This three-year International Research Experiences for Students project will provide US undergraduate students and graduate students with an international collaborative research experience in water resources management. Under the joint mentorship of Enrique R. Vivoni of Arizona State University and several U.S. and Mexican research partners, participants will spend four summer weeks investigating hydrologic science in the US-Mexico Border regions of Arizona and Sonora. Students will collect field hydrologic measurements useful for water resources management, examine local water resources infrastructure, meet with local decision makers, and apply data analysis techniques to hydrologic modeling experiences. Each year, students will conduct a two-week field campaign during which they deploy instrumentation, conduct field sampling, visit water infrastructure projects, and interact with local water managers. These activities will be conducted in the Sonora River basin and neighboring regions. In each of the three years the participant cohorts will include approximately two graduate students and approximately eight undergraduate students, for a total of ten participants per year. The program will train students how to measure hydrologic processes through field instrumentation and remote sensing imagery, and it will show them how to translate hydrologic information and model outputs into water resources information that is useful and relevant to local water managers. The goal of this project is to develop US scientists and engineers who can appropriately address cross-border water management problems in Mexico and the US.
Among the broader impacts of this IRES program are the promotion of international research collaborations; involvement of undergraduates in an active research environment with graduate students, US faculty, and foreign faculty; access to water resources decision-makers; and field research experiences for underrepresented groups that should help increase the success of these students in graduate programs in the sciences. The project will also further research collaborations between U.S. and Mexican scientists.