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Evan A. Variano

2004 - 2005 CSIP Fellow

Research Interest:
Civil and Environmental Engineering

I am an MS/PhD student in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Cornell's DeFrees Hydraulics lab uses several technologies that can be adapted into tools for K-12 learning opportunities. The most exciting of these include the RUSS, or Remote Underwater Sampling Station, which gives realtime physical, chemical, and biological conditions in Cayuga Lake. Watching the diverse pieces of this complex system evolve and interact over the year can be a springboard for many different inquiry-based research projects. Students can investigate the ecology of the lake, the flow patterns within the lake, the ways in which peoples' actions in the watershed effect the lake, statistics and their use in real systems, or even chaos theory. Other technologies we can leverage include field-ready thermometers which can be used to get a spatial and temporal history of flows and flow forcing in a region of interest. Turbidity meters can be used to investigate soil runoff into streams and lakes, or the Cayuga Lake floating classroom can be used to show students firsthand some of the amazing topography and diversity that lay under the water.

My research focuses on global warming and complex systems. My main project is a laboratory study in visualizing the physics of CO2 transfer across the air-ocean interface, to help refine assumptions made in global climate models. Other research areas of interest include sediment transport & beach migration, the interaction of biology and fluid flow in Cayuga Lake and Lake Ontario, and the structure and function of food webs.





Copyright 2006 CSIP, Cornell University