The Institute For Environmental Modeling
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Purpose and Focus
The purpose of TIEM is to do basic research on significant environmental problems that impact the State of Tennessee and have national and international implications. The focus of the Institute is on experimental design and environmental model formulation, together with mathematical and statistical analyses of model results and projections for use by decision makers. TIEM researchers develop theoretical and computational tools for studying the environment as well as hardware and software (such as parallel computing and visualization graphics) to implement and analyze the models. TIEM is housed in the Division of Biology and is directed by Louis J. Gross.
Detailed objectives of this program are:
Research. (1) To support interdisciplinary research in mathematics, computational science, and ecology; (2) To provide research training and supervision for graduate students based in several departments and programs at UTK; and (3) To foster scientific interactions and collaborations between quantitative faculty and students and empirical researchers.
Education. (4) To provide excellent graduate educational training to enable our students to compete for both industrial and academic positions; (5) To introduce advanced undergraduates to mathematical modeling methods in the biological sciences; and (6) To aid the development of quantitative skills for life science students at all levels.
Service. (7) To provide an environmental modeling, mathematical and computational ecology connection linking the University to public and private organizations; and (8) To provide international education in the areas of mathematical and computational ecology and environmental modeling especially to developing countries.
Past and Present Highlights:
During the period 1996-2001, TIEM staff obtained approximately $3,000,000 in external research funding. The Institute for Environmental Modeling is the headquarters for the UTK effort to analyze the long-term impacts of alternative hydrologic planning in the Everglades of South Florida, project ATLSS. Other efforts include an NSF-funded project to aid the development of curricula for the quantitative training of life science students (BioEd); an NIH-funded effort to offer short courses to train biologists in the mathematics of biological complexity (Courses); the development of risk asessment tools including the Risk Assessment Information System (RAIS) and Spatial Analysis and Decision Asssistance (SADA); and a collaborative effort with Cadmus, Inc. to develop ecotoxicological models. TIEM makes up the Computational Ecology Lab associated with the UT Center for Information Technology Research (CITR) and is the home for the Computational Ecology Cluster component of the Scalable IntraCampus Research Grid (SInRG). TIEM operates an extensive collection of computational facilities.