Dr. Philippe Tissot Speaks on Using Artificial Intelligence to Make Environmental Predictions at National Conference

April 09, 2014


CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dr. Philippe Tissot, Associate Director of the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, spoke at the 94th annual American Meteorological Society meeting held February 2-6 in Atlanta, Ga.

Tissot participated in a panel discussing the “Challenges and Opportunities in Applying Artificial Intelligence Techniques to Environmental Science Problems.” The presentations and discussions were a part of the 12th Conference on Artificial and Computational Intelligence and its Applications to the Environmental Sciences.

Tissot and his colleagues at the CBI have developed artificial intelligence based models to analyze and predict coastal and environmental processes for the past 14 years.

“While the set-up of these models takes time and effort from our researchers and students, once implemented, the computations are automated and virtually instantaneous, taking advantage of the real-time flow of environmental data,” said Tissot.

The CBI Coastal Dynamics Laboratory has developed and implemented models to predict water levels, currents, and water temperatures. This “Big Data” approach allows researchers and students at the CBI to take advantage of the CBI’s flow of real-time data and combine it with the output of atmosphere and ocean models. The water temperature prediction models were used frequently this winter.

“This winter, we experienced an unusual string of very cold frontal passages,” said Tissot. “The CBI water temperature predictions helped guide potential interruption of navigation and engineering activities in the Laguna Madre.”

Tissot says very cold waters can lead to negative impact on the ecosystem such as cold stunned turtles and fish kills. Several coastal stakeholders have joined in a program to voluntarily stop activities if water temperatures are predicted to drop below a certain temperature.

The team includes the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Coastal Conservation Association Texas and other users. The CBI models based on artificial intelligence techniques provide the accurate water temperature predictions that make this process possible.

These models are accessible from the CBI Coastal Dynamics Laboratory website at http://www.cbi.tamucc.edu/Coastal-Dynamics/.