CLEMSON — Clemson University trustees acknowledged a paradigm shift in data-intensive science by approving the renaming of Clemson’s Institute of Applied Ecology to the Institute of Computational Ecology (ICE).

The name change is intended to better reflect the big-data focus of the institute’s research, education and economic development initiatives, while underscoring strong interdisciplinary connections to Clemson’s Public Service Activities; College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; College of Engineering and Science; and the Restoration Institute.

The Institute of Computational Ecology program structure will remain the same. Gene Eidson, professor of biological sciences, continues as director, with Jason Hallstrom, associate professor with the School of Computing, serving as deputy director.

“There is a new paradigm shift in environmental science and applied ecology toward computing, and the institute’s work lies at the forefront of this shift,”  said Eidson. “The institute leads cyberinfrastructure and computing programs that enable improved understanding and management of both natural and built environments.

“Being known as the Institute of Computational Ecology better reflects the institute’s leadership in developing, piloting and packaging innovative technology solutions, and this will provide a clear picture to potential fellows, partners and funding agencies of the interdisciplinary threads that drive the institute’s work,” he said.

The institute is developing a Fellows Program, which will be open to all interested faculty who participate and remain active in the institute’s research and education programs. The Fellows Program details will be announced soon on its website.

Major institute programs include the Intelligent River Research Enterprise and the EPA-designated Center for Watershed Excellence.

The evolving project teams of the Intelligent River enterprise develop forward-thinking applications and remote-data acquisition systems that transmit a constant flow of real-time environmental data to more decision-makers at a lower cost. The Intelligent River project as been one of the most significant catalysts for the shift toward data-intensive science with the rapid development and deployment of wireless sensor networking technology, coupled with tremendous advances in data storage, data processing and data-visualization technologies.

The university received $3 million from the National Science Foundation for the Intelligent River technology to design, develop and deploy a basinwide network of computerized sensors to monitor the Savannah River. Upon its completion, the Intelligent River Viewing Room at the institute offices will provide real-time virtual tours of the river. Other Intelligent River Research Enterprise project models being tested are the Intelligent Farm at the Edisto Research and Education Center (Blackville), Intelligent Forest at the Baruch Institute (Georgetown) and Intelligent City in Aiken.

The Institute of Computational Ecology is affiliated with two SmartState Program Centers of Economic Excellence, the Sustainable Development Center and the Urban Ecology and Restoration Center.

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