October 2019 Newsletter

the power of PLACE

Tracking Snowflakes

Dr. Rosemary Carroll is following the lifecycle of a snowflake.  We can’t use a slow motion camera to watch a snowflake as it falls onto Schofield Pass in deep winter, and then trace it underground before it eventually makes its way back into the East River and through a fish.  But Rosemary uses isotopes, different versions of the same chemicals that have slightly different weights, to estimate how long water travels below ground.  A Crested Butte resident, who is also a scientist with the Desert Research Institute, Rosemary is part of a much larger team, the Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area, working at RMBL to understand water.

Ian Billick - Director RMBL

Ian Billick | PhD
Executive Director, RMBL


Water, Water Everywhere?

When it comes to water behavior, what happens in mountain watersheds doesn’t stay in mountain watersheds. After all, water is everywhere. It’s packed in the ice or snow, it runs through streams, it’s transpired through plants, and it hovers in the air. But it’s always on the move and always affecting every living thing it touches.

Dr. Ken Williams and colleagues are studying the East River, or Upper Gunnison Valley, watershed to understand how climate change is affecting both the amount and quality of water. It’s part of the Department of Energy’s Watershed Function Scientific Focus Area (SFA) program led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

RMBL in Mountain Town News
End of Long Warming Experiment
Director Ian Billick on Cool Science Radio
RMBL is a Science Mecca