|Friday, April 27th|
Don E. Jordan Jr
9:00 AM - 9:20 AM
We propose to collect emergent groundwater around Hamilton, using standardized collection methods that include quality assurance and control samples with analysis performed at a certified drinking water testing laboratory (Energy Labs). Nitrate background in natural groundwater systems should contain less than 1 mg/L nitrates (U.S. Geologic Survey) but in our aquifer, nitrates/nitrites should be less than 0.25 mg/L based on previous sampling.
We will map the locations of the samples and use local hydrology data to help determine the source and flow direction of the groundwater. Routine testing and reporting of groundwater quality in our community will help protect our health and the economy of our river. Groundwater in sand and gravel aquifers from shallow wells supplies all the Hamilton area drinking water.
The aquifers receive recharge from streams and ditches flowing in from the sides of the valley and the shallow aquifers discharge to the Bitterroot River and to ditches that flow past the west and north edge of Hamilton. We plan to collect about a dozen samples in an arc around the down gradient edge of Hamilton from these groundwater discharges.
Nitrates are tasteless and odorless, and are often the first sign of deterioration of groundwater quality. Nitrates are a health threat because they can cause "blue baby syndrome" and may function as initiators of human carcinogenesis. Nitrates are also an environmental threat because they cause eutrophication damage to surface water aquatic environments in the Bitterroot River.
9:20 AM - 9:40 AM
Kathleen L. Cox
9:40 AM - 10:00 AM
The Bitterroot River is a fast moving cobble-gravel-sand-bed, braided and meandering, north flowing river with peak discharges above ten thousand cubic feet per second during spring snow melt at our riverbank community, Hamilton, Montana. The river is the life blood of our valley with water quality good enough to support trout. Low flow of August can drop to 500 cubic feet per second at Hamilton endangering trout with high temperatures, were it not for the cooling effect of groundwater seeping into the channel and shade from trees.
We examine a ten mile reach between Anglers Roost and Woodside Crossing where there is heavy visible interference from man-caused armoring (riprap) of the banks to protect bridges, roads, homes, and irrigation diversion dams or jetties. Here the river descends at a rate of 15 to 17 feet per mile occasionally widening its active channel to half a mile and then coalescing to a single channel where confined by structures.
Our hypothesis is that increasing percentages of riprap control the movement of the channel because energy of peak flow increases when the river is constrained. Even small reaches of the river can change dynamically as illustrated by two separate meander cutoffs through 18 years. We illustrate major channel changes by comparing main channels between 1995 and 2018.
10:00 AM - 10:20 AM
On the morning of May 18, 1980, in the state of Washington, Mount Saint Helens violently erupted, causing the reshaping of the volcano and the largest historical landslide on Earth. This volcanic episode caused significant modifications to the surrounding landscape, including the loss of 70% of the volcano’s glacier mass and 1,314 feet of elevation. Capturing this dynamic environment cartographically has been a challenge. This paper reports on a study aimed at investigating a particular type of cartography called geomorphological mapping, which represents landscapes and their processes of change over time. The study also applies this type of mapping to Mount Saint Helens’ features before its 1980 eruption and present day. Making a geomorphological map comes with many challenges, including choosing how to represent landforms with symbols, colors, lineation, shading, letters, and numbers to make the map understandable and applicable to all users. This study draws on geographic data from many sources and time eras, ground truthing, georeferencing historical maps, digitizing features, and identifying patterns. The results of this mapping process and investigation show the representation of change in Mount Saint Helens’ geographic features and its surrounding landscape.
1:40 PM - 2:00 PM
Four years of Environmental Studies and Climate Change Studies classes have left me with a deep understanding of climate change and the ways it affects the world around us. However, recognizing the complexity and magnitude of this global problem is undeniably overwhelming. After long days in the classroom, learning about the latest news, statistics, economic roadblocks, political inaction, and social consequences of climate change it is difficult for me and my classmates to not feel discouraged and anxious about the future. Climate change education is essential, but these negative feelings aren’t productive to the actions we must take to solve the problem. Students, especially soon-to-be college graduates, need inspiration and motivation to prepare for the professional world.
This research project is designed to enhance experiential education opportunities, and cultivate inspiration through stories of innovative solutions to climate change. I collected these stories in Costa Rica, a small yet progressive nation, by speaking with individuals who are working to help their community, their nation, or the world mitigate or adapt to climate change. I interviewed scientific researchers, farmers, business owners, and staff of grassroots organizations. Each person taught me about their work, perception of climate change, and personal sources of motivation. Findings from the field will be translated into a series of short stories and shared through a website accessible to students and the public. During my travels, I discovered many alternative ways of living, unique examples of problem solving, and testimonies of the power of collective action. This project encapsulated my undergraduate education and helped me gain the skills, inspiration, and confidence I need for my future career. This presentation explains my project’s purpose and methods, a discussion of what I learned, and recommendations for a Climate Expedition program to help provide similar education opportunities for other students.
2:00 PM - 2:20 PM
2:20 PM - 2:40 PM
2:40 PM - 3:00 PM
4:00 PM - 4:20 PM
4:20 PM - 4:40 PM