Student Conservation Associates Perform Ongoing Research at the USDA Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, Idaho
Northwest Watershed Management Research
2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To utilize Student Conservation Association members to assist in research related projects in restoration research in the Boise Foothills and the Northern Great Basin Area.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Student Conservation Association Participants are assigned a variety of projects with which they gain experience with scientists and technicians. Student Conservation Association Participants are able to receive AmeriCorps Education Awards to its eligible Conservation Interns because of their participation in this program.
This cooperative agreement was developed by ARS and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to provide SCA associates with work experience in rangeland restoration planning and management. In 2013, ARS scientists at the Northwest Watershed Research Center (NWRC) in Boise, Idaho, recruited and hired one SCA associate and provided training and supervision for field data collection and analysis at multiple field sites being used for research and demonstration under the ARS Ecologically Based Invasive Plant Management (EBIPM) program, and joint field sites associated with two NWRC-ARS Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grants. The SCA associates collected field data at NWRC research and demonstration areas in the Boise Foothills, Bureau of Land Management Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, and the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed. These data are part of long-term studies in rangeland restoration and prescribed fire management. In addition to development of field experience, SCA associates were introduced to a variety of NWRC research and outreach projects involving hydrology, juniper management, remote sensing, and technology transfer. This agreement was established in support of Objective 2 of the in-house project, the goals being to develop decision-support tools that will improve the success of rangeland restoration projects in the Great Basin by integrating weather, climate, micro-climate and forecast data into ecological site descriptions and conservation practice models to reduce the risks of climatic uncertainties.