Project Number: 1919904
MRI: Acquisition of a carbon dioxide isotope analyzer for monitoring real-time carbon fluxes in extreme environments and training the next generation of environmental scientists
Creator: Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi
Host Institution: University of Texas at El Paso
Date Issued: 2019-10-01
End Date: 2022-09-30
Project Funding: 131324(USD)
Subtype: Standard Grant
Funding Organization: US-NSF
Funding Program: Major Research Instrumentation, Instrumentation & Facilities
Language: 英语
Country: 美国
Abstract in English: An award is made to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to acquire an Ultraportable High Precision CO2 Isotopic Analyzer. This specialized instrument is used to track the movement of carbon through air, soil, water, and plants based on the molecular fingerprints (isotope signatures) of CO2 molecules. This type of capability is essential for managing carbon in the face of rising atmospheric CO2. This instrument will be used to train the next generation of carbon cycling experts at UTEP, including both graduate and undergraduate students from the U.S.-Mexico borderland. Graduate students, in particular, will benefit from this training, as use of the instrument in their research will allow them to develop new knowledge about how carbon moves through and is stored in different ecosystems. The instrument will also be used for demonstrations at public events as well as in laboratory classes at UTEP, such as Plant Ecology, Soil Ecology, and a new course focused on carbon cycling. Building on existing isotopic analysis capabilities at UTEP, this instrument will enhance the partnership between biological and geological research teams working to solve environmental problems, including carbon management in farming and ranching contexts in the Southwest and at Arctic tundra sites. This award is supported by both the Division of Biological Infrastructure in the Directorate for Biological Sciences and the Division of Earth Sciences in the Directorate for Geosciences.

The instrument will support a variety of projects in the UTEP Biological Sciences and Geological Sciences departments that focus on understanding carbon cycling in extreme environments including deserts and Arctic tundra. Extreme environments present enticing mysteries in the study of carbon cycling, and though increasingly recognized as major players in the global carbon cycle, are understudied. This instrument, which is able to identify carbon sources within ecosystems, will help UTEP scientists investigate the underlying mechanisms that drive local and global carbon cycles. In the desert, the instrument will help determine how plant leaves, plant roots, soil microbes, and soil carbonates drive the overall carbon balance in natural, managed, and agricultural systems. In the Arctic, the instrument will be used to investigate the extent to which changes in ecosystem respiration can be attributed to higher plant activity or increased soil decomposition. It will also be used to investigate carbon cycling at the aquatic-terrestrial interface, which will further understanding of how unprecedented Arctic warming could lead to rapid changes in carbon cycling. Through these projects, the instrument enhances UTEP's field research portfolio and creates opportunities for discovery in the areas of geochemistry, plant-soil interactions, carbon cycling, and global change.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Subject Area: Biological Sciences - Biological Infrastructure
Subject of Source:
Resource Type: 项目
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Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi. MRI: Acquisition of a carbon dioxide isotope analyzer for monitoring real-time carbon fluxes in extreme environments and training the next generation of environmental scientists. 2019-10-01.
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