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Department of Geography

Current Projects

Rangeland Burning and Smoke Diffusion in the Flint Hills

Collaborators:  Colorado State University, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Forest Service

RSRL researchers work in cooperation with other Kansas State University and Colorado State University faculty, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service, to investigate the hypothesis that the timing and extent of rangeland burns in the Flint Hills are directly linked to concentrations of air pollution (particulates and chemical compounds) in the Kansas City, Omaha, and Tulsa metro airsheds

Development of UAV Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Research

PI:  D. Schinstock (NME), with Doug Goodin as co-PI
Funding: $654,011 from the National Science Foundation
Duration: 2005-2008
Collaborators: KSU Department of Nuclear & Mechanical Engineering, KSU Department of Agronomy

Impact of Rapid Anthropogenic Landcover Change on Hantavirus Ecology

KSU co-PIs:  Doug Goodin and Shawn Hutchinson
Funding:  $1.8 million from National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center
Duration:  2004-2008
Collaborators:  Southern Research Institute, Texas Tech University, New Mexico State University, National University of Asuncion (Paraguay)

Lab researchers are involved in a multidisciplinary investigation of the role of human land cover disturbance on the dynamics of hantavirus in Paraguay. As part of this project, RSRL faculty and students have shown that areas of human disturbance are preferred habitats for the rodents that carry hantavirus. This work further suggests that hantavirus-prone areas can be mapped and detected via remote sensing, and that these observations might help to determine the conditions that lead to outbreaks of hantavirus disease.

Mapping Burns in Tallgrass Prairie using Remote Sensing

PI:  Doug Goodin
Funding: $15,000 from EPA Region 7
Collaborators: KCARE

In the Kansas Flint Hills, RSRL researchers have developed innovative new ways of mapping seasonal rangeland burning. This work has important implications for prairie wildlife habitat, as well for predicting air pollution events caused by the burning.

Rain Manipulation Plot Study (RaMPs)

On-going work at the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) using field and satellite remote sensing is showing the relationship between seasonal landscape phenology (i.e. Canopy greenness patterns) and environmental factors such as solar radiation, temperature, and precipitation. Since 2001, these projects have been supported by external grants totalling over 2 million dollars.