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KU News Release

April 11, 2005
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

RADIO NEWSLINE: KU gets largest federal research grant in school history


THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS TODAY (MONDAY, APRIL 11) ANNOUNCED A RESEARCH AWARD OF ALMOST $19 MILLION TO FURTHER STUDY THE ROLE OF POLAR ICE SHEETS IN GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE.

K-U'S CENTER FOR REMOTE SENSING OF ICE SHEETS - CRESIS -- WAS SELECTED BY THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION'S SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM FOR THE FIVE-YEAR AWARD. IT'S THE LARGEST SINGLE FEDERAL RESEARCH GRANT EVER RECEIVED BY K-U.

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PROFESSOR PRASAD GOGINENI (prah-SAHD goo-gah--NEE-nee) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER. HE SAYS THEIR EFFORTS WILL FOCUS ON REMOTE SENSING AND INTEGRATING EXPERTISE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, GEOPHYSICS, AND GLACIOLOGY, WHICH IS THE STUDY OF GLACIERS.

GOGINENI AND OTHER RESEARCHERS SAY SEA LEVEL RISE ASSOCIATED WITH MELTING OF POLAR ICE SHEETS COULD AFFECT MORE THAN 100 MILLION PEOPLE AND DECIMATE COASTAL AREAS. HE SAYS A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF CHANGES IN THE ICE SHEETS AT BOTH POLES IS CRUCIAL.

Gogineni: "We need new and innovative sets of measurements, particularly at the bed of the ice. And this center is going to create new technologies and resources to be able to collect the data that are to be able to predict what is going to happen to these ice sheets in a warming climate." (22 sec.)

K-U PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY DAVID BRAATEN (BRAY-tihn) IS THE CENTER'S DEPUTY DIRECTOR. HE SAYS WEATHER AND TERRAIN LIMIT THE CURRENT RESEARCH OF THE ICE SHEETS.

Braaten: "Up until now, we've been doing this on a fairly coarse scale in terms of the measurements. It hasn't been enough to really answer some of the detailed questions of how the ice sheet is changing. So this project will get into getting high-resolution measurements to specifically answer some of these questions that still remain unresolved." (19 sec.)

GOGINENI SAYS THE UNIVERSITY HAS A RECORD OF SUBSTANTIAL RESEARCH IN THE AREA OF REMOTE SENSING TECHNOLOGY AND IS DESERVING OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION AWARD.

Gogineni: "KU has established an outstanding reputation in developing the technology and applying these technologies to polar research. And then the outgrowth of that we felt was a science and technology center that takes advantage of the infrastructure to address a significant problem dealing with the polar ice sheets in sea level rise." (20 sec.)

KU IS PARTNERING WITH FIVE OTHER UNIVERSITIES AND SEVERAL CORPORATIONS, INCLUDING SPRINT, LOCKHEED MARTIN, AND HONEYWELL. GOGINENI SAYS THE UNIVERSITIES AND CORPORATE PARTNERS WILL BOTH BENEFIT FROM TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFERS.

Gogineni: "We will be doing significant technology development activities in the sensors to measure the ice thickness, to map different characteristics of the ice, so that some of the technologies being developed can be transferred and also they can help us develop the new technologies for the polar research." (17 sec.)

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