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Cover of the Spring 2010 issue
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SPRING 2010

FROM THE LAB: RESEARCH NEWS

River provides scientific basis
for future restoration projects

Steven P. Loheide II

Steven P. Loheide II view larger image

Environmental groups annually spend more than $1 billion on projects aimed at restoring streams and former wetland ecosystems to their native states. Yet, says civil and environmental engineering Assistant Professor Steven Loheide, there is little solid science to guide these efforts, Loheide and graduate students Eric Booth and Arlen Striegl are developing and implementing a new technology for monitoring soil moisture in a restored site along the East Branch Pecatonica River in southwestern Wisconsin. They also are creating a modeling framework through which they can study groundwater and soil moisture changes and how they relate to vegetation composition and patterns.

During restoration

Restoration in progress at the East Branch Pecatonica River view larger image

“We would like to be able to improve the practice of restoration by allowing people who are designing restoration projects to be able to predict what the hydrologic change will be and how that will affect the distribution of vegetation across the flood plain,” says Loheide.

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