Norwich University Professor Receives $132K NSF Grant for Research on Impacts of Past Climate Change to Vt. Lakes


Oct. 10, 2017

Norwich University Professor of Earth and Environmental Science Laurie Grigg has earned a $132,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support her research on insights into the impacts of climate change on Vermont lakes.

The NSF recently announced  that Grigg’s is one of 30 faculty research fellowships awarded through NSF’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) nationwide.

Grigg (pictured with students) will be analyzing sediment cores from the bottom of a central Vermont lake in order to reconstruct how the aquatic ecosystems have responded to climatic changes during the last 10,000 years. Changes in the ecosystem will in turn be used to infer changes in water quality. The long-term perspective provided by this study will inform our understanding of how lakes are and will respond to climatic changes.

“Lake sediment, which accumulates in layers at the bottom of lakes through time, provides an opportunity to investigate the dynamics between past climate change and aquatic plant growth over longer time-scales and to gain insights into how aquatic ecosystems will be impacted in the future by climate change,” Grigg said.

Grigg’s research aligns with the mission of Norwich University’s Center for Global Resilience and Security to advance interrelationships between human resilience and sense of security in the face of global challenges, and will contribute more broadly to the growing body of knowledge on the projected impacts of climate change to our valuable freshwater resources.

Collaboration with the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming will enable access to critical analyses, as well as training in innovative statistical approaches to analyzing data. The results of this project will build a strong collaboration between researchers at Norwich University and the University of Wyoming while establishing new methods for investigating past aquatic ecosystems and contributing to a greater understanding of the long-term connections between aquatic plant growth, water quality, and climate change. This work will inform future management decisions concerning the conservation of Vermont’s lakes and will provide additional evidence on the impact that projected climate change will have on valuable freshwater resources.

“NSF EPSCoR takes a comprehensive approach to building U.S. research capabilities,” said NSF acting EPSCoR head Uma Venkateswaran. “These awards provide non-tenured researchers with tremendous opportunities and result in EPSCoR institutions gaining faculty members and investigators with cutting-edge research experience, who can help build the vibrant science and engineering laboratories and programs of the future.”

About National Science Foundation (NSF):

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.


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