Researchers at the University of California, Merced Sierra Nevada Research Institute have received a $2 million National Science Foundation grant to expand on a prototype system which uses wireless sensors to track snowpack depth, water storage in soil, stream flow, and water use by Sierra vegetation.
The funding will allow researchers to place sensors throughout the 2,000-square-mile American River Basin, creating a larger prototype system which could ultimately offer California water managers better predictions of snowmelt runoff, the state’s main water supply source. The data could also aid researchers, offering an unprecedented look at how water is collected, stored, and transported.
New chancellor officially welcomed to campus
UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland was formally welcomed to campus Monday by UC President Mark G. Yudof and about 300 community members, during a ceremony in the Carol Tomlinson-Keasey Quad.
Leland, the former Georgia College and State University president, has served as chancellor since July 1. She is the university’s third chancellor, having replaced Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, who returned to teaching.
During the event, Leland commended the university for its achievements since its inception six years ago. She said the campus’ teaching and research will lead to greater economic prosperity for the San Joaquin Valley.
But she lobbied for more investment in research facilities, teaching labs, and faculty to continue the university’s upwards path.
“Our talented researchers have already produced scores of inventions that have the potential to change lives, communities and industries,” Leland said. “These research efforts at UC Merced indicate how very quickly the youngest University of California campus is making its mark. Our challenge now is to keep the momentum going under very difficult circumstances."