Posted by: Anne Jefferson | May 14, 2010

FYI: NCED Summer Institute on Earth-surface Dynamics

I basically recommend anything this NCED group puts together. The short courses on Mountain Rivers and Sand-bed Rivers that I took as late-stage PhD student were absolutely fantastic.

In order to adequately describe the interactions among the physical, biological, geochemical, and anthropogenic processes that shape the Earth’s surface, we need to take a holistic, cross-disciplinary approach. Thus, the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED) founded the Summer Institute on Earth-surface Dynamics (SIESD) as a forum to expose early-career scientists to laboratory experiments, fieldwork, and lectures on predictive Earth-surface science.

In 2010, the Summer Institute will focus on the science of rivers and vegetation. Participants will gain experience in: the basic physics of water-sediment-vegetation interaction; modeling the co-evolution of landscapes and their ecosystems; quantitative analysis of complex landscapes; LiDAR analysis of river topography and vegetation; and specifics of braided, meandering, and deltaic systems interacting with vegetation. In addition, students will gain hands-on experience with a suite of analytical tools including GeoNet (an automatic feature extraction tool for high resolution topography) and InVEST (a modeling environment to support environmental decision-making).The Institute will also expose students to broader-impacts research via the Science Museum of Minnesota and other NCED educational and diversity activities.

Eligibility: The Summer Institute is directed to graduate students in the final years of their PhD program, postdocs, or early-career scientists (three years from PhD). Applications from women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged.

Cost: NCED will make arrangements to cover local expenses related to participation in the Institute (enrollment, accommodations, breakfast, and lunch). However, students should remember they are responsible for the cost of transportation to/from Minnesota and all incidental expenses. Limited resources are available to cover travel expenses upon request.

Application Procedure: An online application is available at:

Lecturers (subject to change): Chris Paola, Gary Parker, Brad Murray, Gordon Grant, Steve Polasky, and Efi Foufoula-Georgiou. Additional lecturers will be announced on the course website.

Deadline: The application and all supporting materials must be received by June 25, 2010.

For more information, please visit


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