Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI)

Cyber infrastructure for a Virtual Observatory and Ecological Informatics Systems (VOEIS)

Virtual Observatory Ecological Informatics System (VOEIS) Outreach Project


A collaborative project between Kentucky and Montana, and partners from industry and the public
sector, that will develop integrated water quality sensors and an ecological informatics system by
creating an updated cyber infrastructure* has been funded by the National Science Foundation. The
consortium is composed of faculty, scientists and students at Hancock Biological Station (KY), Flathead
Lake Biological Station (MT), the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville, Murray State
University, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Montana, and Montana State University. The
total effort, denoted as the Virtual Observatory and Ecological Information System (VOEIS), will provide
a resource to enhance the environmental expertise in both states and serve as a "test‐bed" for similar
approaches to be used by other states across the nation.


Outreach and Education


Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) and the University of Kentucky Robinson Scholars
Program (RSP) partnered to educate high school students about water quality issues and emerging
science and technology goals for future scientist. From this partnership, the Water Pioneers Program
emerged. The Water Pioneers program targets impaired watersheds and emerging science through
engagement with college‐bound high school students who reside in impacted areas. Water Pioneers
students participate both to raise awareness of water quality challenges and to implement programs
designed to directly impact water quality. Students are engaged in future direction of research for
water quality and other science and technology fields. Water Pioneers interact with real world scientist
to investigate current problems in within a watershed which include environment, social, and economic
considerations. Over the last three years, KWRRI provided programming for 150 eastern Kentucky
students with addition educational opportunities including the Montana Water Summit.