First Publication!

It only took me 4 years, but I finally published the first chapter of my dissertation! In this paper, I delve into the nitty-gritty of modeling hillslope ecohydrology, comparing upslope and riparian forests response to snow drought. What is snow drought? You’ll have to read the paper to find out! But don’t worry, there’s a plain language summary if it’s too much (and I’ll admit, it’s a lot…).

So as not to bore you, I’ll be brief. For my PhD research, I am investigating beautiful Sagehen Creek Experimental Watershed in the Sierra Nevada, CA – a prime study site for long-term data collection and forest experiments. Located near Truckee, CA, in the Tahoe National Forest, it’s managed by the US Forest Service but has been a UC Natural Reserve for over 50 years. I am taking advantage of an experimental hillslope where sap flow data has been collected from Jeffrey, Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pine trees along a topographic gradient, from the cool, wet riparian areas to the warm, dry upslope areas. This allows us to estimate the timing of tree water stress, which varies along the hillslope by up to 45 days between the upslope and riparian areas due to tree’s access to groundwater. Using this information, I calibrate my ecohydrologic model and run virtual climate experiments to consider how the loss of the snowpack will affect future water stress at this site. The results may surprise you!

One response to “First Publication!”

  1. […] Yellow is about snow and climate change. There are two kinds of snow drought. ‘Warm snow drought’ is when rising temperatures prevent precipitation from falling as snow. ‘Dry snow drought’ is when there is just no rain or snow. Obviously, dry snow droughts are bad for everyone. But warm snow droughts are an interesting case, because they’re wet but not at the right time. Now that I’ve explained blue and green water, you can understand that snow is a critical storage along the cycle to transform blue water to green water as it slowly melts and fills soil water stores as green water, rather than falling as rain and running off right into the stream as blue water. Thus, the snowpack is essential to delay the timing of water input to a point when vegetation can actually use it. Warm snow droughts are a potentially threatening aspect of climate change for montane forest ecosystems that suffer from summer droughts. My dissertation explores the effect of snow drought on vegetation along a hillslope in the Sierra Nevada, considering how loss of the snowpack influences the partitioning of precipitation between blue and green water. Check it out! […]


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