ESTCP is funding four new projects that will conduct environmental technology demonstration and validation efforts to support the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) high-priority Resource Conservation and Resiliency needs. These projects will focus on advancing tools, technologies, and methodologies centered around safeguarding natural and built infrastructures on DoD installations to ensure military readiness.

Mock-up of the data storage tool proposed by Mr. Cholia’s project, “Pilot Project: Enabling WFSI Data Integration Through a Managed Data Platform.” Image is sourced from project’s presentation materials.

At the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (ERDC-CRREL), Dr. Thomas Douglas and his team aim to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for seven common linear infrastructure types on DoD Interior Alaska lands. Current practices are designed for non-permafrost locations and do not meet the unique requirements for Alaska’s extreme seasonality climate. The team will create ecologic and hydrologic risk maps to support development of SOPs suitable for the Alaskan climate to reduce operating costs and environmental risk and increase personnel safety (Project Overview).

In a second project at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL), Dr. Jinelle Sperry will lead a demonstration of environmental DNA (eDNA) as a method of monitoring threatened and engendered species (TES) on military lands. Specifically, the team will utilize eDNA metabarcoding from flowering plants to identify activity of TES pollinators and influence appropriate land management. This tool will provide an efficient and cost-effective method of surveying TES to uphold governmental protections of these populations and meet DoD land management requirements (Project Overview available soon).

Additionally, Mr. Shreyas Cholia from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory seeks to implement a management system for SERDP’s Wildland Fire Science Initiative (WFSI) data and metadata. This platform will facilitate collaborative data sharing and promote comparisons between similar fire models. Successful interface demonstration will prove the importance of long-term stewardship of data and identify potential gaps in current datasets for future research efforts (Project Overview).

Finally, at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground (DPG), Mr. Robert Knight and his team will perform test burns to evaluate the application of a next generation physics-based model on fire dynamics in Western shrubland areas. Current fire models fail to adequately reflect Western fire mitigation tactics including fire prediction, fuel discontinuity, and fuel breaks. The proposed model will analyze the multidimensional facets of fire spread in relation to fuel characteristics and environmental variables. Demonstration results will impact fuel treatment best management practices for land managers amid rising occurrences of devastating wildfires in the West (Project Overview).