Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Article on Big Sur Fire Ecology

A photograph by Jaime del Valle of Hastings appears in this month's issue of Bay Nature. The photo, of Dolan Ridge in last year's fire in Big Sur, is part of a discussion by Lester Rowntree, "Forged by Fire-Lightning and Landscape at Big Sur". This is a great introduction and summary of the fire ecology of Big Sur.

Stream Gauge on Hastings

Finch Creek has never had any study, although it probably provides a critical part of the water supply to the Carmel River. A few months ago, Greg James of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District offered some of his older equipment to allow us to put in a stream gauge. This is strictly a research project to study the hydrology of the area and maybe to entice some faculty from CSUMB or UC Berkeley to come study the creek. We dug a deep hole for the measuring staff, and to keep the root-bound stream bank from collapsing (it is just sand held together by willow roots) I built a small stilling well and wall behind it. There are 5 wheelbarrows of rock and good deal of steel rod and wire holding it together. Kevin Browne, the UC NRS information tech was here last week, and we used the older Campbell 510, with an NL-100 to get the data online. Jaime and Mark worked on a 180 foot trench to provide power and ethernet to the installation. It will take some time to gather data to convert the transducer pressure readings to flow values. But, in a year or so, Greg will do the measurements and we will convert the raw data to CFS estimates and plot those. We hope to install a webcam to watch the stream level. Check out the website for flow data.
NRS Annual Meeting Sep 8-11

Each year, the UC Natural Reserve System staff meet at a reserve to discuss system-wide events. Of course, the big event this year was the retirement of Alex Glazer, our Director in UCOP for the last many years. Alex is greatly appreciated and a good friend to the reserve staff. We will miss Alex. We held the meeting at the Angelo Reserve, and we all camped on the site, bringing our own chairs, tents, etc. Peter Steel hosted the meeting. Curiously, on our return to various reserves, we found that many of our group came down with the flu, and many were diagnosed with H1N1. Dan Dawson provided the photo.....