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WaterTalk: Animating green stuff in hydrologic models: where we are and ...

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William G Davis Computer Research Centre

200 University Avenue, W.

Room 1302

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Canada

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WaterTalk: Animating green stuff in hydrologic models: where we are and what is next.

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As part of the Water Institute's WaterTalks lecture series Naomi (Christina) Tague will present: Animating green stuff in hydrologic models: where we are and what is next.

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Early hydrologic models represented vegetation as a simple parameter that influenced interception and the transpiration of soil water - the green slime approach. The next generation of eco-hydrology models, termed flow and grow models, included vegetation growth in response to water availability, nutrients and climate. The ‘grow’ component of today’s eco-hydrology models ranging from simple empirical relationships to sophisticated physiological approaches that can explore adaptation and disturbance. Added complexity adds realism and allows models to integrate new theory and data - to become ‘virtual laboratories’. Complexity however is also challenge - What ecohydrology models actually do is rarely clear - they are often ‘black boxes’ even to those who design and use them and this opacity reduces credibility and complicates the interpretation of model results For models to be more effective at advancing understanding how how plants, soil, climate and water interact we must improve how we visualize and communicate not only model output but also the underlying theories that are encoded This is a science-communication challenge that can be tackled with new innovations from computer science and statistics, especially in visualization, informatics and human-computer interface design. In this talk I argue that these innovations are essential if we are to realize the potential of ecohydologic models - and more generally provide ways to use evolving knowledge and data. I present a framework to move us toward this goal and several recent examples.

Speaker Bio

Naomi (Christina) Tague’s research uses advanced data science techniques to understand how water, plants, geology and climate interact in a tightly coupled system – and how humans are changing this system. Much of her work involves designing advanced simulation models that integrate data from multiple sources including field and lab experiments and data from remote sensing technologies. These models are ‘virtual laboratories’ that we can use to explore ‘what-if’ scenarios with best available science. In these labs, we can ask ‘what will happen to water supply from snow-dominated mountain watersheds as climate warms”, “how do different vegetation types in green infrastructure effect water and nitrogen cycles”, “how do fuel treatments in different locations influence fire severity”, and many other questions about about our changing landscapes

Coffee, tea & refreshments served.

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Date and Time

Location

William G Davis Computer Research Centre

200 University Avenue, W.

Room 1302

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Canada

View Map

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