Welcome to CSIL! (The Ruddell Lab)

The Complex Systems Informatics Laboratory (CSIL) was formed in 2016 by Dr. Benjamin Ruddell in the School of Informatics Computing & Cyber Systems (SICCS) at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Dr. Ruddell is affiliated with NAU’s world-class Ecological and Environmental Informatics applied/interdisciplinary computer science graduate program, the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (ECOSS), and the School of Earth and Sustainability (SES), and also with Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS).

The purpose of this laboratory is to advance interdisciplinary data-driven science and engineering for diverse applications to complex systems, sustainability, economics, resilience, ecology, cities, food/energy/water, climate, infrastructure, water resources, cyberinfrastructure, networks, coupled natural human systems, geoscience, hydrology, homeland security, emergency management, critical infrastructure, networks, defense, planning, and policy.

Our core competencies are big data fusion, network science, sensors, informatics, data privacy policy, data-driven learning, information theory, observatory science, science visualization, university education, and systems thinking. Our projects and expertise are diverse, but we mostly work on real-world complex networked systems using 21st-century methods and theory. Most of our students and staff are Computer Scientists, Data Scientists, Engineers, Ecologists, Social Scientists, and Geoscientists who love working with data—that is, we are dual specialists in both data science and its applications. We are usually hiring; check out the "Work and Study" page!

CSIL News Links:

Networking imagery

Data and Model Driven Hydrology Education

This endeavor is seeking to develop a collaborative cyber environment for instructors to develop and publish teaching modules incorporating exploratory data analysis and modeling tools.
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An ambitious NSF-INFEWS funded initiative, "FEWSION" will produce a complete public dataset mapping and new science explaining the evolution of the U.S. Food, Energy, and Water system in response to shocks and stresses.
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FEWSION for Community Resilience Network (F4R)

The FEWSION for Community Resilience Network (F4R) engages local communities, collects last mile supply chain data, and initiates conversations about the local Food, Energy, and Water nexus.
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A citizen science hydrology application to create a personal history of water in your backyard, community, stream, spring, or lake and join a global community of hydrology scientists and engineers in doing so.
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Global Ecosystem Research Infrastructure (GERI)

GERI is an integrated network of site-based research infrastructures dedicated to better understand the function and change of indicator ecosystems across global biomes.
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Information Theory in the Geosciences

Applying Information Theory (the foundations of knowledge, communication, and inference) in geophysical contexts to the fields of hydrology, ecology, and climatology.
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National Water Economy Project

Illustrating the role of water in the U.S. economy and society in partnership with governments, NGO’s, and corporations to create systematic solutions to 21st century water scarcity problems.
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NAU-SRP Cooperative Agreement

An annual cooperative research agreement for the mutual advancement of applied research topics of public benefit to the State of Arizona and to the operations of SRP.
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Open Digital Textbook: Environmental Informatics Using Research Infrastructures and their Data

Edited annually by Dr. Ruddell with contributions from a growing list of authors, this textbook provides an introduction to environmental and ecological informatics in the context of research infrastructures.
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Reanalyzing & Predicting U.S. Water Use using Economic History & Forecast Data

An experiment in short-range national hydro-economic data synthesis for every county and watershed within the U.S. through the fusion of existing but disparate data and disciplinary approaches.
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SNOWPACS: Synthesizing kNowledge to Optimize Water Policy for Agriculture under Changing Snowpack

A National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)-funded project on the impact of changes in mountain snowpack on agricultural production and water allocation institutions in the western United States.
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Supporting and Increasing Recycling Across Arizona

Arizona State University (ASU), the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and NAU have been commissioned by the Arizona Board of Regents to examine current waste characteristics and logistics of waste flow as well as the economic impact and future economic potential of the recycling industry.
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T3 National Research Traineeship in Ecological Informatics

In 2019 NAU-SICCS launched T3, an elite NSF-funded PhD traineeship in ecological informatics. Take advantage of this unique, limited-time opportunity!
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Utility Customer Data Aggregation Standard

UCDAS provides expert guidance and a data template for utilities to safelty and legally publish customer data- in aggregate.
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Water SRVC Model for Portfolio Water Security

A groundbreaking and easy to use engineering framework for decision makers to optimize water portfolio security considering resilience, vulnerability, and sustainability of water supplies- in addition to cost.
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Beyond our Projects

Most of our students and staff are Engineers, Ecologists, Social Scientists, and Geoscientists who love working with data. That is, we are dual specialists in both data science and its applications.
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Work & Study with CSIL
Explore current opportunities to work and study with the Complex Systems Informatics Laboratory at Northern Arizona University. These opportunities extend to faculty, students, and staff.

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About NAU & Flagstaff
Flagstaff offers an ideal, scenic environment for living, teaching, and learning. With a four-season climate and dynamic landscapes, you’ll discover outdoor adventures unlike anywhere else in Arizona.

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Student Assistance Resource Links

Explore our current portfolio of helpful pathways for students through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA) from faculty mentorship and funding through a wide variety of opportunities, including Interns-to-ScholarsHooper Undergraduate Research AwardShuler Research Mini GrantsUrdea Undergraduate Research AwardsResearch Assistant Mentoring Program, and Student Travel Awards.
Learn about more opportunities here...


Contact the Complex Systems Informatics Laboratory at the NAU School of Informatics, Computing & Cyber Systems if your passion lies in making a difference in the field of Informatics.