This award provides support for an REU-Site as part of the Human-Environment Regional Observatory project (HERO). HERO is developing the infrastructure to study and monitor the human causes and consequences of global environmental change in local areas. Local HEROs will select three students from Pennsylvania, from Massachusetts, from Kansas, and from Arizona to participate in the Site. The students will start their summer research activities by taking a two-week short courses that will introduce them to the concepts and tools needed to study the local dimensions of global environmental change. After the short course, the REU students will return to their home states where they will conduct parallel research activities at the local HEROS. The three-person REU student teams will work for six weeks with a faculty research mentor, other faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students working at the local HEROs. Students will be introduced to such tools as geographic information systems, aerial photographs, remote sensing images, and geo-positioning systems. The activities will include the mapping and field checking of: land cover and land use; natural and technological hazards; essential facilities; potentially vulnerable socioeconomic groups, businesses, factories, resource extraction and processing facilities, and other commercial sites; and critical biological habitats. Students will also engage in interviews and focus groups. They will stay linked to their colleagues at the other local HEROs through HERO remote collaboration (collaboratory) tools.
This award contributes to the Foundation's continuing efforts to attract talented students into careers in science through active undergraduate research experiences.