CLEANER definition
CLEANER Workshop 1
What is the Path Forward?
CLEANER Workshop 2
CLEANER Workshop 3


What is CLEANER?   

CLEANER encompasses four general aspects:

1) A Network of environmental field facilities instrumented for the acquisition and analysis of environmental data;
2) A Virtual Repository of Data and information technology for engineering modeling, analysis and visualization of data, i.e. an environmental cyber-infrastructure;
3) A Mechanism for multidisciplinary research and education activities designed to exploit the output of the instrumented sites and networked information technology, to formulate engineering and policy options directed toward the protection, remediation, and restoration of stressed environments and sustainability of environmental resources; and
4) A Collaboration among engineers, natural and social scientists, educators, policy makers, industry, non-governmental organizations, the public, and other stakeholders.

1. Field Network
The backbone of CLEANER will be a series of well-instrumented Environmental Field Facilities (EFFs) that represent either distinctive stressed environments or environments that are representative of a common set of conditions and/or stressors. For example, the PCB-contaminated portion of the Hudson River could represent a distinctive stressed environment while Clear Lake in California could represent a shallow highly impacted lake in mining and agricultural areas. Selection of EFFs will be driven by problems associated with anthropogenic stresses on environmental systems.

EFFs will be monitored with an appropriate array of remote and on-site sensors combined with local and off-site sample analyses. Innovative monitoring methods will be developed based upon specific site characteristics and targeted stressors. Methods development for application will include real-time data acquisition with wireless transmission, and newly designed sensors. Monitoring endpoints will be chosen based upon the specific problems identified for individual sites and upon inputs required for development and calibration of engineering models useful for extrapolation of results. Material balance approaches will allow a systematic and dynamic evaluation of ecosystem conditions and flows across and within media. Site monitoring data will be analyzed for quality control prior to incorporation into a networked database.

2. Data Network
The data network will include a virtual repository for data and models as well as a network to facilitate collaborations.

The virtual repository will include collection and organization of existing data for the EFFs within a unified database structure. The database will allow inter- and intra- site queries and facilitate new developments in data mining. Further, the CLEANER organization will standardize input format for newly collected data and include specific structures to test and validate new data with mass balance and statistical approaches.

CLEANER will include the development of new models and the integration of existing models based upon the data collected within the virtual repository. Existing watershed, ecosystem, and regional models will serve as building blocks for integrated CLEANER modeling efforts. Modular and open architecture will allow optimization and modification by a large number of researchers. Models will be evaluated, validated and calibrated using the large database of existing and new data. Models will also be used for retrospective and prospective research on the EFFs.

The combination of models and data will be used to identify data gaps and suggest the need for new measurement methodologies and sensor technologies. The data network will allow extensive access to results from multiple researchers' data. This access will promote collaborative planning of experimental approaches across sites. Researchers will be able to benchmark solutions and integrate studies on multiple sites.

3. Integrated Activities
The activities pursued within CLEANER will integrate research, education, and environmental analysis, decision-making, and management. The instrumented sites and virtual repository will enable the development of collaborative and multidisciplinary research projects. Specific research projects will be investigator-instigated and will both respond to and drive the design of site instrumentation. The accessibility of data and models will allow modeling to be a central component of both experimental design and analysis and will facilitate the integration of information within and among CLEANER sites, including field-based comparisons of similar sites with different stressors or different sites with similar stressors.

The data and models derived from research at CLEANER sites will support the elaboration of technical and policy options for site protection, remediation or restoration. These activities will require collaboration among engineers, scientists, social scientists, urban planners, stakeholders, and community members.

Education will be a component of all CLEANER activities. The design and implementation of site instrumentation will promote community education and the instrumented sites will offer opportunities for experiential learning (e.g., through visitor centers).

4. Collaboration
CLEANER will facilitate collaboration between industry, policy makers, the academic community, non-governmental organizations, the public, and other stakeholders. It specifically addresses the programmatic gaps in the current NSF environment portfolio identified by the National Science Board. For example, CLEANER can support research in materials flow accounting and analysis, both at local and global scales, human perturbations to natural materials flows, urbanization, transportation, land use, and product and process life-cycle assessment. Environmental and energy implications of emerging technologies and trends such as switching to alternative fuels or industrial restructuring toward a service economy can be evaluated from an economic, engineering, and sustainability perspective. Consequently, CLEANER can be used, for example, to help industry understand its local and broader environmental impacts by relating their outputs to the fate, transport, and impact of their releases into the environment. This could include localized pollutants as well as larger-scale concerns, such as CO2 emissions and its global climate effects. The data repository and associated models will enhance pollution prevention as well as remedial efforts. CLEANER's network can also be used for improved public information and education, especially as an "early warning" for system contamination.


2002 - University of California Berkeley - Civil and Environmental Engineering