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Stormwater Infrastructure: Flood Risks and Ecological Connectivity

Project Advisor
Professor Todd Walter - mtw5@cornell.edu

Project Area/Concentration
Environmental, Soil and Water

Project Description
Students will work in teams to collect stormwater infrastructure data and analyze the existing capacity of the system. Stormwater infrastructure refers to road culverts but may also include road ditches, stormwater catch basins and pipes, stormwater retention structures, and green infrastructure (e.g., bioswales). The capacities through the stormwater system will be compared to estimates of storm runoff under recent and projected climate conditions as well as current and projected land uses. All data and analyses will be incorporated into a regional database for use by communities and municipalities in prioritizing stormwater upgrades. In addition, a final report will be prepared for each watershed-based team and uploaded to the Internet.

Students will also receive formal training in the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Consortium (NAACC) protocols for assessing potential aquatic barriers. These protocols will be used in field data collection and the data will be added to the regional NAACC database. Some students may choose to develop a project that utilizes these data.

Possible Courses (e.g., choose at least two from each group)
Hydrology and Aquatic Ecology

Course number Course title
BEE 4710 Introduction to Groundwater
BIOEE 4560 Stream Ecology
CEE 4320/6320 Hydrology

Water Resources Engineering and Management

Course number Course title
BEE 4730 Watershed Engineering
CEE 5980 Introduction to Decision Analysis
CEE 6200 Water Resources Systems Engineering
NTRES 3240 Ecological Management of Water Resources

Applied Computational Tools

Course number Course title
CEE 4110 Applied Remote Sensing and GIS for Resource Inventory and Analysis
CEE 6100 Remote Sensing Fundamentals
NTRES 6700 Spatial Statistics
PLSCS 4200 Geographic Information Systems