Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Students Tackle Flooding In Honduras

Date:
May 4, 2005
Source:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Summary:
Eight MIT students -- five graduate students and three undergraduates -- spent spring break 2005 in Tocoa, Honduras, working on an automated flood early warning system and visiting towns that had been badly damaged by flash flooding in the wake of Hurricane Mitch in October 1998.

MIT senior Edgar Terrero helps Pilo of Centro Tecnico in Honduras to hold up a directional antenna for a test of the radio component of a flood early warning system.
Credit: Photo Alex Bahr

Eight MIT students -- five graduate students and three undergraduates -- spent spring break 2005 in Tocoa, Honduras, working on an automated flood early warning system and visiting towns that had been badly damaged by flash flooding in the wake of Hurricane Mitch in October 1998.

Related Articles


The group tested software and radio equipment and installed a river level sensor in the Aguan River in northeastern Honduras. They went as part of the MIT FloodSafe Honduras project, a student-led, mainly volunteer effort sponsored by the Lutheran Episcopal Ministry at MIT and the Edgerton Center.

Centro Tecnico San Alonso Rodriguez, a nonprofit technology and education center in Tocoa, hosted graduate students Alex Bahr, ocean engineering; Elizabeth Basha, electrical engineering and computer science (EECS); Kristen Bethke, aeronautics and astronautics; Karla Solheim, urban studies and planning; and Emily Van Ark, marine geology and geophysics. The MIT undergraduates were Kathleen Connolly, a senior in EECS; Nina DeBenedictis, a junior in chemical engineering, and Edgar Terrero, a senior in EECS.

For Bethke, the "greatest part was witnessing and being inspired by the transformational grass-roots work of the Centro Tecnico. They educate Hondurans about natural resource management, building houses with local materials, community organization and water sanitation," she said.

Centro's director, Gines Suarez, "affirms that it really is possible to put big ideas into action, but he shows that humility, patience and good listening skills are essential! His work educates and empowers people all over their region," Bethke said.

"It was really interesting to try to figure out how our MIT-based technological knowledge could work with the Centro's efforts in a useful and productive and sustainable way," said Van Ark.

Once it is installed, the early warning system, or SAT, for Sistema de Alerta Temprana, will consist of five major subsystems: 1) upstream river level sensors, 2) a radio communication system to transmit river data, 3) a central processing center to crunch the numbers and predict flooding based on aggregate river data, 4) alert receiving stations in downstream communities, and 5) power systems for everything.

The FloodSafe mechanism for warning people is then: A) river level sensors measure the height of the river, B) a mathematical model at the central processing center determines when the flood danger threshold has been crossed, C) an automatic radio signal is sent to a community's emergency committee, and D) the committee warns its community by sounding an alarm.

Work on the FloodSafe early warning system began as part of the 2003-2004 D-lab class taught by Amy Smith ('84, S.M. '95), instructor in the Edgerton Center and 2004 MacArthur Fellow.

The FloodSafe trip was funded by MIT IDEAS, the Public Service Center, the Carroll Wilson award, and Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans.

For more information, visit http://web.mit.edu/lem/honduras.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Students Tackle Flooding In Honduras." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050502094144.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. (2005, May 4). Students Tackle Flooding In Honduras. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050502094144.htm
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology. "Students Tackle Flooding In Honduras." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050502094144.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins