Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences



Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
 
Special Seminar: Jason Gurdak

Special Seminar: Jason Gurdak

The out-of-sight Global Water Crisis: A Vision Toward a Sustainable Groundwater Future

As the world’s largest store of readily accessible freshwater, groundwater helps sustain ecosystems, provides a strategic reserve during drought, and enables human adaptation to climate variability and change. Despite its critical importance, groundwater is often poorly understood and inadequately managed relative to the more visible surface water. The largely hidden nature of groundwater has translated into resource development that is often uncontrolled and not incorporated into watershed management. As a consequence, most of the world’s major aquifers in semi-arid and arid regions are experiencing rapid and unprecedented rates of groundwater depletion. Future climate variability and change may intensify groundwater depletion, which will have profound social and economic consequences related to declines in agricultural productivity and energy production, potential damage to transportation and urban infrastructure from land subsidence, loss of critical ecosystems in groundwater-dependent streams and wetlands, and increased seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers.

This presentation explores an innovative research vision to help manage our way through the global groundwater crisis. Recent findings from the UNESCO-IHP groundwater and climate change program (GRAPHIC) will be presented. GRAPHIC is the only global scale research, education, and outreach program that addresses the global groundwater crisis and climate variability and change. Particular focus will be on climate change impact studies that diagnose the important vadose zone processes and land-management practices that control recharge, both historically and under projected 21st century climate. Additional new insight will be presented about the process-level controls of interannual to multidecadal climate variability on transient recharge rates in the U.S. Principal Aquifers, including the High Plains aquifer in Colorado. This insight will help design a new type of distributed managed aquifer recharge (MAR) system that captures stormwater, enhances recharge, increases groundwater storage, and provides a promising adaptation strategy to conjunctively manage surface and groundwater resources under projected increased hydrologic variability. Finally, the presentation will explore the importance of framing the groundwater crisis within the water-energy-food nexus, which is the most fundamental environmental issue facing the world today. Innovative science and engineering needed to drive the successful management of the global groundwater crisis will come from collaborative and multidisciplinary team of researchers that spans the fields of hydrology, geology, engineering, climate, ecology, economics, law, and policy, while also engaging local resource managers and stakeholders.

Dr. Jason Gurdak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Coordinator of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sponsored research program that addresses climate variability and change and the global groundwater crisis. Prior to joining SFSU, he was a Hydrologist for 10 years with the U.S. Geological Survey Colorado Water Science Center in Lakewood, Colorado. He has degrees from Colorado School of Mines (PhD, Geology and Geological Engineering: Geochemistry; MS, Environmental Science and Engineering) and Bates College (BS, Geology). He has authored more than 30 publications on a range of topics in hydrology. His current research advances understanding of mechanisms that link climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales and hydrologic variability that has important implications for successfully managing water resources in Colorado and across the U.S.

location

CIRES Auditorium
2015-03-02
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Marisa McNatt

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Marisa McNatt

Mystery of the Sea: A Study of Why the U.S. Has Yet to Construct an Offshore Wind Farm

by Marisa McNatt, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and Environmental Studies, CU Boulder

location

CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue

Event Type

CSTPR
2015-03-02
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Melissa Ugelow

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Melissa Ugelow

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Optical Properties of Titan Haze Analogs Using Photoacoustic and Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy

Melissa S. Ugelow 3rd Year Graduate Student

The organic haze that surrounds Saturn's moon Titan is formed through the photolysis and electron initiated dissociation of methane and nitrogen. Both the chemical pathways leading to the haze formation and the resulting haze optical properties are still highly uncertain. Here we examine the optical properties of simulated haze aerosol to better understand its scattering and absorption properties, and the impact of haze on Titan's radiative balance. To determine the complex refractive index of haze particles, we combine two spectroscopic techniques, one that measures absorption and one that measures extinction: photoacoustic spectroscopy coupled with cavity ring-down spectroscopy (PASCaRD). This technique provides the benefit of a high precision determination of the imaginary component of the refractive index (k), along with the highly sensitive determination of the real component of the refractive index (n) in a flow system set up. The Titan aerosol analogs studied are produced by two energy sources, UV excitation and spark discharge excitation. The refractive indices are determined at two wavelengths, 405 and 532 nm, using the PASCaRD system. I will present preliminary data on the complex refractive indices of laboratory generated Titan aerosol analogs at both wavelengths using both energy sources. The high precision values determined from this method should be useful for modelers and for data retrieval from spacecraft and remote sensing instruments.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274
2015-03-02
 
 
 
Special Seminar: Tamlin Pavelsky

Special Seminar: Tamlin Pavelsky

Quantifying Surface Water and Mountain Snowpack at Large Scales

Physical, biological, and human systems are impacted by the storage and transport of water at scales from a single leaf to the entire globe. Despite this fact, our ability to quantify the mean state and temporal changes in the reservoirs, states, and fluxes of the water cycle remains limited. While ground-based hydrologic measurements form the basis for much of our current knowledge, except at a few highly instrumented sites they are insufficiently dense to provide an accurate picture of the entire water cycle. Spatially distributed information from physics-based models and satellite remote sensing can fill in many gaps, but only after rigorous validation. In this talk, we will explore new ways of combining models, remote sensing, and in situ data to track two components of the water cycle: mountain snowpack and surface water in rivers and lakes.

Ground-based and space-based measurements produce highly uncertain estimates of mountain snowpack at large scales, but comparison with ground data suggests that high-resolution regional climate models show increasing promise for accurate estimates of snowpack magnitude and extent. We will examine one such model and its potential applications to understanding the magnitude and geographic distribution of mountain precipitation. Meanwhile, satellite remote sensing products are contributing to new advances in tracking spatial and temporal variations in surface water extent, and we will discuss the first global, high-resolution dataset of river widths from remotely sensed imagery. In addition, we will explore upcoming space-based technologies such as the NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) Mission, which will provide new global estimates of variations in lake water storage and river discharge. In combination, continued advances in modeling, remote sensing, and field measurements will contribute to an improved understanding of the water cycle and how it is changing.

Bio: Tamlin Pavelsky is an assistant professor of global hydrology in the Department of Geological Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill. He received his BA from Middlebury College and an MA and PhD from UCLA, all in geography. Tamlin grew up outside of Fairbanks, Alaska in a cabin without electricity or running water. Exploring remote Arctic rivers motivated him to study the impacts of climate change on the water cycle and how we can observe the water cycle from space. Tamlin is a 2012 recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

location

CIRES Auditorium
2015-03-05
 
 
 
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
 
CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Paul Bowman

CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Paul Bowman

Ignorance Isn't Bliss: Why Historical Emitters Owe Compensation for Climate Change

by Paul Bowman, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and Environmental Studies, CU Boulder

location

CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Avenue

Event Type

CSTPR
2015-03-09
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Shantanu Jathar

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Shantanu Jathar

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Secondary Organic Aerosol Modeling using the Statistical Oxidation Mode

Shantanu Jathar Colorado State University

Multi-generational gas-phase oxidation of organic vapors can influence the abundance, composition and properties of organic particulate matter or organic aerosol. Most air quality and climate models lack or include an ad hoc treatment of multi-generational oxidation. In this seminar, I will highlight our recent work where we coupled a semi-explicit multi-generational oxidation model for organics (fully constrained by experimental smog chamber data that includes both functionalization and fragmentation reactions) with a gas-phase chemical mechanism in a regional 3-D air quality model. The seminar will discuss results where we (a) investigated the role of multi-generational gas-phase chemistry on the mass, composition, volatility and oxidation state of SOA and (b) explored the influence of vapor wall-losses on ambient concentrations and properties of SOA. Based on those results, I will argue that 3-D models need to include (this or similar) multi-generational oxidation schemes to accurately describe the atmospheric evolution of OA in air quality and climate models.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 - University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309
2015-03-09
 
 
 
 
 
 
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Atmospheric Reactive Chlorine: Observations, Sources and Effects

Lea Hildebrandt Ruiz, Ph.D.- The University of Texas at Austin, Cockrell School of Engineering

Ambient measurements have detected tropospheric reactive chlorine concentrations much higher than predicted by state-of-the-art air quality models, challenging current understanding of the emissions and atmospheric chemistry of chlorinated compounds. For example, measurements in the Dallas Fort Worth (¬DFW) area routinely observed HCl concentrations of 1 ppb or more, peaking in the late afternoon. Modeling work has investigated several hypotheses for the source of HCl in DFW, and results suggest emissions of an organic chloride, potentially from hydraulic fracturing activity, as the most likely explanation. In the presence of particulate chloride reactive chlorine can also be formed from heterogeneous reactions on the particles’ surface. Laboratory chamber experiments were conducted to quantify the rate of heterogeneous production of chlorine, and results suggest that this path could explain observed sources of Cl2. Higher concentrations of reactive chlorine can lead to increased production secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Mass yields of SOA formed from chlorine-radical-initiated oxidation of hydrocarbons were measured in laboratory chamber experiments. Volatility basis set parameters from these experiments can be incorporated in air quality models to more accurately represent reactive chlorine concentrations and its effects on atmospheric composition.

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 - University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309
2015-03-16
 
 
 
 
 
 
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
 
Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Elizabeth Stone

Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Elizabeth Stone

Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program

Advances in the quantitation of atmospheric organosulfates

by Elizabeth Stone - Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa

Organosulfates are significant components of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) formed under acidic conditions. This class of compounds contains a characteristic sulfate ester functional group (R-O-SO3-) and is suggested to be a significant contributor to organic carbon in fine particles in the atmosphere.  However, the quantification of individual organosulfates molecules has proven challenging due to the lack of authentic quantification standards and suitable methods of analysis. To overcome these challenges, a series of organosulfates standards was synthesized and used to develop and validate of a new analytical method for their quantification. Recent results from the application of this method to ambient aerosol collected in Centreville, Alabama during the Southeast Atmosphere Study (SAS) in 2013 will be discussed.

 

location

CIRES Fellows Room, Ekeley S274 - University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309
2015-03-30
 
Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar - Lewis Brower

Cryospheric and Polar Processes Seminar - Lewis Brower

Sharing Indigenous knowledge and concepts of sea ice among Indigenous communities, scientists, and beyond
by Lewis Brower - Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC)

Abstract: Sea ice isn’t just sea ice from an Indigenous perspective. The deep knowledge of the many types of sea ice has been passed down to younger generations while hunting and traveling on the ice. With rapid climate change in the Arctic, this traditional information is being shared beyond the borders of communities from which the knowledge has been derived through programs like ELOKA. Lewis Brower, Inupiat and local sea ice expert from Barrow, Alaska, will share his broad knowledge of sea ice forms, processes, and environmental interactions, observations on recent climate change, and experiences in working with climate scientists. He will tie this knowledge to how climate change will affect the future of subsistence hunting practices and food security at the top of the world.

Bio: Lewis Brower was born, raised and resides in Barrow, Alaska, with his family. He is a whaling captain, sea ice expert, and expert guide who uses his knowledge of sea ice in traditional hunting and for rescue work with the North Slope Borough Search and Rescue. He has worked with numerous Arctic researchers and has contributed his observations and knowledge of sea ice to a variety of research projects, including the Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability Initiative (SSIII) at NSIDC, as well as serving as a member of the ELOKA Advisory Committee. He is Inupiat who is accustomed to a lifestyle passed on for thousands of years and enjoys modern living as time passes by. He loves hunting, fishing and bringing forward native values, as he believes it is the only way to survive.

location

East Campus, RL-2, Room 155
2015-03-31