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Water and Watersheds

Watershed Processes

RMRS scientists are analyzing the historical dynamics of western stream and rivers, determining the relationship between air temperature and seasonal flows in streams, downscaling the climate effects on stream hydrology in headwater catchments, and studying the potential impacts of climate change on hydrological processes, riparian ecosystems, and the interaction of climate change with changes in disturbances such as insect outbreaks.

Contact Charlie Luce or Chuck Rhoades for additional information.

Western Watersheds and Climate Change Workshop

The Western Watersheds and Climate Change: Water and Aquatic System Tools workshop was held from November 17-19, 2009 in the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado. This workshop brought together the management and research community to 1) share knowledge and tools that are currently available to address water and climate change, and 2) identify additional tools that are needed to adequately address water and climate change issues in Forest Plan revisions, project level decisions, and partner activities.


Climate Models and Scenarios of Climate Change in the Western United States (5MB), Joe Barsugli, Western Water Assessment, University of Colorado at Boulder, NOAA Earth System Research Lab.

Using Climate Change Information in Reclamation Planning: Case Study Examples (2MB), Levi Brekke, Reclamation, Technical Service Center, Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

Stream Thermal Regimes & Aquatic Ecosystems in a Changing Climate (8MB), Dan Isaak, Bruce Rieman, Charlie Luce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Collecting, Organizing, and Applying Stream Temperature Data (8MB), Dan Isaak, Bruce Rieman, Charlie Luce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Climate Change and Adaptation: Options for the Management of Forests under a changing climate (7MB), Linda Joyce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The “Martian Winter” of 2008/2009 (10MB), Chris Landry, Colorado Dust-on-Snow Program, Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies.

TreeFlow: Using tree-ring paleohydrology as a planning tool (3MB), Jeff Lukas, CIRES — NOAA Western Water Assessment.

Examples of USGS Groundwater Activities Related to Western Watersheds and Climate Change (4MB), Peter McMahon, U.S. Geological Survey.

Vulnerability Assessment for Hydrologic and Aquatic Systems (12MB), Michael J. Furniss, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Certainty in Uncertain Times? Policy Implications of the Colorado River Compact (1MB), Eric Kuhn, Colorado River Water Conservation District.

Climate Observation Data and Tools (12MB), Kelly T. Redmond, Western Regional Climate Center, Desert Research Institute.

Challenges for Conserving and Managing Headwater Aquatic Ecosystems Under a Changing Climate (6MB), Bruce Rieman, Dan Isaak, Charlie Luce, U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Adapting the VIC hydrologic model to headwater streams in the West (4MB), Seth Wenger¹², Dan Isaak², Helen Neville¹, Charlie Luce², Bruce Rieman², Alan Hamlet³, ¹Trout Unlimited; ²U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station; ³University of Washington Climate Impacts Group.