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Jeff Derry – Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies SOIL Sangre de Cristo “Speaker Series” for June

Jeff Derry, with the Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies will be the guest speaker for SOIL Sangre de Cristo’s June “Speaker Series”. The event will be held virtually on June 24, 7pm via Zoom.

The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies (CSAS) is a non-profit devoted to serving the mountain science community and regional resource managers by hosting and conducting interdisciplinary research and sustaining integrative 24/7/365 monitoring that captures weather, snowpack, radiation, soils, plant communities and hydrologic signals of regional climate trends. Located in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, CSAS provides one of the highest altitude continuously monitored mountain dataset available.

About 80% of Colorado’s water supply comes from snowmelt. This presentation briefly discusses snow data collection, the challenges of monitoring the snowpack, and general snowpack trends. From here the discussion shifts to CSAS’s Colorado Dust-on-Snow program, an applied science program serving stakeholders in all major Colorado watersheds. Desert dust transported from adjacent arid regions is deposited on the Colorado snowpack, drastically altering spring runoff and storage of water in mountain snow. With changing climate and increased development in the desert southwest, aridification and dust transport will continue to be a major driver of change. These factors will be summarized as to what it means for runoff forecasts and water resources.

SOIL Sangre de Cristo started in the South-Central region of Colorado in early 2020 and has grown to 64 members. It encompasses 5 counties including the San Luis Valley and south to the border of New Mexico. Within its first year $20,000 was loaned to 3 area food producers in our region.

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