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Water in Africa: CEE Graduate Students Perform Field Research in Kenya

The “Water in Africa ” project is a multidisciplinary effort that combines field research with computations and theory, and focuses on the central role that water plays in the water-limited ecosystems of the African savannah.   Field research   is centered at the Mpala Research Center in Kenya where the researchers focus on measuring a variety of hydrological and ecological variables while also examining local political structures and their impacts on overall ecosystem health and sustainability.

Alex Lester and Trenton Franz, graduate students in the Environmental Engineering and Water Resources (EEWR) program, are working on establishing the link between water and vegetation in the landscape by experimental design and modeling studies.   The purpose of their January/February field campaign was to set up a field experiment measuring soil moisture at different depths and runoff from various vegetation cover types. The data are being collected in order to complete a local water balance of the hillslope and provide parameter estimation for future modeling studies. Future campaigns are being organized for August of 2007.

Read the full article from the Princeton Weekly Bulletin.

savanna landscape

Trenton Franz, Kenyan field assistant Lekutaas, and Alex Lester

Installation of the experimental set-up

Installation of the experimental set-up