Final Report: WWW/Outreach

EPA Grant Number: R825433C059
Subproject: this is subproject number 059 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R825433
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)
Center Director: Rolston, Dennis E.
Title: WWW/Outreach
Investigators: Quinn, James , McCoy, Michael
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: October 1, 1996 through September 30, 2000
RFA: Exploratory Environmental Research Centers (1992) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Center for Ecological Health Research , Targeted Research


The objective of this research project was to bring environmental information to decision processes, primarily those involving natural resources and economic factors, from farming to urban land conversion. Our primary vehicle for the delivery of information to these processes has been the Internet. We employed a variety of other techniques as well, including facilitated mediation, peer review of contentious government natural resource policy, diffusion of innovation through staff assigned to community organizations, and coordination of very large-scale, multiinstitutional collaborative planning. The capacity to provide all of these services, leadership roles, and research functions started with the simple premise that data and information were underrepresented in the public natural resource decision process, and that enhancing the role of data in these processes would lead to better decisions.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

The following activities were accomplished:

• We developed an environmental information Web site that features interactive geographic information system (GIS) data and receives 20,000 hits per day. This Web site is one of most active University-based sources of environmental information in the United States. It provides information to federal, state, and local governments; students; teachers; academic researchers; and citizen groups.

• We developed multiple information technology support systems, including those for the 403(b) listing, the Tahoe Basin Beneficial-Use Plan, the Timber Harvest Plan, and the California Environmental Quality Act. We also developed the California Department of Transportation Preliminary Environmental Assessment Tool. All of these support systems and tools provide related agencies with the information necessary to make informed environmental management decisions.

• We developed a GIS system for use by California for reporting on beneficial uses and sources of impairment of rivers. This project permits the Clean Water Act designations to be compared with the known locations of discharges, exotic species, and other spatial data associated with particular waterways. This comparison allows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, for the first time, to evaluate whether restoration funds are being effectively targeted toward the areas most impaired by anthropogenic stresses. It also has made the listing process more transparent, and has reduced conflict over listings by creating the option for more spatially discrete assignments of impairment.

• We completed Phase II work on the California Source Water Assessment Program, a multiagency initiative to document and assess potential threats to drinking water supplies throughout the State, mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. We integrated the GIS coverage of wells and intakes, potential contaminants, and transport information, and we made maps and data entry tools available over the Internet for local health authorities to perform the mandated field assessments. We also made the resulting data available to the public through the Web. This work has reduced competition among data providers, and has standardized reporting and public information systems.

• This project integrated multiagency data on a large scale. For example, we assembled the Natural Resources Project Inventory (NRPI), an online registry of several thousand funded watershed, restoration, invasive plant management, and related resource management projects, as well as 600 operating watershed groups in California. The NRPI framework has been adopted by CALFED and the California Unified Watershed Assessment to track and analyze their activities. This system helps rationalize the distribution of restoration and acquisition funds, and has begun to reduce some tension regarding the distribution of limited financial resources.

• Our faculty have collaborated with the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey and the "Man and the Biosphere" program on the design and statistical properties of environmental monitoring systems worldwide. In 1996, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed a trilateral agreement to exchange biodiversity information using protocols and software developed through this research project, and Center for Ecological Research-supported data structures have been adopted for assessing the distribution and spread of invasive species in the Americas under the Inter-Americas Biodiversity Information Network initiative, funded by the World Bank. Database software developed by our staff now is being used or tested by investigators at dozens of sites, including the biosphere reserves of Russia.

• We completed a revision of the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research environmental impact reporting database. For two decades, this data system has acted as an archival facility (the State Clearinghouse) for all documents required by the California Environmental Quality Act. Although the system has served admirably as a record-tracking facility, its suitability for research on modeling the interactive spatial effects of projects has been limited severely by its architecture and data collection standards. Our revision of this program now allows the 80,000 archival records to be used in evaluating competing claims regarding the cumulative impacts of virtually all major development activities in the State. We are cooperating with Clearinghouse officials on the development of new data standards and legislation for electronic filing, which should ensure that all future records capture the information that investigators need for studying the validity of environmental outcome predictions.

• We have provided leadership in complex, ongoing disputes involving natural resource data, decisions, and policy. For example, we used our influence as a reputable data provider and a known neutral party to get the two agencies with a history of conflict, the California Department of Transportation and the U.S. EPA, to join in a review of these conflicts and their outcomes and alternatives. In the process, the agencies discovered that the root of the problem was a lack of information about actual local land-use decisions that spawned the need for transportation facilities in the first place. These parties have since signed an accord pledging cooperation, and have begun an entirely new policy direction, engaging local government in the earliest stages of land-use decisionmaking.

• We have been involved in substantial conflict resolution among major participants in environmental decision processes, including the Sierra Framework's peer-review process and the National Marine Fisheries Service Restoration Project's peer-review process. By providing these processes with our expertise and wealth of data, related agencies are better able to resolve disputes and make effective decisions.

• We facilitated scientific capacity building for local organizations engaged in environmental decisions, including the Clavey River Watershed Partnership Center and the Great Valley Center, as a possible avenue for democratizing decision processes. This "diffusion" approach to enhance the role of scientific information in decision processes has allowed one local group to function fully as a data node and successfully compete for an $800,000 award to continue its activities. We were awarded funds to continue this process with other groups in the future.

• We instituted collaborative resource planning ventures with the Merced County Pilot Project and the San Joaquin Valley Collaborative Planning Assessment. In these ventures, our considerable data collection and other assets will allow regional resource planning agencies to make informed and effective management decisions.

• We have been awarded a $15,000,000 environmental services agreement between the California Department of Transportation and the University of California–Davis, with James Quinn and Michael McCoy named as Co-Principal Investigators. This agreement will enhance the ability of California agencies to assess cumulative and growth-inducing environmental impacts of transportation projects throughout the State.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 1 publications 1 publications in selected types All 1 journal articles
Other center views: All 403 publications 290 publications in selected types All 240 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Sergeyev O, Zeilert V, Revich B, Ushakova T, Williams P, Korrick S, Lee MM, Altshul L, Adibi J, Hauser R. Sexual and physical maturation of male adolescents in a dioxin contaminated region: Chapaevsk, Russia. Organohalogen Compounds 2000;48:211-214. R825433C059 (Final)
not available

Supplemental Keywords:

ecosystem, ecosystem protection, environmental exposure and risk, geographic area, international cooperation, water, terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic ecosystem, aquatic ecosystem restoration, aquatic ecosystems and estuarine research, biochemistry, ecological effects, ecological indicators, ecological monitoring, ecology and ecosystems, environmental chemistry, restoration, state, water and watershed, watershed, watershed development, watershed land use, watershed management, watershed modeling, watershed restoration, watershed sustainability, agricultural watershed, exploratory research environmental biology, California, CA, Clear Lake, Lake Tahoe, anthropogenic effects, aquatic habitat, biogeochemical cycling, ecological assessment, ecology assessment models, ecosystem monitoring, ecosystem response, ecosystem stress, environmental stress, environmental stress indicators, fish habitat, hydrologic modeling, hydrology, integrated watershed model, lake ecosystems, lakes, land use, nutrient dynamics, nutrient flux, water management options, water quality, wetlands., RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Aquatic Ecosystems & Estuarine Research, Water & Watershed, Aquatic Ecosystem, Fate & Transport, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Microbiology, computing technology, Biochemistry, Ecology and Ecosystems, Watersheds, aquatic, fate and transport, aquatic modeling, ambient particle properties, decision support systems, ecosystem assessment, watershed management, alternative mechanistic models, sediment transport, computer science, modeling, hydrological transport model, data management, hydrology, watershed influences, computer simulation modeling, aquatic ecosystems, data analysis, environmental stress, watershed sustainablility, World Wide Web, material transport, ecology assessment models, ecosystem stress, ecological models, transport modeling, ecological research, watershed restoration, contaminant transport models, analytical models

Relevant Websites: Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R825433    EERC - Center for Ecological Health Research (Cal Davis)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825433C001 Potential for Long-Term Degradation of Wetland Water Quality Due to Natural Discharge of Polluted Groundwater
    R825433C002 Sacramento River Watershed
    R825433C003 Endocrine Disruption in Fish and Birds
    R825433C004 Biomarkers of Exposure and Deleterious Effect: A Laboratory and Field Investigation
    R825433C005 Fish Developmental Toxicity/Recruitment
    R825433C006 Resolving Multiple Stressors by Biochemical Indicator Patterns and their Linkages to Adverse Effects on Benthic Invertebrate Patterns
    R825433C007 Environmental Chemistry of Bioavailability in Sediments and Water Column
    R825433C008 Reproduction of Birds and mammals in a terrestrial-aquatic interface
    R825433C009 Modeling Ecosystems Under Combined Stress
    R825433C010 Mercury Uptake by Fish
    R825433C011 Clear Lake Watershed
    R825433C012 The Role of Fishes as Transporters of Mercury
    R825433C013 Wetlands Restoration
    R825433C014 Wildlife Bioaccumulation and Effects
    R825433C015 Microbiology of Mercury Methylation in Sediments
    R825433C016 Hg and Fe Biogeochemistry
    R825433C017 Water Motions and Material Transport
    R825433C018 Economic Impacts of Multiple Stresses
    R825433C019 The History of Anthropogenic Effects
    R825433C020 Wetland Restoration
    R825433C021 Sierra Nevada Watershed Project
    R825433C022 Regional Transport of Air Pollutants and Exposure of Sierra Nevada Forests to Ozone
    R825433C023 Biomarkers of Ozone Damage to Sierra Nevada Vegetation
    R825433C024 Effects of Air Pollution on Water Quality: Emission of MTBE and Other Pollutants From Motorized Watercraft
    R825433C025 Regional Movement of Toxics
    R825433C026 Effect of Photochemical Reactions in Fog Drops and Aerosol Particles on the Fate of Atmospheric Chemicals in the Central Valley
    R825433C027 Source Load Modeling for Sediment in Mountainous Watersheds
    R825433C028 Stress of Increased Sediment Loading on Lake and Stream Function
    R825433C029 Watershed Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Stress: Lake Tahoe Nutrient Budget
    R825433C030 Mercury Distribution and Cycling in Sierra Nevada Waterbodies
    R825433C031 Pre-contact Forest Structure
    R825433C032 Identification and distribution of pest complexes in relation to late seral/old growth forest structure in the Lake Tahoe watershed
    R825433C033 Subalpine Marsh Plant Communities as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
    R825433C034 Regional Hydrogeology and Contaminant Transport in a Sierra Nevada Ecosystem
    R825433C035 Border Rivers Watershed
    R825433C036 Toxicity Studies
    R825433C037 Watershed Assessment
    R825433C038 Microbiological Processes in Sediments
    R825433C039 Analytical and Biomarkers Core
    R825433C040 Organic Analysis
    R825433C041 Inorganic Analysis
    R825433C042 Immunoassay and Serum Markers
    R825433C043 Sensitive Biomarkers to Detect Biochemical Changes Indicating Multiple Stresses Including Chemically Induced Stresses
    R825433C044 Molecular, Cellular and Animal Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect
    R825433C045 Microbial Community Assays
    R825433C046 Cumulative and Integrative Biochemical Indicators
    R825433C047 Mercury and Iron Biogeochemistry
    R825433C048 Transport and Fate Core
    R825433C049 Role of Hydrogeologic Processes in Alpine Ecosystem Health
    R825433C050 Regional Hydrologic Modeling With Emphasis on Watershed-Scale Environmental Stresses
    R825433C051 Development of Pollutant Fate and Transport Models for Use in Terrestrial Ecosystem Exposure Assessment
    R825433C052 Pesticide Transport in Subsurface and Surface Water Systems
    R825433C053 Currents in Clear Lake
    R825433C054 Data Integration and Decision Support Core
    R825433C055 Spatial Patterns and Biodiversity
    R825433C056 Modeling Transport in Aquatic Systems
    R825433C057 Spatial and Temporal Trends in Water Quality
    R825433C058 Time Series Analysis and Modeling Ecological Risk
    R825433C059 WWW/Outreach
    R825433C060 Economic Effects of Multiple Stresses
    R825433C061 Effects of Nutrients on Algal Growth
    R825433C062 Nutrient Loading
    R825433C063 Subalpine Wetlands as Early Indicators of Ecosystem Stress
    R825433C064 Chlorinated Hydrocarbons
    R825433C065 Sierra Ozone Studies
    R825433C066 Assessment of Multiple Stresses on Soil Microbial Communities
    R825433C067 Terrestrial - Agriculture
    R825433C069 Molecular Epidemiology Core
    R825433C070 Serum Markers of Environmental Stress
    R825433C071 Development of Sensitive Biomarkers Based on Chemically Induced Changes in Expressions of Oncogenes
    R825433C072 Molecular Monitoring of Microbial Populations
    R825433C073 Aquatic - Rivers and Estuaries
    R825433C074 Border Rivers - Toxicity Studies