Now, along with his FSU professor and colleagues, Rios has written an important and practical software program that could protect Florida’s lakes and rivers from excessive pollutants.
“I wanted to use both my science and computing skills at the same time, not just one or the other,” said Rios, who, along with associate professor of computational hydrology/geology Ming Ye, recently spent two and half years developing the software, which is designed to help local and state government measure the amount of nitrates from septic systems that end up in surface water bodies such as lakes and rivers.
“In Florida, there’s a lot of septic tank usage — and an increased potential for increased groundwater and surface contamination,” said Rios, who wrote the software known as ArcNLET (ArcGIS-Based Nitrate Load Estimation Toolkit). “When the nitrates enter groundwater, they can end up in drinking water and surface water.”
Nitrates in drinking water may cause a health disorder known as methemoglobinemia, which in newborns can manifest itself as a sometimes-fatal condition called “blue baby syndrome.” Discharge of nitrate-rich groundwater into surface waters also can lead to fish kills, algal growth, hypoxia, eutrophication (a bloom of phytoplankton), and outbreaks of toxic bacteria.
ArcNLET, which is free and available on Ye’s website, officially will debut at a training workshop on Friday, July 8, in the Geography Information Systems Laboratory in FSU’s Bellamy Building. The workshop is geared toward employees of state, local and county governments throughout Florida.
“Basically, we just want to introduce people to the software and give them an idea of what it can do,” Rios said.
The GIS-based model is easy to use “and has a shallow learning curve,” said Ye, who holds a doctorate in hydrology. In addition to his classes in scientific computing, he also teaches in Florida State’s Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science. “An average person can use this.”
Ye, who, together with Paul Lee and Rick Hicks of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, developed the concepts and ideas behind the septic software model, specializes in predicting how contaminants in water affect human health. Approximately one-third of Florida’s population uses onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems — or septic systems — for treating domestic wastewater. Estimation of nitrate load from septic tanks to surface water bodies is critical to analysis of water resources and to environmental management. The ArcNLET software can estimate such nitrate loads.
The software research and development was funded with a two-year, $80,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with an additional $60,000 extension of that grant. The development is also supported in part by the Florida Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability at Florida State.
Rios, who is now studying geography in the doctoral program at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, has returned to FSU’s Department of Scientific Computing this summer for a paid internship, partly because he enjoys working with Ye and fellow FSU graduate students. He also is continuing his work on the ArcNLET software project.
“It’s basically a tool to help guide certain kinds of decision-making,” said Rios, who dreams of someday working as a government consultant doing environmental research on groundwater. He said he is proud of his work but adds that ultimately it’s not a panacea.
“No (computer) model will give you a definitive answer,” he said. “Basically, this is just another method to help guide decision-making.”
For more information on ArcNLET, visit Ye’s website (http://people.sc.fsu.edu/~mye/FDEP-IESES.php) or the home page of the FSU Department of Scientific Computing .
Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan
26.09.2017 | University at Buffalo
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
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