With sudden, heavy rains, Central Texas is known as flash flood alley. The impacts can have deadly results. A group of Austin Community College District (ACC) students took an in-depth look at the impacts and safety of flooding in the area. It was all part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Citizen Science Program.
Eleven students participated in the inaugural program. The students were selected from a diverse set of ACC programs, including environmental science, user experience (UX) design, fashion, and anthropology.
“We spent a long time recruiting in a lot of other departments,” says Leslie Davis, ACC Oceanography professor. “These students develop questions and ideas traditional scientists wouldn’t consider. It is the beauty of the Citizen Science program — it brings a new perspective on these important topics.”
The students formed multiple groups to conduct a five-week research project focused on flooding in Central Texas. Topics included water safety levels and preserving Barton Springs Pool and other waterways, the 100-year flood plain, and the impact of lower-income communities and flooding events.
“I am so impressed with the work these students did. It is truly amazing. They have raised the bar on research,” says Davis.
The students will have the opportunity to present their findings at Geological Society of America Connects 2022 Conference October 9 through 12 in Denver, Colorado.