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).
DOINews: Research Highlight: Extended Monitoring and Modeling of Climate Change Effects on Pacific Northwest Wetlands
Extended Monitoring and Modeling of Climate Change Effects on Pacific Northwest Wetlands
Principal Investigator: Joshua Lawler, University of Washington
Co-principal Investigator: Alan Hamlet, University of Notre Dame
Wetlands are ecologically important yet at-risk ecosystems. Wetlands provide critical services for natural communities and human society, including nutrient cycling, wildlife provisioning, water storage & filtration, carbon sequestration, agriculture & recreation, and core habitat for a wide range of species. Wetlands challenge our current scientific capacity because of their sheer number (10,000's-100,000's for the Pacific Northwest alone), their wide range of sizes (10,000 m2), and dynamic nature (intermittent to permanent). They are also thought to be among the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change via changes in temperature and precipitation and resulting changes in hydroperiod and water temperature. Our research aims to develop new approaches and technical tools that are needed to support the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands in a changing climate. These include: 1) new methods for mapping wetlands and monitoring and reconstructing wetland hydroperiod using remote- sensing approaches, 2) the first generation of projections of hydrologic impacts to Pacific Northwest wetlands under climate change, 3) field-based hydrologic monitoring of wetlands in three PNW ecoregions, and 4) integration of 1-3 with ecological data to forecast climate change impacts to wetland ecosystems. We are particularly interested in the effects of climate change on amphibians such as the Cascades frog.