Berkeley Lab

East River-Based Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL) Campaign Sets in Motion

This August 23, 2020, picture from the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, Colorado, looks west toward Gothic Mountain, which rises up over more than 1 kilometer over the East River, and shows the area’s complex terrain. Caption credit: DOE-ARM. Photo credit: Dan Feldman, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Earlier this year, the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (DOE-ARM) program announced that their next mobile facility deployment would be coming to East River, CO, complementing research conducted by the Watershed Function SFA and its extended network of collaborators.

Most recently, ARM published a progress update provided by PI Dan Feldman (Berkeley Lab). Read more »

Varadharajan presents at Virtual Aquatic Data/Open Science Summit

SFA Data Management co-lead Charuleka Varadharajan presented at a Virtual Summit “Incorporating Data Science and Open Science Techniques in Aquatic Research” on July 23, 2020. The summit was intended to discuss how aquatic researchers work with big data, develop new modeling frameworks, develop tools and software for the larger community, and apply their work for natural resource management and monitoring purposes.

Dr. Varadharajan’s talk focused on how the SFA and her related DOE Early Career Project deal with management and integration of complex data, including the SFA’s end-end field-data framework and workflow. The talk also highlights the SFA’s co-design approach that enables the 3-way exchange between observations, models and analytics to address science questions or hypotheses about watershed behavior. The presentation is an example of SFA researchers’ leadership in the broader data science and environmental cyberinfrastructure community.

Watershed Function SFA Hosts its first Virtual Mini-retreat

The Watershed Function SFA hosted its first-ever virtual mini-retreat. Using Zoom, 90 team members, collaborators, and invited guests engaged in two half-day sessions of live and recorded presentations, virtual breakouts, and discussions by video and text.

A subset of the 25+ pre-recorded “pop-up” presentations featuring Watershed SFA research updates are featured below. For some meeting snapshots, see here.


Effects of variation in changing climate and snowmelt date on Evapotranspiration in the East River Watershed, Colorado

Shale bedrock variability across the watershed scale

Baseflow Age Distributions in a Headwater Mountain Stream

Snowmelt Microbial Ecology Across Chemical, Molecular, and Spatial Scales

Rates of bedrock weathering and N fluxes including N2O emission

Quantifying dynamic surface-subsurface interactions using RTM along a riparian corridor

Hysteresis patterns of watershed nitrogen retention and loss


DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Facility Campaign Coming to East River Watershed

The 2010‒2011 Storm Peak Lab Cloud Property Validation Experiment (STORMVEX) included the deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility (AMF2) to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. AMF2 will return to Colorado in 2021 for SAIL. Photo and caption credit: DOE-ARM

A proposal to deploy a mobile atmospheric measurement facility in East River, CO Watershed was selected for award under the 2019 call for proposals to the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement User Facility.

Led by Berkeley Lab’s Daniel Feldman, the “Surface Atmosphere Integrated Field Laboratory (SAIL)” will run from September 2021 through June 2023 and will complement research conducted by the Watershed Function SFA and its extended network of collaborators. Together, says PI Feldman, SAIL and the SFA effort will represent the first integrated mountainous field laboratory, by measuring earth system fluxes and transformations from the bedrock through the atmosphere. Read more »

Jill Banfield Receives 2020 H.C. Urey Award

The European Association of Geochemistry honored Jill Banfield with the 2020 H.C. Urey Award, which is given “for outstanding contributions advancing geochemistry over a career.” Read more »

Susan Hubbard Elected to National Academy of Engineering

SFA Director Susan Hubbard is one of 87 members and 18 international members to be newly elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) today. The NAE honored Susan for her significant contributions to the research of hydrogeophysics, biogeophysics, and the geophysics of permafrost.

Read more »

Heidi Steltzer Profiled in Colorado Sun Newspaper

Photo credit: Dean Krakel/Special to The Colorado Sun.

Heidi talks to an independent newspaper about SFA early snowmelt experiments and how findings are linked to earth system models to improve predictions under a changing climate. Read more »

Local CO News Describes Upcoming NASA Data Campaign at East River

Crested Butte News highlights work being conducted by NASA and SFA collaborators in the Upper East River Valley. The NASA SnowEx project is collecting airborne data at East River (one of its three CO study sites this year) and is pairing this with ground observations taken at snow pits, an effort led by SFA collaborator Jeff Deems (NSIDC) in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory staff. Read more »

Deputy SFA Lead Kenneth H. Williams recently briefed the Upper Colorado NGWOS team in Denver, CO on observational activities and capabilities within the East River watershed that align well with potential tandem measurements to be made over much greater spatial scales by the NGWOS program in the greater basin. The ability to link measurement approaches affords an excellent opportunity to explore the role of spatial aliasing in creating a hydrogeochemical observational network.

Fadji Maina Included in Forbes’ ’30 Under 30′ List

Fadji Maina, Earth and Environmental Sciences Area, gives her presentation “Sustainable Water for an Uncertain Future” at the 2019 Berkeley Lab Research SLAM. 09/19/2019 Berkeley, California

Fadji Zaouna Maina (Berkeley Lab) is among Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “revolutionaries changing the course—and the face—of business and society.” Maina, included in the science category, uses computational models to better understand how climate change and pollution affect water availability. Read more »

To learn more about some of Fadji Maina’s research, watch and read Fadji’s pitch on “Sustainable Water for an Uncertain Future” (from the Berkeley Lab “Research SLAM”).

Watershed Function at AGU 2019

Photo credit: AGU

Researchers from the Watershed Function SFA will have a strong presence at the upcoming AGU Fall meeting, December 9 – 13, 2019.

22 Talks (8 invited)
28 posters
Chairing 6 special sessions
Leading 1 workshop

The SFA will also host a session at Booth #1622 in the North Hall, Wednesday December 11, 10:00 – 11:30 AM at the Berkeley Lab Earth and Environmental Sciences AGU booth.

A complete listing of the SFA’s AGU activities is available here.

The AGU Fall Meeting “is the largest international Earth and space science meeting in the world” and will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. 2019 marks the 100th year of AGU.