The recent removal of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Washington is providing native fish species, including Chinook salmon, with a rare opportunity to return to a river after nearly a century. In addition to the newly accessible habitat for fish, the dam removal has opened five more miles of recreational boating and fishing opportunities, raising concern about impacts on salmon recolonization and proliferation.
Accelerating climate change may interact with severe disturbances such as wildfire to trigger rapid and irreversible ecosystem change at large landscape scales. Such transitions pose serious threats to ecosystem integrity and resilience and profound challenges to ecosystem management in the Southwest and beyond.
In Australasia, the region that comprises Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean, the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Australasian monsoon play a key role in regional climate variability, particularly droughts and floods. As in most of the tropics, local instrumental records of climate change are short and rare, which impedes understanding of how local climate varies and responds to these large-scale drivers. Uniquely, however, northern Australia has tremendous potential for multi-century paleoclimatic reconstruction based on an extensive collection of long coral cores housed at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). These cores reveal the biological response of coral growth to rapidly changing ocean conditions.
Water, Soil, and Air: Understanding Life in a Life-sized Landscape
It’s the world’s largest artificial watershed, and after a few good douses of rainfall here and a bit of drought there, Biosphere 2’s Landscape Observation Laboratory (LEO) is helping us understand how ecosystems will respond to climate change.
Setting Their Sights on a Sustainable Supercorridor
In the UA’s Sustainable City Project (SCP) design studio in downtown Tucson, students Bernardo Teran and Kendra Hyson are reimagining roadways and urban space for the 21st century. Their plan would harness solar and wind energy and reclaim water through condensation, gray water, and rainwater harvesting systems, says Linda Samuels, SCP’s director.
Studying the Shy Sonoran Pronghorn
The endangered Sonoran pronghorn once ranged widely in Arizona, California, and Sonora, Mexico. Now, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), only about 160 free-ranging animals live in the U.S., with an additional 434 living in Mexico.
David Christianson, an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, wants to know why their numbers are low. With funding from the USFWS, Christianson is studying the impacts of humans on the spry tan and white ungulates.
Pathways to Adaptation for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe has deep cultural, physical, and spiritual connections to Pyramid Lake, a terminal desert lake fed by the Truckee River in Nevada. The Paiute once called themselves the “Kooyooee Tukadu” or “Cui-ui Eaters,” after the now-endangered Cui-ui fish endemic to the lake, and rely on revenue from Lahontan cutthroat trout fisheries for their livelihoods.