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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Bulletin Supplement (Summer 2005)
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STAFF NEWS

 

The new book “SOIL EROSION: Processes, Prediction, Measurement, and Control” by Terry Toy, George Foster and SWRC’s Ken Renard will be translated into Chinese in the near future as soon as copyright authorization is obtained.  Great work!

 

Our Location Safety Committee organized a location cleanup day and got everyone on site to help for one day.  We disposed of 17.7 tons of unwanted material.  The location looks wonderful and everyone is energized to do great research in the new space.  This was a superb effort by the organizers and the whole staff at SWRC, ARS Carl Hayden Bee Laboratory and USDA NRCS.

 

SWRC provided a tour of Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed to two visiting scientists from the University of Sulaimani, located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.  Dr. Aumeed N. M. Amin and Dr. Ahmad H. A. Hama Rasheed, both professors of Crop Science with specialties in crop production, plant physiology and bee pollination were joined by Dr. Mike Proctor, Assistant Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona.  Their visit was sponsored by the US State Department under the Partnerships for Peace Program.  The professors are emissaries for their entire program, the first two such visitors coming to the United States to explore capabilities and find relevant opportunities in agricultural sciences.  They are both significantly involved in their college's overall activity and direction, and are the first scientists identified by the University of Sulaimani to develop contacts which will benefit both the University of Sulaimani and the agricultural community of Iraq.  They identified watershed management, water harvesting, erosion and arid land water measurement as key areas of concern.  The Kurdistan watersheds provide water for most of Iraq including Baghdad.  Kurdistan is also a main agricultural region, but with significant erosion problems arising from overgrazing and fuel harvesting.  They hope to identify possible projects for collaboration with UA and ARS scientists leading to reconstruction activity in Kurdistan.

 

FUTURE SCIENCE EVENTS

 

The second annual Research Insights in Semiarid Ecosystems (RISE) Symposium will be held at the University of Arizona on Saturday, October 8, 2005. The objectives of the symposium are to share recent results of scientific research at WGEW and SRER, to encourage future research activities at WGEW and SRER, and to promote WGEW and SRER as outdoor scientific laboratories.  The program will include eight invited speakers and a poster session where students and researchers are encouraged to report on completed or in-progress studies.  A web-based registration site will be available soon.  In the meantime, you can visit last year’s RISE web site at http://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/rise/ to see the presentations and posters from 2004.

 

The second Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW) is scheduled for 16-18 May 2006 at USDA SRS Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory in Otto, North Carolina.  The purpose of this conference is to highlight current research on watershed science and management.  Several field trips and activities are planned to acquaint participants with the southern Appalachians and its rich heritage.  A call for papers will come out on 22 July 2005 on the web site http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/coweeta/ .  For further information contact Randy Fowler at dlfowler@fs.fed.us or 828-524-2128 X111.  It is hard to resist a conference that begins with white water rafting.

 

SWRC scientists participated in the recent ARS planning/stakeholders meeting in Denver.  We had customers from the ranching community (Larry Greene), NRCS (Sharon Reid, also a rancher) and watershed conservation (Ken Renard) join us to offer their insights on ARS research.  Now, ARS scientists nationwide are using this input to develop the Water Resources National Program (NP201) Action Plan that is the foundation of research for the next five years.  The final action plan will be distributed to stakeholders in September and posted on the ARS-NPS website on October 5, 2005 ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/programs.htm ).

 

Dr. Mark Nearing of the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center was recently asked to contribute to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.  The IPCC is considered to be the world's leading scientific organization focusing on the issue of climate change.  The target date for completion of the Fourth Assessment Report is 2007.  Assessment Reports normally consist of the full scientific, technical and socio-economic assessment reports of the IPCC Working Groups and their Summaries for Policymakers, and a Synthesis Report.  Dr. Nearing's contribution will be in the portion of the document that focuses on assessment of climate change impacts on water resources, adaptation and vulnerabilities.  Specifically, he was asked to review our state of the art knowledge of the effects of climate change on soil erosion and sediment.  This will include assessment of recent scientific advancements related to current sensitivities (including results of change detection in time series of erosion-related observations) and projections for the future (based on climate models).   The review will draw to a large extent on scientific results that were reported at a meeting hosted at the ARS Southwest Watershed Research Center in November of 2003, and recently published in the scientific journal Catena.  The meeting, entitled "Soil Erosion under Climate Change: Rates, Implications, and Feedbacks", was sponsored by the Soil Erosion Network, which is an international scientific working group that focuses on research to refine and adapt soil erosion and sediment models for use in global change studies from plot to regional scales.

 

David Goodrich and former SWRC Post-Doc Evan Canfield will be attending the American Society of Civil Engineers 2005 Watershed Management Conference in Williamsburg, VA on July 19-22, 2005.  They will be presenting papers of post-fire watershed assessment and hydrologic model parameter selection.  In addition, they will participate in presentations and a panel on the North America HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life, and Policy) Basins.  Walnut Gulch/San Pedro is one of five N. American HELP Basins.

 

The UNESCO Division of Water Sciences has invited David Goodrich to be part of a working group on identifying the relative role of climate change and land use change in flood generation. The working group will summarize the state of the art on the subject.

 

As part of support to the Upper San Pedro Partnership (USPP- http://www.usppartnership.com/), the SWRC in cooperation with the Arizona District of the U.S. Geological Survey has completed installation of rainfall and runoff measuring instruments on two small watersheds on Ft. Huachuca (natural) and an adjacent subdivision (urbanized) to quantify the impacts of development on the runoff generation and ephemeral channel recharge which will be used by the USPP in reporting to Congress.

 

As part of a partnership between the SWRC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Engineering Center, Susan Moran and SWRC scientists will be conducting fieldwork at the site of the NASA Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX) near Walden Colorado in July 2005.  The goal of the research is to develop an operational soil moisture modeling system based on remote sensing technology, process-based models and geographic information (GIS) systems.

 

AWARDS

 

Mary Nichols received a 2005 “Superior” Paper Award from the American Society of Agricultural Engineers for her paper titled “A Radio Frequency Identification System for Monitoring Coarse Sediment Particle Displacement”. The ASAE Paper Awards are selected annually from papers of engineering merit published during the prior calendar year in ASAE publications of Applied Engineering in Agriculture, Transactions of the ASAE, or Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health

 

 


Last Modified: 1/28/2008
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