20-million Grant To Improve Lake Champlain

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champlainVermont- Scientist from many of the Vermont state colleges, including Lyndon State, will partake in a research study on lake champlain to learn how the climate is changing. The team of researchers will be operating under a 20 million dollar grant from the Nation Science Foundation, to conduct studies to find out what makes major water basins, such as lake champlain resilient to extreme weather. 

Lyndon States Janel Hanrahan, a professor in the atmospheric sciences department, was chosen to partake in the research study. The study will include identifying strategies to protect the water quality, finding ways to preserve infrastructure, and being able to predict these events further out. 

“The state will benefit in that there will be a newer and deeper understanding of what makes some parts of the water shed around Lake Champlain respond and recover from severe weather events, and other parts not be resilient,” said Judith Van Houten, a professor at the University of Vermont. “We can test these ideas all the way out to the end of the century to see if they help or do more harm.”

The team will look at the history of the lake, and then they will create predictive models, which will help predict future weather events.  “Our main challenge is to put the new data into models and then link these very sophisticated models together.”  Lyndon States Janel Hanrahan says theres still a lot of uncertainty with how this research will play out.  “When we’re taking a look at something such as lake champlain, which is really important for a number of different reasons, we need to make sure that we’re going to be resilient under these changes moving into the future. One way that we can have a better idea of the residence of the lake is we can take a look at what has happened in the past and figure out how rainfall and snowfall is changing.”

The grant is expected to last around five years and research will begin this June.