Yager Earns $540K in DOE Funding Toward Preserving Idaho River Systems
October 08, 2020
Elowyn Yager, University of Idaho Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering professor and Center for Ecohydraulics Research (CER) director, is part of a team working to better understand variations in riverbed nutrients and predict problems in Idaho river systems. Yager and researchers including Andy Tranmer from CER, Janice Brahney from Utah State University and Joel Rowland of Los Alamos National Laboratory were awarded $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a three-year study of chemical, physical and biological processes in watersheds. A total of $540,000 will go to U of I. Research will begin in Spring 2021 at two river locations in New Mexico to analyze carbon and phosphorus levels in the riverbed sediment and water.
“Phosphorus is an essential mineral, but excess amounts of phosphorous can reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in rivers and lakes,” said Yager. “This can lead to fish kills, algal blooms and decreased biodiversity.”
The New Mexico site is remote and relatively unimpacted by humans yet has large enough rain and snow events to provide researchers a large sample size. Field work will be conducted this year and next, with measurements taken during the snowmelt and monsoon seasons. The research will allow for better representation of complex ecological processes.
This project was funded to U of I by the U.S. Department of Energy under award DE-SC0021401. The total project funding is $540,000 of which 100% is the federal share.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu