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Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5169

Proceedings of the Fourth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds

Observing, Studying, and Managing for Change

Edited by C. Nicolas Medley, Glenn Patterson, and Melanie J. Parker

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (41.2 MB) Abstract

These proceedings contain the abstracts, manuscripts, and posters of presentations given at the Fourth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds—Observing, Studying, and Managing for Change, held at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks, Alaska, September 26–30, 2011. The conference was jointly hosted by the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.

Watersheds face resource impacts driven by accelerated change related to land use, population, and climate. About every three years a conference is held to bring together watershed researchers, observers, and managers to share scientific advances and management strategies. This year, the Fourth ICRW took a wider perspective on watershed science and examined some pressing issues of watershed science and management in our largest and perhaps most vulnerable state, Alaska. The purpose of the conference was to better understand the processes driving change and help managers incorporate societal needs and scientific uncertainty in the management of natural resources.

The conference echoed similar themes to the last, highlighting the challenges of managing watersheds based on available science when considerably uncertainty remains regarding the hypothesized relationships between observed environmental changes and their ultimate effects. For example, while the scientific case for anthropogenic climate change has been well presented, confirming possible cause and effect relationships between climatic change and physical and ecological impacts in highly variable, natural systems continues to represent a scientific challenge. This goal becomes even more difficult when superimposed upon a long history of natural resource and land management practices that have fundamentally changed the physical, chemical and biological processes important in maintaining naturally functioning ecosystems. Designing and implementing studies to better understand watersheds and clearly communicating the findings to decisionmakers will be the primary challenge for natural resource scientists and managers into the foreseeable future.

First posted September 23, 2011

The larger PDF for SIR 2011-5169 combines all sessions, support material, and front matter contained in the ICRW Proceedings.

To immediately access smaller PDFs of the individual sessions included in the ICRW Proceedings, use the links listed at the bottom of this webpage or the links within the Contents section of the “Front Matter” PDF.

For additional information contact:
Chief, Branch of Regional Research, Central Region
Box 25049, Mail Stop 418
Denver, CO 80225

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Medley, C.N., Patterson, Glenn, and Parker, M.J., eds., 2011, Observing, studying, and managing for change—Proceedings of the Fourth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5169, 202 p.


Front Matter PDF (725 KB)




Conference Program

Conference Papers and Extended Abstracts

Alaskan Water Quality

Use of Pore Water as Part of Contaminated Sites Management—Case Studies in Kotzebue and Fairbanks, Alaska, by James Fish

Application of Updated Approaches for the Reclamation of Placer-Mined Lands in the Harrison Creek Watershed near Central, Alaska, by Hans R. Arnett and Patrick L. McMahon, P.E.

Developing a Long-Term Aquatic Monitoring Network in a Complex Watershed of the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain, by M.S. Whitman, C.D. Arp, B. Jones, W. Morris, G. Grosse, F. Urban, and R. Kemnitz

Monitoring Water Quality in Alaskan National Parks—Development and Application of RIVPACS Empirical Models for the Assessment of Ecological Condition, by T. Simmons and J.D. Ostermiller

Climate and Hydrology

Potential Climate Change Effects on Water Tables any Pyrite Oxidation in Headwater Catchments in Colorado, by Richard M.T. Webb, M. Alisa Mast, Andrew H. Manning, David W. Clow, and Donald H. Campbell

Utilizing Long-Term ARS Data to Compare and Contrast Hydroclimatic Trends from Snow and Rainfall Dominated Watersheds, by D.C. Goodrich, D. Marks, M.S. Seyfried, T.O. Keefer, C.L. Unkrich, E.A. Anson, P.E. Clark, G.N. Flerchinger, E.P. Hamerlynck, S.P. Hardegree, P. Heilman, C. Holifield-Collins, M.S. Moran, M.A. Nearing, M.H. Nichols, F.B. Pierson, R.L. Scott, J.J. Stone, S.S. Van Vactor, A.H. Winstral, and J.K. Wong

Analysis of Trends in Climate, Streamflow, and Stream Temperature in North Coastal California, by M.A. Madej

Evidence of Climate Change in Streamflow and Water Temperature Record in the Missouri River Basin, by M.T. Anderson, J.F. Stamm, P.A. Norton, and J.B. Warner

Long-Term Climate Change Controls Stream and Riparian Area Response to Disturbance in the Semiarid Great Basin, by J.C. Chambers


Predicting the Impact of Glacier Loss on Fish, Birds, Floodplains, and Estuaries in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, by Matt Nolan, Roy Churchwell, Jeff Adams, Jim McClelland, Ken D. Tape, Steve Kendall, Abby Powell, Ken Dunton, David Payer, and Philip Martin

Land Use and Salmon Habitat—A Comparison of North Pacific Watershed Parameters, by S.F. Loshbaugh

Evaluating Biodiversity Response to Forecasted Land Use Change—A Case Study in the South Platte River Basin, Colorado, by Elizabeth A. Samson, William G. Kepner, Kenneth G. Boykin, David F. Bradford, Britta G. Bierwagen, Allison K.K. Leimer, and Rachel K. Guy

Modeling Impacts of Environmental Change on Ecosystem Services across the Conterminous United States, by P. Caldwell, G. Sun, S. McNulty, E. Cohen, and J. Moore Myers

The Urban Fishery—An Application of System Robustness, by Meagan B. Krupa

Carbon, Nitrogen, and Agriculture

Improved Nitrogen Management Utilizing Ground-Penetrating Radar—A Nine-Year Investigation, by Timothy Gish, Craig Daughtry, Andy Russ, Lynn McKee, and John Prueger

Water, Energy, andCarbon Flux Observations from Agricultural Research Service Watersheds and Agro-Ecosystem Experimental Sites by Joseph Alfieri, John Baker, Gerald Flerchinger, Rebecca Phillips, John Prueger, Russ Scott, Howard Skinner, Keirith Snyder, Bill Kustas, Danny Marks, Jerry Hatfield, Dave Goodrich, Jeff Herrick

Integrating Watershed- and Farm-Scale Models to Target Critical Source Areas While Maintaining Farm Economic Viability, by Lula T. Ghebremichael and Tamie L. Veith

Forested Watersheds

Long-Term Forest Management and Climate Effects on Streamflow, by Shelby G. Laird, C.R. Ford, S.H. Laseter, and J.M. Vose

Effects of Forest Cover and Environmental Variables on Snow Accumulation and Melt, by Mariana Dobre, William J. Elliot, Joan Q. Wu, Timothy E. Link, and Ina S. Miller

Headwater Variability across the Rain-Snow Transition in California’s Sierra Nevada—Stream Discharge, Runoff Timing, and Sediment Yield, by C.T. Hunsaker

Contrasts in Carbon and Nitrogen Ecosystem Budgets in Adjacent Norway Spruce and Appalachian Hardwood Watersheds in the Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia, by Charlene Kelly, Stephen Schoenholtz, and Mary Beth Adams

Lakes, Wetlands, and Soil Moisture

Classification, Mapping, and Management of Wetlands in Alaskan Watersheds with Rapidly Growing Populations, by Mike Gracz

Will the Arctic Coastal Plain Wetlands Disappear?, by A.K. Liljedahl, L.D. Hinzman, J. Schulla, C.E. Tweedie, J. Zhang, and D. Zona

Lake Districts of the Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge, by K. Lehmkuhl Bodony and M. Hans

Water Quality Monitoring

Reconnaissance Investigation of Emerging Contaminants in Effluent from Wastewater Treatment Plant and Stormwater Runoff in the Columbia River Basin, by Jennifer Morace

An Upside-Down River—Impoundments and Eutrophication Alter Downstream Predictions of Water Quality in the Klamath River, by Alison A. Oliver, Robert G.M. Spencer, Michael L. Deas, and Randy A. Dahlgren

Use of Early Agency Coordination to Efficiently Navigate the Permitting Process for Complex Stream- and River-Related Projects, by Hans R. Arnett, Sara E. Lindberg, and D. Shane Cherry

Data and Modeling

Hydrologic Response to Climate Change and Habitat Resiliency Illustrated Using Fine-Scale Watershed Modeling, by Lorraine E. Flint and Alan L. Flint

Simulation of Hydrologic Response to Climate and Landscape Change Using the Precipitation Runoff Modeling System in the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint River Basin in the Southeastern United States, by Jacob H. LaFontaine, Lauren E. Hay, Roland J. Viger, Steven L. Markstrom, and R. Steven Regan

Geomorphology and Watershed Management

Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Landslides in the Redwood Creek Basin, Northern California, by M.A. Madej

Holocene Extraordinary Floods and the Social Impacts in the Weihe River Basin, China by C. Huang, J. Pang

Paleochannels as Reservoirs for Watershed Management, by R.P. Gupta, S. Kumar, and R.K. Samadder

The Effectiveness of Aerial Hydromulch as an Erosion Control Treatment in Burned Chaparral Watersheds, Southern California, by Peter M. Wohlgemuth, Jan L. Beyers, and Peter R. Robichaud

Remote Sensing of Soil Tillage Intensity in a CEAP Watershed in Central Iowa, by C.S.T. Daughtry, P.C. Beeson, S. Milak, B. Akhmedov, E.R. Hunt Jr., A.M. Sadeghi, and M.D. Tomer

Spatiotemporal Analysis of Surface and Subsurface Soil Moisture for Remote Sensing Applications within the Upper Cedar Creek Watershed, by Gary C. Heathman, Michael H. Cosh, Eunjin Han, Venkatesh Merwade, and Thomas J. Jackson

Poster Session

Building a Hydrology Science Plan for the Arctic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, by B.T. Crosby and the Arctic LCC Hydrology Work Group

Renewable Energy Locations for Existing and Potential Facilities within BLM Leased Land, by S. Davis and C. Doughty

An Investigation of Carbon Dynamics in Beaver Creek, Alaska, Using in situ Sensors, by Mark M. Dornblaser, Robert G. Striegl, and Heather Best

The Yukon River Basin Indigenous Observation Network—Preliminary Results from Baseline Datasets Highlighting Climate Variation Indicators, by L.M. Mackey, C. Thomas, R. Toohey, P.F. Schuster, N. Herman-Mercer, and the Indigenous Observation Network Technicians

Evaluating Cumulative Effects of Logging and Potential Climate Change on Dry-Season Flow in a Coast Redwood Forest, by Leslie M. Reid and Jack Lewis

Making Long-Term Watershed Research Accessible, by K.J. Cole, D.E. James, and J.D. Obrecht [poster image]

Using Remotely Sensed Brightness Temperatures to Infer Snowmelt Onset and Runoff in High Latitude Drainage Basins, by Kathryn A. Semmens and Joan Ramage [poster image]

Agency Presentations

A Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research (LTAR) Network for Agriculture, by Mark R. Walbridge and Steven R. Shafer

U.S. Forest Service 100-Year History of Watershed Studies on Experimental Forests and Ranges, by Deborah C. Hayes, Dan Neary, and Mary Beth Adams


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