MANAGING EFFECTS OF AGRONOMIC SYSTEMS ON PLAYA WETLAND HYRODOLOGY & ECOLOGY
2011 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To facilitate and conduct coordinated research into effects of agronomic land use on playa hydrology and ecology through collaborative efforts with Texas Tech University students and faculty.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Modeling and direct measurement approaches will be used to conduct applied and fundamental research into plant ecology geomorphology and hydrology of playa wetlands and surronding watersheds.
A full-time USDA scientist, a full-time USDA technician, and two undergraduate employees, one of which is dedicated to the playa effort, contributed to the efforts detailed below. Data collection continues via modem and by traveling to weather station sites. Data are downloaded weekly, plotted monthly, inspected for consistency, and backed up to a server at the ARS facility in Lubbock, TX. Data are being made available upon request to playa project participants. We continue to visit every playa at least quarterly to perform routine maintenance checks and services (replacing batteries and desiccants, downloading data, cleaning radiation sensors and solar panels, clearing obstructions in tipping bucket rain gauges, removing weeds from under the ultrasonic depth gauges, ensuring anemometers are turning freely, inspecting and repairing fencing). Playas are also visited when it is apparent from remotely downloaded data that there is a sensor malfunction. Historical datasets are being inspected point by point to ensure data quality for water budget modeling. We have completed historic water depth data and are now moving through net radiation data.
We continue to advise and assist the Texas Water Development Board's instrumentation effort to upgrade the existing CRP playa instrumentation packages and co-ordinate deployment of instrumentation.
ADODR is in regular contact with cooperator via e-mail, phone, and face-to-face