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RII Track II: Oklahoma and Kansas

A cyberCommons for Ecological Forecasting

A $6 million NSF EPSCoR award is building a new cyber network within Kansas and Oklahoma to help the two states share research data much more quickly and easily. The project, called Oklahoma and Kansas: A cyberCommons for Ecological Forecasting, links the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.  

Scientists at the four institutions are focusing on how climate change and changes in land use (such as increased urbanization) are affecting biodiversity, plant and animal diseases and invasive species.

This research has the potential to have an enormous impact on our region in terms of human health, agriculture and sustaining natural resources. 

With the shared data, scientists are developing better models to predict the spread of invasive animals that carry deadly diseases, such as avian influenza, for example. Or, the shared information might also help them forecast the impact of climate change on crop pollinators, and, therefore, agricultural crops.

The information sharing goes far beyond the four universities. Teachers and students at all universities, private colleges, community colleges and K-12 schools in Kansas and Oklahoma will eventually have access to the data, via the cybercommons website.

Bowman-James is the principal investigator for Kansas portion of the project. The Kansas co-principal investigators are Leonard  Krishtalka, director of KU’s Biodiversity Institute;  Donald F. (Rick) McMullen, director and senior scientist for research computing at the Office of Research and Graduate Studies at KU; James Beach, assistant director for informatics at KU’s Natural History Museum; Walter Dodds, University Distinguished Professor of Biology at K-State; and Daniel Andresen, Associate Professor of Computing and Information Science at K-State.

Abstract of NSF Award No. EPS-0919443

View the Kansas-Oklahoma EPSCoR RII T2 Proposal. pdf