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  • Thumbnail for Establishing community gardens for long-term success
    Establishing community gardens for long-term success by Yemma, Melanie

    Urban agriculture has had a strong presence in American cities throughout history, whether from concerns of food security or desires for green spaces. In the past two decades, gardens have made a large comeback due to grassroots and community desire to build community and partake in the local food movement. Common literature has agreed on the benefits that gardens can provide for cities, but no study has found what it specifically takes to establish gardens successfully, in order for their benefits to consistently show for the long-term. This study determines what factors are necessary to establish community gardens with longevity in mind. Through extensive analysis of existing literature, this study finds that the three largest factors for establishing and maintaining community gardens are community interest, support for resources, and organized structure. This study then examines how these factors are specifically at play in Colorado Springs, as the city’s budding interest in gardening makes for an exemplary case study. For Colorado Springs, this study finds that while community interest and mechanisms for resource support are present when it comes to establishing gardens, in terms of longevity, a lack of consistent structure for supporting and maintaining community gardens could hinder the longevity of community gardens. It is proposed that more organization and structure for the gardens, especially in regards to leadership development, can promote the success of these gardens, as well as other gardens nation-wide, for the future by making gardens more self-sustaining.

  • Thumbnail for Long-term bloom patterns of the diatom Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii Cleve in Narragansett Bay
    Long-term bloom patterns of the diatom Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii Cleve in Narragansett Bay by Davis, Margo

    Phytoplankton perform a crucial role in ecosystems, as they are responsible for about half of global oxygen production and serve as a major component of biogeochemical nutrient cycling. Long-term trends, bloom patterns, and environmental drivers of the marine diatom Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii were studied. T. nordenskioeldii is abundant in Narragansett Bay seasonally, representing up to 44% of winter diatoms some years, being most prevalent in water from -1 to 1 °C. Water temperature in Narragansett Bay during the T. nordenskioeldii bloom window has increased over 1°C since 1959, which may push winter water temperature past T. nordenskioeldii’s optimal in-situ habitat conditions. As climate change continues, increasing water temperatures may alter T. nordenskioeldii bloom patterns. The data analyzed came from a time-series of weekly observations in lower Narragansett Bay, spanning from 1959-2011. Long-term trends show elevated abundance in 1960s and 1970s, followed by declining abundance through 1980s and 1990s. Populations increased in 2000s, but not to the same magnitude seen early in the time-series. Embedded in the long-term pattern were 53-month cycles, with an apparent disappearance in recent years. Cardinal characters were assigned to bloom characteristics (initiation, peak, duration, etc.) and used for analysis. Perhaps most noteworthy was the high variation exhibited, with blooms initiating anywhere from early December to early April and maximum bloom magnitude ranging from 96 to 8137 cells/ml. Multivariate statistical analyses identified three bloom types: an early, moderate bloom; a later intense bloom; and a late bloom with low abundance. Intense blooms came in winters with reduced river flow (37.3 m3/sec) and cold surface water temperatures (3.8°C), compared to smaller blooms occurring in winters with increased river flow (42.4-49.6 m3/sec) and warmer water (4.2-4.6°C). Understanding trends and bloom parameters of T. nordenskioeldii will allow for appropriate analysis of climate effects and prediction of future impacts.

  • Thumbnail for Microclimatological feedbacks at treeline: Is treeline structure modifying the local microclimate?
    Microclimatological feedbacks at treeline: Is treeline structure modifying the local microclimate? by Dickson, Chris C.

    Recent study of altitudinal treeline advance has revealed that increasing seasonal temperatures only partly explain the processes that influence treeline structure and elevation. Microsite modifications, induced by the structure of the treeline, may in fact play a large role in regulating the microclimate, creating more favorable conditions for further seedling establishment and recruitment near the treeline. To explore these modifications, previous research on Pikes Peak has compared heating dynamics within a treeline microclimate to the microclimate of an adjacent rockslide at an identical elevation. Observations indicated that the treeline heats up faster and to a higher maximum temperature than the rockslide nearly every day of the study period (Johnson, 2011). Potential mechanisms for this differential heating were explored, however only the sheltering potential of the trees to reduce winds proved worthy of further investigation (Anderson, 2012). To expand upon these findings, this study aims to verify the presence of differential heating between treeline and rockslide, investigate the role of sheltering to reduce heat loss within treeline, and explore to what extent this sheltering could extend beyond the treeline’s leading edge. First, this study found that temperatures within the treeline were on average ~7C warmer than the rockslide from 15cm above the ground to 10cm deep within the soil, a critical habitat for seedling establishment (Körner, 1998). Furthermore, this study reveals that the magnitude of differential heating increases throughout the growing season, exhibiting larger differences later in the season. These findings indicate that, despite decreasing solar input late in the season, the treeline has a higher capacity to retain heat than the rockslide and prolongs favorable growing conditions later into the summer months. To investigate how sheltering may play a role in holding heat within the treeline, the zero-plane displacement was calculated for the treeline, rockslide, and upper tundra. Results indicate that treeline form shelters a boundary layer of warm air close to the ground that could enable increased heat storage within the treeline’s soil. Furthermore, this sheltering effect extends beyond the treeline’s leading edge and modifies the tundra microclimate by reducing wind effects in lee of the treeline. This mechanism of sheltering could create a positive feedback loop in which microclimatological modifications, induced by the trees presence, allow for continual growth beyond the forest boundary.

  • Thumbnail for Reconciling institutional levels of water governance and management for the Monterey Peninsula water supply
    Reconciling institutional levels of water governance and management for the Monterey Peninsula water supply by Hall, Andrew

    Water managers in the West are faced with multiple and compounding challenges from climate change, spatial-administrative complexity, legal uncertainty and increasing demand from population, industry and environment needs. This article thus assesses the current state of water management in California by specifically looking at the fragmentation of governance and management and the variable management schemes proposed to solve the problems. As current management has resulted in delays and failures, new political factions and economic and environmental burdens have added new stresses for water managers. My study area is the Central Coast of California specifically the geographic region of the Monterey Bay, with a specific focus on the Monterey Peninsula (MP), Carmel Bay and South Monterey Bay Region. The methodology consists of a qualitative examination of water governance and management responses in the region through interviews, analysis of documents and materials, and direct observations of practices. The results demonstrate that decentralized management in CA has led to multiple dimensions of jurisdictional fragmentation and legal uncertainty relevant to all water managers in the state. Furthermore, the paradigm shift that is taking place in water management towards a more integrative and adaptive framework is hampered by these barriers and has been slow to take effect. Thus, further research is necessary to monitor this shift and to document ways to overcome current legal and political-administrative barriers.

  • Thumbnail for The climatic effects of tree growth in Colorado : the influences of climate change on the Colorado Rockies’ treeline
    The climatic effects of tree growth in Colorado : the influences of climate change on the Colorado Rockies’ treeline by Naylor, Jacqueline Nicole

    Throughout the past century, there has been a global shift in climate. Temperatures have been rising, and while precipitation has been fluctuating, it has exhibited not obvious trends. This change in climate has led to global treeline advancement, and has presented ecological, economic, and social implications. Two of the most relevant implications, especially within the context of the western United States, are changing ecosystem dynamics and water yields. Therefore this study aims to explore the effects of climate change at treeline throughout the Colorado Rockies, with the objective to use simple meteorological data to explain and predict radial tree growth. Data was collected at ten individual mountains in five mountain ranges throughout the state. The subsequent dendrochronologies for each mountain were correlated with time, local and regional meteorology, and the other nine sites. The correlation between sites was compared to the distance between sites. Chronologies were also compared to regional wind and storm patterns. Ultimately, no significant climatic trends appeared to influence individual tree growth on a regional scale throughout the Colorado Rockies. In some sites, such as those bordering the western Colorado deserts, increasing precipitation led to increased radial growth. At a small number of sites in the Front Range and the Sawatch Range, increased summer and annual temperatures led to increased radial growth as well. The remaining sites showed no connection between radial tree growth and simple local and regional meteorological data. The dendrochronologies between most mountains were significantly correlated; the correlations ranged from 0.93 to 0.25, with most of the sites correlated at 0.6 and above. Surprisingly, the correlation coefficients between sites did not respond to the distance between mountains in a statistically significant way. Based on an analysis between site correlations, three groups emerged with inter-site correlation at 0.7 and above: west of the Continental Divide, Front Range and Central Rockies, and along the Continental Divide. In general, these groups showed a southwest to northeast orientation. Storm patterns that flow from the southwest to the northeast throughout the state act as the central variable in correlating chronologies between sites. Conclusively this study does not support the hypotheses that claim climate significantly affects radial growth, but instead provides important information that can be used to further understand the implications of climate on treeline dynamics in the Colorado Rockies.

  • Thumbnail for The local aspects of marine resource management : a case study of two small-scale fisheries in Costa Rica
    The local aspects of marine resource management : a case study of two small-scale fisheries in Costa Rica by Gillett, Nicole Valerie

    The world’s fisheries provide humans with a significant source of protein and are the backbone of many coastal communities’ livelihoods. They are crucial for healthy marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Yet despite this they have been an ever worsening state for years. Marine resource management theories and techniques have attempted to address this crisis yet fish stocks continue to decline. One sector of the marine resource management, which is frequently underappreciated, are the small-scale fisheries which sustain millions of people worldwide and are negatively impacted by these decreasing trends. This study took place in two small-scale fishing communities along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Both study sites are near marine conservation sites; however the one effort is a locally initiated Responsible Fishing Area and one is a government run Marine National Park. The studies focused on the perceptions of local fishermen and community members on the state of marine resources, conservation, and their role in resource management. Overall, correlations were found between increased community involvement in local marine management areas and more positive perceptions and investment, in the success of the area. These results add to past studies and new management theories which call for an increase in local participation and inclusion in management and marine conservation efforts in order to harness the support of these communities and address the needs of those people who depend on marine resources.