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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Bulletin Supplement (Spring 2006)
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STAFF NEWS

 

Jennifer Kucera will be leaving SWRC on 18 May to accept a post-doc position working for Oregon State University in the Department of Horticulture. The purpose of this position is to study management strategies which synchronize soil nutrient availability with tree demand in order to improve long-term farm health, fruit quality, and production.  She will be working with Dr. Anita Azarenko and the ecosystem is cherry orchards (yum).  Jeff, Kali, and Jenn would like to extend a very warm ‘thank you’ to everyone for all of their support over the past year and they will keep you in their thoughts.  They will keep their door open to anyone wishing to escape the approaching summer!

 

Donna King is a new student employee with SWRC.  She already has a B.A. in Public Administration and is currently working on her B.S. in School of Natural Resource at the UA.  She is working the SWRC Remote Sensing group studying vegetation changes at Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed from 1967 to 2005 and the ecohydrological consequences.

 

Bob Lamb just joined the staff in Tombstone as a Hydrologic Technician.  He has had a very interesting career, working mostly in construction, but also as a Medic working in different Hospitals and flying with  DPS on weekends.  He and his wife have lived in Tombstone for 35 years in a house that they built themselves, raising cattle and raising kids with no TV to watch. He enjoys the work at ARS. 

 

The Tombstone Epitaph wrote a nice article about Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed last month.  (Click here to see the article)

 

Ross Bryant has taken a permanent position as a Geospatial Analyst with Statistical Research Inc. here in Tucson.  He is expanding their lidar program and working on other projects.  For the past eight years, Ross worked at SWRC as a Support Scientist on many projects ranging from remote sensing for precision agriculture to rangeland water balance with cooperating scientists from all over the world.  Ross is a special person who offered technical help to everyone at SWRC and to all our visitors.  He deserves a very special thank you and best wishes in his new position.

 

As many of you know, Ken Renard was hospitalized with a serious health condition last month.  Ken is doing very well and is back at home “acting normal” again. Virginia and Ken thank everyone for their love, support and prayers.

 

Thanks to the SWRC Scientist Jennifer Kucera, SWRC offered two activities at the Tucson Children’s Earth Day Festival -- 1) “Soil appreciation” through painting with soils and 2) “Soils are Alive” … viewing arthropods through a microscope.  People were interested before we could even get set up and the booth was busy throughout the entire day!  Kids and adults were interested in both activities!  The experience reminded us how important it is to get kids excited about science and in natural resources in particular.  Jennifer wanted to thank Annie for creating the poster, Gloria for loaning the microscopes, Kevin for volunteering his time on a Saturday, Cheryl, Charmaine, and Chandra for donating materials, Bill for donating one of the soils used to make paints, and Craig Rasmussen for donating the other soils, and her husband and daughter for their assistance!

 

Participants in the UA Extension Master Watershed Steward Program toured the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed on April 25th.  Kim McReynolds, Susan Pater, and Mary Nichols provided an overview of SWRC research and runoff measurement.

 

The Arizona chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society visited Walnut Gulch on April 13th for a tour of Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed followed by a planning meeting for the 2008 International SWCS Conference which will be held in Tucson.

 

FUTURE SCIENCE EVENTS

 

Mary Nichols will be presenting an overview of sediment transport research including the use of RFID systems to monitor coarse particle displacement at the upcoming 16th Annual Jornada Symposium in Las Cruces, NM on Thursday, July 13, 2006.

 

Mary Nichols has implemented a new project to quantify the impacts of small rock check dams on sediment retention, soil moisture distribution, and vegetation. This research is being conducted in cooperation with Kim McReynolds (UA Extension) in an effort to provide new information for designing rangeland soil and water conservation projects. UA graduate student Chad Reed (RNR) and Guillermo Martinez (ABE) will also be contributing to this project.  A 95 acre pasture in the Hay Mountain watershed was treated with check dams in March and will be monitored through the upcoming monsoon season.

 

Bill Emmerich will be attending the ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meeting to present isotope separation of organic and inorganic soil carbon fluxes in Nov 06.

 

David Goodrich will participate executive committee presentations to be made to the External Advisory  Board meeting of the NSF SAHRA Science and Technology Center.

 

In the last newsletter, we shared the sad news of SWRC Scientist Dean Martens’ passing.  Dean’s work will be honored with a Clark Distinguished Lectureship and Poster Session at Annual Meeting of Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).  The speakers are:

Warren Dick, Ohio State University, Soil organic matter management, with an emphasis on residues, tillage and biochemistry. 

Jeannie McLain, ARS Arid Land Agriculture Research Center, Phoenix, AZ, Plants, soils and the environment, including feedbacks and green house gas emissions. 

Dan Olk, National Soil Tilth Lab, Ames, IA, Soil organic matter characterization and N biochemistry. 

Don Suarez, Salinity Lab, Riverside, CA, Analytical methods and biotransformations of selenium.

This will be followed by publication of manuscripts as a special section in the SSSA Journal.  It is a wonderful tribute to Dean.  Please contact Jeannie McLain (JMcLain@uswcl.ars.ag.gov ) or Mitch McClaran (mcclaran@u.arizona.edu ) for more information.

 

Ken Renard made an effort this year to identify the most-cited historic publications at SWRC.  Cheryl Fusco, Mary White and Jason Wong scanned these publications and made them all available on the SWRC website at http://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/unit/Publications/Search.html    These include the RUSLE Handbook (SWRC Reference No.: 717) and the Water Harvesting Handbook (SWRC Reference No.: 378).  Check it out.

 

AWARDS

 

Congratulations to SWRC Soil Scientist Bill Emmerich. In his recent research position review, he was evaluated by his peers and recommended for promotion.

 

In February 2006, Jason Wong garnered a commendation from the ARS webmasters for helping to improve the ARS web presence over the last several months.  After a review of over 350 websites in the Agency, the Southwest Watershed Research Center's website ranked high in terms of pages/sites managed, level of activity, and helpfulness to others in the Web community (http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=53-42-45-00). 


Last Modified: 1/28/2008
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