IEEE Virtual World Forum on Internet of Things 2020
A Multi-Event Conference

VERT3: Environment and Ecology (Including Oceanographic Studies)

Date: Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Time: 8:30am-6:30pm
Room: Commerce Room


The societies in the 21st century have been facing compelling problems related to Environment and Ecology. The scientific and engineering communities have been working on understanding the complex nature of ecological systems interacting with the environment and societies as well as developing innovative solutions for compelling problems.

WF-IoT 2020 is an open forum, which accommodates a broad range of end-users, academics, industry and the public sector to lay out the role of IoT in understanding ecological systems and environmental problems and to delve into potential implementations of the connected systems provided by the IoT in the area of environment and ecology.

IoT has been leveraging the development of green supply chain models, smart buildings and cities with reduced solid and water waste. In an effort to reduce and control pollution, IoT plays a critical role in process optimization, design and operation of energy-efficient production systems with reduced CO2 emissions.   IoT provides experts dealing with monitoring the environmental processes operating in inaccessible, polluted or uninhabitable spaces workplace safety. The emerging need for effective management of food, energy, and water (FEW) nexus calls for increased use of IoT in FEW systems. Smart farming systems have a tremendous positive impact on the environment by optimum use of fertilizers, irrigation and plant protection substances in precision farming, which work with connected sensors, weather data, and images from drones or satellites. Such connected systems also enhance food security by improved crop yield and traceability of the food.

The need for the energy transition in tackling the climate change is a complex sociotechnical process, which has various impacts on the environment and the ecology. The process of energy transition and its interaction with the environment and ecology requires monitoring system performances and their impacts on FEW nexus as well as ecological phenomena, biodiversity, wildlife conservation, habitat resilience. The deployment of IoT in this process is inevitable and will open doors to the innovative use of it.

IoT has great potential to bring about insight into the interaction of environment and ecology with sociotechnical systems emerging in the 4th industrial revolution. This track will provide a suite of presentations from end-users, industry, and academia on their cutting-edge work. Each session will also include a panel discussion to enable full participation between the audience and our invited experts.

Track Chair

Sebnem Duzgun, Colorado School of Mines, Golden CO, USA

Sebnem  Düzgün is Professor and Fred Banfield Distinguished Endowed Chair in the Mining Engineering Department at Colorado School of Mines. She also has a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science at Mines. She received her Ph.D. degree in 2000 from the Department of Mining Engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. She performed research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT from 1998 to 1999 with an award given by the Turkish Scientific and Technical Council (TUBITAK). She was appointed as an assistant professor in the Geodetic and Geographic Information Technologies Program at METU in 2001. She performed research as a postdoctoral fellow from 2004 to 2005 at Norwegian Geotechnical Institute and International Center for Geohazards with a grant from the Norwegian Research Council. She then returned to the Department of Mining Engineering at METU in 2006 as an associate professor and became a full professor there in 2010. Dr. Düzgün was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s experienced researcher fellowship in 2014 and used it to research at the Geophysical Institute at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany from 2015 to 2016. She has been over 20 years of experience in research and teaching in earth resources sciences and engineering. Her main areas of research includes quantitative sustainability assessment for extractive industries, quantitative risk assessment for mining hazards and geohazards, critical infrastructure resilience, earth observation in geosciences, information visualization, virtual/augmented/mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) and serious gaming for technical training and collaborative decision making, information technologies for mining systems, spatial and Spatio-temporal data mining, big data analytics and AI. She is on the Editorial Board of various scientific journals, namely Landslides, Journal of Sustainable Mining; Computers and Geosciences; International Journal of Emergency Management; Georisk Journal; Energy Exploration & Exploitation; and The Open Construction and Building Technology Journal. She was the founder and former CEO of the software company, Kuzgun Informatics, in Turkey, contributor of the three ceramic art exhibitions, the drummer of a local band, and is the mother of two sons.


Qi Han (, Department of Computer Science, Colorado School of Mines

Qi Han is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Colorado School of Mines. She founded and currently directs the Pervasive Computing Systems (PeCS) research group ( Her broad research interests lie in the areas of pervasive computing and mobile systems, with current focus on applying mobile sensing, crowdsourcing, Internet of Things (IoT), swarm robotics, and real-time analytics to understand human activities and improve safety and efficiency of human life. She has also been active in interdisciplinary research where she has used IoT, mobile devices, drones, and wearables for different applications such as environmental monitoring, energy efficient buildings, improving underground safety, oil refinery inspection, intelligent transportation system, and small spacecraft. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US Army Research Lab, Department of Energy through collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL), and the Petroleum Institute at Abu Dhabi, UAE. Dr. Han holds a Ph.D. degree from the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. She has served on a number of technical program committees for international conferences and held several workshop or conference program chair positions. She is an ACM Distinguished Speaker, an ACM senior member, and an IEEE senior member.

Talk Title: IoT for Environmental Monitoring

Abstract: With the advances in computational, communication, and sensing capabilities, large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) based distributed systems are becoming a reality. However, the dynamic nature of IoT causes many uncertainties in supporting applications. In this talk, I will first discuss technical challenges we must address in order to enable wider adoption of IoT for different applications, then present two of our projects where IoT has been used: one for subsurface contaminant monitoring, and the other for adaptive landscape irrigation using reclaimed water.


Carrie Middleton, Agency Name and Division: United States Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Western Region Geospatial Information Services Branch

I currently serve as a remote sensing scientist for the OSMRE Western Region GIS Branch since December 2016. I use spaceborne, airborne, unmanned aerial systems, and terrestrial/ground-based observations to monitor active, inactive, and abandoned mine lands in the United States. I have a master’s degree in Applied Chemistry from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. I worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics, and Training for 19 years as a credentialed enforcement official. I developed course content and I served as an instructor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Western States Project, and the Southern Environmental Enforcement Network for 12 years while at the US EPA. The students and participants were international, federal, state, local and tribal professionals with enforcement authority. I helped develop Interpol’s Pollution Crimes Investigations Manual chapters related to mapping and evidence collection. I am also a Chemistry Ambassador for the American Chemical Society. I have developed and led outreach activities to provide hands-on science experiences for disadvantaged communities for more than 20 years.

Hobbies and Interests: I love the outdoors, so my hobbies include geocaching, hiking, biking,
fishing, sporting clays, snowboarding, and gardening. My indoor interests include making wine
from locally sourced grapes and cooking dishes that pair well with the wines. I enjoy parenting
my children, who are 9 and 12 years old.
(My professional qualifications statement is available upon request. My LinkedIn profile .)

Talk Title:  Using Publicly-Accessible Earth Observations for Monitoring Revegetation on Mine Reclamation Areas in the United States

Abstract:  The Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) is responsible for regulating active coal mines, reclaiming inactive and abandoned mine lands, and providing resources for technical assistance, training, and technology development.  Publicly-accessible Earth observations that are used to monitor revegetation processes include the space segment, manned aircraft, and unmanned aircraft, which fall under the traditional overhead observing toolbox.  Other remote sensing networks are used to provide additional resolution and provide some redundancy in case one or more systems are unavailable.   Some examples of systems that are used are the United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Water Information System which record near-real time stream flow for stations located across the United States.  Historical weather observations data from the National Weather Service, and increasingly, personal weather stations cataloged by Weather Underground provide details on climatic impacts on revegetation efforts.  The National Ecological Observatory Network, which includes airborne, field, and sensing networks, is rapidly growing and is used to help verify spaceborne observations for some of the largest mining areas.  Citizens also contribute a large portion of data that is used in Earth observations, such as the Picture Post and the Global Geo-referenced Field Photo library, which naturally followed the USGS Adopt a Pixel project that helped engage citizens in verifying LandSat spaceborne observations.  Currently, OSMRE is working with scientists in Utah and New Mexico to achieve greater detail and mapping vegetation at the plant level by using Google Lens in the field.  The goal is to drive efforts to update regulatory requirements for expensive field campaigns by using simultaneous Earth observing sensor networks.  Using Earth observations sensing in this way will greatly reduce the costs of in-person teams doing extensive vegetation transect surveys, provide information for timing of reclamation work, and avoid human disturbance of recovering ecologically sensitive areas.  Publicly accessible and authoritative Earth observations data benefits industry, academia, regulators, and citizens who share similar goals in balancing our Nation’s need for energy with the impacts on the environment.