Friday, December 20, 2013

ADHydro: Up and Running

For Bob Steinke and the rest of the CI-WATER researchers working on a sophisticated water model called ADHydro, their hard work and dedication has culminated into the completion of the model.

“We have the code running, with groundwater, surface water, infiltration and channels, rivers, and lakes,” says Bob Steinke, a software engineer at the University of Wyoming. “It’s running, it’s not crashing, and we get results out, but now we have to make sure those results are right.”

ADHydro is a new hydrology model that will allow researchers in the field to better understand water processes, including how fast water soaks through the soil, how fast water flows over land, and more.
Now that ADHydro is running, researchers will continue to work on the model and build on it, making it faster and more powerful.

“The next step is really performance improvement,” says Bob. “We’ve got a lot of ways that we can improve the performance just in the serial code itself, and then we want to parallelize it so that it can run on the supercomputer and run faster.”

For the whole team working on ADHydro, getting it up and running is a huge success, and something they’re proud of.

“We’re happy with our progress,” Bob says. 

By Robin Rasmussen

Friday, December 13, 2013

Undergraduate Research Fellowship Spotlight: Andrea Alvarez

Each semester, Wyoming EPSCoR selects and funds twenty or more Undergraduate Research Fellowships. These fellowships are excellent opportunities for students to gain quality experience in research, prepare for graduate programs, and obtain practical knowledge.

As a Petroleum Engineering student at the University ofWyoming, Andrea Alvarez was interested in the relationship between water with oil and gas extraction.

Andrea Alvarez
This interest led her to Dr. Ginger Paige, a professor in Ecosystem Science & Management at UW. As an EPSCoR Undergraduate Fellow, Andrea has the opportunity to study and conduct research under the direction of Ginger.

“I’m studying water quality analysis on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” says Andrea. “When people think of petroleum, they don’t really think of water, they think of oil and gas. But in reality, they’re very closely related.”

Although she’s conducting research in a field different from petroleum engineering, Andrea has enjoyed the challenge.

“The most challenging part is the fact that I don’t know much about water quality,” she says. “I came in from a totally different field. But it’s shown me my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to working in a field that I don’t know.”

Throughout her time as a fellow, Andrea has learned a lot about water quality, but she’s also learned about herself and the world around her.

“Doing this really gave me a better idea of what grad school would be like,” Andrea says. “It showed me where I would be lacking and where I would have advantages. It kind of just broadened my horizons overall.”

For other students thinking about applying for fellowships, Andrea encourages others to give it a shot.

“Get out of your comfort zone,” she says. “Try everything once.”

By Robin Rasmussen 
Photo courtesy of Andrea Alvarez

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Educational Resources Available for Wyoming Teachers

Hydropoly, a board game included in the toolbox
Wyoming EPSCoR’s Track 2 grant, CI-WATER, has developed teaching toolboxes for teachers to check-out and use with their students.

“The toolboxes have tools in them that simulate water modeling and water resources,” says Beth Cable, the Education, Outreach and Diversity Coordinator for CI-WATER.

The teaching toolboxes come equipped with numerous lesson plans and educational resources necessary for carrying them out.

“The toolboxes provide ideas and opportunities for both indoor and outdoor classroom use,” says Beth. “And they certainly apply many different subjects, including math, science, English, art, creative writing, and more.”

Trying out different items in the toolbox
All of the lesson plans provided with the toolbox meet Wyoming teaching standards for grades K-12, and cover a variety of hands-on, interactive and inquiry-based experiments and activities.

 “Students can conduct experiments on water, they can do outdoor water sampling, they can do art and advocacy projects, there are water mediation role plays, they can play games,” says Beth. “They can really do a lot.”

Students benefit from learning from the toolboxes, by learning important concepts about water, science, and real world applications.

“I would cheer teachers on to use it because of the fact that it provides real life science,” says Beth. “It really allows students to interact with their teachers, scientists, the natural world, and each other.”

For more information about the teaching toolbox, contact Beth Cable at

By Robin Rasmussen
Photos courtesy of Beth Cable