Summer in Yosemite: An undergraduate research experience

Eric Keenan

CEE junior Eric Keenan spent the summer studying mountain hydrology in Yosemite National Park. Working under the mentorship of Jessica Lundquist, associate professor of hydrology and hydrodynamics, and the Yosemite Hydroclimate Project, Eric maintained and developed a wilderness network of meteorological and hydrologic instruments designed to better understand snowmelt timing and magnitude in complex, remote, and hard to access terrain.

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“In much of the American West and especially California, mountains dominate regional precipitation patterns,” said Keenan. “This is precisely why the Yosemite Hydroclimate project is so important. Without instruments in these remote mountains, a quantitative understanding of an individual basin’s water discharge is impossible.”

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With a better understanding of these variables, researchers in the Mountain Hydrology Research Group have and will continue to provide water managers with more accurate water forecasts, critical to agriculture and urban centers throughout the West.keenan5

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