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October 2014, the Institute hosted the 2014 S.C. Water Resources Conference in Columbia. The theme "Informing Strategic Water Planning to Address Natural Resource, Community and Economic Challenges" focused on development of a comprehensive statewide water management plan. With 340 registered attendees, the conference featured over 130 oral and poster presentations and extended morning plenary sessions on both days to present panels encapsulating statewide viewpoints about water resources planning.

June 2014, the Institute publishes the first issue of the Journal of S.C. Water Resources, an annual publication featuring select manuscripts from the S.C. Water Resources Conference.

January 2014, the Institute announces the Call for Abstracts for the 4th biennial S.C. Water Resources Conference. The conference is organized by the Institute, in conjunction with the Center for Watershed Excellence, and planned with a statewide committee of water resources professionals.


November 2013, Katie Giacalone is named the new director for the Center for Watershed Excellence, and planning began for the 2014 S.C. Water Resources Conference, in conjunction with a statewide planning committee made up of over two dozen members.

October 2013, the Institute opens the Urban Ecology Center in Aiken to infuse sustainability-based research, education and public outreach into the small city environment and its vital economic sectors. The center will be housed by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce for up to two years, with support from the city, public-private partnerships and grants for research, education and outreach.

August 2013, the Clemson University Board of Trustees approves the Institute's renaming to the Institute of Computational Ecology to better reflect the big-data focus of the institute’s research, education and economic development initiatives, while underscoring strong interdisciplinary connections to Clemson’s Public Service Activities; College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; College of Engineering and Science; and the Restoration Institute.

July 2013, the U.S. EPA Region IV and SCDHEC renewed the MOU for the Center for Watershed Excellence for another five years, recognizing the Center's work to help protect and improve water quality in South Carolina.

May 2013, the Intelligent FarmTM project received $100,000 from Wells Fargo through the Wells Fargo Clean Technology and Innovation Grant Program which fosters innovative clean technologies and supports the growth of green jobs. The goal of the Intelligent FarmTM research is to provide the latest technological tools to growers and consultants, such as Clemson Extension agents and specialists, who can make better-informed decision on where and how much water and fertilizer are needed.

April 2013, the Aiken City Council approved a $367,437 plan for the Institute to conduct a green infrastructure study in Hitchcock Woods. The Hydrological Evaluation of Sand River Headwaters project (City of Aiken Green Infrastructure Project Phase II) is slated to begin in July of 2013. The project will provide data for the next phases of the Hitchcock Woods erosion control and remediation utilizing Intelligent River® technology.

March 2013, the Intelligent ForestTM project received an initial Experimental Station award of $125,000 in March, and initial deployment of a pilot project will happen from July through September in Strawberry Swamp on the Hobcaw Barony property in Georgetown.


November 2012, the Hunnicutt Creek project on campus was awarded a Clemson University Experimental Station grant of more than $100,000 to monitor and restore the creek and provide research data utilizing Intelligent River® technology. The project involves interdisciplinary faculty working with commercial applications and engaging students.

October 2012, the Institute and Center hosted and chaired the 2012 South Carolina Water Resources Conference in Columbia, SC with over 130 oral and poster presentations and over 320 registered attendees. The Intelligent River® Team presented papers on the Intelligent River® program and Aiken Green Infrastructure project at the conference.

July 2012, the Institute opens up a second office location and laboratory at the Clemson University Edisto Research & Education Center in Blackville, SC to assist faculty in developing the "Intelligent Farm" and its associated technologies.

June 2012, the Intelligent River® Team hosted a Deployment Planning Workshop and Peer Review Session at the Madren Conference Center in Clemson. Over 40 participants representing nearly a dozen state and federal agencies attended and provided input and discussion related to planning and deployment for the Intelligent River® NSF MRI Project.

April 2012, the Intelligent River® Research Enterprises Program was featured as the cover story for the inaugural issue of the Clemson University research magazine "glimpse".


November 2011, the Center began planning the 2012 South Carolina Water Resources Conference in conjunction with a statewide planning committee of 23 members.

October 2011, the Intelligent River® Research Enterprise program received a $3M award from the National Science Foundation to design, develop and deploy a basinwide network of computerized sensors to monitor water quality along the entire length of the Savannah River. The major research instrumentation award, funded through NSF’s Division of Computer and Network Systems is titled “Development of the Intelligent River®, a Basin-Scale Monitoring Instrument” (award CNS-1126344).

September 2011, the Center of Economic Excellence in Sustainable Development received a $1M endowment to create an endowed professorship in environmental sustainability.

August 2011, the offices of the Institute and Center are moved to Kappa Street on campus within the Strom Thurmond Institute Building.

June 2011, the City of Aiken receives the Municipal Association of South Carolina Achievement Award for the Sand River Headwaters Green Infrastructure Project.

May 2011, the Institute received EPA funding to develop a design-feasibility study to build a 'vertical farm' in downtown Charleston, SC in collaboration with Clemson's Centers of Economic Excellence in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Development and the City of Charleston.


October 2010, the Clemson University Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Institute of Applied Ecology to consolidate the existing Center for Watershed Excellence and Center for Applied Ecology to support a comprehensive research and education mission that linked land use, water, energy and climate change.

October 2010, the Center hosted and chaired the 2010 South Carolina Water Resources Conference in Columbia, SC with over 120 papers and 40 posters. The IRT presented numerous papers on the Intelligent River® program and Aiken Green Infrastructure project at the conference.

May 2010, a major paper was published by the Intelligent River® IRT in an international journal. “The Intelligent River®: Implementation of Sensor Web Enablement technologies across three tiers of system architecture: Fabric, middleware, and application”

April 2010, Gene Eidson and Jason Hallstrom defended a winning proposal to establish the CoEE in Sustainable Development, with the Intelligent River® research program as the key technology of this new $8M CoEE.

January 2010, planning began to develop the 2010 South Carolina Water Resources Conference.


September 2009, Gene Eidson wrote the proposal for a CoEE in Sustainable Development.

June 2009,  the IRT worked with the EPA, City of Aiken, and SC DHEC and was instrumental through their proposal in bringing $3.3 million in ARRA stimulus funds to develop the Sand River Headwaters Green Infrastructure project for managing stormwater. The IRT received $290,000 in stimulus funds and $129,000 in research funds from the City of Aiken. Research commenced in August 2009 and is ongoing through 2011.

Patent applications were filed for technologies developed within the Intelligent River® research program and two websites were established to host the Intelligent River® research program (www.intelligentriver.org) and Center for Watershed Excellence (www.clemson.edu/watershedcenter).


Late 2008, Carolina Clear stormwater management program became affiliated with the Center for Applied Ecology with Cal Sawyer appointed Associate Director of the Center for Watershed Excellence.

July 2008, the Center for Watershed Excellence developed a Research Affiliation Agreement with Southeastern Natural Sciences to conduct research on Savannah River.

June 2008, the EPA-designated Center for Watershed Excellence was formally established at Clemson University through an MOU among Clemson, EPA Region 4, and SC DHEC to develop a statewide center to support community-based watershed programming.

March 2008, the Center for Applied Ecology hosted the regional conference of the Society of Ecological Restoration and Gene Eidson was elected to the regional board.

February 2008, the Center for Watershed Excellence established a statewide planning committee to coordinate, host, and chair a biennial conference on water resources. The 2008 South Carolina Water Resources Conference was held in Charleston with over 350 attendees and conference proceedings included over 120 papers. Members of the IRT presented numerous papers.

January 2008, the Center for Watershed Excellence received a grant from the City of Aiken to mediate a solution to a long-standing restoration issue between multiple parties, including state and federal agencies, and to develop the Sand River Ecological Restoration Master Plan.  Numerous workshops were held during 2008 and early 2009 to develop a consensus.


December 2007, the IRT wrote a successful proposal to PSA and received $1.6 million in seed funding through the Experiment Station to develop the Digital Watershed and Intelligent River™ Research and Pilot Programs.

October 2007, the IRT worked for several months to identify gaps in Clemson’s water resources expertise and made cluster hire recommendations to Clemson administration along with research funding recommendations.

September 2007, the Center for Applied Ecology and Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy hosted the Savannah River at Risk Public Forum in Augusta, GA.

April 2007, the Center hosted a university-wide forum on water resource issues facing South Carolina and the region. Over 150 faculty participated in the forum resulting in a group of faculty forming an interdisciplinary research team (IRT) focused on solving water resource problems through novel and applied research.

January 2007, Gene Eidson was hired by Clemson University Public Service Activities to establish the Center for Applied Ecology