NGRREC’s Neighbor Nights Will Discuss CINet Program

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Media Services,

EAST ALTON – Join the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRRECsm) for a Neighbor Nights virtual presentation on the purpose of the Critical Interface Network (CINet) project.

CINet is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study critical interfaces in the environment that affect the transport and transformation of materials such as water, sediment, carbon and nutrients.

CINet Junior Scientist Council members Esther Lee and Leila Hernandez Rodriguez, both Ph.D. students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at the University of Illinois, will present information on the basics of the CINet grant project and why this multi-year program is important for the scientific, agricultural and restoration ecology communities.

“In the CINet project, researchers from many different backgrounds are coming together to study the critical zones strongly affected by human influence, including the near land-surface, the active root zone, and the river corridor,” Hernandez Rodriguez said. “We will show some of the sites where the work is ongoing and share with you the available channels to contact us and follow our work.”

Lee explains how the critical interfaces will play an important role in the sustainability of the agricultural environment.

“We will share the main aspects of our research, which will help to inform restoration ecologists of the long-term responses in soil function in agro-ecosystems to guide their future work,” she said.

NGRREC has been granted $375,000 over the next five years to provide educational and outreach services designed to educate the public on how to implement the study’s findings. This information will be incorporated into science courses at L&C as well as distributed among local educators in area school districts.

This virtual event will be held from 7-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

Those interested can sign up at

For more information, contact Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher at


Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds and their associated communities.

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