Welcome to the Summer Intern!
A new field season has begun, and with it comes new ideas and a new intern from Colorado Mountain College. This summer our intern will be helping with field work, carrying out equipment calibrations, participating in the Spring Valley Bioblitz, and conducting some research of his own. This fall, Asa DeHaan will be entering his senior year in the CMC 4-year program for a degree in Sustainability. We’re very excited to welcome Asa to the AGCI team!
The encroachment of Pinyon-Juniper forest into sage steppe at Spring Valley provides an interesting opportunity to measure the difference in soil moisture at different depths in the inner pinyon, in the transition zone, and in the sage steppe (outer pinyon). Pinyon-juniper woodlands have different hydrologic characteristics than that of sage steppes, and therefore rain events will effect soil moisture differently in each area, presumably. The scope of my project will include: measuring soil moisture in each of the areas and documenting change over time (for summer); documenting soil moisture after rain events and observing and documenting soil conditions in each area; and observing and documenting erosion, runoff and infiltration. I am interested in this project because I would like to see the difference/change in soil moisture in these three areas and find out what we can expect hydrologically with climate change and pinyon-juniper encroachment. This research is relevant to the Spring Valley property because pinyon-juniper encroachment is happening in this area, also, beneath spring valley is an aquifer and the possibility of reduce water infiltration may effect the recharging of available water supplies.