Berkeley Lab

Susan Hubbard Named 2017 American Geophysical Union Fellow

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has named Susan Hubbard, Watershed Function SFA Director, as a 2017 AGU Fellow.

Every year, the AGU Fellow program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to the Earth and space sciences. Vetted by a committee of AGU Fellows, honorees represent no more than 0.1 percent of AGU’s 60,000 members. Read more »

New Data Archive Aims to Amplify Impact of Ecosystem Research

Data collection in Rifle, CO, the former SFA study site (Photo credit: Berkeley Lab)

A new DOE project led by Deb Agarwal (lead of Watershed Function SFA Data Management and Assimilation) will develop an archive that will serve as a repository for hundreds of DOE-funded research projects under the agency’s Environmental System Science (ESS) umbrella.

The project is a $3.6 million investment by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science that will enable researchers, environmental and agricultural stakeholders, as well as members of the public to access the data.

Read the full story here »

Flux Tower Deployment and Peak SWE Snow Sampling

Flux tower installation at Pumphouse floodplain site

Flux tower being installed at the Pumphouse floodplain site.

Tied to the DOE-funded project led by Drs. Reed Maxwell and Dave Gochis (“Diagnosing dominant controls on carbon exchanges in high altitude, western U.S. headwaters”), the long-awaited flux tower was installed at the Pumphouse floodplain intensive study site on April 13, 2017.

Flux tower installation:

Synoptic view of installation and site conditions and infrastructure:–QWs

Tony Brown (~6ft tall) standing in the 3-meter snow pit at the Upper Subalpine site.

Sampling during peak SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) conditions

On April 2-3, 2017, SFA team members dug snow pits to collect vertically-resolved measurements of snow density and samples for geochemical analysis.  Snow depths were ~50% greater than in 2016 at the same time of year.
A video highlighting conditions at the Upper Subalpine site and the headwaters of Rock Creek at the time of sampling can be found here:

Other site updates

For those who have followed the time-lapse evolution of conditions on Meander A, a video presenting conditions and infrastructure tied to the DOE-funded work of Mike Wilkins (Ohio State) investigating stream bed hyporheic exchange can be found here:

Jill Banfield named 2017 Goldschmidt Medalist

Reposted from the Berkeley Lab EESA blog

Jill Banfield, Faculty Scientist in Earth & Environmental Sciences at LBNL, Professor at UC Berkeley, and member of the SFA team, has been named 2017’s recipient of the V.M. Goldschmidt Award. This award recognizes major achievements in geochemistry or cosmochemistry. Her work focuses on geomicrobiology—natural microbial communities in the terrestrial subsurface, sediments, water, biofilms and animals. She also studies nanoparticle formation and behavior in the natural environment.

Jill will receive her award at the Goldschmidt 2017 conference in Paris, France, this August.

Read the Geochemical Society’s announcement.

Watershed Function SFA Research in Discover’s Top 100 of 2016


Cover for Discover Magazine’s “Top 100 Stories of 2016”

Watershed Function SFA research—leading to the discovery of previously unknown species throughout the bacterial branches of the Tree of Life—was included in Discover Magazine’s “Top 100 Stories of 2016“, at #97 in the list.

The accolade accentuates the abundant media coverage the research garnered in April 2016 when it was first published. In fact, the article’s Altmetric score earned it spot #79 in Altmetric’s “Top 100 Articles of 2016“.

Stelzer Embarks on “Homeward Bound” Journey to Antarctica

Times in Greenland and AntarcticaThis week, Heidi Steltzer will embark on an Antarctic voyage as one of the first participants of “Homeward Bound“, a strategic and science initiative for women.  Read her blog post here.

Watershed Function SFA Featured in Crested Butte Magazine

Crested Butte 2016/17 coverThe semiannual magazine—popular with both locals and out of town guests—featured a short story about Watershed Function SFA research activities.

Find the article on page 18 (digital page 20) of the Winter 2016/17 edition on the Crested Butte Magazine Website. Or go here for a direct link to the story.

Facebook Page “mountaindaughters” highlights Heidi Steltzer’s Homeward Bound experience

heidi on peak
Image: Heidi on a peak in Greenland.

The Facebook page serves as a forum for sharing updates on science and adventure in the world’s mountains, including Heidi Steltzer’s upcoming Homeward Bound experience. Through Homeward Bound, Heidi Steltzer will join 76 women with science backgrounds from around the world on a December 2016 voyage to the Antarctic, on which they will gain skills in leadership and strategy towards increasing the impact of science in society. Learn more here, and join the group for updates.

Blog: If you have sore legs, is it a mountain?

Image: Christian John, Eric Post, Nell Hermann, and Heidi Steltzer, July 2016, Greenland Ice Sheet

This summer, Heidi Steltzer worked in Greenland with an Arctic colleague, Eric Post, at his long-term study site, providing him with a ‘mountain’ perspective on the landscape and discussing its similarities to those the WF SFA studies in Colorado. Read her blog here.

Blog: Not as planned – First five weeks at RMBL

Image: Vole-chewed cables

In her blog, Heidi Steltzer chronicles the (unexpected) challenges faced in the first five weeks of her 2016 summer field season. Read the full story here.