Natural Science Research

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Current and Recently-Completed Research

Riparian and Wetland Mapping

During the summer of 2013 the Colorado Water Team at the North Central Climate Center located in Fort Collins, updated and modeled the Poudre River watershed to more accurately reflect the wetlands in the region. Previously unmapped, the team divided the wetlands into three distinct elevation zones. The team utilized remote sensing, geographic information system (GIS) layers, and boosted regression trees modeling. Data and end products from the project will be managed and disseminated by the Geospatial Centroid at Colorado State University.

Homepage for the High Park Fire NSF RAPID project

Funded by a National Science Foundation grant researchers at Colorado State University and the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) partnered to study the biological and physical dynamics of burn severity and post-fire recovery in the High Park Fire burn scar area using an integrative approach. The team combined high resolution remote sensing from the NEON Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) and field data.
Video About the Project: National Ecological Observatory Network Studies Wildfire in Unprecedented Detail

Black Carbon Dynamics Research Program at the Cotrufo Lab

In June 2012 the High Park fire burned over 87,000 acres of land in the Cache la Poudre Canyon. Dr. Cotrufo's research, "Full Accounting of Pyrogenic-C Dynamics at the Watershed Scale: A Unique Opportunity Offered by the High Park Fire," examined the effects of black carbon from production to deposition, sequestration in soils and sediments, and runoff in waters in the Cache la Poudre River.
Related materials: Cotrufo’s Research Program Informational Brochure

Wildfire Effects on Instream Sediment Loads in the Cache la Poudre watershed following the High Park Fire

Following the 2012 High Park fire, Dr. Chuck Rhoades and other researchers at the Rocky Mountain Research Station studied post-fire instream sediment loads and the effectiveness of mulching on limiting sediment transport into the Poudre River.



Organizations Conducting Research

Warner College's Cache la Poudre Watershed

The Warner College of Natural Resources has done a great deal of mapping and researching the Poudre River Watershed. They have great descriptions of the watershed itself as well as the maps that they have created on their website.

Colorado Water Institute

The Colorado Water Institute (CWI), an affiliate of Colorado State University, exists for the express purpose of focusing the water expertise of higher education on the evolving water concerns and problems being faced by Colorado citizens.
Colorado Water Institute; The Poudre Runs Through It: Northern Colorado's Water Future
The Colorado Water Institute has put together a list of links with information on the Cache la Poudre River, its uses, and other water concerns in the Fort Collins area.
- Publications and Reports of the Colorado Water Institute

CSU Extension: Wildfire and its effects on streams and rivers

Information regarding the Summer 2012 wildfires and their effects on local rivers, including the Cache la Poudre

CSU Colorado Climate Center

Access to Colorado climate data
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