About EPSCoR

The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) was established by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1979. The program goal: to strengthen U.S. research and education in science and engineering.

In 1991-92, other federal agencies formed similar EPSCoR programs. States qualifying for NSF EPSCoR funds are then eligible to apply for EPSCoR funds from other federal agencies.

In 2004, the National Science Foundation designated New Hampshire an EPSCoR state. That designation qualified N.H. researchers to apply for other federal agency EPSCoR funds.

New Hampshire's NASA EPSCoR is administerd throught the N.H. Space Grant at the University of New Hampshire.

Seven federal agencies now have EPSCoR programs: the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Dept. of Defense, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dept. of Energy, and Environmental Protection Agency.

  NASA logo

New Hampshire NASA EPSCoR

Current Project

Passive Microwave Detection of Snowmelt and Runoff
This project uses current and historical microwave measurements gathered via satellite to predict when and where flooding caused by snowmelt will occur nationwide.

Remote sensing data shows abrupt transitions that occur when the water content of snow increases, indicating potential onset of flooding. As the dry snowpack becomes wet, the microwaver temperature becomes brighter.

The example below illustrates a microwave SWE signal before, during, and after a rain on snow event in the Upper Helmand watershed, Afghanistan (from Vuyovich, 2012, UNH M.S. thesis).

  snowmelt
  Prof. Jennifer Jacobs and Benjamin Winn install automated snow temp. profile array at Hubbard Brook Exp. Forest, winter 2013-14.


Passive microwave sensors have been successful at identifying spring snowmelt timing with applications to northern latitude ice sheets, continental snow cover, and sea ice. These methods generally rely on rapid increase in temperature brightness when a snowpack becomes wet. More recently, a diurnal amplitude variation (DAV) algorithm was developed, which uses both ascending and descending passes to identify snwomelt thresholds. It has had considerable success in capturing melt patterns and runoff in high latitudes.

  doug osborne measuring snowmelt
  Doug Osborne, UNH grad. student, measures snow temperature profiles at Hubbard Brook Exp. Forest, winter 2013-14.

For the proposed research, we will leverage the DAV approach to examine mid-latitude snowmelt trends during both the winter and spring snwomelt seasons across a broad range of watersheds.

UNH Civil Engineering Professor Jennifer Jacobs will conduct this study in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dr. Jacobs is director of the UNH Environmental Research Group.

Funding will support two Ph.D. students at UNH and several undergraduate researchers at UNH and Dartmouth College.

Seacoast Online article, June 25, 2011...
Project Bibliography...