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 .
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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