An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Undergraduate Education: Watershed-Focused Field Studies in Ecohydrology for Arid Rangeland Management

Investigators
Walker, Mark
Institutions
University of Nevada - Reno
Start date
2008
End date
2011
Objective
This education proposal requests support to provide undergraduate students and high school teachers with balanced analytic and field skills in ecohydrology that will be applicable to arid rangeland conservation and restoration on a watershed scale. The proposal addresses issue B of Program Area 110.c: "Tools, management strategies, and new technologies are needed to improve conservation on working lands (grazing lands, forest lands and croplands...)."

Objectives in this proposal are: (1) teach practical skills in a watershed-oriented field course through a partnership between the University of Nevada and the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Research Service Exotic and Invasive Weeds Research Unit (ARS-EIWRU) in Reno, NV; (2) provide students with an agency perspective and training opportunities; (3) develop a swiki (secure wiki) to exchange ideas with instructors from other institutions involved with designing and offering similar courses; and (4) achieve self-sustainability for the field course by project end (2011).

The proposal was developed in response to responses from a survey of stakeholders, including potential employers of graduates of our Ecohydrology program. Investigators have appointments through the University of Nevada Colleges of Cooperative Extension and Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and the ARS-EIWRU. The proposed activities will take place in two experimental watersheds currently targeted for research and demonstration for invasive weed management and control in northern Nevada, which will be managed by the ARS-EIWRU. A multidisciplinary curriculum that includes field investigations of hydrology and ecology, integrated through state and transition modeling, will be offered for one month each year.

The results of courses will be included in a swiki, which will serve as a reference text and will include as authors researchers and instructors from throughout the world.

More information
Non-Technical Summary: The project meets the needs of stakeholders, including potential employers of graduates of the newly established Ecohydrology Bachelor's Degree program at the University of Nevada. It involves faculty from the University of Nevada Colleges of Cooperative Extension and Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, and the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The proposed activities will take place in two experimental watersheds currently targeted for research and demonstration for invasive weed management and control in northern Nevada, which will be managed by the ARS. A multidisciplinary curriculum that includes field investigations of hydrology and ecology, integrated through state and transition modeling, will be offered for one month each year. The results of courses will be included in a swiki, which will serve as a reference text and will include as authors researchers and instructors from throughout the world.

Approach: We propose to establish a summer session field course (Principles of Applied Ecohydrology) that focuses on field measurements and applications of principles in ecology and hydrology at two sites in Nevada. The sites, in the Smoke Creek and Rock Creek watersheds in Nevada, are part of extensive efforts managed by ARS-EIWRU field experiment and demonstration devoted to invasive weed management and rangeland restoration (anticipated to be a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP) (http://www.nal.usda.gov/wqic/ceap/02CEAP.shtml, last accessed 4/2008)). CEAP is designed to study the environmental effects of conservation practices applied through various USDA conservation programs. The ARS-EIWRU project is managed by Dr. Mark Weltz (participant in this proposal). Its goals are to 1) demonstrate the successful implementation of site-specific ecologically-based integrated pest management (EBIPM) of invasive weed-infested rangeland on a watershed scale; 2) foster the development of long-lasting partnerships and cooperative relationships among land owners, researchers, educators, and agencies; 3) provide an area-wide working example of EBIPM of cheatgrass/medusahead to be used in education and technology transfer programs; and 4) provide and test a watershed-level model system for implementing and sustaining EBIPM.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NEV052TL
Accession number
215297
Categories
Chemical Contaminants
Education and Training