Sutton-Grier receives NOS Award and NASA Funding

Great achievements come in twos for Dr. Ariana Sutton-Grier who will receive the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) Assistant Administrator Special Recognition Group Award, along with new NASA funding.

Sutton-Grier, an ecosystem ecologist and assistant research scientist at ESSIC, was recognized by the NOS–along with her team of researchers–for their Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.

Sutton-Grier led the efforts of the unique Sandy Work Group, comprised by a team of researchers who each specialized in a different field of study. The group updated nautical charts, collected water-level data, and performed other related analyses, in order to develop coastal resilience after Sandy devastated the Northeast.

Their collective research, well-organized communication, and effective use of government funding earned Sutton-Grier and her team the nomination for this award.

Along with the news of her recent NOS award, it was recently announced that Sutton-Grier will also receive new NASA funding for her work on the impact of blue carbon in salt marshes.

The grant entitled, “Linking Satellite and Soil Data to Validate Coastal Wetland “Blue Carbon” Inventories: Upscaled Support for Developing MRV and REDD+ Protocols,” will help Sutton-Grier and others facilitate a better understanding of blue carbon and its storage properties in coastal ecosystems.

Sutton-Grier explained that this research is especially crucial after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change created a supplement in 2013 to “fill gaps in the coverage of carbon emission factors in wetland areas.”

The grant hopes to provide a national-scale data framework that will combine field data, along with carbon store and emission data, in order to better estimate carbon dynamics.