IDIES Affiliate Launches Data Intensive Integrated Agriculture-Water Modeling Project

Could farmer adaptations to climate change significantly affect the ecological health of the Chesapeake Bay?

To help find out, an interdisciplinary team of scientists, led by IDIES affiliate William Ball of the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (DoGEE), are launching a new $1.9M data intensive research project to explore how farmers might adapt to climate change, how their adaptations could affect nutrient loads from the watershed, how changes in nutrient loads could affect the estuary, and how these events might be influenced by agricultural policy. The team will develop and link multiple models to assess potential drivers and impacts. Of particular interest will be modeling climate-induced shifts in Chesapeake phenology, with recognition that the seasonal timing of changes could amplify downstream effects. Other members of the research team include Assistant Professor Ciaran Harman and doctoral student Dano Wilusz from DoGEE , Dr. Damian Brady from the University of Maine; Dr. Ariel Ortiz-Bobea from Cornell University; and Drs. Michael Kemp, Laura Murray, Jeremy Testa, and Lisa Wainger from University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. The four-year project is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Water, Sustainability, and Climate (WSC) program.

For more information read the NSF Press Release, or contact William Ball at

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