Research

Recent Projects

  • 2021 Western Water Assessment
    After the fire: Informing water systems management in burned landscapes
    Wildfires create hazards for lives and property through combustion and high temperatures, as well as their impacts to catchment source water. This project focuses on these water-related vulnerabilities, which include far-reaching effects on flood risks (Ebel et al., 2012), on aquatic habitats, and on water treatment costs (Hohner et al., 2019; Pitlick and Van Steeter, 1998).
  • 2021 Sunrise over the Teton Mountains
    Sense of Place, Underserved Communities, and Adaptive Capacity in the Intermountain West
    Planners, public land managers, and community decision-makers anecdotally understand and experience the importance of sense of place but may not understand how it can be leveraged to build adaptive capacity to help communities respond to and navigate change (Knapp and Trainor 2013). In this project we will collect and compare data across the Intermountain West to better understand how sense of place might be leveraged to assist in adaptation efforts.
  • 2021 Map of study area
    ACCESS: Anthropogenic Water Management, Climate Change, and Environmental Sustainability in the Southwestern US
    ACCESS is a collaborative project among researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Colorado Boulder funded by the National Science Foundation.
    Led by Drs. Yadu Pokhrel and Lifeng Luo at MSU and Dr. Ben Livneh and Liz Payton at CU, the project engages with stakeholders throughout the Southwest US to assess whether current management practices can meet future water demands while maintaining environmental water requirements, and if not, whether there are alternative approaches to achieving water and environmental sustainability. The project uses a comprehensive modeling framework that integrates key drivers of hydrologic change and water management while also accounting for environmental water needs.
  • 2021 WWA hosts a workshop with water managers
    Building understanding for water system resilience to changing streamflows
    In this project, we will engage with water providers, tribal representatives, agricultural and other water users, ecological interests, and recreational groups about future snowpack and streamflow conditions, increasing understanding of how they view water system resilience to compound hazards. This continued engagement is essential both to disseminate new research findings and to understand evolving information and planning landscapes.
  • 2021 South St. Vrain Creek near Long Lake, CO
    Building cross-scale understanding and collaboration to support wildfire-resilient water systems
    Water system managers in the Intermountain West face enormous challenges navigating unpredictable streamflow forecasts, changing snowpack behavior, and the increasingly dangerous threat of wildfire to both water quality and quantity. In this project, we aim to engage directly with water system managers in an iterative project to (1) increase understanding of their perceptions of water system resilience, (2) identify key components of regional water system resilience across a range of scales from small rural systems to larger urban systems, and (3) convene cross-scale water manager conversations to support peer learning and identify opportunities to collaboratively build equitable and just regional water system resilience. This project stems directly from conversations with the US Forest Service, Northern Water, and Denver Water.

Recent Publications

Gaughan, Andrea E., Nicholas E. Kolarik, Forrest R. Stevens, Narcisa G. Pricope, Lin Cassidy, Jonathan Salerno, Karen M. Bailey, Michael Drake, Kyle Woodward, and Joel Hartter. 2022. “Using Very-High-Resolution Multispectral Classification to Estimate Savanna Fractional Vegetation Components.” Remote Sensing 14 (3): 551.   https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14030551

Western Water Assessment, 2022. Utah Hazard Planning Tool, S. J. T. Arens, ed., Western Water Assessment, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.   Utah Hazard Planning Tool

Yang, Kehan, Keith N. Musselman, Karl Rittger, Steven A. Margulis, Thomas H. Painter, and Noah P. Molotch. 2022. “Combining Ground-Based and Remotely Sensed Snow Data in a Linear Regression Model for Real-Time Estimation of Snow Water Equivalent.” Advances in Water Resources 160 (February): 104075.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2021.104075

Clifford, Katherine R. 2022. “Natural Exceptions or Exceptional Natures? Regulatory Science and the Production of Rarity.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers, June, 1–18.   https://doi.org/10.1080/24694452.2022.2054768

Dunham, Jason, Joseph R. Benjamin, David J. Lawrence, and Katherine Clifford. 2022. “Resist, Accept, and Direct Responses to Biological Invasions: A Social–Ecological Perspective.” Fisheries Management and Ecology, June, fme.12574.   https://doi.org/10.1111/fme.12574

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