Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PE exam

Hi group - just an update for you that I received word today that I passed the PE exam I took last October. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The winter of our winter arrives early

Early last week, South Florida experienced two evenings of freezing temperatures (a minimum of 34 in South Miami-Dade). According to reports, temperatures had not dipped so low so early in the season since 1962.

On the TREC campus nestled in Homestead, the frost made for some lovely winter scenes.

For growers and managers tending the estimated 15,000 acres of crops cultivated in the region around TREC, the effects of the freeze were much less festive.

On a recent data downloading expedition, the Water Resource Engineering team had an opportunity to survey field upon field of burned or severely burned crops.

We also saw the promise of hardier and bountiful tomorrows….

…and persistent efforts to save the salvageable.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AGU Conference

Hi everybody,

I just wanted to tell you all a little bit about my experience at the AGU conference. As Kevin mentioned in his previous blog, attending the biggest scientific conference in the world was amazing. I was very surprised at how many people showed interest in our projects. It was interesting to listen to others talk about Eddy Covariance and their experience with it. I even had the opportunity to talk with a co-worker and friend of Barclay, which was very nice. Overall, the AGU conference was great. Inclusively, Kevin, othere REU students, and I got to explore the beautiful city of San Francisco. Once again, thank you all for your help with the project and until next time!

Happy holidays,


Saturday, December 18, 2010

AGU Conference in San Francisco

Hello everyone at TREC!

Currently Liliana and I are in San Francisco to present our research projects from the REU program at the AGU Conference. The AGU conference is absolutely huge, 15,000 people interested in all things physical science related.

Me in front of my poster.

My poster session was apart of a session in which the focus was how hydrologic and climate change science is related to public policy. The talks for this session in the afternoon were very interesting in regards to how science is passed on from researchers to policy makers and public opinion and the difficulty that this often presents in terms of the desires of different stakeholders. Definitely very applicable to the aspects of extension work at TREC.

There were definitely people interested in the topics Liliana and I were working on. I got a few people stop by my poster who worked for companies who designed or manufactured soil moisture sensors, luckily not Campbell Scientific but they were there. It was interesting to see the problem from that perspective and making TDR sensors that work in sandy/rocky soils is a difficulty they face worldwide. It would be interesting to do a gravimetric calibration and see how that compares to the calibration equation I made. The use of eddy covariance systems in comparison to estimation equations also gathered quite a bit of interest as it applies to a lot of research topics that others were working on.

I have been rooming with a PhD student in the UF ABE program, Syewoon Hwang, who is working with Dr. Wendy Graham on downscaling Global Circulation Models using a novel approach. He has been great to room with and I learned a lot from him.

Liliana and I at the cable car museum.

We also found some time to see some of the city. Their is a lot going on in San Francisco. My hotel rented free bicycles so I rode around the city and to Golden Gate Bridge. Ill tell you, you don't realize how hilly San Francisco is until you try to bike up and down!

From left to right; June, Me, Liliana, and Melissa

Good memory from TREC! Picking Lychee with Milagros and Liliana.

Nicholas it looks like you did a lot of awesome stuff at the field site. The VBA program for data processing sounds very useful, I had visions of that when I was working on it but not the skills to put it together.

Happy holidays from San Francisco and hope all is well!

- Kevin

Thursday, December 9, 2010

One sprinkler at a time…a new video

I recently produced a new video for Miami-Dade Extension’s Urban Conservation Unit. This piece is a departure from our usual “how-to”/educational approach to our videos. The form for this one is more short documentary, at times summarizing or detailing the work that we do on our travels around Miami-Dade.

What began as a practice video to help familiarize us with Extension's newly acquired Sony HD camera developed into something completely different in the editing process. In fact, the narrative demanded a much broader scope so I was able to complement the newer clips with segments dating back to our earliest works.

At the moment, we are contemplating submitting this video to the Borscht Film Festival, a local, artist-run indie celebration of Miami-inspired and Miami-focused cinema. Our perspective is unique and I think worthy.

Is it that good? You be the judge! Screen it and if you can envision it projected at the Performing Arts Center in downtown Miami (or not), comment on this post. Feedback is encouraged and appreciated!

One sprinkler at a time – Miami-Dade County’s Urban Conservation Unit

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Water quality criteria update

Group - as you know, a lawsuit between EarthJustice and EPA has resulted in nutrient water quality criteria for Florida.

Last month we held a program in Homestead where I gave a short presentation on this. If you would like to see it: and follow the 'education' tab.

In response to this, Florida has filed a lawsuit against EPA. More information on this can be found at: