New Durham, NH, United States
New Durham, NH, United States

The University of New Hampshire is a public research university in the University System of New Hampshire , in the United States. The main campus is in Durham, New Hampshire, in the Seacoast region of the state. An additional campus is located in Manchester, and the University of New Hampshire School of Law is located in Concord. The law school is renowned for its intellectual property law programs, consistently ranking in the top ten of U.S. News & World Report rankings.With over 15,000 students, UNH is the largest university in the state. The university is one of only nine land, sea and space grant institutions in the nation. Since July 1, 2007, Mark W. Huddleston has served as the university's 19th president.The University of New Hampshire was ranked as having the 4th most expensive in-state tuition for a public 4-year college in the country by the Department of Education in 2012.In 2004, UNH was the only public institution in New England to rank in the top 10 of number of Fulbright fellowships awarded, with five graduates receiving grants. In the same year, UNH was ranked the 10th best entrepreneurial college in the nation by The Princeton Review. According to U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" listings, the University of New Hampshire is a "more selective" national university, placing it in the first out of five tiers of competitiveness when it comes to admissions standards. Due to its extensive efforts in the area of sustainability, UNH was one of 15 highest scoring schools on the College Sustainability Report Card 2009, with the Sustainable Endowments Institute awarding it a grade of "A-".In 2012, UNH was named the 6th "coolest school" in the country by Sierra magazine for its efforts in sustainability. Wikipedia.

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University of New Hampshire | Date: 2016-08-26

An auxetic structure consistent with the present disclosure may include a core cell, capable of rotation, including a plurality of first rib sections, and a plurality of second rib sections. The first rib sections may be transverse to a longitudinal axis of the auxetic structure and at least one of the first rib sections may extend from the core cell. The second rib sections may be transverse to a transverse axis of the auxetic structure and at least one of the second rib sections may extend from the core cell.

Ollinger S.V.,University of New Hampshire
New Phytologist | Year: 2011

How plants interact with sunlight is central to the existence of life and provides a window to the functioning of ecosystems. Although the basic properties of leaf spectra have been known for decades, interpreting canopy-level spectra is more challenging because leaf-level effects are complicated by a host of stem- and canopy-level traits. Progress has been made through empirical analyses and models, although both methods have been hampered by a series of persistent challenges. Here, I review current understanding of plant spectral properties with respect to sources of uncertainty at leaf to canopy scales. I also discuss the role of evolutionary convergence in plant functioning and the difficulty of identifying individual properties among a suite of interrelated traits. A pattern that emerges suggests a synergy among the scattering effects of leaf-, stem- and canopy-level traits that becomes most apparent in the near-infrared (NIR) region. This explains the widespread and well-known importance of the NIR region in vegetation remote sensing, but presents an interesting paradox that has yet to be fully explored: that we can often gain more insight about the functioning of plants by examining wavelengths that are not used in photosynthesis than by examining those that are. © 2010 The Author. New Phytologist © 2010 New Phytologist Trust.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: BIOLOGICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 685.05K | Year: 2016

Coral reefs are well known biodiversity hotspots of considerable interest to the public and scientific community. Reefs around the world are currently under threat from multiple factors such as pollution, coastal development, overfishing and climate change, where both the warming and acidification of tropical waters contributes to the loss of coral reefs and the many services they provide for us, such as protection from hurricane damage. Many studies are focused on corals, the conspicuously dominant group of organisms on many coral reefs, but other organisms are also important. One group, sponges, are essential for healthy reef function as they provide food and homes for many other reef organisms, they dramatically effect the nutrient cycles on reefs, and they synthesize important compounds of interest to the biomedical community. An emerging area of coral reef science is the study of deep reefs at depths greater than 30 meters. These coral reef systems, known as mesophotic coral reef ecosystems, were largely inaccessible until the transfer of technical diving approaches to the scientific community. In this project the investigators will study sponge populations from 3 meters to over 100 meters to examine their ability to utilize both dissolved and particulate food sources that may help explain increasing sponge biodiversity and growth rates with increasing depth. This project will provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as veterans and post-doctoral researchers, especially from underrepresented groups. Additionally, the investigators will develop unique outreach programs for public education.

Sponges are ubiquitous members of Caribbean coral reef communities, where they have multiple roles. There is evidence accumulating that sponge populations are increasing as coral cover declines due to anthropogenic and natural factors. Trophic interactions play crucial roles in controlling the distributions of species and community structure; however, the relative importance of top-down (predation) and bottom-up (nutrient resources) control of populations remains a hotly debated topic. Recently, it has been proposed that sponges consume large amounts of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and release large numbers of choanocytes that fuel a sponge loop detrital pathway of significance to higher trophic levels. A largely overlooked, but clearly stated, requirement for the sponge-loop hypothesis to be broadly generalizable is that sponges must exhibit little, or no, net growth as the only way to balance the loss of carbon in the form of choanocytes (=detritus), with the intake of both particulate organic carbon (POC) and DOC; however, sponges do grow. Additionally, on both shallow and mesophotic coral reefs (MCEs: 3-150m depth), there is a strong vertical gradient in bacterioplankton resources on which sponges feed, and enhanced growth in the presence of spongivory argues for the importance of particulate organic carbon (POC). Missing so far in this discussion is the important role of dissolved and particulate organic nitrogen (DON/PON) that would be essential for sponge growth on coral reefs. This proposal has two goals: 1) quantify the DOC/POC and DON/PON resources available across the shallow to mesophotic depth gradient that has never been done before, and 2) quantify the depth dependence on these resources by a broad taxonomic representation of sponges that also includes multiple life-history strategies across shallow to mesophotic depths. To accomplish this second task the investigators will conduct studies on the growth of sponges from shallow to mesophotic depths to tease apart the independent and interactive roles of DOC/POC and DON/PON in sponge growth. They will also construct carbon, nitrogen and energetic budgets for sponges utilizing these resources. The project will provide the first comprehensive inventory of DOC/POC and DON/PON on several coral reefs. This will be complemented by studies of feeding and growth across the shallow to mesophotic depth gradient. With continuing changes in the community structure of both shallow and mesophotic reefs, understanding whether we can predict, using models of ecosystem function, which reefs will undergo transitions to sponge dominated communities and what factors contribute to these transitions, will be of use to local marine resource managers. These data will also inform the broader field of marine ecology, as well as provide new insights into mesophotic reef structure and function. Finally, sponge samples collected from mesophotic coral reefs often represent new species and they will be made available to scientists upon request.

Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 741.59K | Year: 2016

Solar Particle Events (SPEs) represent a major hazard for extravehicular maneuvers by astronauts in Earth orbit, and for eventual manned interplanetary space travel. They can also harm aircraft avionics, communication and navigation. We propose to develop a system to aid forecasters in the prediction of such events, and in the identification/lengthening of "all clear" time periods when there is a low probability of such events occurring. The system leverages three recently developed technologies: physics-based models of the solar corona and inner heliosphere, robust CME modeling techniques, and empirical/physics-based assessments of energetic particle fluxes using the Earth-Moon-Mars Radiation Environment Module (EMMREM, University of New Hampshire). When completed, the proposed SPE Threat Assessment Tool, or STAT, will represent a significant step forward in our ability to assess the possible impact of SPE events.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 723.49K | Year: 2016

Many surface waters are yellow or brown in color due to the presence of organic molecules which come from many natural sources such as leaves, soils, and wetlands. These molecules affect a wide range of characteristics within streams such as the ability of light to penetrate the water and the acidity of the water. The organic molecules also can provide streams with energy and essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. One particularly important form of these organic molecules is dissolved organic nitrogen, which is found globally in forests, arctic tundra, estuaries and streams. However, very little is known about when and where dissolved organic nitrogen serves as a source of energy, a source of nitrogen, or both to biological communities. This project will examine the role of dissolved organic nitrogen in streams across five distinct forested regions spanning a diverse set of environments in an effort to shed light on the role of dissolved organic nitrogen. This research is relevant to water resources management because dissolved organic nitrogen is a source of excessive nutrient loading causing toxic algal blooms in estuaries, and when it is found in drinking water supplies it can produce, during water treatment, disinfection by-products that can harm human health. This research will also integrate under-represented groups into the laboratory work and field work needed for the project and provide training opportunities for a graduate student and a post-doctoral scientist.

Differentiating among the competing roles for dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) is difficult, as direct manipulation of the DON pool in aquatic ecosystems is most easily accomplished by addition of specific compounds such as amino acids, which are commercially available but are not particularly representative of the DON found in streams and rivers under ambient conditions. Based on initial experimental results, the researchers will conduct a series of novel field manipulations in streams across New England, Puerto Rico, Spain, Czech Republic, and Siberia to better understand the extent to which DON serves as an energy source or nitrogen source in streams globally. Initial experimental observations in New England show that the DON can serve as both a nitrogen source and an energy source, but its role appears to vary over space and time. Here the researchers will perform additional experiments where nitrate pulses are added to streams across a global network to assess how frequently, and under what conditions, DON serves predominantly as a nitrogen source, versus an energy (carbon) source. This set of experiments will provide some of the first experimental evidence to assess the importance of these two competing drivers in regulating the levels of ambient DON in natural waters.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC SYSTEM SCIENCE PROGRAM | Award Amount: 512.66K | Year: 2016

Small mammals graze on the vegetation of the Arctic tundra. Although this grazing may influence many aspects of tundra ecosystems, current models do not include grazing by small mammals. In this project, the abundance of voles and lemmings will be varied experimentally using fenced plots. The investigators will observe the responses in the plots, especially focusing on changes in the cycling of carbon and nitrogen. To understand how the current climate controls the importance of grazing by small mammals, the investigators will conduct their studies at three sites in Alaska located in the Seward Peninsula, the foothills of the Brooks Range, and on the Arctic coastal plain. The natural abundance of voles and lemmings will be studied at these sites to provide background for applying the experimental results throughout the Arctic. The results will be used to expand a mathematical model of tundra ecosystems to include grazing by small mammals, which will improve the predictions that can be made about how the Arctic may change in the future. The research will involve a number of undergraduate students and investigators will integrate their research into classes and other educational programs. In addition, they will present a radio program in Barrow, AK.

The investigators will investigate the importance of herbivory by small mammals in controlling the cycling of carbon and nutrients in the rapidly changing Arctic tundra. Through studies at three sites along a latitudinal gradient, the investigators will employ both observations and experiments to quantify the role of grazing by rodents (voles and lemmings) in the functioning of tundra ecosystems. The observations of rodent population dynamics along with ecosystem function will provide key new information relevant to understanding the feedbacks of the Arctic tundra to the global climate. The manipulation of rodent density through exclosures and enclosures will show how potential changes in rodent populations may influence the tundra ecosystem response. In corporation of the observational and experimental results into a quantitative ecosystem model will enhance predictions of future changes and feedbacks with climate.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 618.00K | Year: 2016

Scientists and engineers interested in ocean and environmental fluid mechanics are involved in an array of fundamental research with interests ranging from the deep ocean to shallow streams. The dynamics of these flows are generally complex, as they involve fluid, geological, chemical, and biological processes occurring in a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. These flows may have either fixed or dynamic boundary conditions (i.e., seabeds) and may contained fixed engineered structures (e.g., hydrokinetic devices). While many fluid flow problems are well suited to small-scale laboratory studies, significant scaling concerns arise with complex unsteady multi-phase flows interacting with fixed or dynamic boundaries and structures. A unique feature of the concentration of the regional faculty, post-docs and graduate students working on these complex flows is the synergy that results from researchers with different backgrounds addressing a variety of problems with the commonalities provided by fluid physics. Individually, research efforts will evaluate fundamental hypotheses necessary for advancing the respective fields. Collectively, the synergies realized through transdisciplinary interactions between contributing scientists have an extremely high potential to transform understanding of the complex fluid flows that are ubiquitous in engineering and nature.

With a goal towards significantly advancing the simulation of flow physics and biogeochemical processes involved in aquatic marine and riverine environments, this effort will support the acquisition of an Environmental Flows Water Tunnel (EFWT) and instrumentation required for resolving the flow and sediment fields. The EFWT will accommodate both oscillatory and steady flow for the simulation of horizontal wave velocities, tidal flows, or steady currents with both high- and low-velocity magnitudes. The EFWT will operate as a rigid-lid (non-free surface) tunnel or as a flume/channel with a reduced-depth free surface while allowing for either rigid bottom boundaries or movable sediment beds with or without aquatic vegetation. It will also allow for the evaluation of engineered systems, high frequency acoustic characterization of the seafloor, and scale model marine hydrokinetic energy conversion devices or small arrays. The EFWT will provide the instrumentation necessary for addressing fundamental questions involving ocean and environmental fluid mechanics and will serve as a valuable local, regional, and national resource for academic, governmental, and industrial partners. The EFWT will allow for scientific advancement in a range of geophysical and engineered topics that require the resolution of fluid-sediment-structure interactions in riverine and ocean environments. Observations will be used to contribute to open-source community modeling efforts (e.g., benchmark data sets), develop a novel understanding of processes that impact ecosystem health, improve undersea technology, evaluate ocean renewable energy devices, and provide a vehicle for public outreach and education. The EFWT will be used for hands-on laboratory and demonstration purposes both within University of New Hampshire through courses in earth sciences, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering (with its new undergraduate major program) and also, through a multitude of continuous outreach efforts.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Dimensions of Biodiversity | Award Amount: 1.56M | Year: 2016

Coral reefs, the tropical rain forests of the marine environment, are under significant threat from a variety of stressors such as pollution, overfishing, coastal development and climate change. There is increasing interest by the coral reef research community in the ecology and evolution of other groups of organisms besides corals on coral reefs with sponges being of particular interest. Sponges are a very old group of organisms essential to reef health because of their roles in nutrient cycling, providing food and homes for many other reef organisms, and their ability to synthesize diverse chemical compounds of ecological importance on the reef, and of interest to the biomedical community. Many of these important functions would not be possible without the symbiotic microbes (e.g., bacteria) that live within sponges. In this project, the investigators will examine relationships between the sponge host and its microbiome in the ecological roles described above. Like the human microbiome, understanding the sponge micobiome may be the key to understanding their ecology and biodiversity. The investigators will use a combination of classical ecological approaches combined with sophisticated biochemical and molecular analyses to unravel the role of the symbionts in the ecology and evolution of sponges. Both the University of New Hampshire and the University of Mississippi will provide training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students as well as veterans and post-doctoral researchers, especially from underrepresented groups. Additionally, the investigators will develop unique outreach programs for public education on the importance of coral reef ecosystems.

The goal of this study is to examine the relationships between marine sponges and their microbiomes, and reveal the phylogenetic, genetic, and functional biodiversity of coral reef sponges across the Caribbean basin. This research will provide a better understanding of sponges as a major functional component of the biodiversity of coral reef communities. This transformative project will examine important paradigms relative to sponge communities worldwide that will provide unique insights into the integrative biodiversity of sponges on coral reefs and enhance our understanding of the ecology and evolution of this extensive, yet understudied, group of marine organisms. This is essential because sponges continue to emerge as the dominant taxon on many coral reefs, particularly following regional declines in coral cover over the last three decades, and their ecological importance to shallow coral reef communities is unequivocal. In addition, many marine sponges host a diverse assemblage of symbiotic microorganisms that play critical functional roles in nutrient cycling within sponges themselves and in the coral reef communities where they reside, and many sponges can potentially transfer photoautotrophically derived energy to higher trophic levels. As shallow coral reefs continue to decline, the phylogenetic, genetic, and functional diversity of coral reefs will increasingly be found in taxa other than scleractinian corals, such as soft corals and sponges. The investigators predict that co-evolution of the sponge host and microbiome leads to emergent functional properties that result in niche diversification and speciation of sponges. To assess this, they will quantify trophic modes (e.g., DOM and POC uptake, photo-autotrophy) of sponges in the Caribbean, as well as the production of chemical defenses. These character states will be analyzed in the context of the phylogenetic composition of the sponge hosts and their microbiomes, and the functional activities of the host and symbionts at the genetic level (i.e., transcriptomics and metatranscriptomics). These data will provide unique insights into the co-evolution of sponges and their microbiomes, and how these symbioses influence the functional attributes of sponges within coral reef communities.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MACROSYSTEM BIOLOGY | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2016

Biological diversity is important to human well-being and to the maintenance of a healthy environment. Without an array of species inhabiting a range of environments, the cycles of water, nutrients and biomass on which life depends would be severely compromised. Despite this, understanding exactly how diversity influences specific environmental processes is challenging. Although there are theories describing the influence of plant species diversity on environmental processes, they?ve primarily been tested in grasslands and other systems dominated by small plants, where diversity can be manipulated through planting and weeding. Forests present a challenge because the size and lifespans of trees make it difficult to conduct manipulative diversity experiments and because natural diversity gradients also vary in climate, making results difficult to interpret. Overcoming this hurdle is critical given the importance of forests to many environmental processes and the degree to which forest diversity is declining. This award will examine whether theories of biological diversity and environmental processes that have been largely tested in small-statured ecosystems also apply to macro-scale processes over North American forests. By integrating data on carbon, water, and energy exchanges between forests and the atmosphere, remote sensing of forest diversity, and field measurements, will enable the development of forest diversity for the US and the relationship to land-atmosphere exchange of carbon and water. It will quantify the important role of forests in the Earth system and the degree to which forest diversity is declining. The award will involve undergraduate and graduate students in all phases of the project, and through additional activities that bring new methods of remote sensing to private citizens, teachers and students at multiple levels. This will be accomplished through workshops and through development of focused activities that can be adopted by teachers and used in the classroom. The undergraduates working on the project will participate in the University of New Hampshire?s Undergraduate Research Conference (URC), one of the largest undergraduate research events in the country.

Understanding how diversity influences specific ecosystem and earth system functions within individual biomes is extremely difficult and is considered one of the grand challenges in ecology. Meeting this challenge is important given the number of species worldwide that have already gone extinct or have been threatened by habitat loss, pests and pathogens, harvesting, competition from non-native species, pollution, and climate change. This award will examine the effects of tree diversity in forests across the U.S. on the uptake of CO2, the transfer of water from soils to the atmosphere, and on the stability of these processes in response to climate variability. The award will test the following specific hypotheses:
(A) Biological diversity in North American forests has a positive effect on primary production and a negative effect on evapotranspiration, leading to increased water use efficiency. (B) Forests with high levels of diversity are less susceptible to extreme events and exhibit less temporal variability in carbon and water fluxes in response to climate fluctuations than low-diversity forests. These hypotheses will be addressed by bringing together several unique sources of data that have not previously been used to address this question. First, the research sites to be used are equipped with instrumented towers that make detailed measurements of CO2 and water vapor above the forest canopy, as well as a range of climate and ecological variables. Second, advanced remote sensing instruments will be used to measure tree canopy diversity in ways that field surveys alone cannot. These data will come from unmanned aerial systems as well as instruments that are part of the National Ecological Observatory. Through the unique nature of these data sets and advanced methods of data analysis, results will be used to quantify the specific signature of diversity on important processes at a broad geographic scale.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 642.63K | Year: 2017

Estuaries are bodies of water formed where rivers meet the ocean, and are important ecosystems that provide protected environments and abundant food for fish and shellfish to reproduce. Many estuary systems are under pressure by changing atmospheric and oceanic conditions, as well as impacts on the rivers that empty into them. Scientists from the University of New Hampshire and the University of South Florida propose that the total alkalinity of some coastal systems, influenced by river runoff, may contain a large fraction of organic acids that have been previously ignored and may play a role in the acid-base chemistry of the estuary. This project would focus on understanding the organic and inorganic acid-base chemistry in estuaries. The project will support a PhD student and several undergraduate students, as well as high school interns from minority communities, broadening participation in the ocean sciences. Also, the monitoring and outreach capacity of a regional wild fishery conservation group will be enhanced, allowing the public to be more fully informed on the effect of ongoing estuarine changes on fisheries.

This project will be a comparison study of two estuary-plume systems to examine the exact buffering impact of organic alkalinity on the acid-base properties of coastal systems. The Pleasant (Maine) and St. John (Canada) estuaries represent extremes of river acid-base systems, where the Pleasant is comprised mostly of organic alkalinity and the St. John has a small organic alkalinity fraction. It is hypothesized by these scientists that some coastal regions may experience organic alkalinity as the dominant alkalinity factor in the total alkalinity distribution. This would mean that organic alkalinity would be the dominant factor affecting system pH, pCO2 (partial pressure of carbon dioxide), and the saturation index of aragonite. By doing this river endmember study into organic alkalinity of these two systems, these scientists will provide the tools for the entire oceanographic community to assess the buffering capability of organic alkalinity in other coastal systems and how the systems are likely to respond to acidification.

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