Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

David G. Tarboton


David G. Tarboton


David K. Stevens


David R. Maidment


Mac McKee


Ronald J. Ryel


Recently, community initiatives have emerged for the establishment of large-scale environmental observatories. Cyberinfrastructure is the backbone upon which these observatories will be built, and scientists' ability to access and use the data collected within observatories to address research questions will depend on the successful implementation of cyberinfrastructure. The research described in this dissertation advances the cyberinfrastructure available for supporting environmental observatories. This has been accomplished through both development of new cyberinfrastructure components as well as through the demonstration and application of existing tools, with a specific focus on point observations data. The cyberinfrastructure that was developed and deployed to support collection, management, analysis, and publication of data generated by an environmental sensor network in the Little Bear River environmental observatory test bed is described, as is the sensor network design and deployment. Results of several analyses that demonstrate how high-frequency data enable identification of trends and analysis of physical, chemical, and biological behavior that would be impossible using traditional, low-frequency monitoring data are presented. This dissertation also illustrates how the cyberinfrastructure components demonstrated in the Little Bear River test bed have been integrated into a data publication system that is now supporting a nationwide network of 11 environmental observatory test bed sites, as well as other research sites within and outside of the United States. Enhancements to the infrastructure for research and education that are enabled by this research are impacting a diverse community, including the national community of researchers involved with prospective Water and Environmental Research Systems (WATERS) Network environmental observatories as well as other observatory efforts, research watersheds, and test beds. The results of this research provide insight into and potential solutions for some of the bottlenecks associated with design and implementation of cyberinfrastructure for observatory support.




This work revised and made publicly available electronically on July 22, 2011.