Welcome to the Ecohydrology Lab at UCSB!

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The Tague EcoHydrology lab focuses on watershed research, addressing the feedbacks among terrestrial vegetation, surface hydrological processes, and atmospheric conditions. We use a variety of techniques to examine the impact of changes in climate and land use on ecosystem health and water resources.
Please scroll through our blog below to see what we’ve been up to!

All are welcome to attend our weekly lab meetings and take part in presentations and scientific discussions. See our Lab meeting schedule & events page for information on each week’s topic or presenter. Meetings are held in the Bren hall lab wing, room 1005.

Lab meeting presentation

In last week’s Wednesday lab meeting, Katalyn Voss, a Ph.D student in the Geography Department at UCSB, presented her work on “Successful Community-Based Water Adaptation: Finding Solutions Through Coupled Human-Environment Research in Nepal”. Katalyn’s research interests include: water resource management, climate change adaptation, and science-policy communication. Her dissertation investigates community-based watershed management in high mountain regions (with a focus in the Himalaya and Andes ranges) and combines social research methods with hydrologic modeling.

Katalyn Voss at fieldwork site

Katalyn Voss at fieldwork site

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Lab meeting presentation

In our Wednesday lab meeting, Julian Glenday presented her PhD research to the group. Julia is researching the implications of hillslope vegetation, alluvial fan, and floodplain channel degradation and restoration on streamflow and groundwater. Her case-study site is a semi-arid water supply catchment in the Eastern Cape of South Africa (the Baviaanskloof). Through field monitoring and modeling, she is looking at the relative impacts of changes occurring at different landscape positions in the watershed, the buffering effects of alluvial fans and floodplains, and the combined effects of both loss of vegetation cover and incision of channels. The results of her work will be relevant to restoration planning and assessing potential benefits of restoration on groundwater and surface water supply.

Julia collecting data in a groundwater pit used to pump water supplies on the farms

Julia Glenday (Bren School, UCSB), left, and Rebecca Joubert (Rhodes University, South Africa), right, taking manual streamflow measurements of the Baviaanskloof River, South Africa

RHESSys Lab Meeting

In today’s RHESSys lab meeting, Aubrey Dugger presented the work she has been doing utilizing tree ring data to validate her RHESSys model runs in the Santa Fe municipal watershed, and Ian McCullough presented the work he will be doing in the Tejon watershed utilizing tree ring data. We were fortunate to have Tom Swetnam, director of the laboratory of tree ring research at the University of Arizona College of Science, as a guest at our lab meeting today to give his feedback on their work and share his expertise on using tree ring data with us. Tom also presented at last week’s Bren colloquium – “Reaping the Whirlwind: Wildfire and Climate Change in the Western United States”.

BioEarth Meeting

Naomi Tague and Elizabeth Garcia are attending the BioEarth Stakeholder meeting at the University of Washington in Pullman, Washington, this week. RHESSys is one of the models integrated into the BioEarth framework with the goal of creating a regional modeling framework for the Pacific Northwest to improve understanding of the interactions among carbon, nitrogen, and water at the regional scale in the context of global change, to inform decision makers’ strategies regarding natural and agricultural resource management.

For more information, please visit the BioEarth site

BioEarth

WFire Integration Meeting

Naomi Tague met with Don McKenzie and Maureen Kennedy (University of Washington) in Seattle about the integration of a fire model into RHESSys. They plan to move forward with testing the integration on individual fires and fire regimes in the Northwest and Southwest US, and are planning on there being a working version this Fall.

Congratulations Taehee!

Congratulations to Taehee Hwang (postdoctoral associate at UNC Chapel Hill), who just accepted a faculty position in the Geography Department at Indiana University. Taehee has been a valuable collaborator with our ecohydrology lab, and we hope he will continue to be in the future. All the best to you Taehee in your new venture!

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New Publication! RHESSys used for research in the Spanish Pyrenees

Dr. Tague worked with with researches at the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology using RHESSys in the first simulations of combined land cover and climate change in the hydrology of the Pyrenees and the management of a Pyrenean reservoir under future scenarios.
J.I. López-Moreno, J. Zabalza, S.M. Vicente-Serrano, J. Revuelto, M. Gilaberte, C. Azorin-Molina, E. Morán-Tejeda, J.M. García-Ruiz, C. Tague. 2013. Impact of climate and land use change on water availability and reservoir management: Scenarios in the Upper Aragón River, Spanish Pyrenees. Science of the Total Environment, S0048-9697(13)01069-3, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.09.031
Access the paper