Projects

A number of ongoing research and monitoring projects which collect data on a variety of physical processes occur at KAEFS. These include federal (NOAA & National Weather Service) and state (Oklahoma Mesonet) projects, and research by faculty and researchers at the University of Oklahoma and other institutions. 

A wind profiling radar with RASS (radar acoustic sounding system) capabilities measuring vertical wind profiles to 16 km and temperature up to 4.5 km is managed from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratories in Boulder, CO. It is one of only 35 such sites in the nation (4 of which are in Oklahoma) collectively called the NOAA Profiler Network (NPN).

The Oklahoma Mesonet maintains the Washington Mesonet Station (WASH) at KAEFS. It is one of 121 Mesonet stations located across Oklahoma. Oklahoma Mesonet data are used by students and faculty at OU, scientists at other universities, Oklahoma public safety officials, K-12 outreach, Oklahoma Electric Cooperatives, and the Oklahoma agricultural community.

A long-term global warming experiment under the direction of Dr. Yiqi Luo has taken place at KAEFS since November, 1999. This project consists of 6 paired plots, one warmed continuously by a quartz heater and the other with a dummy heater. Within each plot are nested subplots, either clipped annually or left unclipped to mimic one of the dominant land use practices in the area, mowing for hay. Warming. Work on the project has included studies on plant and microbial responses, phenology, ecosystem fluxes, mycorrhizal fungi and soil structure.

Several studies of seed bank dynamics are being conducted by Dr. Phil Gibson. In this work, responses of different species to warming, changes in precipitation, and other physical features of the seed bank environment are being investigated.

Previous

The U.S. DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program manages the Southern Great Plains site in Kansas and Oklahoma. It is the largest and most extensive climate research field site in the world and consists of 29 measurement facilities in Kansas and Oklahoma. ARM scientists focus on obtaining field measurements and developing models to better understand the processes that control solar and thermal infrared radiation transfer in the atmosphere (especially in clouds) and at the earth’s surface. KAEFS hosts one of the measurement facilities (Boundary Facility 6), which contains one microwave radiometer used to measure vertical column-integrated amounts of water vapor and liquid water, one ceilometer used to measure cloud base height and potential back scatter by aerosols, and one temperature, humidity, wind and pressure measuring system. The ARM facility at KAEFS is currently in stand-by status.

The National Trends Network (NTN) site OK17 of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program was established at the farm in 1983, and is part of the nationwide network of approximately 140 stations (4 in Oklahoma) that monitor rainfall chemistry. Wetfall data are collected at the site along with daily precipitation data. The site is managed by NOAA and the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, OK. Rainfall samples are collected and undergo preliminary analysis by the site operator who is trained at the Central Analytical Laboratory in Champagne, IL. Dr. Kessler is the site supervisor. Long-term precipitation data include Ca, Mg, NH4, NO3, pH, K, Na, Cl, SO4, H+, inorganic N and precipitation amount.