Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5049
The 6.7 billion human inhabitants of the earth have the ability to drastically alter ecosystems and the populations of species that have taken eons to evolve. By better understanding how our actions affect the environment, we stand a better chance of designing successful strategies to manage ecosystems sustainably. Toward this end, the Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW) was convened in Estes Park, CO, on September 8-11, 2008.
The Conference provided a forum to present adaptive management as a practical tool for learning how to manage complex ecosystems more sustainably. Further complexity introduced by spatially variable and continuously changing environmental drivers favors this management approach because of its emphasis on adaptation in response to changing conditions or ineffective actions. For climate change in particular, an adaptive approach can more effectively accommodate the uncertainty in future climate scenarios.
Scenarios compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are built on distinct economic, energy, and societal models. The scenarios predict potential changes in greenhouse gases, temperature, precipitation, and atmospheric aerosols, which would have direct or indirect impacts on the timing, volume, and quality of runoff, vegetation, snowpack, stream temperature, groundwater, thawing permafrost, and icecaps.
Through presentations and field trips, researchers and stakeholders described how their findings and issues fit into the adaptive management 'learning by doing' paradigm of Assess > Design > Implement > Monitor > Evaluate > Adjust > Assess.
First posted October 15, 2009
The larger PDF for SIR 2009-5049 combines all papers, support material, and front matter contained in the ICRW Proceedings.
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Webb, R.M.T., and Semmens, D.J., eds., 2009, Planning for an uncertain future—Monitoring, integration, and adaptation. Proceedings of the Third Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5049, 292 p.
Conference Papers and Extended Abstracts
U.S. Forest Service Research and Development Agency Update—From the Forest to
the Faucet, by K. Elder and D. Hayes
American Indian Tribes and the Development of Water Resources, by D. Cordalis
Contributions of the University Community to Watershed Research, by R.P. Hooper,
D.R. Maidment, and D.B. Kirschtel
The Finger Lakes Watershed Environmental Network (FLoWEN)—A Web Services–
Based Approach to Environmental Monitoring Data Management, by R. Lopez-
Torrijos, F. Pieper, and B. Houston
Managing the Uncertainties on the Colorado River System, by E. Kuhn
Adaptive Management of Watersheds and Related Resources, by B.K. Williams
The National Wildlife Refuge System and Resource Management in a Watershed
Context, by A. Loranger
Selected Achievements, Science Directions, and New Opportunities for the WEBB
Small Watershed Research Program, by P.D. Glynn, M.C. Larsen, E.A. Greene,
H.L. Buss, D.W. Clow, R.J. Hunt, M.A. Mast, S.F. Murphy, N.E. Peters, S.D.
Sebestyen, J.B. Shanley, and J.F. Walker
Climate Change Adaptation Lessons from the Land of Dry Heat, by G. Garfin, K.
Jacobs, and J. Buizer
An Ecosystem Services Framework for Multidisciplinary Research in the Colorado
River Headwaters, by D.J. Semmens, J.S. Briggs, and D.A. Martin
Engaging Stakeholders for Adaptive Management Using Structured Decision Analysis,
by E.R. Irwin and K.D.M. Kennedy
Climate, Geology, and Geomorphology
Considerations in Defining Climate Change Scenarios for Water Resources Planning,
by L.D. Brekke
Understanding the Effects of Climate Change in the Yukon River Basin through a
Synergistic Research Approach, by M. Walvoord, P. Schuster, and R. Striegl
Impacts of Coalbed Methane Development on Water Quantity and Quality in the
Powder River Basin, by G.B. Paige and L.C. Munn
Paleoflood Research of South Boulder Creek Basin near Boulder, Colorado, by R.D.
Jarrett and J.C. Ferris
Evaluating Hydrological Response to Forecasted Land-Use Change—Scenario
Testing with the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool, by
W.G. Kepner, D.J. Semmens, M. Hernandez, and D.C. Goodrich
Environmental Effects of Hydrothermal Alteration and Historical Mining on Water and
Sediment Quality in Central Colorado, by S.E. Church, D.L. Fey, T.L. Klein, T.S.
Schmidt, R.B. Wanty, E.H. DeWitt, B.W. Rockwell, and C.A. SanJuan
U.S. Geological Survey Research in Handcart Gulch, Colorado—An Alpine Watershed
with Natural Acid-Rock Drainage, by A.H. Manning, J.S. Caine, P.L. Verplanck, D.J.
Bove, and K.G. Kahn
Water Quality Impacts from Agricultural Land Use in Karst Drainage Basins of SW
Kentucky and SW China, by T.W. Baker and C.G. Groves
Impacts of Forest Management on Runoff and Erosion, by W.J. Elliot and B.D. Glaza
Modeled Watershed Runoff Associated with Variations in Precipitation Data, with
Implications for Contaminant Fluxes—Initial Results, by H.E. Golden, C.D.
Knightes, E.J. Cooter, and R.L. Dennis
Post-Fire Watershed Response at the Wildland-Urban Interface, Southern California,
by P.M. Wohlgemuth, K.R. Hubbert, J.L. Beyers, and M.G. Narog
Hydrology, Biogeochemistry, and Ecology
Isotopic Signatures of Precipitation Quantify the Importance of Different Climate
Patterns to the Hydrologic Budget—An Example from the Luquillo Mountains,
Puerto Rico, by M.A. Scholl and J.B. Shanley
Mercury Cycling Research Using the Small Watershed Approach, by J. Shanley
and A. Chalmers
Soil Evaporative Response to Lehmann Lovegrass Eragrostis lehmanniana Invasion
in a Semiarid Watershed, by M.S. Moran, E.P. Hamerlynck, R.L. Scott, W.E.
Emmerich, and C.D. Holifield Collins
Using a Coupled Groundwater/Surface-Water Model to Predict Climate-Change
Impacts to Lakes in the Trout Lake Watershed, Northern Wisconsin, by J.F.
Walker, R.J. Hunt, S.L. Markstrom, L.E. Hay, and J. Doherty
Using Passive Capillary Samplers to Collect Soil-Meltwater Endmembers for
Stable Isotope Analysis, by M.D. Frisbee, F.M. Phillips, A.R. Campbell,
and J.M.H. Henrickx
Using High Frequency Sampling to Detect Effects of Atmospheric Pollutants on
Stream Chemistry, by S.D. Sebestyen, J.B. Shanley, and E.W. Boyer
Flowpath Contributions of Weathering Products to Stream Fluxes at the Panola
Mountain Research Watershed, Georgia, by N.E. Peters and B.T. Aulenbach
Responses of Benthic Macroinvertebrates to Urbanization in Nine Metropolitan Areas
of the Conterminous United States, by T.F. Cuffney, G. McMahon, R. Kashuba,
J.T. May, and I.R. Waite
Aquatic Ecosystems in Central Colorado Are Influenced by Mineral Forming
Processes and Historical Mining, by T.S. Schmidt, S.E. Church, W.H. Clements,
K.A. Mitchell, D.L. Fey, R.B. Wanty, P.L. Verplanck, C.A. San Juan, T.L. Klein,
E.H. DeWitt, and B.W. Rockwell
Timber Harvest and Turbidity in North Coastal California Watersheds, by R.D. Klein
Facilitating Adaptive Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed through the
Use of Online Decision Support Tools, by C. Mullinix, S. Phillips, K. Shenk, P.
Hearn, and O. Devereux
Poster Session and Field Trip Orientation
Reflections on the July 31, 1976, Big Thompson Flood, Colorado Front Range, USA,
by R.D. Jarrett and J.E. Costa
Climate-Induced Changes in High Elevation Nitrogen Dynamics, by J.S. Baron, T.M.
Schmidt, and M.D. Hartman
Potential Climate Impacts on the Hydrology of High Elevation Catchments, Colorado
Front Range, by M.W. Williams, K.H. Hill, N. Caine, J.R. Janke, and T. Kittel
Monitoring Hydrological Changes Related to Western Juniper Removal—A Paired
Watershed Approach, by T.L. Deboodt, M.P. Fisher, J.C. Buckhouse, and J.
A Study on Seed Dispersal by Hydrochory in Floodplain Restoration, by H. Hayashi,
Y. Shimatani, and Y. Kawaguchi
Lessons Learned in Calibrating and Monitoring a Paired Watershed Study in
Oregon’s High Desert, by M. Fisher, T. Deboodt, J. Buckhouse, and J. Swanson
Hydrologic Instrumentation and Data Collection in Wyoming, by G.B. Paige, S.N. Miller,
T.J. Kelleners, and S.T. Gray
Advanced Spatial and Temporal Rainfall Analyses for Use in Watershed Models,
by D. Hultstrand, T. Parzybok, E. Tomlinson, and B. Kappel
Primary Factors Affecting Water Quality and Quantity in Four Watersheds in Eastern
Puerto Rico, by S.F. Murphy and R.F. Stallard
Human Impacts and Management
The Importance of Considering Aquifer Susceptibility and Uncertainty in Developing
Water Management and Policy Guidelines, by T. Wellman
Water Quality Screening Tools—A Practical Approach, by B. Houston and
Herbicide Transport Trends in Goodwater Creek Experimental Watershed, by R.N.
Lerch, E.J. Sadler, K.A. Sudduth, and C. Baffaut
A Watershed Condition Assessment of Rocky Mountain National Park Using the
FLoWS Tools, by D.M. Theobald and J.B. Norman
Long-Term Patterns of Hydrologic Response after Logging in a Coastal Redwood
Forest, by E. Keppeler, L. Reid, and T. Lisle
Recognizing Change in Hydrologic Functions and Pathways due to Historical
Agricultural Use—Implications to Hydrologic Assessments and Modeling, by C.C.
Trettin, D.M. Amatya, C. Kaufman, N. Levine, and R.T. Morgan
Integrating Terrestrial LiDAR and Stereo Photogrammetry to Map the Tolay Lakebed
in Northern San Francisco Bay, by I. Woo, R. Storesound, J.Y. Takekawa,
R.J. Gardiner, and S. Ehret
Does Climate Matter? Evaluating the Effects of Climate Change on Future Ethiopian
Hydropower, by P. Block and C. Brown