Last day of summer!

Summer seems to have flown by – classes start tomorrow and all of us in my lab are transitioning back to classes (up next for me: Intro to Global Climate Change).

The students that worked with me this summer are amazing and I am excited to work with them as they analyze and contextualize their data into senior theses.

A brief recap of my awesome student’s work:

  • Fiona spent a month at Brown working with Dr. Meredith Hastings and Sydney Clark on nitrate isotopes. Fiona and Sydney were measuring the isotopic composition of snow and water samples from Loch Vale and Niwot Ridge research sites. We are interested in determining the sources of new inorganic nitrogen within these alpine catchments and the shifting effects of elevated atmospheric deposition and warming temperatures on nitrogen availability. Fiona’s senior thesis will focus on building a mass balance model for Green Lakes 4, the alpine catchment within the Niwot Long Term Ecological Research that includes: atmospheric deposition inputs, soil mineralization and nitrification rates, and stream export.
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Lochvale Watershed, Colorado. Loch Vale Watershed (photo: USGS)

  • Asheton and Kelsey spent the summer hiking around the Hayman and Schoonover burn scars (near Deckers, CO) collecting soil and stream samples. Asheton‘s project focuses on the transport of water through the soil column and how differences in soil structure and chemistry in burned and unburned hillslopes effects the transport of dissolved organic matter and nitrogen constituents. To examine these processes, she conducted rain experiments on intact soil cores (~20 cm) as well as extractions of surface soil samples (~10 cm). Kelsey‘s project examines the fate of this laterally exported carbon in streams by conducting 15 day bioassay experiments on stream water and weekly sampling of the streams over the course of the summer.  In addition, Kelsey collected high resolution dissolved oxygen and temperature data so that we can calculate ecosystem metabolism metrics and determine if these are related to dissolved organic matter dynamics.

looking over the Hayman Burn scar | Deckers, CO | July 2017

  • Delaney spent a month with Dr. Audrey Sawyer and Corey Wallace at Ohio State learning how to build numerical models with MatLab! Delaney is working on a two box biogeochemical model for the riparian aquifer of the tidal freshwater zone (TFZ) we have been working in for the past three summers (White Clay Creek in Stanton, DE). Delaney’s model will be compared to geochemical measurements made in 2015 and 2016 to determine how well it is capturing the spatiotemporal variability and thus how well we understand the system. Delaney (along with Zoe) helped Corey with some field work scouting our next TFZ site in North Carolina. Thankfully all velocity profiles, sediment and water samples were taken before the alligators were spotted!

White Oak Creek Sampling Trip | Jacksonville, NC | August 2017

In addition to all this great research with undergrads Becca participated in the University of Utah’s SPATIAL short course for the 3rd summer (where she got to spend lots of time with Sydney Clark) . As always she was rewarded by her fellow isogeeks with amazing science and creativity throughout the week. Below is her group from week one – Team HOLY TAP! Needless to say they had a ton of fun driving all over the town of Bountiful collecting tap water.

Celebrating a successful presentation and end of week 1! | SPATIAL Short Course | June 2017

Finally, a few weeks ago we heard that our NSF ADVANCE grant proposal, aimed to developing training modules for faculty around sexual harassment, was funded! Read more about this exciting opportunity led by myself and fellow ESWN Leadership Board members!

Plus lots more:

  • Becca & Kyra Wolf (CC ’16) attended the Gordon Conference on Catchment Sciences (aka watershed camp)
  • Becca raised $2000 for the Earth Science Women’s Network via Science-A-Thon (#DayofScience was trending on Twitter!!)
  • Kyra Wolf (CC’16) joined Phil Higuera’s lab at the University of Montana to start her PhD
  • Becca did an encore performance of her Peer Revue set about Falling in Love with Isotopes at Clock Tower Cabaret in Denver
  • Colleen Orr (CC ’17) started working with Terra Alpha Investments (VA)
  • Patrick Jurney (CC ’17) started working with CalPIRG as a campus organizer at UC Santa Cruz



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