NEWS - June 2017

Critical Zone Observatories U.S. National Program
Thank you to everyone who attended the Arlington Meeting for CZ Science. We had wonderful and insightful talks and posters from graduate students, early career scientists, and senior scientists. Most importantly, the meeting made it clear that the CZO network has generated new and exciting science and there is a need for more CZ science in the future. I hope everyone has a great start to their summer, whether your plans take you in the field or to the laboratory.

- Lou Derry
Director, CZO National Office      

Studying river biogeochemistry at Luquillo CZO and beyond 

Research Highlight
Kathryn Clark just completed a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in how catchment processes affect rivers and how river biogeochemistry regulates the Critical Zone.

At the Luquillo CZO, Clark investigated how droughts and re-wetting events affect the river biogeochemistry and this work was published in Water Resources Research. In Clark et al. (2017), "Tropical river suspended sediment and solute dynamics in storms during an extreme drought," she and her co-authors showed that orographic precipitation continued throughout the drought and sourced stream baseflow. Moreover, concentration-discharge (C-Q) patterns for the particulate and dissolved load did not strongly deviate from long-term patterns, suggesting the rivers are resistant to the effects of drought. Clark’s research shows that climate change may have unexpected effects on hydrologic and biogeochemical processes in the Critical Zone.

Clark is heading to the University of Calgary for a postdoctoral position and is excited to bring CZ science to the Canadian Rockies. She has also received a postdoctoral fellowship with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and will focus on the Panama Canal watershed.

Learn more about Clark's research

Critical Zone Science in the News

EOS: Tracing water through the Critical Zone
Matthias Sprenger and Markus Weiler discuss how isotopes are exciting new tools for studying the soil-plant-atmosphere interactions in the Critical Zone.
Read the article
Corn better used as a food than biofuel
Meredith Richardson and Praveen Kumar at the IML CZO are tackling a burning question: Do biofuels offset the environmental effects of producing corn? 
Read NSF press release
Read EurekAlert article
Puerto Rico Data Jam at the Luquillo CZO
Researchers from UPenn, led by associate professor Alain Plante, held a Data Jam, where local middle and high school students present their creative interpretations of environmental data collected at the Luquillo CZO.
Read the article

See more: News | Twitter

The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change 

A message from Lou Derry (Director of the CZO National Office)

Our associates at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) have announced the publication of The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change.  PRI is aiming to send a copy to every public high school science teacher in the US.   

While any support you can provide to PRI would be welcome, I’m not asking you to donate.  Instead, I am asking you to help spread the word.  

In this “post-truth” age, I believe that we should be doing whatever we can to get good science on important issues out to the public.  High school teachers are receiving misleading information about climate science from some well-funded organizations with an overt political agenda. We can’t stop that, but what we can do is to try and make sure that the same teachers have easy access to good science on this issue, without any political agenda.  

To learn more about this ambitious goal and how you can help, please follow this link to PRI's campaign.

Upcoming Meetings


CUAHSI's 2017 Conference on Hydroinformatics

July 25-27, 2017
University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL
Registration deadline: July 10, 2017 

The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI) invites all those interested in advancing hydroinformatics to participate in this interdisciplinary conference. Invitees include researchers, educators, and practitioners in the water sciences. Also invited are people in data, computational, and information technology sciences. The goal of the conference is to promote data tools and resources that are useful, enable transformative science, and have low barriers to use.

Hydroinformatics Conference 2017

GSA Annual Meeting 2017

October 22-25, 2017
Seattle, Washington
Abstract deadline: August 1, 2017

Abstract submission for the Geologic Society of America (GSA) annual meeting remains open.  There will be something for everyone, from hypothesis-driven basic and applied research to geoscience education, information, and communication. The Pacific Northwest provides great opportunities to experience the geosciences through 24 field trips and 25 short courses. Please participate in some of the >250 topical sessions nested within 31 geoscience disciplines.

AGU Fall Meeting 2017

December 11-15, 2017
New Orleans, Louisiana
Abstract deadline: August 2, 2017

Abstract submission for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting is underway. AGU's Fall Meeting brings together one of the largest groups of Earth and space scientists from across the globe for discussions of emerging trends and the latest research. The meeting is a vast mix of more than 20,000 oral and poster presentations, a broad range of keynote lectures, various types of formal and informal networking and career advancement opportunities, and an exhibit hall.

AGU Fall Mtg 2017, including CZ science sessions

Jobs & Opportunities


Postdoctoral researcher position: Integrated ground water-land Surface Modeling 

Deadline: Ongoing

The Catchment Hydrology and Spatial Analysis Lab in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, CA invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher position on Integrated Groundwater-Land Surface Modeling. The selected candidate will lead Integrated Groundwater-Land Surface Modeling experiments using the ParFlow.CLM model as part of an interdisciplinary team of hydrologists and climate scientists. The specific objectives of the project are to improve understanding of surface water-groundwater interactions at large catchment scale and assess the impacts of climate variability and land cover change on groundwater resources. This research position will provide an exceptional professional development opportunity in a highly collaborative, multidisciplinary environment.

If interested, please send a cover letter, CV and three references to Dr. Hoori Ajami (, application review will begin immediately.

Postdoctoral opportunity: Examining relationships between Critical Zone moisture fluxes and observed soil organic carbon

Deadline: Ongoing

The Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory and Boise State University announce a position for a funded postdoctoral researcher to examine relationships between Critical Zone moisture fluxes and soil carbon storage and ecosystem fluxes using models and data. The primary research advisor and collaborator is Dr. Lejo Flores (Boise State University, Geosciences). The successful candidate will collaborate closely with colleagues to leverage extensive soil, monitoring, and geophysical datasets to constrain subsurface Critical Zone properties required by a physics-based integrated hydrologic model. The postdoc will also have the support of the Reynolds Creek CZO team (principally at Boise State University, Idaho State University, and the Agricultural Research Service), who have interdisciplinary expertise in hydrologic modeling, landscape ecology, biogeochemistry, and soils science. The researcher will focus on the science questions, conduct the activities, and have at their disposal the unique resources described below. 

If interested, you should send a (1) letter of interest specifically identifying skills and prior experience that make you a compelling candidate, (2) your current CV with three professional references, and (3) one published or submitted manuscript that best illustrates your skills and expertise that are relevant to the position to professor Alejandro Flores ( 

More about the Idaho postdoc

Contribute your classroom or field activity to Teach the Earth!

Deadline: none

Have you developed your own activity that you has worked well in your own classroom or in the field? The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) are always looking for activities to share with the community and beyond. 

How to contribute an activity

Join the CZO Graduate Research Group

Deadline: none

Are you a graduate student or have graduate students interested in CZ science in your research group? Please consider joining the CZO Network’s Graduate Research Group. The group focuses on building community and research opportunities for graduate students. You do not have to be formally associated with a CZO to join! If interested,

Email Justin Richardson

Also See: May 2017 Newsletter

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