In this overview, Walter E. Hecox, State of the Rockies project director and Elizabeth Kolbe, State of the Rockies program coordinator, present topics addressed during the 2009 State of the Rockies, including: How do environmental concerns affect life in the Rockies? How do we manage the inevitable growth here in the Rockies? What are megapolitans? Why should I care about the recreational sector of the Rockies?
Optimal clutch size has been an important focus within evolutionary biology since David Lack’s innovative work in 1947. Prey abundance, typically thought to limit clutch size, may be especially limiting in raptors, since the females contribute minimally to prey provisioning. Studying species with significant energetic constraints may illuminate the relationship between energetics, parental division of labor and clutch size. Flammulated Owls (Psiloscops flammeolus) are a small raptor with prey that is small relative to their body size, further constraining flammulated owls energetically when compared to raptors with larger prey. I hypothesized that female flammulated owls with clutches of three will contribute more to prey deliveries than females with clutches of two, while male prey delivery rates will not vary with brood size. Prey delivery data from 115 flammulated owl nests in the Front Range of Colorado were recorded from 2004-2013. During the second half of the nestling period broods of three received more prey deliveries than broods of two (p < 0.05). Additionally, during the second half of the nestling period no significant difference was found between male and female prey delivery rates for broods of three (p > 0.05). However, among adults with broods of two, males provided significantly more prey than females (p < 0.05). Male prey delivery rate between brood sizes was not significantly different (p > 0.05). These results indicate that broods of three may require greater energy expenditure than broods of two from the female, but not the male parent. While these results pertain to a bird with a small inflexible clutch size, similar research on birds with larger more flexible clutch sizes may reveal how and if clutch size and parental division of labor have co-evolved within avian taxa.
The craft beer industry has been growing steadily for the last twenty years while big brewers are losing market share. The front range of Colorado is one of the epicenters of the craft brewing industry and hosts a wide variety of different brewing business models. As such, this study attempts to understand why the industry is growing, what threats it faces, and what trajectory it is on for the future by interviewing the people behind an assortment of breweries on the front range of Colorado.
The music industry has seen many new forms of technology that have helped shape it to become the multi-billon dollar industry it has become today. The Internet is currently changing how artists are distributing their music as well as how consumers are receiving it. The ease of which an artist can distribute their music across the country without the help of a record label has lead to a new question as to whether or not a record contract is still necessary for an artist to succeed in the industry. This study will look at groups from the Front Range of Colorado at different stages in their musical careers to see exactly how they are using the Internet to distribute their music and to find out if any have achieved any level of financial success doing so.
A 2D numerical model developed by Plummer and Phillips (2003) was employed to reconstruct the Middle Boulder Creek (MBC) and North St. Vrain (NSV) paleoglaciers, of the Colorado Front Range. The model was used to investigate two climatic aspects of the late-Pleistocene Pinedale Glaciation (~30,000-12,000 ka): 1. The specific combinations of temperature and precipitation present in the Front Range that may have sustained the MBC and NSV glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, ~21 ka), and 2. The magnitudes and rates of climate change that drove the Front Range ice recession following the LGM. The ArcMap 3.3-based model has two components, an energy/mass balance component that calculates an annual mass balance grid from input climate data and valley topography, and an ice flow component that utilizes the mass balance grid to calculate the glacial flow according to ice flow laws and topography. After several hundred model years, the glacier reaches a steady state geometry that is in mass balance equilibrium with the input climate. Determining the input climate parameters that sustain a modeled glacier at field-mapped extents therefore provides quantified insight into the regional climate. Modeling of the NSV system did not provide reliable results, likely due to issues concerning input modern climate data collected from secondary sources for use in this study. However, results from modeling the MBC glacier to its LGM mapped-extent suggest the glacier may have been sustained with temperature depressions of 5.0˚C, 6.6˚C, and 8.6˚C, respectively coupled with modern precipitation factors of 1.5x, 1.0x, and 0.5x, and is agreement with results of earlier studies. The rate of climate change was determined by modeling the MBC glacier to multiple CRN-dated ice margin locations associated with the post-LGM deglaciation (from Ward et al., 2009), and by assessing the temperature changes between intervals assuming a constant precipitation equal to today’s. This modeling suggests an initial warming of ~0.1˚C/ky from 21 – ~18 ka, a slight cooling period (~0.2˚C) and glacial stillstand from ~18 – ~16 ka, followed by rapid warming of ~0.7˚C/ky from ~16 – 13.5 ka. This first ever attempt to quantify Pinedale deglaciation rate of temperature changes in the Rocky Mountains has error associated the selected CRN dates (up to +/- 2.7 ky), and does not account for potential changes in precipitation. Despite the potential error, the quantified results provide appreciable generalized insight into the natural rate of climate change associated with post-LGM deglaciation.
Forest ecosystems in the Colorado Front Range have evolved to thrive in the unique climatic conditions of the region and natural disturbance regimes that existed prior to European settlement. Knowledge of how forests were structured in the past and the factors that affect their establishment and growth is essential to their management. Part of Notable Lectures & Performances series, Colorado College. Recorded January 25, 2007.