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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 2 (2012 Deadline)

Evaluating climate change impacts on the arid lands and water resources in Jordan

PI: Yaser Jararweh (Jordan University of Science and Technology)
U.S. Partner: G. Darrel Jenerette (University of California, Riverside)
Project Dates: August 2013 to July 2015

In Jordan, more than 75% of the land is arid or semi-arid, and it is estimated that only 7% of the country's land is arable. Jordan faces many environmental challenges, including limited natural freshwater resources, desertification, endangered species, and climate change, and these challenges are compounded by factors such as a rapidly expanding population, industrial pollution, depletion of natural resources, and recent unrest. The impacts of climate change are only likely to aggravate the situation further in the future. This project aims to design an intelligent system to monitor and track environmental changes in Jordan. The proposed system will evaluate the environment impact for various regions and classify them accordingly. The classification process aims at identifying environmentally threatened regions and resources and proposing immediate reverse actions to prevent possible environment declines for the other regions. The overreaching objective of this project is to enhance the capabilities and options for Jordanian official organizations and decision makers to help them better understand and respond to climate change.

The work these researchers will carry out entails developing foundations, principles, and metrics to assess vulnerability, impacts, problems, and variations to climate change in the arid and semi-arid lands of Jordan. Based on the assessment foundations, they hope that the project will build comprehensive and integrated assessment models for the impacts of climate change on arid lands, vegetation, animal and species diversity and distribution, water resources, hydrology, land topography, and pollution, as well as human adaptations to these changes. The study also aims to build an environmental monitoring infrastructure to collect environmental data from the targeted landscapes. These collected data will subsequently be used with various other data sources such as satellite imagery, sensor networks, pollution statistics, and historical data sets to build environmental assessment models. The study team will present their results and findings to Jordanian government officials and will conduct training workshops and outreach programs.

Summary of Recent Activities

 
During the third quarter of 2014, Dr. Jararweh and his team completed building their 30 node sensor networks that will be used as monitoring stations at different locations inside of the JUST campus. One of these stations has already been installed and is currently operational. The sensor locations were selected with guidance from the US partner during Dr. Jararweh’s visit in March 2014. The sensor nodes are designed and developed by collaboration between the project team and a small electronics company in Jordan to reduce costs. The team also began collecting data from three more stations managed by the Ministry of Agriculture near the campus. This data will be compared with the data collected from inside the campus.

The first conference paper from the team, "The Analysis of Large-Scale Climate Data: Jordan Case study" was accepted for publication in the 2014 IEEE/ACS 11th International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications (AICCSA). Another paper that is partially supported by the project has also been accepted with the title "A New Broadcast Scheme for Sensor Networks."

Dr. Jararweh will attend the IEEE/ACS 11th International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications (AICCSA) to present the aforementioned paper. The team will also begin preparation for the next Jordan funded PEER project workshop by issuing invitations to professors, students, SMEs, and NGOs. In the background the team will continue to data collection from the monitoring stations for the next nine months at the very least with maintenance of the stations done on an as needed basis.
 
 
Back to PEER Cycle 2 Grant Recipients