The Center has awarded funding to three research teams, two faculty fellows, and two education and engagement projects for 2019-20. These projects catalyze water research, education, and engagement through interdisciplinary collaboration and creative scholarship among CSU faculty and students. Congratulations to the awardees!

Water Research Teams

Harnessing the power of the crowd to monitor urban street flooding

This research team will use community monitoring of urban street flooding in order to generate greater temporal and spatial coverage of flood-related data than would be possible with installed sensors. This data will allow for analyses of the factors that lead to street flooding. This pilot project will also provide a foundation for integrating social media with Flood Tracker.

Team Investigators:

  • Aditi Bhaskar, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Greg Newman, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
  • Stephanie Kampf, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • Sam Zipper, University of Victoria, Kansas Geological Survey

Hydrologic drivers of peatland development and carbon accumulation in western Washington

This research team will investigate how peatlands respond to changes in precipitation and temperature over time. Despite peatlands’ significant role in global carbon storage, uncertainties remain in how these systems respond to hydrologic alterations from changing climate and land use. This research will inform regional wetland management and has far reaching implications for more northern peatlands.

Team Investigators:

  • John Hribljan, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • Jeremy Shaw, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • David Cooper, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • Jason Sibold, Department of Anthropology
  • Joe Rocchio, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program
  • Julie Loisel, Texas A&M University, Department of Geography

The current and future state of water resources for the Colorado Rocky Mountains

This research team will use high-resolution modeling to investigate how predicted changes in climate will modify the snowpack and hydrology of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This work will produce a better understanding of future snow dynamics given its complex interactions with the atmosphere, land cover, and terrain, and will inform management of the ecological resources of Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas.

Team Investigators:

  • Kristen Rasmussen, Department of Atmospheric Science
  • Steven Fassnacht, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • Daniel McGrath, Department of Geosciences
  • Graham Sexstone, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center

Water Faculty Fellows

Yoichiro Kanno, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Assessing gene flow of invasive brook trout to restore a meta-population of threatened greenback cutthroat trout in the upper Poudre River basin
Dr. Kanno will provide scientific support for a significant greenback cutthroat trout restoration in the upper Cache la Poudre basin. Spatial population structure and movement of this species in the upper basin are poorly understood, and this research will quantify trout movement, identify habitat features that impact gene flow, and determine whether altered flows in the river’s mainstem may hamper fish movement or isolate tributary populations.

Michael Ronayne, Department of Geosciences

Numerical modeling of evolving recharge-discharge sources in a multi-aquifer system
Dr. Ronayne will study the hydrogeologic processes that control time-varying recharge within complex multi-aquifer systems. This research will examine how geologic heterogeneity impacts the alluvial-bedrock groundwater exchange, the conditions that give rise to unsaturated zones between the alluvium and bedrock, and the causes of aquifer “disconnect.”

Water Education & Engagement Projects

Steven Fassnacht, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

Kids Poetry on Water – Creating K-12 curriculum integrating water science and poetry
This project aims to help high school students and K-12 educators better understand the coupling of humanities and the environment—specifically ecology, climate, and hydrology. By creating an interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages students to think about water, write poetry, and broaden their perspectives, Drs. Fassnacht and Carlyon hope to inspire students to study water and environmental sciences at the college level.

Amy Kremen, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Development and launch of a “Master Irrigator” education and training program in Northeastern Colorado
This project will develop curriculum to encourage water-use efficiency and water conservation in the Northern High Plains. It will provide an engaging, intensive professional development/educational opportunity for producers and crop consultants and help push the region towards fulfilling its water conservation goals. These efforts will complement state and local policy efforts around declining water quantity and quality.