Grant will unify CSU researchers investigating fire impacts on ecosystems and water supply

Ryan Morrison and Peter NelsonSince the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome fires burned more than 400,000 acres west of Fort Collins, more than 14 Colorado State University researchers have worked to better understand fire impacts on fisheries, water quality, water quantity and ecosystem recovery. Professors Ryan Morrison and Peter Nelson are co-PIs on an Office of the Vice President for Research Quarterly Strategic Investment Proposal that will leverage CSU’s potential to be a national leader in fire impact research and facilitate the development of competitive interdisciplinary grant proposals.

OVPR funded $30,000 of the $75,000 proposal to fill a need for more coordination across research groups to increase the societal impact of existing projects and set up researchers for larger transformative grant proposals. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences and Warner College of Natural Resources will provide matching funds, and the Geospatial Centroid and Matt Ross lab will contribute $15,000 in in-kind staffing. Ross is director of the Geospatial Centroid.

The grant will position the Geospatial Centroid as a catalyst for post-fire collaboration across CSU. The Geospatial Centroid, based in CSU Libraries, will host research workshops and an external conference, build an open-source interactive web application that connects all the post-fire data generated at CSU, and provide support to submit competitive external grants to NSF, NASA and DOE.