Climate Science Connections: Water in the West

Monday, June 2, 2014 - 11:00 to Monday, June 30, 2014 - 21:00

This online course will explore challenges for water management in the Western U.S. both at large and small scales.

This course is built around panel discussions with hydrologists, policy makers, engineers, and science educators. Course participants will explore challenges of water management both at a large scale – using the Colorado River Basin Watershed as an example – and at small scale – using the Boulder Creek watershed as an example where flooding occurred on the heals of drought and wildfire damage.

This interactive and self-paced online course will run over 4 weeks requiring a total of 8-10 hours to complete.

How will climate change affect the availability of water in the Western United States—where water is already the most precious natural resource? What water management challenges does the Western U.S. face? How do we manage natural disasters like drought, wildfire, and flooding? This course engages participants with cutting-edge science in exploring these and other questions about the intersection of climate change and water management in the West.

This course:
- Provides an introduction to the topic of water in the West
- Highlights challenges of water management
- Reviews and evaluates flooding, drought, wildfires, and interactions between these natural disasters
- Provides an educational context for these broad topics and introduces educators to resources and teaching approaches for their classrooms

Join the discussion about the Colorado River Basin with Dr. Doug Kenney, director of the Western Water Policy Program at University of Colorado Boulder and Jeff Lukas, senior researcher at Western Water Assessment, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. We will discuss drought, wildfire, and flooding in a Colorado case study to examine the issue of water timing and distribution as influenced by climate change. Dr. Brian Ebel, Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Jeff Writer, University of Colorado Boulder, and Dr. Sheila Murphy, USGS, will also participate as content experts.

This course is co-funded by Learn More About Climate, a program of the University of Colorado Boulder Office for University Outreach, and by the NASA-funded Inspiring Climate Education Excellence (ICEE) project.

After reviewing some basics around the water–energy–climate nexus, watershed and water cycle, we will focus on the Colorado River Watershed and water conservation in the West. Then, we will discuss the Boulder Creek flooding event and how the Four Mile Canyon Fire burn site within the watershed impacted the flood.

This course is free and open to the public. Register now!

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