NCED (the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center (STC). We began operation in August, 2002, and we are headquartered at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) at the University of Minnesota.
NCED’s purpose is to predict the coupled dynamics and evolution of landscapes and their ecosystems, in order to transform management and restoration of the Earth-surface environment. Our overall mission is to predict the coupled dynamics and co-evolution of landscapes and their ecosystems in order to transform management and restoration of the Earth-surface environment. We pursue this goal by creating partnerships with research and educational institutions, government agencies, and industry; and integrating researchers and practitioners from the physical, biological, and social sciences. Our research focuses on channel networks and their surroundings. We collaborate with applied partners to identify knowledge gaps and develop tools to forecast landscape evolution and guide landscape management, restore river systems, find and develop subsurface resources, and promote environmental awareness.
► Research Organization
NCED research is organized into three Integrated Programs (IPs) that approach channel networks from a source to sink perspective:
-- watersheds (Watersheds),
-- individual stream reaches (Streams), and
-- depositional systems (Deltas).
All three IPs address important issues of human impact, management, and restoration such that progress requires two-way collaboration between those developing new knowledge and those applying it. The three research IPs work together with:
programs to generate and disseminate NCED knowledge, research, and activities.
► Grand Challenges
"How will the coupled system of physical, biological, geochemical, and human processes that shape the surface of the Earth respond to changes in climate, land use, environmental management, and other forcings?"
In addressing the above overarching question that drives NCED research, we tackle three grand challenges:
(1) developing a mechanistic understanding of the erosional and depositional processes that shape landscapes;
(2) discovering the linkages between physical, chemical, and biological processes; and
(3) using the understanding of landscape and ecosystem dynamics to guide management decisions.
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