Integrating a WiFi Weather Sensor Network and Computer Modeling to Determine Land-Use Impacts on Evapotranspiration: Bridgewater State College Campus

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Fall 2008

Project Description/Abstract

Previous research by student-faculty collaboration suggests that urbanization in Southeastern Massachusetts decreases surface moisture and creates less shading, higher winds, and greater temperature extremes. Consequently, urbanized areas decrease evaporation and transpiration (ET) by 100 times below that of surrounding vegetated landscapes. State-of-the art WiFi weather stations, remote sensing images and hydrological modeling can help climate scientists understand interactions between land cover change and ET. Like many areas in Southeastern Massachusetts, Bridgewater State College (BSC) is experiencing dramatic rates of landscape change, as shown by the Presidents Climate Task Force. The project seeks to install four WiFi automatic weather stations, use remote sensing image analysis to determine landscape distribution, and integrating hydrological modeling with GIS to simulate ET variation on BSC campus. The maps of land-use, microclimates, and ET distribution produced by this research will serve not only as a case study for urban/environmental planners but also provide resources for educational purposes.

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