The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a spatially referenced watershed model used to simulate the impacts of land use, land management, and climate on water quantity and quality. This graphic illustrates the general processes associated with developing and applying SWAT models. Learn more: SWAT FAQ
SWAT was developed by researchers within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA, ARS) in the mid-1990s, and the model has undergone continual review and expansion since it was first developed. As a result, the model is extremely well-documented in a detailed user manual and contains over 1000 peer-reviewed journal articles that describe applications and enhancements. This physical model uses mathematical equations to represent watershed processes such as hydrology, soil erosion, crop growth, and nutrient cycling on the land and in the stream network on a daily time scale. SWAT is spatially-referenced to a specific watershed or sub-watershed. Within the model, the smallest spatial units are the hydrologic response units (HRUs) which generally have uniform soil type, land use, and slopes.
Keywords: Soil and Water Assessment Tool, land use, land management, climate, water quantity and quality, model, U-M Water Center
This graphic illustrates how remote sensing, paired with field surveys, fits into the adaptive management cycle required for the treatment and control of the invasive wetland plant Phragmites. These techniques were applied in Saginaw Bay and Green Bay. Remote sensing offers managers a “bird’s eye” view, and enables a more complete understanding of the extent of invasion, assessment of control efforts, and supports strategic decisions about where to focus limited resources within a site and across a larger landscape.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25248
Keywords: Infographic, Laura Bourgeau-Chavez, Phragmites Management, Invasive Species, wetland plant, University of Michigan Water Center
Following removal of the Wayne Road Dam on the Rouge River, researchers documented significant upstream expansion of the invasive round goby. The Wayne County Parks department, in partnership with Friends of the Rouge, is using this graphic as educational signage at public access points in Wayne County Parks. Using round goby as fishing bait is an issue of concern in these areas. See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25123
Keywords: invasive species, round goby, Rouge River, fish, Great Lakes, infographic, University of Michigan Water Center
The Watershed graphic, part of a suite of graphics and a video, illustrates the magnitude of phosphorus and sediment input to Green Bay from the predominantly agricultural Fox River watershed. The graphics may be used separately or as a group.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25121
See video (Green Bay Ecosystem Modeling): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkpBjHvzRryrXo2uj3j3BHoTFtgpJjvjz
Keywords: Infographic, Green Bay, Great Lakes restoration, watershed, Wisconsin, University of Michigan Water Center
Saginaw Bay is a highly valued yet highly stressed system. To help ensure the right conservation practices are applied to the right places, in the right amount, and as efficiently as possible, the project team developed an innovative tool, known as the Saginaw Bay Optimization Model. This video describes how the Optimization Model produces solutions for implementing agricultural best management practices in the watershed.
See project summary: http://graham.umich.edu/activity/25115
Keywords: University of Michigan Water Center, Saginaw Bay Watershed, conservation practices, optmization model, agricultural best management practices
This video depicts and describes the Benefits of Collaborative Research. U-M Water Center-supported research team use a unique approach to developing research outputs that address real-world resource management and policy decisions. A collaborative research approach requires a clearly articulated and demonstrated policy or management need, and the integration of users of the research throughout the project development and research phases.
Keywords: University of Michigan Water Center, collaborative research, water science, water resource management and policy, co-production, science communications
Identifying mutually beneficial objectives for researchers and practitioners engaged in climate adaptation efforts can often be a challenge. Differences can occur in terms of motivations, objectives, scale, and decision-making authority.
Drawing on the experience of researchers and practitioners involved in a climate adaptation project focused on cities in the Great Lakes region, this paper provides an overview of the relationship between the University of Michigan’s Graham Sustainability Institute and the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan (publishied in the 2016 Issue of the Michigan Journal of Sustainability).
College-educated millennials, motivated by a preference for vibrant, walkable neighborhoods with access to good public transportation, are helping to drive an economic resurgence in many American cities. At the same time, institutions of higher education (IHEs) are seeking to contribute to sustainable societies by encouraging students to incorporate principles of environmental responsibility into personal consumption practices.
Cite this article as: Schoolman, E.D., Shriberg, M., Schwimmer, S. et al. J Environ Stud Sci (2016) 6: 490. doi:10.1007/s13412-014-0190-z
Keywords: Sustainable societies, higher education students, environmental responsibility, personal consumption, urban migration, food systems, attitudes, cities
The project team measured the ecological, social, and economic impacts of public private partnerships to restore wetlands in New York state. This video highlights the benefits of participating in these programs to landowners and surrounding communities.
Keywords: Wetland Restoration, New York State, Landowners, University of Michigan Water Center
This video describes how high nutrient and sediment loads delivered to Green Bay drive recurring summer hypoxia and algal blooms. It outlines the project team’s development of a linked model framework for simulating how the Green Bay system works, and how the Bay might respond to changes in climate, land use, and/or land management decisions.
Keywords: Green Bay, Wisconsin, hypoxia, algal blooms, University of Michigan Water Center, algae