We are modeler and remote sensing experts with both hydrogeology and terrestrial carbon cycle background. We apply a diversity of approaches for the characterization of complex environmental systems. This includes two extremely innovative techniques for the characterization of aquifers using training image-based algorithms. In addition, we propose an innovative use of remote sensing techniques in caves, and also relate this scheme to the characterization of flow processes in karst environments, focused on the integration of new data types such as terrestrial LiDAR and drip count loggers. My lab is recently interested to understand the response of the carbon cycle and terrestrial ecosystems to climate and environmental changes. We are using data assimilation methods to constrain global carbon cycle sink projections and modeled carbon-climate feedback.
On June 12th, 2023: Elizabeth Elkins virtually attends the 2023 ASPRS International Technical Symposium. This conference is sponsored by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). She presents a poster on “Traditional and Remote Sensing-Based Above Ground Biomass Estimate for North Texas Tree Species” at the virtual event.
On May 15-17th, 2023: Three graduate students (Kat, Rowann, and Elizabeth) and I spend three days at the Natural Bridge Caverns, San Antonio TX to install 20 automated drip loggers at the two largest chambers ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ and ‘Castle of the White Giants’. We also collect more than 60 LiDAR scans to cover this entire section of the cave. We cover more than 700 feet of cave section and a cave ceiling elevation gradient of 75 feet. This project is our first attempt to combine the two emerging techniques of remote sensing LiDAR and automatic drip loggers in Texas caves to better characterize water infiltration pathways and estimate groundwater recharge in highly heterogeneous Cretaceous limestone aquifer formation.
On April 11th, 2023: Elizabeth Elkins participate in ACU Undergraduate Research, Creativity and Innovation Festival 2023. This festival is sponsored by the Abilene Christian University Office of Undergraduate Research, Creativity and Innovation. She presents a poster on “Terrestrial Remote Sensing Technology for Improved Forest Biomass Monitoring” at the festival.
On March 31st, 2023: Kathryn Brown and Elizabeth Elkins attend the 23rd Ecological Integration Symposium at Texas A&M University. Elizabeth presents her UG research titled “Characterize urban tree attributes using terrestrial LiDAR and quantitative structure model” at the Symposium.
On February 25th, 2023: UG student (Elizabeth) and two graduate students (Kat and Rowann) collect LiDAR data for 20 small/large trees within the rectangular block of the Bolin building, MSU Texas campus. They also record geographic coordinates using the high-precision GPS tool (Trimble TDC-150) and measure diameters for those trees. The fieldwork is directly related to the MSU EURECA project, however, it also provides training to the graduate students who will be using the LiDAR instrument in cave sites in the coming semester.
On January 10th, 2022: My proposal titled “Terrestrial Remote Sensing Technology for Improved Forest Biomass Monitoring” is accepted for MSU Spring 2023 EURECA grant. A geosciences UG student Elizabeth Elkins (EURECA scholar) will work on the research project during Spring 2023 under my supervision.
On November 15th, 2022: Our proposal was awarded for MSU Faculty Intramural Grant 2022. The project will integrate remote sensing and water infiltration data to identify karst subsurface fractures and better quantify groundwater recharge. The project involves fieldwork at Natural Bridge Caverns in Comal County Texas engaging two MSU Geosciences faculty (Dr. Price and Dr. Katumwehe) and two graduate students with the PI (Dr. Mahmud). We believe this study will lay a foundation to calculate groundwater recharge, understand infiltration water movement and discover areas of cavern development.
On September 22nd, 2022: I have been awarded two AmericaView Research and Education Grants for the academic year 2022-23. These grants are funded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and support remote sensing research projects for undergraduate/graduate students. One of the projects is related to remote sensing, computation, hydrogeology, and groundwater resources and the other one focuses on the terrestrial carbon cycle, computation, remote sensing, and climate change. My Lab is going to recruit two MSU undergraduate/graduate students from geoscience, environmental science, or computer science to work on these projects. Interested candidates are encouraged to email me for more information about the Research Assistant positions.
On August 15th, 2022: I join the Kimbell School of Geosciences at Midwestern State University, Texas as an Assistant Professor and start my lab "Remote Sensing and Modeling (RSM)". If you are a student interested in doing undergraduate research or looking for M.Sc. in Geosciences and Environmental Sciences, please visit my page join RSM lab.
On December 17th, 2021: I co-chaired an oral AGU session - B52C: Past, Present, and Future of Water-Limited Dryland Ecosystems: Local Trends to Global Impacts. The session highlights advances in our understanding of hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological processes in water-limited environments; investigates the response of dryland ecosystems to changing climate, rising CO2, and different land use and management practices; and provides perspectives on needs and directions for future research and environmental policy-making.
On December 14th, 2021: At 2021 AGU Meeting, I showed data assimilation as a tool to improve terrestrial biosphere model predictions of evapotranspiration and its partitioning. Here are the overview slides and the detailed presentation of the project.
On September 20-22nd, 2021: I attended the 2021 Ameriflux Annual Meeting and presented our work on Modeling semiarid evapotranspiration partitioning at the meeting. The poster can be downloaded from here.
On October 6-8th, 2020: I attended the 2020 Ameriflux Annual Meeting and presented our work on semi-arid ecosystem model optimization at the meeting. I really like the exciting and user-friendly platform "Gather" used in the meeting which offered plenty of opportunity for interactions with academics, scientists and Ameriflux site PIs.