Basin Resilience to Extreme Events

As a member of the National Science Foundation funded Vermont EPSCoR Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE) project, my research in land use and land cover is evolving to incorporate social components using an agent-based modeling approach. Eutrophication of fresh and salt water systems from excessive nutrient availability is a growing problem around the world. The nutrients of concern include phosphorus (freshwater) and nitrogen (salt water), which originate from both point (e.g. wastewater and storm water systems) and non-point sources (e.g. agriculture) throughout the watershed. An array of interventions and adoption incentives exist, but the efficacy of those interventions, incentives and the necessary level of action are each incompletely understood in the context of the broader system. In collaboration with my interdisciplinary colleagues on the project team, my work on the land use model will be tied into the Integrated Assessment Model (IAM) to understand the potential impact of bottom up decision making and interventions on the lake system under future climate scenarios. The IAM is comprised of sub-models that capture climate, hydrology and lake dynamics, with new sub-models being added to capture governance and economic dynamics as well.

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