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Thursday, October 21st @ 12pm PST
Midday Science Cafe
In this month’s Midday Science Cafe, we’ll speak to scientists who ask one of the most pressing questions in climate change: How does climate change alter landscapes and what are the downstream effects of these changes? First, we’ll hear from Dr. Erica Siirila-Woodburn, a Research Scientist at Berkeley Lab who will discuss how mountains -- which are known as nature’s water towers because they store, capture, and release water for downstream use -- are especially sensitive to climate change. Dr. Kerri Johnson, a Postdoctoral Scholar at UC Berkeley, will then discuss how climate change is projected to make hillslope soils more vulnerable to erosion, a consequence that has far-reaching impacts on ecosystem health, downstream water resources, and global carbon distribution. We’ll also hear how both scientists use field sites to help them understand current conditions and model future scenarios. Dr. Siirila-Woodburn uses measurements from and models of a watershed located in the Upper Colorado River Basin, one of the most comprehensive watershed research projects in the world. And Dr. Johnson uses a well-controlled natural experiment on Santa Cruz Island, CA, to explore the influence of microclimate on patterns of hillslope soil erosion.