This Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program (funding by the National Science Foundation) represents an interdisciplinary, dual-institution (Kent State and Miami University) program focused on Environmental Aquatic Resource Sensing (EARS). The theme of EARS is training of doctoral students in environmental sensing, focused on freshwater resources, accentuated with business experiences, to develop professionals equipped for diverse careers. This program started in July 2009 and runs for five years. We are actively seeking applicants; please use the links on the right for more details and to complete an application.
Freshwater resources are critical for global function and human survival representing < 2% of Earth’s surface; this provides a glimpse into their vulnerability and demonstrates the need to understand them. Threats to aquatic systems are diverse; understanding these changes requires new tactics and technologies. In response, there is increasing use of automated sensors to collect environmental data creating a new need for training of environmental scientists. Melding of business, materials science, aquatic science, and environmental sensors is the primary goal of EARS. EARS uses a model emphasizing concentrated courses coupled with hands-on experiences to accomplish the main educational goals: environmental research education based on hypothesis testing and exposure of students to sensor development and business principles. To foster community development, cohorts will participate in multi-disciplinary workgroups.Human dependence on freshwater ecosystems is absolute. EARS will prepare graduate students for future careers relevant to freshwater resources through training in environmental science, sensor design & use, and business methods. Data will be disseminated to stimulate K-16 and public interest in environmental science. Development of a diverse research community will be facilitated via a combination of recruitment and ongoing program connections.