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CZNews Fall 2019, U.S. NSF National Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) Program

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2019 Gran Paradiso Summer School

The U.S. CZO SAVI project joined again with the European Community’s ECOPOTENTIAL project to offer a second summer course through the Gran Paradiso Summer School. The course, “Critical Zone and Ecosystem Dynamics across Space and Time,” was held at the Gran Paradiso National Park in Piedmont, Italy on July 8-17, 2019. Instructors from across the U.S. and throughout Europe engaged graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from 15 countries in a series of lectures, classroom activities and field trips. The field trips focused on the tectonically active and glaciated montane environment of the western Italian Alps and challenged all participants to consider the similarities and differences (for most) between this extreme environment and their home study sites. The course was considered a rousing success, advancing from a similar outcome from 2018, and it is our intent to continue to guide early career researchers as we build a new cadre of truly interdisciplinary scientists who are interested in the CZ, humanity’s effect on it, and solutions to the myriad problems associated with changing climate and land use.

Luquillo Students Present Data Jam Projects to Scientists

The Luquillo CZO and Luquillo LTER hosted its annual Schoolyard Symposium this past May for twelve students from six schools around the island of Puerto Rico to present their Data Jam project exhibitions. The Luquillo Schoolyard Data Jam is a data literacy exercise that challenges Puerto Rican middle and high school students to propose a basic ecological question, analyze data, and present results in a creative manner. Students work with long-term hydrological data provided by Luquillo CZO, LTER and USGS scientists. These data draw upon evidence of extreme events such as drought and storms that have affected PR since the 1990s. The implementation of the data jam was conducted by trained teachers who participated in an annual workshop in December 2018. The teachers then worked with their students to develop a scientific question and explore and analyze the data using Common Online Data Analysis Platform (CODAP), a web-based data analysis software. A subset of the students continued working to develop a project, which culminated in preparation of a poster and participation in the symposium at the University of Puerto Rico. The students also presented at the Luquillo CZO and LTER Annual Meeting poster sessions in June 2019, where they were exposed to an audience of researchers, teachers, and the general public, and had the opportunity to discuss their projects with the scientists who had originally collected the data.
A new data jam cycle began this fall starting with the 5th Data Jam Teacher Workshop held last month with a group of 25 educators from the public and private sector of Puerto Rico. An excellent staff from Forward Learning and The Learning Partnership, and representatives from the Luquillo LTER, Luquillo CZO, Amigos del Yunque Foundation and NEON participated in the workshop. Teachers had the opportunity to work with hydrological data and to evaluate parameters of drought years using CODAP. The teachers are currently implementing the data jam with their students. Then, students will be able to attend a scientific poster preparation workshop in November and present their final project in December at the University of Puerto Rico.
Upcoming events

CZO Spotlight:
Critical Transition of
Intensively Managed Landscapes

CZ researchers articulate how the expansion and intensification of managed landscapes for agriculture have resulted in severe unintended global impacts. In the article, “Critical transition in critical zone of intensively managed landscapes,” Kumar et al. hypothesize and argue that industrial agricultural activities have changed the Midwestern U.S. from a transformation-dominated system to a transport-dominated system. In other words, a landscape once characterized by long residence times of water, carbon, and nutrients, has morphed into a landscape now characterized by rapid movement of water, sediment, carbon, and nutrients across land surfaces and through rivers and streams into receiving water bodies. Human inputs from agricultural practices have created imbalances between processes related to production and natural background rates. The authors explain how these imbalances have cascaded through the deep inter-dependencies between carbon, soil, water, nutrient and ecological processes. They suggest that a framework of predictive understanding is vital to the sustainability of such landscapes that continue to respond to both anthropogenic and climate change drivers. Find the full article in the June 2018 issue of Anthropocene at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213305418300250.

AGU Fall Meeting 2019

The 2019 AGU Fall Meeting will be held December 9-13th as it makes it return to San Francisco, CA for its centennial year. We would like to congratulate seven members of the CZO community for their upcoming honors at the meeting. Reed Maxwell (Colorado School of Mines), Carl Steefel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Ronald Amundson (University of California, Berkeley) will be honored as 2019 AGU Fellows. Award recipients include David J. P. Moore (University of Arizona) for the Excellence in Earth and Space Science Education Award, and Esteban Gabriel Jobbágy (CONICET & Universidad Nacional de San Luis) for the Spilhaus Ambassador Award Grant. In section awards, Rebecca T. Barnes (Colorado College) will receive the Sulzman Award for Excellence in Education and Mentoring, and the Walter B. Langbein Lecture will be given to Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (University of California, Irvine). The CZO Community will continue to have a presence during the conference this year. Events include the 5th International CZO Workshop, annual PI breakfast meeting and our town hall, "The Critical Zone: Observatory Progress and New Opportunities," on Thursday, December 12th at 12:30pm. Please stop by the CZO booth (#109) in the Exhibit Hall staffed by CZO researchers and students. A schedule of abstracts associated with the CZO program will be available in the coming weeks at http://criticalzone.org/national/news/story/czos-at-agu-2019/.
We look forward to seeing everyone in San Francisco!

CZ Research Coordination Networks

This past April, the NSF awarded two CZ Research Coordination Networks (RCNs) with the purpose of driving convergent science of the CZ by establishing new collaborations and enhancing current cooperation among CZ science research communities. One RCN focuses on carbonate CZs with the goal to foster collaboration by integrating the RCN with proposals for new CZOs or researchers interested in disparate carbonate CZs by (1) contributing to outreach, (2) leveraging outreach activities such as jointly organizing a workshop, and (3) combining efforts for online communication to researchers. The grant is directed by PIs Jonathan Martin (University of Florida), Matt Covington (University of Arkansas) and Laura Toran (Temple University) along with a multidisciplinary steering committee. Another awarded RCN working to connect data to models will explore how CZ architecture has evolved and how it will respond to future perturbations resulting from the “acceleration” of the Anthropocene. A primary goal is also to increase diversity, inclusion and access within CZ science. Their kick-off meeting, open to all, will be held June 22-25, 2020. You can find more information at https://sites.google.com/view/czrcn. The PI team includes Kamini Singha (Colorado School of Mines), Pam Sullivan (Oregon State University), Nicole Gasparini (Tulane University), Li Li (Penn State), and Nicole West (Central Michigan University). Both RCNs will have a presence at the AGU CZO Booth to discuss further opportunities.
Allison Goodwell (IML CZO, University of Colorado Denver) has been awarded the 2017 Lorenz G. Straub award. The award, open globally and made annually, is for the author of an especially meritorious dissertation in the area of hydraulic engineering or a closely related area. We congratulate Allison as she joins an elite group of past recipients!
Also See:  CZNews Spring 2019
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