Dan White | Monday, 7 February 2011 - Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Dr. Daniel White traveled from Fairbanks, Alaska to Homer, Alaska to present several programs on water resources. His presentations concentrated on climate change in relation to water resources and how that will effect human infrastructure and how we manage water.
Dr. White presented to Ms. Vicki Lowe's advanced sciences classes at West Homer High School on 8 February. He gave three presentations to the students and was available to answer questions on the subject. That night he presented to the community of Homer at the Islands and Oceans Visitor Center a lecture titled, "Homer, Water and Climate."
These presentations are hosted by the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBRR). KBRR is a team of researchers, educators and support staff working to develop a better understanding of ecological processes in the Gulf of Alaska, with emphasis on Lower Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay. In 1999, Kachemak Bay was designated as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve system; a national network of 28 estuaries representing different biogeographic regions of the United States that are protected for long-term research water-quality monitoring, education and coastal stewardship. KBRR's mission is to enhance understanding and appreciation of the Kachemak Bay estuary and adjacent waters to ensure that these ecosystems remain healthy and productive.
Read Dr. White's description of his lecture:
Alaska's water resources vary greatly in abundance, distribution, and seasonality. From Southeast rainforests with glaciers and snowsheds to the Arctic desert, Alaska has it all. The form and frequency of precipitation is affected by interannual, decadal, and millennial changes in climate. Understanding the impact of climate on water resources within the design life of human infrastructure is critical to understanding maintenance and operation of the infrastructure. For example, when constructing water treatment plants, we must understand the capacity of a given water source to supply water for the design life of the system. During warm climate periods, less precipitation falls as snow, resulting in less storage capacity of a given watershed. During a warm event in the Pacific Northwest, including the Pacific Coast of Alaska, less water is stored as snow. Less "natural" water storage will mean that more water needs to be stored in retention structures to serve late summer water demand by people and ecosystems.