A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Over the last three decades wildfires in the American West have gotten bigger and more frequent, exacting a significant economic toll. University of Washington's Harry Podschwit is one of only a few dozen statisticians in the world tackling the question of fire ecology. As one of the newest Northwest Climate Science Graduate Fellows Harry will take a statistically sophisticated approach to modeling megafires that will allow him to compare the relative importance of variables like air temperature, wind speed, and fuel moisture. This new approach may eventually allow him to address management relevant questions such as “Does fire suppression have a statistically significant effect on burn size?” Harry is also working to develop a portable software package that managers can customize to create their own wildfire probability maps. This tool will help stakeholders across the west as they decide how best to manage natural resources in the face of climate change.