Friday, June 25, 2010

C111 project

Yesterday we had a kick off meeting with SFWMD for our new project. Here are a couple of photos - thanks to the photographer John Maxted!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Milagros's last day

Tomorrow is Milagros's last day with us here at TREC. Please stop by and let her know how much you enjoyed having her here! Her next stop, Gainesville!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New WUEP research sites added! *

This month has been especially prolific for the WUEP pair-wise study. Two additional properties, participating in Miami-Dade Extension's Water-Use Efficiency Program, joined the research project today.

The morning began with a system retrofit. The homeowner took the first steps by self-installing the soil water sensor system. We added electric valves, a anti-siphon valve to safeguard the potable lines, and water meters to monitor water use for each of the two zones.

Once finished, we moved to the second property. The system there is digital with electric zone valves already in place. We connected the add-on soil water sensor to the timer and installed a water meter on the two experimental zones.

I'll be monitoring these water meters to confirm the water savings potential of soil water sensors in urban landscape irrigation.

* A special note of thanks to Tina and Milagros for working together to ferry over the meters pictured above to the second site. I failed to anticipate the fact that pipe diameters sometimes change from valve box to field and they had my back. Go team!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu

Everyone, please congratulate Nicholas on his new status! He did a great job and we are all very proud of him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New WUEP pair-wise research site added

The WUEP pair-wise project added another research property this week.

The property, participating in Miami-Dade Extension's Water Use Efficiency Program, already had the soil water sensor system installed so we retrofitted the mechanical valve with electric valves, added a anti-siphon valve to prevent water from seeping back into the potable lines and installed water meters on the two experimental zones.

I will monitor these water meters to collect water-use data from a timer controlled zone and a sensor controlled zone and demonstrate that using soil water sensors contributes to water savings in urban landscape irrigation.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Just a quick note to let everyone know Isaya will be returning to Homestead next Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Underground cisterns in Miami?

This week the UCU team (myself included) from Miami-Dade Extension was invited by an area environmental organization to inspect the underground cistern at its recently acquired office space. Located in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, the property dates back to the 1920s.

We were impressed with the size of the iron pipes feeding the cistern! And when they told us they had never actually looked inside for dimension info we swung into action.

Turns out the group is a proud owner of a 9ft x 14ft x 14ft underground cistern! This is an invaluable resource for a environmental organization with plans to set up a demonstration native plant landscape on its property. They plan on tapping the cistern with a pump for micro-irrigation to service the drought tolerant landscape. Naturally, the UCU will be offering knowledgable advice as the project proceeds.

Monday, June 14, 2010


As I am the only one posting (besides Mike, thank you Mike)... I'm curious if anyone else is reading this BLOG - is it useful or not? Feedback?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nicholas Kiggundu PhD Defense

As a reminder... Nicholas will defend his PhD dissertation on Friday June 18th. You are all invited to lunch that day at the White Lion. Please let me know if you plan to attend. Just FYI - they do not like separate checks there so please bring cash! (Nicholas - I will buy your lunch that day!!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Out of town

Hi group! I will be in GNV - leaving Jun 13th and returning Jun 15. I will be in the office Jun 16th. Please be sure and come by on the 16th and meet Kevin and Liliana.

Also - I will be out of town Jun 20-23rd for the ASABE international conference. Nicholas will also attend the conference.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

New video is now online!

I recently produced a video for the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods team at Miami-Dade Extension.

The video features the homeowner property above and discusses Florida Friendly Landscape principles (low maintenance, environmentally-conscious landscape design).

Check it out!

REU study site

Here are a couple of pics from today. Tina and Milagros - inspecting a job well done! And, Tina installed our bird guard to the net radiometer. Thanks ladies for all your good work!

New students

We will have two new students arriving this summer as part of the NSF REU program. Their names are Liliana and Kevin. They will be at TREC starting June 15 and will be off-and-on in Gainesville over a 8 wk period. Please take some time to meet them at either location. We are going to their field site (Snapper Creek) today to install some additional sensors. Tina, Milagros, and I will take some pictures and post them later for the group.