Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re working to raise $11,000 in just 24 hours. Give during Giving Tuesday today and you can help UPR close an $11,000 budget gap. GIVE HERE to help us reach the goal!

USU ecology speaker encourages collaboration on water issues

Adrian Harpold

Last week, USU’s Ecology Center hosted Adrian Harpold, a hydrologist at the University of Nevada who is focusing on water issues facing the western U.S. Climate change has led to many changes in environmental patterns, often leading to more extreme weather events and temperatures. Harpold’s research is focused on mountain systems because they receive a large percentage of precipitation and are key to keeping our reservoirs full.

“I'm trying to understand how much water there is where it's going, be able to forecast it in the future, and be able to provide information to water managers so that they can make decisions and the water can go to our faucets and to our farms," Harpold said.

Harpold held two seminars. The first gave an overview of changing water cycles and the role vegetation plays in those systems, emphasizing the importance of mountain precipitation on downstream ecosystems. Understanding this system is key in managing these ecosystems under changing conditions.

His second seminar focused on water management and restoration in response to major disturbances. Throughout his visit at USU, Harpold emphasized the importance of collaboration, particularly on an issue like this, as water impacts everyone.

“We see water as a common interest and common natural resource and that it's something that we can rally around, despite having different backgrounds and perspectives and politics because we all need water," Harpold said.

Harpold emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary research and creating solutions to water issues that we face with increasing frequency.

“I do think that we need to move into a more adaptive world where we can respond to these extreme events. ... It'll take a lot of interdisciplinary work and a lot of cooperation," said Harpold.

To watch Harpold’s seminars visit

Erin Lewis is a science reporter at Utah Public Radio and a PhD Candidate in the biology department at Utah State University. She is passionate about fostering curiosity and communicating science to the public. At USU she studies how anthropogenic disturbances are impacting wildlife, particularly the effects of tourism-induced dietary shifts in endangered Bahamian Rock Iguana populations. In her free time she enjoys reading, painting and getting outside with her dog, Hazel.