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TAMUK Assistant Professor leads NASA effort to predict water quality in the Nation’s streams and rivers

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Dr. Adnan Rajib, an assistant professor of environmental engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, will lead a NASA Earth Information System (EIS) initiative to predict water quality.

 

Using satellite data and ground observations, Rajib’s team will develop a new generation computer model capable of predicting pollution levels in numerous rivers across the United States basins.

 

Rajib’s team for this project includes undergraduate student Alessandra Ruiz, graduate student Ashma Akter, and Ph.D. student Stella Zheng. The team will collaborate closely with NASA scientists.

 

“The water quality of our nation’s streams and rivers is increasingly threatened by climate variability and anthropogenic disturbances. Intense agricultural activity is responsible for nitrogenous pollution of the Midwest rivers. In the western U.S., droughts and wildfires are causing a rise in water temperatures, yet, predicting these water quality parameters remains challenging due to the acute shortage of ground observations,” said Ruiz.

 

“NASA satellite data offers a unique opportunity here. Our goal is to mediate hydro-biogeochemical simulation models and ground observations with satellite data,” said Akter.

 

“This model development process, however, is not simple. It will consist of a highly efficient computational framework replicable to the world’s developing nations suffering from poor water quality issues” Zheng explained.

 

Dr. David Ramirez, chair of the environmental engineering department, said Rajib’s work involves some of the grand challenges of our current environment.

 

“To effectively manage and protect global water resources, it's critical that we know where, when and why water quality conditions change. Rajib’s team will develop a new information system to fulfill this need,” Ramirez added.

 

The outcome of this project will offer new insights into future NASA missions targeting global water security.

Category: Engineering , General Univ

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