Professor John Schwartz hosted three visiting colleagues from the Czech Technical University (CTU) in August 2022 to share research on water resources and soil conservation in the Czech Republic.
Professor Tomas Dostal, department head, Associate Professor Josef Krasa, and Assistant Professor Miroslav Bauer presented on the education mission of the Department of Landscape Water Conservation in the Faculty of Civil Engineering at CTU. Their ongoing research projects relate to complex problems and solutions utilizing water engineering, and incorporating and ecological issues within the landscape environment.
Their seminar drew a capacity crowd to the Tickle building and inspired lively discussion afterward.
“In fall 2019, I did my sabbatical at CTU, though I had been working with them since 2017,” said Schwartz. “In 2019, we won a substantial four-year grant from the Czech Republic government, the Czech-American Cooperative Program.”
Schwartz has been collaborating with them on a watershed sediment modeling and soil erosion project. They are using a Belgium-based watershed model to estimate soil erosion stream sediment transport in the Oostanaula Creek watershed near Athens, Tennessee, as well as a comparative watershed in the Czech Republic. During their visit, the team completed field work using a drone and advanced sensors for mapping land-surface characteristics.
“We also have applied the use of a unique soil erosion measurement tool, the ‘mini-jet’ test device,” said Schwartz.
This research supports new regulations per the European Union’s Water Framework Directive. The use of these tools provide critical information for modeling and mapping soil erosion potential on agricultural lands.