Feifei Pan, assistant professor of geography, was selected to receive one of 32 nationally competitive Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Pan was one of four faculty members from Texas colleges and universities selected as winners, who were chosen from 114 applicants. He is the seventh UNT faculty member to win a Powe award since 2005.
Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards are given to faculty members with research in engineering, applied science, life sciences, mathematics, computer science, physical sciences, policy management and education. The $5,000 awards are intended to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty members and result in new funding opportunities.
Universities of faculty members who receive Powe awards are required to match the awards with additional $5,000 by providing funds for travel, equipment or other assistance for the faculty member's research.
Pan plans to use his award to support his research on inversely retrieving the spatial variability of soil particle size distribution from remotely sensed soil moisture. Soil particle size distribution, which classifies soil as clay, silt, sand and rock, is usually determined by time-consuming and labor-intensive soil surveys. Pan developed a method of estimating particle size distribution from observed soil moisture, which he used to determine the soil moisture mean — the average measure of moisture in soil — and variance — the expectation of the average squared deviations from the mean — from soil collected at the Throughfall Displacement Experiment sites in Walker Branch Watershed in eastern Tennessee.
Pan's research has been published in Journal of the American Water Resources Association, Journal of Geophysical Research — Biogeosciences, Water Resources Research, and Advances in Water Resources, among other professional journals. He has upcoming articles in Journal of Hydrologic Engineering and Journal of Hydrometeorology.
About Oak Ridge Associated Universities
ORAU is a consortium of 96 major research institutes that advances science and education by providing the universities with partnerships with national laboratories, government agencies and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Nancy Kolsti with UNT News Service can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.