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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Think Globally, Act Locally: Community Participation in "salsa" Global Change Research 1201

Authors
item Goodrich, David
item Goff, B. - 5342-45-00 (U. OF ARIZ.)

Submitted to: American Meteorological Society
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) program is a multi-agency global change research effort led by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). SALSA research is focused on the upper basin of the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona, USA and northeastern Sonora, Mexico. This basin provides an ideal outdoor "laboratory" for SALSA experiments but excessive groundwater pumping by the local community is threatening critical riparia resources. This paper describes our experience in working with a community to help resolve a local environmental problem while at the same time achieving the scientific objectives of the global change research program. With the support and cooperation of the Univ. of Ariz., Ariz. Dept. of Water Resources, US Bureau of Land Management, Cochise Co. Highway and Flood Control Dept., and the US Army-Fort Huachuca, along with funding by ARS, NASA, and other agencies, SALSA initiated the 1997 Riparian Campaign, a year long experiment to quantify and characterize evapotranspiration and stream-aquifer interactions along the riparian corridor. Volunteers from the local community (Cochise Co.) and the UA helped take various surface water and groundwater measurements during several intensive measurement periods conducted throughout the year. Both the SALSA global change research program and the local community benefited by "thinking globally" while "acting locally" to address a common research objective.

Technical Abstract: Global change scientists should address local community needs while pursuing their larger research agenda. The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) program is a multi-agency global change research effort led by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). SALSA research is focused on the upper basin of the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona, USA and northeastern Sonora, Mexico. This basin provides an ideal outdoor "laboratory" for SALSA experiments but excessive groundwater pumping by the local community is threatening critical riparian resources. SALSA researchers, working closely with other federal, state, and local government agencies, conducted a year-long experiment to quantify evapotranspiration and stream-aquifer interactions along the river. SALSA enlisted local volunteers and university students to assist in taking surface and groundwater measurements during several 48-hour synoptic runs during 1997. The effect of this community participation was to provide a higher return on investment of research funds, give the community a stake in the outcome of the research, and educate the community about global change issues.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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