Impact of Social Systems on Ecology and Hydrology in Urban-Rural Watersheds: Integration for Restoration

EPA Grant Number: R825792
Title: Impact of Social Systems on Ecology and Hydrology in Urban-Rural Watersheds: Integration for Restoration
Investigators: Pickett, S.T.A. , Band, L. R. , Burch, W. R. , Carcrra, J. , Foresman, Timothy W. , Grove, J. M. , Pouyat, R. V. , Zipperer, W. C.
Current Investigators: Pickett, S.T.A. , Band, L. R. , Burch, W. R. , Carerra, J. M. , Foresman, Timothy W. , Grove, J. M. , Pouyat, R. V. , Zipperer, W. C.
Institution: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies , USDA Forest Service , University of Maryland , University of Toronto , Yale University
Current Institution: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies , USDA Forest Service , University of Maryland - Baltimore County , University of North Carolina , Yale University
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: June 1, 1998 through May 31, 2001 (Extended to September 30, 2001)
Project Amount: $999,932
RFA: Water and Watersheds Research (1997) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water and Watersheds , Water

Description:

Policy makers , plannners, and managers need to understand teh biophysical and social processes controling water yeild and quality, and aquatic biodiversity in human dominated landscapes.

To provide decision makers with options to ameliorate water quality, social, ecological, and hydrologic processes must be integrated. The proposed research will first develop a new hydro-ecological model that integrates key social drivers at various scales. The model will incorporate spatial heterogeneity, land uses. and ecological structure of watersheds in urban areas. The model will test whether social processes affect watershed dynamics and water quality, and whether such effects act directly through pollution, or indirectly through the ecological features of the watershed. The second goal is to develop the model into a practical decision making tool by interacting with the decision structure of urban communities and institutions. The decision making interface will be used to project hydrological and ecological effects of different scenarios of social and land use change that decision makers propose.

Approach:

A new model will use modules from existing hydrologic models, HPSF and REHSSys. The new model will simulate natural surfaces, built surfaces, and source areas of spatial scales characteristic of urban areas. To calibrate the new model, we will collect high resolution data on soil, vegetation structure. and impervious surfaces, in fine scale patches in subwatersheds of the 17,150 ha Gwynns Falls watershed encompassing rural and urban areas of metropolitan Baltimore, and emptying into the Chesapeake Bay. Water chemistry and benthic invertebrates will indicate the water quality of subwatersheds having different degrees of urban land covers. Social area analysis at fine spatial scales of neighborhoods, will identify potential sociocultural drivers of water quality and quantify. Social data will represent resources of wealth, community structure, and access to social power, as well as specific actions that may affect water quality. The relationship of the social factors to land cover mosaics will assess land use changes.

Expected Results:

The new model and the 5 atially scaled data will assist decision makers with the management of the hydrologic system. The research will provide information to help modify social and landscape structure to reduce non-point pollution to the Chesapeake Bay. It will contribute to the integration of physical, social, and ecological sciences within a shared framework of flinctional land cover classes.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 238 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 31 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

hydrology, biodiversity, policy, watersheds, Chesapeake Bay, restoration., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Restoration, Ecological Risk Assessment, Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration, ecological effects, ecological exposure, rural watersheds, impact of social system, biodiversity, community involvement, watersheds, decision making, urban watersheds, restoration strategies, ecological recovery, aquatic ecosystems, social resistance, water quality, ecological impact, public policy, spatial analysis, ecosystem response , land use, watershed restoration

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998 Progress Report
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • Final Report