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Category: Technology
  • Organogel Synthesis Towards Electrochemical Sensing Applications

    PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to synthesize a novel and tunable organogel system capable of stand-alone use with integration via electrochemical tools for the detection of aerosol particles.
  • Synthesis of 2-methoxypropyl benzene for epitope imprinting

    PURPOSE: To synthesize a novel, yet simple, compound for use in the development of a molecularly imprinted sensor for field-portable detection of harmful algal bloom toxins. BACKGROUND: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are occurring with increasing frequency and severity across the globe in part due to climate change and anthropogenic pollution (Bullerjahn et al. 2016). HABs produce several classes of toxins; however, microcystins (MCs) are the most commonly studied (Lone et al. 2015) and can be potent toxins with LD50s in the range of 50 μg/kg (Puddick et al. 2014). Sample analysis in laboratories, typically by high-pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) or by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) (USEPA 2015). These analytical techniques are highly sensitive and selective for the given toxins; however, the time it takes to collect, transfer, prepare, and analyze a sample before the data can be reported is significant; often, multiple days is the most expeditious.
  • Environmental Effects of Sediment Release from Dams: Conceptual Model and Literature Review for the Kansas River Basin

    PURPOSE: Passing sediment from reservoirs to downstream channels is a potential solution to aging infrastructure and reservoir storage capacity loss, which is a pressing challenge nationwide. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sediment management actions at reservoirs such as flushing may drive ecological changes that may be beneficial or detrimental to downstream ecosystems. However, these potential effects are currently not well understood or documented. An exploratory study of the potential ecological effects of releasing sediment downstream from reservoirs is presented in this technical note (TN). We focus on Tuttle Creek Reservoir in Kansas and use fish species as indicators of ecological change. A literature review of Kansas fishes was conducted and three conceptual models illustrating potential benefits or negative effects of releasing sediment downstream of Tuttle Creek Reservoir was developed. Some fish species may benefit from sediment releases, while others may be negatively affected. Further research and tools are needed to develop a greater understanding of these effects.
  • The Application of Engineering With Nature® Principles in Colorado Flood Recovery

    Purpose: This technical note features river-based restoration projects that incorporate Engineering with Nature® (EWN®), Natural and Nature Based Features (NNBF) approaches in the Front Range of Colorado as part of a comprehensive flood recovery program to protect life and property.
  • Engineering With Nature® in Fluvial Systems

    Purpose: The purpose of this technical note is to underline the growing need for Engineering With Nature® (EWN) guidance for inland fluvial systems. In comparison to the EWN coastal initiatives, guidance, and technical publications, emphasis on inland fluvial systems has been primarily focused on larger river systems, rather than smaller and intermediate-sized tributary systems. As EWN continues to expand its offerings and support inland systems, there is a strong need to fill data gaps and offer case study examples from underrepresented issues across different hydro-physiographic regions and ecosystems. Accordingly, this technical note offers background on the growing need for riverine EWN guidance as well recommendations moving forward to help address those needs.
  • Implementing Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 (a)(1) Conservation Planning During US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Coastal Engineering

    Purpose: This technical note was developed by the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center–Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) to provide guidance to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on implementing Endangered Species Act* (ESA) Section 7(a)(1) conservation planning, in coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) during coastal engineering projects. USACE expends ~$200–$300 million each year on compliance, conservation, and other activities associated with the ESA (USACE 2022), and these expenditures often exceed those of other federal agencies (for example, US Bureau of Land Management) that have jurisdiction over far greater land holdings than USACE. To streamline the ESA compliance process, lower costs, and generate more positive outcomes for federally listed threatened and endangered species (TES), USACE was directed in June 2015 by the Deputy Commanding General (DCG) for Civil and Emergency Operations to proactively identify and incorporate conservation benefits into all projects when and where opportunities arise, under the authority of Section 7(a)(1) of the ESA (USACE 2015). The DCG identified Section 7(a)(1) conservation planning as a mechanism to efficiently achieve project purposes, create environmental value, and streamline the ESA Section 7(a)(2) consultation process
  • Leveraging Production Visualization Tools In Situ

    Abstract: The visualization community has invested decades of research and development into producing large-scale production visualization tools. Although in situ is a paradigm shift for large-scale visualization, much of the same algorithms and operations apply regardless of whether the visualization is run post hoc or in situ. Thus, there is a great benefit to taking the large-scale code originally designed for post hoc use and leveraging it for use in situ. This chapter describes two in situ libraries, Libsim and Catalyst, that are based on mature visualization tools, VisIt and ParaView, respectively. Because they are based on fully featured visualization packages, they each provide a wealth of features. For each of these systems we outline how the simulation and visualization software are coupled, what the runtime behavior and communication between these components are, and how the underlying implementation works. We also provide use cases demonstrating the systems in action. Both of these in situ libraries, as well as the underlying products they are based on, are made freely available as open-source products. The overviews in this chapter provide a toehold to the practical application of in situ visualization.
  • Impacts of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) on Erosion Behavior of Muddy Sediment

    Abstract: Recent policy changes regarding the placement of dredged material have encouraged the USACE to increase its beneficial use (BU) of the sediments dredged from the nation’s navigation channels. A good portion of this material is fine grained (<63 mm), which traditionally has limited use in BU applications, in part due to its dispersive nature. A need exists to evaluate the potential of stabilizing and using fine-grained sediment (FGS) in BU projects. Previous studies have shown the addition of granular sand to FGS reduces the mobility of the bed. The potential of using Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), an amendment commonly used in environmental capping involving FGS, as a similar bed stabilizing material was explored in this study. A series of laboratory erosion tests using Sedflume were performed on FGS-GAC mixtures that ranged from 5% to 20% GAC by mass. Results suggested that GAC content ≤10% had no influence on the stability of the bed while GAC content ≥15% appeared to reduce both critical shear stress (τcr) and erosion rate (n). However, when compared to control cores, those without GAC, clear evidence of bed stabilization of FGS from the addition of GAC was not observed.
  • Scenario Analyses in Ecological Modeling and Ecosystem Management

    Purpose: Ecosystem management and restoration practitioners are challenged with complex problems, diverse project goals, multiple management alternatives, and potential future scenarios that change the systems of interest. Scenario analysis aids in forecasting, evaluating, and communicating outcomes of potential management actions under different plausible conditions, such as land-use change or sea level rise. However, little guidance exists for practitioners on the utility and execution of scenario analysis. Therefore, this technical note highlights the usefulness of scenario analysis as a tool for addressing uncertainty in potential project outcomes. The mechanics of the scenario-analysis process are explained, and examples of different types of scenario analyses are described for context on the breadth of its use. Lastly, two hypothetical case studies of scenario analysis in ecological modeling are presented showing a semiquantitative approach for assessing anadromous fish and a quantitative approach examining freshwater mussel habitat. Overall, this technical note provides a brief review of the utility and application of scenario analyses in the context of ecological modeling and ecosystem management decision-making.
  • Automatic Identification System Analysis Package User Guide

    Abstract: The Automatic Identification System Analysis Package (AISAP) enables acquisition, statistical analysis, and visualization of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data from historic vessel position reports. The web-based AISAP software allows the users to choose which data they want to examine for a specific geographic area, time period, and vessel type(s). Built-in features provide vessel characteristics, arrival and departure information within a geofenced area, vessel travel time between two locations, vessel track line plots, and relative density plots of AIS data reports. AISAP accesses the Nationwide Automatic Identification System database hosted by the United States Coast Guard. This user manual provides training exercises for users to follow to familiarize themselves with AISAP procedures and workflows. These training exercises also provide examples of AISAP products.