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September / October / November / December 2011

Marian Muste and Connie Mutel  have received the Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award

Muste and Mutel are two of six UI staff members selected for outstanding accomplishments and contributions to their institutions as well as to the State of Iowa. This is the second time Mutel has won the Regents Staff Excellence Award. She also was honored in 2000. Established in 1993, the award was created to provide a statewide forum to recognize staff members in conjunction with colleagues from the other Board of Regents institutions. Recipients will receive $500 and a commemorative gift.

Since 1998, Muste has served as a research engineering and adjunct professor at IIHR; the seven years prior to that, he served as a graduate research scientist and a postdoctoral research associate/adjunct associate professor. Muste’s main area of research and consulting is environmental river hydraulics. He has conducted a variety of field and laboratory investigations covering both microscale (turbulence, particle-fluid interaction) and macroscale river hydraulic processes (sediment transport, flows in confluences, ice-covered river flows, etc.). His most recent area of research is the development of large-scale data/information management systems, sensors and sensor networks, and their implementation in research and education focused on sustainable use of water and land resources. Muste is an expert for UNESCO’s International Hydrologic Program and World Meteorological Organization projects. He has extensive international experience as a three-time Fulbright Fellow and grantee of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He is a member of the Council of the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

Mutel has been with the university for 35 years, starting as an educational resource specialist and medical writer for the Rural Health and Agricultural Medicine Training Program. Since 1990, she has served as historian and archivist for IIHR, and for the past 17 years she’s been consulting editor for natural history for the University of Iowa Press.

Mutel uses her gifts as a writer and communicator to share the messages of sustainability and environmentalism. She has taken on the tasks of writing and editing several books to disseminate important messages to create a sense of urgency and motivate people and governments to make changes. In her role as historian, Mutel has written about—and given much visibility to—IIHR’s work in water engineering and science. She led the major undertaking of assembling and editing the book A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Floods of 2008, published by University of Iowa Press. She worked with a team of UI faculty and staff to address diverse aspects of the floods, resulting in a highly readable account of the floods. Her work explaining science and technology to wide audiences is cited for providing an engaging role model for women and girls interested in scientific fields. Mutel is affiliated with the Iowa Academy of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and the Iowa Native Plant Society—she received the Iowa Native Plant Society Service Award in 2010.


Jerald Schnoor,  was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin Academy of Distinguished Alumni in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. A ceremony and banquet was held November 11.

Schnoor is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has testified several times before Congress on the environmental effects of acid deposition and the importance of passing the 1990 Clean Air Act.

Since 2003, he has served as editor-in-chief of Environmental Science and Technology, and currently serves on the EPA Science Advisory Board and National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. His research areas include environmental observatories, water quality modeling, global change and sustainability and phytoremediation.


Representatives of the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) participated in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) “Hazards Event on the Hill,” September 7 in the Senate Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C.

 Witek Krajewski, director, Iowa Flood Center; Larry Weber, director, IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering; and Luciana Cunha, a doctoral candidate in civil and environmental engineering highlighted their work in helping to address the needs of Iowa communities for more technical assistance to better anticipate and prepare for floods.


IIHR graduate student Kyutae Lee has been awarded a prestigious five-month fellowship to conduct research in France.

Lee will work at the Université Claude Bernard Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, France. His project is titled “Standardized Framework for Uncertainty Analysis in Support of Flood Risk Management.” The Chateaubriand Fellowship Science Program offers qualified young scientists the opportunity to conduct research in a French laboratory in order to strengthen collaborations, partnerships, and joint projects through international scholarly exchange. The Embassy of France in the United States provides fellows with about $2,000 a month for the term of the fellowship, along with travel and health insurance.


Funding Awards and Renewals:

Charles Stanier,  received $12,671 from the Linn County Public Health Department for “Linn County Acetaldehyde Regression Analysis Project.”

Mohamed Habib, IIHR graduate research assistant , received $11,500 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for verification of streamflow forecasting in Egypt.

Mark Wilson,  received $105,000 Exelon Generation Company, L.L.C. for “Maintenance of data acquisition system – University of Iowa thermal models at Braidwood, Dresden, LaSalle and the Quad Cities Stations.”

Thanos Papanicolaou,  received $20,000 for “Identifying the Primary Sources of Sediment in an Anthropogenically Altered Watershed.”

Michelle Scherer  has received a three-year, $259,884 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the behavior of iron nanoparticles in soils.

David Cwierty received $33,982 in support funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency for a fellowship for Rebekah Oulton, graduate research  assistant at IIHR.

Sara Vigmostad was awarded a $30,000 grant from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium for development of realistic computational models of the spaceflight effects on human physiology.

Marcela Politano received $155,000 for “Hells canyon dam numerical modeling in the tailrace of Hells Canyon Phase V.”

Nathan Young, received an $8,000 subcontract from Ayres Associates, Inc., for “Bathymetric mapping of the Cedar River adjacent to Duane Arnold Energy Center, Palo, IA.”



  •  Gabriele Villarini, Associate Research Scholar, Willis Research Network Fellow, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Princeton University presented “Flooding and Changing Climate: A Data Driven Perspective.”

A group seminar on “Current Hydrometeorological Activities in Kyoto University” was presented by:

  • “Current Activity on Radar Issue in DPRI and the Latest Situation of MLIT Radar Network”
    (by Eiichi Nakakita, Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University)
  • “Overview of Climate Change Assessment on Disaster Environment in DPRI”
    (by Prof. Nakakita)
  • “Climate Change Impact Analysis for Multiple Dam Reservoir Operation in a Complex River Basin”
    (by Sunmin Kim, Lecturer, Department of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Kyoto University)
  • “Hydrologic Evaluation of X-band Polarimetric Radar Observation”
    (by Dr. S. Kim)
  • “Enhancing land surface heat fluxes estimation using particle filtering system”
    (by Kazuaki Yorozu, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Earth Resources Engineering, Kyoto University)
  • “Spatio-temporal change of extreme drought severity due to climate change: Standardized Precipitation Index and its occurrence pattern”
    (by Dr. K. Kim)
  • “Error patterns of rainfall measurements from radar and rain gage: sampling error and ground truth”
    (by Kyoungjun Kim, Research Assistant Professor, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University)
  • “QPF with Data Assimilation of Polarimetric Radar and Precipitable Water”
    (by Kosei Yamaguchi, Research Associate, Institute of Sustainability Science, Kyoto University)
  • “Estimation of Space-Time Structure of Raindrop Size Distribution Using Specific Differential Phase”
    (by Dr. Yamaguchi)


  • “Watershed Reanalysis: Towards a National Strategy for Model-Data Access, Analysis and Discovery”
    Presented by: Christopher J. Duffy, Professor of Civil &Environmental Engineering, Penn State University
  • “Global Climate change- Integration, coherence and governance-Taiwan experience”
    Presented by, IIHR Advisory Board Member, Dr. Hong-Yuan Lee, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University
  • “Science 2.0 – In the Light of Data Informatics and Scientific Visualization”
    Presented By: Ibrahim Demir, PhD, Iowa Flood Center, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, The University of Iowa
  • “Peering into the black box:  Quantifying subsurface solute transport using electrical geophysics”
    Presented by: Adam S. Ward, Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, The University of Iowa
  • “High Resolution Shallow Water Simulations using Graphics Processing Units (GPU)”
    Presented by: Dr. Matthew Smith (李汶樺 博士), Applied Scientific Computing Division, National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC), Taiwan
  • “U.S. Geological Survey Flood Inundation Mapping Initiative: A Federal Partnership to Disseminate Flood Inundation Mapping Services”
    Presented by: Marie Peppler, Physical Scientist, USGS Wisconsin Water Science Center, 8505 Research Way, Middleton, WI, 608.238.2702;
  • “The Potential for Agricultural Land Use Changes in the Raccoon River Basin to Reduce Flood Risk”
    Catherine Kling, Philip Gassman, and Todd Campbell: CARD, Iowa State Univ., Ames, Manoj Jha: North Carolina A&T, Greensboro, NC, Keith Schilling and Calvin Wolter: Iowa Geological & Water Survey, Iowa City
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Posted on January 19th, 2012

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