At MSU we envision the 21st century as an exciting period when hydrology enters the age of cyber-enabled discovery and innovation, and MSU stands at the forefront of that development for Michigan . We imagine a future with an intelligent Michigan Cyberinfrastructure that is capable of substantially enhancing our ability to understand complex systems, address integrated science questions, and reduce the cost of managing Michigan 's water resources. The integrated cyber environment will dynamically link a statewide, multiscale database and sensor network and a novel, realtime steering platform for multiscale modeling, data mining, visualization, and information delivery. Development of this Cyberinfrastructure will transform hydrological science and engineering by integrating research, education, outreach, and science-based management.

Capitalizing on MDEQ's massive data integration and MSU's innovative computational thinking, we are pushing the envelope, creating new possibilities, and pursuing the future. Come join us.

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NSF's Strategic Direction and Michigan's Unique Achievements

Many of the elements necessary to make our bold vision possible already exist:

  • Strong support for sustained cyber-based hydrologic research Recently NSF has issued several white papers related to its strategic directions in the 21st Century. In these papers NSF reveals their plan to invest heavily in big data, cyberinfrastructure, and sustainability science and engineering research. They stress the critical importance of leveraging resources through multiple and diverse partnerships among academia, industry and government, call for a hydrological research revolution and the creation of large-scale, cyber-based community models, databases, observatories, and discovery environments that integrate new and historical hydrological and environmental data of all kinds.
  • Michigan 's advanced large-scale, statewide hydrologic/environmental databases Recently Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) invested significantly in massive statewide data integration for environmental and water resources management. They now have highly detailed statewide databases of Michigan's hydrologic systems, including streams, lakes, wetlands, contamination sites, water qualities, high resolution digital elevation models, hundreds of thousands of water/oil/gas wells, estimated aquifer properties, aquifer elevations, static water levels, groundwater recharge, baseflows, and hundreds of other "parameters".   This puts MDEQ one step ahead of much of the rest of the country in developing comprehensive statewide environmental databases.
  • MSU's laboratory for real-time computing and multi-scale modeling Recently MSU and NSF invested in this laboratory of excellence in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department on MSU's main campus. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art modeling hardware, software, databases, and visualization and communication capabilities. Using newly developed approaches to model complex hydrologic systems puts MSU's lab at the forefront of integrated, data-enabled, hydrologic-modeling research. Working with MDEQ, the lab recently live-linked its systems with MDEQ's statewide databases to develop a high impact, GIS-enabled, statewide system for unified deterministic, stochastic, and multiscale groundwater modeling and visualization which has significantly improved Michigan 's ability to address complex groundwater issues and manage its groundwater resources.
  • MSU-MDEQ Jointly Funded Agreement. Recently MSU and MDEQ established a formal strategic water resources partnership through a Jointly Funded Agreement (JFA). Although MSU and MDEQ have both benefited from a long history of cooperative projects, there has never before been a true mutual partnership in place with a longer-term vision and opportunities to integrate our respective programs. This new strategic partnership will enable systematic interaction, sustainable collaboration, and synergistic uses of university, state, and federal resources, and provide critical leverage in our effort to compete for major federal funding.

Seizing the Opportunity

MDEQ and MSU's unique achievements and partnership make cyber-enabled discovery and innovation possible on a statewide scale. MDEQ's databases provide detailed information on Michigan 's hydrologic systems. MSU's unique computational capabilities provide tools for discovery and innovation.


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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

3546 Engineering Building, Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824-1226

Phone: (517) 355-5107; Fax: (517) 432-1827

Email: cee@egr.msu.edu

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