Friday, February 8, 2013

Associated science in the basin

As part of the Sagehen 50-year art project, we thought it would be a good idea to consolidate in one post a list of all the science projects relating to the Sagehen Forest Project.

In addition to science done to determine the best treatment options, there is a lot going on in the basin to assess pre- and post-treatment conditions going forward into the manipulation phase of the larger project.

The idea of these studies is to actually monitor and evaluate the effects of the forest restructuring on wildlife, water quality, vegetation and people. 
  • VEGETATION AND FUELS: the SPLAT project and Vaillant thesis gathered a massive dataset, including fuels and vegetation surveys, LiDAR imaging of the basin with and without vegetation, fire model runs, fire history, etc.
  • BIRDS: Researcher Marty Raphael is revisiting bird survey plots begun in the 1960's within the Donner Burn study transects. The Forest Service monitors bird presence in the basin. Goshawk and Spotted Owl surveys occur annually. The Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) project runs annual banding stations at sites within the Sagehen basin. Vladimir Pravosudov's multi-decade chickadee memory research continues.
  • SMALL MAMMALS: Calhoun line trapping transects begun in the 1950's are being revisited by PSW researcher Pat Manley.
  • FISH SURVEYS: annual fish monitoring continues in various Sagehen Creek stretches.
  • AMERICAN MARTEN: monitoring of this indicator species was recently revisited in anticipation of the treatments.
  • HYDROLOGY: the USGS regularly samples Sagehen Creek stream water chemistry and remotely monitors flow through their Hydrologic Benchmark Network. Numerous modeling efforts continue. Terry Hogue is evaluating stream water yield. The Forest Service does annual stream condition surveys. Researcher Jim Kirchner is evaluating weather, groundwater and sap flow patterns.
  • METEOROLOGY: National Atmospheric Deposition Program precipitation sampling is ongoing. Weather data is continuously collected at 12 towers within the basin.
Did I forget anything?