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


1) Organizes and manages data in ways that support advanced analysis and visualization.
2) Makes research results readily accessible and usable to a wide variety of clients.


Most of the Core activity occurs in the computing facility located housed in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy. The facility consists of three computer rooms housing 28 computers and serves the fifteen full time staff, 11 graduate students, and three postdocs associated with projects that are directly part of the Core or have been separately funded by EPA, USGS, CalEPA and others to build on the Core's capabilities. The facility has recently expanded into the John Muir Institute for the Environment, where we established a second GIS lab for co-operative projects with state and federal agencies, and with office space for scientists and analysts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the State Water Resources Control Board, and the U.S. Forest Service. Overall operating costs of the facility represent about $1,400,000 per year, approximately 10% of which comes directly from the Center.

The Center's Web page has developed into one of most active University-based sources of environmental information in the country. Currently, we receive approximately 20 thousand "hits" per day, with one to several thousand each from federal government, state and local government, students, teachers, academic researchers, and citizens groups. Our staff and faculty have also developed considerable expertise with the Web and database technology. They have served as the principal academic advisors to the interagency effort to develop a California environmental data network (CERES), and to the California Biodiversity Council's effort to create a statewide coordinated natural resources science program. They have also served on a number of national planning and standards committees.

A significant portion of our outreach efforts arise from activities of the California Biodiversity Council (CBC), which consists of the heads of all of the principal state and federal resource and environmental agencies, as well as a variety of representatives from local and county government and several intergovernmental programs. The Core hosts meetings, produces publications, and provides much of the computer and GIS support for Council activities. One of our web sites (http://ice.ucdavis.edu Exit ) hosts a variety of statewide data sets and information services on behalf of the Council.

The principal thrusts of the Biodiversity Council have been to integrate information arising from previously uncoordinated government programs, and, in particular, to make them available and useful for environmental planning and management at the local, watershed or regional level. Through this mechanism, the Core has been heavily involved in the statewide coordination and support for a variety of cooperative environmental planning or restoration projects. In part, this has involved developing GIS products and Internet access to public information needed for environmental planning. These on-line products include a mapping facility for natural resources, land use, and environmental protection activities (see http://icemaps.des.ucdavis.edu/icemaps2/ICEMapInit.html Exit ), and a variety of databases and mapping applications for biodiversity, fisheries, and parks and reserves.

Over the last several years, we developed the GIS system (see http://endeavor.des.ucdavis.edu/geowbs/ Exit ) used by California for its reports on beneficial uses and sources of impairment of rivers (section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act.) In the last year, we completed training in each of the Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and are now working with the State Water Board on enhancements to track related research findings and regulatory actions in the development of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) in impaired rivers. This project permits the designations to be compared with the known locations of discharges, exotic species, and other spatial data associated with particular waterways (see Section IV.1). The combination of these two databases will allow EPA officials, for the first time, to evaluate whether restoration funds (e.g., under Section 319 of the CWA) are being effectively targeted toward the areas most impaired by anthropogenic stresses, and how effective and cost-effective those efforts have been.

We have just begun work on the California Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP), a multi-agency initiative to document and assess potential threats to drinking water supplies throughout the state mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. For SWAP, CEHR will integrate the GIS coverages of wells and intakes, potential contaminants, and transport information, make maps and data entry tools available over the Internet for local health authorities to do the mandated field assessments, and disseminate the resulting data to the public over the Web.

We have also been involved in cataloging and analyzing resource management and conservation activities in California. With support from the Biodiversity Council (funding from BLM, Fish and Game, EPA, and the Water Board), we have assembled the Natural Resources Project Inventory(NRPI). NRPI is an on-line registry of several thousand funded watershed, restoration, invasive plant management, and related resource management projects in California. It also includes some 600 operating watershed groups. The NRPI framework has recently been adopted by CALFED and the California Unified Watershed Assessment (part of the President's Clean Water Action Plan) to track and analyze their activities.

The Core faculty also continues to collaborate with multiple agencies, especially the Biological Resources Division of the USGS and the Man and the Biosphere program, on the design and statistical properties of environmental monitoring systems worldwide. In 1996, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico signed a trilateral agreement to exchange biodiversity information using protocols and software developed by the Center, and CEHR-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. We also hosted the directors of the national flora database programs for China and the former Soviet Union as visiting scholars in the Core, and both countries have agreed to data exchanges using the Center-supported data protocols. Database software developed by Core staff is now being used or tested at dozens of sites, including the biosphere reserves of Russia.

We have now completed a revision of the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research environmental impact reporting database. This data system has served for two decades as an archival facility (the State Clearinghouse) documenting the filings of all documents required by the California Environmental Quality Act. While the system has served admirably as a record tracking facility, its use for research modeling the interactive spatial effects of projects has been severely limited by its architecture and data collection standards. A rewrite of this program now allows the 80,000 archival records to be used in evaluating cumulative impacts of virtually all major development activities in the state. We are cooperating Clearinghouse officials on the development of new data standards and legislation for electronic filing, which should insure that all future records capture the information needed to allow future generations of researchers to study the validity of environmental outcome predictions.

Expected Results:

Much of the cost of our outreach activities involve maintaining and updating Internet access in the face of rapidly improving technology, and in supporting agency personnel and the public in using information resources developed by the Center. Specific technological goals of the outreach activities include developing our pilot Web to GIS system to allow for data housed in distributed servers within the Center and throughout the agency community served by the Center to be used interactively in real time from a client browser. Versions providing public access to watershed data, the data archives of the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project, and to fine scale land use and planning data from some model counties are already working.

It continues to be clear that the Core does not have the capability to directly support existing use of Center information products in the dozens of collaborating agencies and programs. Sophisticated users can use some products over the Internet using on-line documentation, but many need training and technical support, particular for some of our more complex analyses. As a result, we continue to conduct programs to "train trainers." This initiative puts together curriculum material on accessing government sponsored environmental data, using Center data as the prime demonstration, and conducts training programs for Cooperative Extension specialists and outreach professionals. These specialists will then train their clientele, including county and regional planners, watershed groups, and landowners (e.g. forestry and cattlemen's associations) to use the resources, and provide technical support for those users. If Center information is to reach many of its intended users, it is clear that we will have to institutionalize training of outside outreach specialists, and continue to update the associated documentation and teaching materials.

A long-term goal is to develop a facility where EPA and other agency personnel can spend time in residence at Davis working on joint modeling and data analysis projects. To date, agreements have been signed with several agencies (USGS, NRCS, USFS) collaborating in Center projects, permitting agency scientists to take up residence at the university.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 publications for this subprojectView all 403 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 1 journal articles for this subprojectView all 240 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

Aquatic ecosystem, California, environmental statistics., 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, fate and transport, aquatic modeling, aquatic, watershed management, ambient particle properties, decision support systems, alternative mechanistic models, ecosystem assessment, sediment transport, computer science, hydrological transport model, modeling, watershed influences, hydrology, computer simulation modeling, data management, aquatic ecosystems, World Wide Web, environmental stress, watershed sustainablility, data analysis, material transport, ecosystem stress, ecology assessment models, ecological models, transport modeling, analytical models, ecological research, watershed restoration, database

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final Report

  • 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