To find out more about The FSU Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability, see the Symposium, Local and Student  Editions of our newsletter.


The Florida State University

 IESES Newsletter


 June 2011 




Image IESES Logo Best
Table of Contents
Software Module Developed for ArcGIS Estimates Nitrate Contamination
FSU Faculty Attend Oak Ridge National Lab Sustainability Summit
Dr. Paravastu Wins NSF Career Research Award
Congratulations to Distinguished Research Professor Award Winners
IESES Assistant Director for Program Development Accepts Position at Verdicorp Inc.
IESES Research Partners Receive Council on Research and Creativity Award
IESES Research Partners Receive Council on Research and Creativity Planning Grants

Software Module Developed for ArcGIS Estimates Nitrate Contamination 

by Aaron Burgess, IESES Liaison   


With the support of IESES and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Dr. Ming Ye and his graduate student, Fernando Rios , developed a nitrate transport model. The complex way that nitrate enters bodies of water has made policy and permitting regulation difficult.  Estimating the amount of nitrate in groundwater and how far it will travel to our lakes and rivers is critical since nitrates can be toxic when present in high concentrations. For example if plant growth for biofuel production increases and with it, fertilizer use, greatly increased amounts of nitrates could enter our drinking water and groundwater.  Proper management of fertilizers, manures, and other nitrogen sources can minimize contamination of drinking water supplies.


Image of Ming Ye

Dr. Ming Ye


Fernando Rios



The model created by Dr. Ye and Mr. Rios is an extension of ArcGIS called ArcNLET.  Mr. Rios stated that the ArcNLET extension allows users to conduct quick assessments with a user friendly interface. A non-advanced GIS user could input data and get estimates of nitrate contamination. The software can determine the direction and ending point of groundwater nitrate from a specific source. The ArcNLET extension is available free online for those who have already purchased ArcGIS. ArcNLET is a very promising tool and will undoubtedly be on the forefront of assisting government and non-government agencies conduct estimates of nitrate concentrations. 



FSU Faculty Attend Oak Ridge National Lab Sustainability Summit


Created in 2008, the Sustainable Campus Initiative embodies Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) efforts to achieve enduring sustainability in its facilities, operations, and organizational culture at the Lab. It grew from an aggressive ORNL campus modernization program that started in 2002; intertwines with a multitude of building, landscaping, and energy management efforts; and taps ORNL's world-class science and technology expertise. As a compliment to the Initiative, ORNL hosted a Sustainability Summit in March of this year. The summit covered strategies and technologies related to low-carbon power generation, grid-scale electric power, transportation and vehicles, building efficiency, as well as financial strategies.    


In attendance were Tim Chapin, Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, and Svetlana Pevnitskaya, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at The Florida State University.  In reaction to the summit, Dr. Chapin found the discussions about energy technologies surprisingly relevant to urban planning. He commented that the discussion went beyond individual buildings to creating energy efficient neighborhoods.  Dr. Chapin felt that urban planners have a great deal to offer scientists interested in siting new power plants.  For example, the summit showcased the concept of mini-nuclear reactors for neighborhoods which Dr. Chapin thought may have siting and permitting difficulties.

  Image of Tim Chapin

Tim Chapin


Dr. Pevnitskaya found that her research on the economics of siting energy facilities was relevant to the summit as well. Her research investigates the economic consequences of NIMBY, or the "not in my backyard" phenomena. For example, she identified an inherent economic tradeoff in siting offshore wind turbines to produce energy for onshore facilities. It would be ideal for energy generation costs if the wind turbines were sited close to shore so the electricity can be efficiently fed into the transmission lines. However, residents on land experience negative externality and generally want wind turbines to be so far offshore that they cannot be seen from land. There are economic consequences for these tradeoffs that need to be taken into account for comprehensive policy.


Dr. Pevnitskaya was excited by the economic aspects of wind and solar power generation and also the design of strategies and mechanisms to create incentives for more efficient and sustainable economic activity. Dr. Pevnitskaya tests the response to economic incentives in the experimental economics lab at FSU.


Image of Svetlana Pev.

Svetlana Pevnitskaya 


Dr. Paravastu Wins NSF Career Research Award
Anant Paravastu

Anant Paravastu

Anant Paravastu, Ph.D.,is an Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.  Dr. Paravastu was awarded a five-year NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award, also known as the CAREER Award.  He was also awarded a Council on Research and Creativity Planning Grant.  His research focuses on "designer proteins". His work may contribute to the growing fields of regenerative medicine and nanotechnology.  Congratulations to Dr. Paravastu!


Congratulations to IESES Research Partners for
Receiving a Distinguished Research Professor Award!

Hsu-Pin Wang

Hsu-Pin "Ben" Wang, Ph.D.,

Assistant VP for Research Engineering

Director of the High-Performance Materials Institute

Richard Feiock

Richard Feiock, Ph.D.,

Augustus B. Turnbull Professor

FSU Askew School of Public Administration and Policy

Phil Steinberg

Phillip Steinberg, Ph.D.,

FSU Department of Geography

















Join Our Mailing List! 


I hope you enjoy this issue of the IESES Newsletter!


In April, IESES held Symposium I: Florida High Tech Jobs and Economic DevelopmentA transcript of the entire event was published and is available online at www.ieses.fsu.eduClick here to watch the program online.  





Dave Cartes  

IESES Assistant Director for Program Development Accepts Position at Verdicorp Inc.

After more than two years as IESES Assistant Director for Program Development, Dr. Melanie Simmons has accepted a position with Verdicorp Inc. as a Business Development Analyst.   


Image of Melanie Simmons

Melanie Simmons  

Dr. Simmons directed IESES' major programatic activities including coordination with the Florida Energy Systems Consoritum.   During her tenure, she advanced strategic relationships with industry, government and other university partners.  Dr. Simmons also served as editor of the newsletter. 


"It has been a great privilage working with Dr. Cartes, the staff at IESES and the world class researchers at FSU promoting sustainable energy technology and policy.  Now, I look forward to advancing IESES from the private sector," she said. 


IESES wishes Dr. Simmons the best of luck in her new position.   


Carolyn Sims

Carolyn Sims

Carolyn Sims, IESES Grants and Program Development Specialist, will take over as the editor of the IESES newsletter. You can contact Ms. Sims at 

or 850-645-9232.    


IESES Research Partners Receive Council on Research and Creativity Award

Ongi Englander

Ongi Englander, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering. Her research focuses on nanotechnology.  

Image of Ming Ye 

Ming Ye, Ph.D,is an Associate Professor at the FSU Scientific Computing Department and his  research interests include stochastic methods in groundwater hydrology and geostatistical methods for site characterization and contaminant remediation.   


David Eccles 

David Eccles, Ph.D., is the Director for the Human Performance Research Center at the Learning Systems Institute and Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at The Florida State University College of Education. His research focuses on the cognition and performance of professionals in fields such as law enforcement and medicine.


Congratulations to Drs. Englander, Ye and Eccles! 

IESES Research Partners Receive Council on Research and Creativity Planning Grants

christopher coutts 

Christoper Coutts, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the FSU Department of Urban & Regional Planning.  His research focuses on the influence of the developed environment and ecologically-sensitive land use practices on health behavior and community health.

Anke MeyerBaese  

Anke Meyer-Baese, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the FSU Department of Scientific Computing.  Her research focuses on electrical and computer engineering, with a specialization in methods of artificial intelligence that can be applied to medical imaging.

Subramanian Ramakrishnan 

Subramanian Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the FSU Chemical and BioMedical Engineering Department.  His research focuses on understanding the physics, chemistry and processing of complex fluids and their engineering applications.  


Congratulations to Drs. Coutts, Meyer-Baese and Ramakrishnan! 


The FSU Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability

is a public resource. Here we carry out scholarly basic research and analysis in engineering, science, infrastructure, governance and the related social dimensions to further a sustainable energy economy. The Institute unites researchers from the disciplines of engineering, natural sciences, law, business, urban and regional planning, geography and economics to

address sustainability and alternative power issues in the context of global climate change.


Editor: Carolyn Sims at 

Contributors: Aaron Burgess  at 

FSU IESES Newsletter


2000 Levy Avenue, Suite 360

Tallahassee, FL 32310

(850) 645-9232