance the economic and eco-friendly viability of solar electricity generation. This combination distinguishes this project from several other existing solar energy projects, thus making it a unique model study of relevance to Nevada and other solar installations in the US and around the world. The major participating institutions in this project are: the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the University of Nevada Desert Research Institute. Faculty and students from the College of Southern Nevada, Truckee Meadows Community College, and Nevada State College will also be engaged in this project.

Intellectual Merit
Despite plentiful sunlight and cloud-free days which are conducive for solar energy collection, arid regions experience frequent dust storms and receive little or no rain. Dust accumulated on solar panels absorb sunlight and decrease the efficiency of solar cells; water scarcity increases the cost of meeting the cooling needs of solar thermal collectors. This project seeks to develop engineering/technological solutions to repel dust and minimize water usage in large solar installations. In addition, it examines the desert ecosystem responses and provides science-based information for designing effective ways to manage and mitigate environmental impacts associated with large-scale solar installations. The award establishes a research facility, called the Nevada Environment, Water, and Solar Testing and Research Facility (NEW-STAR) during this project. Enhancements to the existing cyberinfrastructure capabilities are effected through the creation of the Nevada Research Data Center (NRDC) for data management and communication. These new facilities promote collaboration among teams of interdisciplinary scientists and engineers on solar-energy-water-environment nexus research and education theme.

Broader Impacts
This project has the potential to develop less costly and thus more competitive solar electricity generation techniques aimed at minimizing both water usage and environmental degradation. The technological solutions to be developed are applicable to other solar energy installations nationally and globally. Interactions among scientists and collaboration at regional, national, and international levels as well as partnerships with energy industry and environmental agencies in Nevada are expected to promote economic development in the state. The project involves 41 faculty, 24 technicians, 43 graduate students, and 38 undergraduate students as participants. The project offers the following programs aimed at pre-college and undergraduate students with a focus to attract underrepresented minority groups, K-12 teachers, and the general public: (1) Pre-college bridging programs to assist K-12 students to develop academic skills and career pathways; (2) Undergraduate research opportunity programs (UROP) to provide research experience at the solar energy-water-environment nexus; (3) Undergraduate and graduate hands-on training (HOT) to facilitate transition from student to professional; activities include industry internships and laboratory experiences in solar energy technology, and proposal writing workshops; (4) Teacher professional development programs that engage K-12 teachers in research, field work, and working with graduate students; (5) programs to educate K-12 students on project related themes and inform their families of opportunities for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers; and (6) Online learning laboratories, which provide wireless access to cyber learning materials and enhance public understanding of solar energy and related impacts on water and environment.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 1.18M | Year: 2010

Abstract

Proposal Number: EPS-1006797

Proposal Title: Enhancement of Cyber Connectivity within the Nevada System of Higher Education

Institution: Nevada System of Higher Education

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

The goal of this EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Inter-Campus and Intra-Campus Cyber Connectivity project is to enhance connectivity within the Nevada System of Higher Education to achieve higher network speeds and capacity to advance education and research in Nevada. The mechanism for improved connectivity is equipment upgrades for six existing nodes on the Las Vegas metro fiber loop.

Intellectual Merit
The capacity improvements will provide scientists and engineers with the network resources to further build expertise in computational science, a recognized major component of the scientific enterprise. Enhanced connectivity to research universities, community and state colleges, field stations, and other academic and public entities will have broad-ranging impact on research and education enterprises throughout Nevada. Institutions will be linked to more than 200 other Internet2 universities, government research laboratories, companies, and research facilities throughout the world, facilitating data-intensive research, collaborative development, distributed experiments, grid-based data analysis, and experimentation using high performance networking, social networking, and cyber-enabled learning.

Broader Impacts
The award will enable Nevada to make major improvements to NevadaNet, which provides connectivity to remote areas, rural centers, small colleges and regional universities, Native American tribes and peoples, and persons with disabilities. The enhanced connectivity will connect universities with K-12 schools as well as provide for economic development and other opportunities that can result from high-bandwidth access (e.g., distance education, tele-health instruction and support, and sharing of economic and community development materials). The proposed educational programs in high performance computing will provide students, postdoctoral associates, and faculty training in computational tools that will broaden participation in, and understanding of, computational thinking and modeling in general, and climate change science in particular, and foster the next generation of cyber-literate scientists and engineers working to solve climate change and other societal problems.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Cooperative Agreement | Program: | Phase: RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROV | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2013

Mechanisms responsible for observed and projected hydrologic change in high-elevation catchments are poorly understood, especially with respect to snowpack dynamics, surface-water/groundwater linkages, and interactions with vegetation. Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico envision a Western Consortium for Watershed Analysis, Visualization, and Exploration (WC-WAVE) whose overarching goal is to advance watershed science, workforce development, and education with cyberinfrastructure (CI)-enabled discovery and innovation. WC-WAVE has three integrated components, with associated goals and approaches:

1. Watershed Science: Advance understanding of hydrologic interactions and their impact on ecosystem services using a virtual watershed (VW) framework. Watershed scientists and students parameterize, run, validate, and integrate watershed models; specify VW user requirements; and provide feedback on the evolving CI platform.

2. Visualization and Data CI: Accelerate collaborative, interdisciplinary watershed research and discovery through innovative visualization environments and through streamlined data management, discovery, and access. The CI team develops, tests, deploys and integrates the VW data and service platform components. CI advancements provide a user-friendly VW platform that supports advanced analysis, modeling, and visualization activities and is based on robust CI that enables data preservation, data assimilation, and data and model interoperability.

3. Workforce Development and Education: Engage university faculty and graduate students in interdisciplinary team-based watershed research, and broaden undergraduate student participation in STEM through modeling and visualization. The Consortium supports: graduate workforce development through a series of institutes and research activities that provide interdisciplinary training and workforce preparation; and two cohorts of diverse undergraduates and their faculty mentors that acquire and use skills in modeling and visualization to create education modules that can be incorporated into curricula.

WC-WAVE collaborations and impacts are sustained beyond the award via collaborative research projects; incorporation of data and models in open-community-based data centers and code repositories; and CI adoption by State programs.

Intellectual Merit:
Mountain watersheds provide a large proportion of water and ecosystem services to communities in the intermountain west. Climate change impacts affect the ability of watersheds to provide hydrological services such as water storage, flow moderation, and water quality improvement. Interactions among precipitation, vegetation growth, fire regime, soil moisture, runoff, and other landscape properties create systems in which even subtle changes in climate may lead to complex responses and cascading impacts. Integration of creative observation and analytical strategies using advanced modeling approaches and CI made possible in a virtual watershed framework is critical to understanding and predicting complex responses to climate and hydrologic change. WC-WAVE CI enables increased understanding of watershed dynamics in the western US by allowing researchers to: easily acquire and integrate data, use an integrated suite of models to discover processes linking components of the hydrologic cycle, to identify environmental consequences of hydrologic changes, and to visualize and interpret data and model results. The VW framework capabilities will simulate watershed drivers and dynamics and lead to new discoveries.

Broader Impacts:
Immersive virtual reality environments provide platforms that foster interdisciplinary discussion and creative insight into complex scientific questions and enable innovations that result in groundbreaking discoveries. Further, developing three-dimensional thinking skills is an important goal for science education. The Workforce Development and Education program focuses on: (1) implementing an NSF IGERT-like program that prepares graduate students to work in collaborative, interdisciplinary teams to effectively address complex scientific issues, (2) promoting undergraduate faculty professional development and preparing diverse undergraduates for future STEM education and/or employment, and (3) developing education modules that can be incorporated in undergraduate curricula. These activities are leading to a workforce that is prepared to tackle STEM challenges requiring interdisciplinary collaboration and computational thinking skills.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROV | Award Amount: 749.70K | Year: 2013

This project adopts a design-based research approach to advance the theoretical agenda associated with cyber-learning activities and STEM educational practices. It addresses the overarching question: how can innovative, cyber-enabled instructional methods transform STEM education and increase opportunities for underrepresented middle school student populations? A cyber-learning methodology is being developed, implemented, and tested with respect to elevating STEM learning opportunities and success for underrepresented minority and rural middle school students in NV.

Intellectual Merit

The proposed approach combines a proven system for online inquiry with a feedback system that is informed by research on videogames. As a way to promote STEM practices (e.g., justifying claims, citing evidence), strategic rewards based on learning achievements and desired behaviors are incorporated into the existing pedagogical framework. In this way, cyber-learning activities are enhanced through just-in-time feedback as it relates directly to practices associated with success in STEM. This system is being developed in concert with a community of practitioners within the existing Nevada Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) network, a project that addresses the college preparation of underrepresented populations. The primary target audience of the project is a subset of middle school students identified through GEAR UP partnerships, specifically those from ethnically and racially diverse and economically disadvantaged communities.

Broader Impacts

The proposed approach employs Cyber-Learning Activities to Scaffold STEM Practices (CLASSP) in partnership with NV GEAR UP. Through this partnership, the impact of the projects cyber-learning methodology is piloted in hybrid formats (online and face-to-face interactions) with students in the urban settings of Reno and Las Vegas. The final phase of the project expands this methodology to meet the interests and needs of rural educators and students in remote areas of Nevada. Although the cyber-learning method is experimental, the technology requirements are low. As a result, CLASSP is capable of being integrated into the most rudimentary technology infrastructures. The lessons learned will inform teacher training and STEM education of diverse students (i.e., ethnic, racial, and economic diversity), locally and across vast geographic distances. Further, the transition from a local to a regional implementation of CLASSPs cyber-learning methodology will directly inform the potential to disseminate CLASSP on a national scale.

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