By April Espinoza
Dr. Di Vittorio was recently awarded a $580,000 grant from NASA to support her research program over the next three years. She will lead this study as Principal Investigator in collaboration with Co-I’s Dr. Dorothy Peteet, Dr. Christian Braneon, and Dr. Anastasia Romanou. The proposed research will assess the relative significance of carbon fluxes into the ocean from coastal marsh losses using a combination of diverse datasets, including: a large database of historical satellite imagery and ocean color data, in-situ and remotely-sensed tidal and land elevation data, marsh depth estimates from in-situ sediment cores, and reanalysis data and physically-based simulations of past and future sea-levels. The proposed research will produce new data products that can be integrated into future NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry (OBB) studies and will provide new information and insights on the role of coastal marshes in the global carbon cycle.
Dr. Di Vittorio has hired a postdoctoral research scholar to support this research and plans to engage undergraduate WFU students throughout the project. She looks forward to bringing these real-world applications into some of the courses she teaches that focus on numerical modeling (EGR 312) and hydrologic/hydraulic systems (EGR 324), as well as capstone design projects and EGR research electives. We hope to learn more about her progression in her research as its first phase launches this summer!