UNH Researchers Receive $1.2 Million Grant to Study Soil

Researchers at NEC member the University of New Hampshire (UNH) have received a $1.2 million grant to study the effects of soil freeze and thaw. According to the UNH, there is a significant gap in soil frost research focusing on the timing and extent of soil frost, as this has been known to cause flooding and destabilize roads and buildings.

UNH researchers will use the $1.2 million primarily to attempt to answer two fundamental questions: how does soil frost vary over space and time, and how do changing soil frost conditions affect ecosystem processes such as soil carbon and nutrient retention? The interdisciplinary team of researchers—including ecologists, hydrologists, engineers and climate scientists—will attempt to answer these questions with a particular focus on how climate change and, specifically, rapidly warming winters with sudden bursts of severe cold have affected soil freeze and thaw.

Speaking of the new tools and methods that will need to be developed, lead scientist Alexandra Contosta said, “Our fully automated, wireless in-ground soil frost sensors and an unmanned aerial system ground penetrating radar technology will advance a fundamental understanding of how rapidly changing winters will impact soil microclimate.”

The New England Council celebrates the important research being conducted by the University of New Hampshire.

Read more in The Union Leader.

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