2016 was a busy year…

In addition to providing metamodel and data service support to the NRCS Resource Stewardship application highlighted in our previous post last April, during 2016 OMSLab:

  1. Released the Integration Erosion Tool (IET) in May for beta testing, followed by an August release for national and state training sessions.  IET is a .Net/ArcMap application that runs backend CSIP model and data web services deployed to a data center.  IET users create crop rotations by selecting and editing management templates from the Land Management Operations Database (LMOD) containing crop, farming operation and practice parameters.  IET relies on data services that intersect climate and soil layers with farm field geometry returning parameter sets for two erosion model services:  Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE2) and Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS).  The model services consume crop rotation, practice, soil, and climate parameters to simulate water and wind erosion, organic matter trend, air particulates, and fuel use.  IET users apply results to resource assessments comparing benchmark and alternative systems.
  2. Completed and deployed model, metamodel, and data web services for several resource assessment domains supporting the NRCS Conservation Delivery Streamlining Initiative (CDSI):
    • Grazingland Resource Analysis System (GRAS):  services for forage and animal inventory, forage animal balance, quick stocking rate, pasture condition score (PCS), and rangeland health assessment.  PCS services are being deployed to support the Resource Stewardship application.  GRAS is third-generation software going back to methods developed by Texas A&M University working with NRCS grazing specialists.
    • STEP Water Quality (STEP-WQM):  services for nutrient and pesticide loss potentials, pesticide hazard rating, mitigation thresholds, and mitigation techniques and practices.  STEP-WQM is a metamodel having roots in extensive SWAT, GLEAMS, and CREAMS model simulations over the years across many projects.  STEP is an acronym for Stewardship Tool for Environmental Performance, an effort involving NRCS technical specialists and scientists at collaborating ARS and university laboratories.
    • Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP):  model and data services for the assessment of water erosion on hillslopes in IET and CDSI applications.  WEPP replaces RUSLE2 going forward into CDSI.  This work is a collaboration with the ARS National Soil Erosion Laboratory at Purdue University, which developed the model.
    • Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM):  model and data services for assessing runoff and water erosion from rangelands, including risk assessment methods in addition to estimated soil loss and runoff rates.  This work is a collaboration with the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center at Tucson, Arizona, the developers of the RHEM model.
    • Farm Irrigation Rating Index (FIRI):  metamodel and data services for the assessment of irrigation efficiency.  FIRI was developed by NRCS irrigation specialists in consultation with ARS scientists.
  3. In addition to the completed services above, started work on services for other resource assessment domains:  greenhouse gas emissions (COMET), and riparian health (Stream Visual Assessment Protocol, or SVAP).  We also began work to integrate climate data services involving PRISM, CLIGEN, and WINDGEN layers containing precipitation, temperature, wind, and other data needed by WEPS, WEPP, COMET, RHEM, and STEP-WQM.
  4. Completed and deployed the 2016 version of the next generation water supply forecasting system (eWSF) for the NRCS National Water and Climate Center.  The system runs the Precipitation and Runoff Modeling System (PRMS) model.  Several computing infrastructure improvements were made to support computationally intensive processes in the forecasting workflow, including detrended kriging.  These advancements summarized in Olaf David’s AGU paper, which can be accessed via the publications link on the OMSLab home page.

We also were engaged with several active projects with the Field to Market initiative, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), EPA CLEAN Center, and others, to be featured in subsequent posts.