The current focused areas of research includes the applications of geospatial and computation modeling to solve different environmental problems associated with geological hazards such as landslides, flooding, and sinkholes, hydrological variables such as precipitation, runoff, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, groundwater flow, interaction of surface water with groundwater, and quality and quantity of surface and groundwater, and climate change and urbanization such as urban heat island impact.
Some ongoing projects conducting research on the integration of satellite observations with numerical watershed and hydrodynamic models for surface water quality studies, developing landslide prediction model using artificial neural network coupled with geospatial technology, mapping urban growth and evaluating its potential impacts on stream impairment using GIS and remote sensing, and investigating urban heat island (UHI) impact for the City of Chattanooga, TN using GIS and remote sensing.
Researchers in environment thrusts already have developed strong collaborations with different local institutions and offices such as Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservations (TDEC), City of Chattanooga, and Hamilton County Emergency Management Center. We are in the process of forming a research consortium “Southeastern Computational and Geospatial Environmental Hydrology” to conduct research and develop research opportunities for joint pursuit between the university of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the University of Mississippi, and Tennessee Technological University. Last year a day-long workshop was organized involving faculty, researchers, and students from all three universities. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) is currently being prepared to institutionalize this effort.