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Thom Epps, graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will be heading to Australia this summer to conduct research thanks to funding he received from the National Science Foundation’s East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes.

Epps’s proposal was one of the 40,000 the foundation receives each year for research, education and training projects, of which only about 11,000 are funded.

His research involves the development of spatial analyses using GIS and Python scripting to better assess how impervious surfaces are connected in urban watersheds along piped stormwater drainage networks.

Epps is exploring different ways to assess this connectivity through methods that relate how runoff pathways effect measured runoff and water quality observations made in streams.

By connecting the flowpath information with differences in stream quality, he will be able to determine critical source areas in the watershed that contribute most to runoff production and non-point source pollution. These areas can then be targeted for disconnected by employing infiltrative green infrastructure based on science instead of the currently utilized empirical methods.

Continue reading at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Élan Young (-865-974-8786,