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Seminar: From Data Fusion to FEWSION: Creating Integrated Models to Understand and Visualize the Food, Energy, Water Nexus

May 24, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

From Data Fusion to FEWSION: Creating Integrated Models to Understand and Visualize the Food, Energy, Water Nexus
Featuring A/Prof Richard Rushforth, School of Informatics, Computing and Cyber Systems
Northern Arizona University

Integrated food, energy, water (FEW) system models face numerous methodological and analytical challenges. Chief among these challenges are data quality, availability, comprehensiveness, and concordance. Data fusion – the curated combination of multiple disparate datasets to produce novel, synthetic datasets – is central to creating integrated FEW system models and datasets. Publicly-available data and global hydrology models are invaluable resources for FEW system modeling, but often lack concordance with respect to one or multiple characteristics such as geographic scale, boundary definitions, classification schema, and/or periodicity. Statistical methods and crosswalking allow researchers to overcome these challenges and create concordance between datasets, but this process introduces uncertainty and limits what conclusions can be drawn from the data. This talk will discuss the FEWSION Project, an effort to build the first complete data-driven description of the U.S. FEW system, and the resource footprints and dependencies of every U.S. city, state, and community. One goal of the FEWSION Project is to produce FEW system data for researchers, decision-makers, and the public alike. I will demonstrate our efforts to bring on-the-fly visualization of the U.S. FEW system to the public. The talk will conclude with a case study of the Colorado River Basin with FEWSION data and the unintended implications of catchment-level water policy viewed through the lens of the FEW nexus.

About Assoc Prof Richard Rushforth
Richard Rushforth, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems at Northern Arizona University, and the lead research scientist for the National Water-Economy Project (NWEP) and the NSF-funded FEWSION project. His PhD is in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University. He also holds master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of Arizona as well as an MBA from Arizona State University. His primary research projects focus on big data modelling of few, energy, water systems for adaptive management and furthering the understanding of complex coupled natural-human systems. He also co-leads the Holistic Water Solutions project, sponsored by USAID, a 2-year effort bringing clean water to vulnerable and refugee host communities in Jordan and Lebanon.


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Ground Floor, AGSM Building (K15) UNSW
Kensington, NSW 2052 Australia
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Global Water Institute