Indian Boundary Prairies: A Test Bed to Evaluate Ecosystem Services Provided by Urban Nature Preserves

Event Sponsor: 
Northwestern Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering Seminar
Start Date: 
Nov 7 2016 - 10:30am
Building 362/Room E388
Argonne National Laboratory
William M. Miller
Speaker(s) Title: 
Northwestern University
Cristina Negri

We are collaborating with Argonne (ANL) researchers Cristina Negri and Pete Beckman in a joint project with Aaron Packman at Northwestern to instrument, monitor, and model ecosystem services provided by the Indian Boundary Prairies (IBP; high-quality remnant prairies owned by The Nature Conservancy and Northeastern Illinois University) in Markham, IL. In particular, Gensburg-Markham Prairie (GMP) has been recognized as an Illinois Nature Preserve.

Hydrology, flood mitigation, and water quality. Data from wells with pressure transducers to measure ground water level, surface water level transducers, and soil moisture probes (installed in July 2016) – as a function of precipitation, season, and time – is providing information on water storage and transport across (GMP). Together with information on soil composition and elevation, the data will be used to develop hydrologic models to predict GMP water storage and release kinetics, as well as mitigation of flooding on surrounding residential properties. Water samples will be analyzed to determine effects of the surrounding environment on GMP water quality and potentially identify pollutant entry points.

Urban microclimate regulation and air pollution impact/mitigation. Deploying 9 Waggle sensor nodes (ANL) in fall 2016 and 2017 will provide information on temperature, humidity, sound level, and pollutant (CO, SO2, H2S, ozone, NO2) gradients across I-57 and I-294, as well as the length and breadth of GMP, which is located between I-57 and I-294. Data from the IBP Waggle nodes will provide information on mitigation of urban heat island effects and complement data from Waggle nodes installed across Chicago as part of ANL’s Array of Things (AoT) project.

We plan to instrument a restored park or preserve within the Millennium Reserve in the Calumet region, where GMP is located. This will allow us to compare ecosystem services provided by restored green spaces vs. unspoiled areas such as GMP. Our long-term goals are to (1) document the benefits of green spaces for regional water management and other ecosystem services and (2) contribute to more effective restoration of degraded land.

William Miller received a BS in chemical engineering from Lehigh University and an MS from MIT. After 8 years with Rohm & Haas and Air Products & Chemicals, he obtained a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Bill has been at Northwestern since 1987; he served as Chemical and Biological Engineering department chair and currently directs the MS in Biotechnology Program and the NIH Biotechnology Training Program. Bill received a Presidential Young Investigator Award from NSF, served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Australian Stem Cell Centre and the Stem Cell Network of Canada, and was a member of the National Research Council Task Group to evaluate NASA's Biotechnology Facility for the International Space Station. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. Bill has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed publications and supervised 36 PhD students. He is Editor of th e Biochemical Engineering Journal and serves on editorial boards for Biotechnology Progress, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, and the Biotechnology Journal. Bill completed a NAISE mini-sabbatical with Cristina Negri at Argonne to develop new skills in GIS, ground water analysis, and the valuation of ecosystem services. He currently serves on the Science Advisory Committee for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois.

Miscellaneous Information: 

Seminar is taking place at NU and will be broadcast at ANL via: Blue Jeans:; Meeting ID: 617230228

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