April 17, 2008
Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363
Saturday, April 19, 7:00 p.m.
Managing for Change
National Park ecosystems are facing unprecedented challenges from pollutants, invasive species, disruption of habitats, loss of predators, and from climate change. The onset and continuance of climate change over the next century requires NPS managers to think differently about park ecosystems than they have in the past. Preparing for and adapting to climate change is as much a cultural and intellectual challenge as it is an ecological one. Using Rocky Mountain National Park and the long-term research in Loch Vale watershed as an example, Dr. Jill Baron of the U.S. Geological Survey will talk about the adaptation options natural resource managers can take to increase the resilience of ecosystems, communities, and species, impacted by inevitable changes.
Saturday, April 26, 7:00 p.m.
Monitoring Climate In and Around Rocky Mountain National Park
The Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Program is charged with monitoring key natural resources within the NPS and Rocky Mountain National Park. Understanding why changes occur requires having a firm understanding of climate, which is a primary driver of most surface biophysical and ecological processes. Brent Frakes, Rocky Mountain Network Data Manager for the National Park Service, will provide an overview of the monitoring effort. He will discuss the framework, data sources, and results, to help us interpret weather and climate data as they relate to key environmental processes and ecological responses important to the park’s ecosystems and resources.
Saturday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.
Changes in the Timing of Snowmelt in Colorado: A Response to Recent Warming?
Streamflow in Colorado is driven primarily by the springtime melting of deep snowpacks that accumulate during the winter. Research Hydrologist David Clow from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Colorado Water Center is conducting a study of changes in the timing of snowmelt and associated runoff. Preliminary results indicate that the onset of snowmelt and spring runoff has advanced by approximately two weeks since the late 1970s. At Rocky Mountain National Park, we are currently exploring which climate variables are driving the changes in snowmelt timing, with likely suspects including changes in temperature and precipitation. The park’s 2008 Lyceum theme is “Learning Lessons: Management Decisions of the Past and Future.” As Rocky Mountain National Park's centennial approaches, it is a good time to explore decisions made in the past, face the issues of today, and look forward to the future. How do real people make real decisions about real problems in the entire Rocky Mountain Region, as well as in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Lyceum schedule runs through May 17, 2008. Financial support for the lyceum series is provided by the park’s nonprofit partner, the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Programs are held at the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and are free and open to the public.
For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call (970) 586-1206.