Vermont EPSCoR was awarded a Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1, $20M award on June 1, 2016 for research on Lake Champlain Basin Resilience to Extreme Events (BREE). The research will inform public policy and support economic and workforce development. Research questions examine what makes some parts of the Lake Champlain Basin and its watersheds resilient in the face of extreme weather events, increasingly common in a warming Vermont, while other parts fail to recover and rebound. The award from the National Science Foundation will help answer those questions, providing much needed information to decision-makers as they govern the basin and develop policies that reach far into the future.
The five-year project will support research teams from UVM and colleges across the state that will collect data from sensors in streams, soil, and the lake. Research teams will also gather information on land use, economic impacts of poor water quality, and more. Seven social and ecological computer models that are calibrated our collected data will be linked together. The resulting integrated model will used to test impacts of management scenarios on Lake Champlain water quality, and can identify strategies for preserving infrastructure, environmental health and drinking water quality as Vermont’s landscape continues to change and the climate continues to show a rise in extreme precipitation.