Katarena Matos is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Geography Department and is part of Associate Professor, Holly Barnard's Ecohydrology Lab. This fall she was awarded the ARCS Foundation Scholarship! The award has been donated by Mr. Earl L. Wright in honor of his late wife, Nancy Seacrest Wright, a past president and long-time member of the ARCS Colorado Chapter.
Katarena’s PhD research project is housed within the NSF-funded Critical Zone Project led by Dr. Barnard, with Assistant Professor of Geography Katherine Lininger, and Assistant Professor of Ennvironmental Studies Eve-Lyn Hinckley. During her PhD project, she plans to investigate how changes in precipitation (rain and snowfall) in the Western United States will affect the magnitude and timing of evaporation, transpiration, streamflow, and subsurface water storage; and how these changes will, in turn, affect forest productivity and susceptibility to disturbances such as drought, fire, and insect outbreaks. Mountains of the Western United States are a critical source of water for society and ecosystems in the region, with snowmelt being responsible for more than 50% of the total water in Western rivers. Climate change is expected to reduce snowpack accumulation and snowmelt in mountain regions, yet there is still much to be learned about how these changes will alter the hydrologic cycle as well as the ecosystems that rely on spring snowmelt.
If you see Katarena in the hallways of Guggenheim please feel free to ask her about her PhD project, she would be more than happy to chat with you.
Photo 1: Snake River, Photo 2: Stream Gaging at Snake River, Photo 3: Daughter and Mother Fieldwork: