Apr 022003
Authors: Jason Kosena

Although piles from the blizzard that dropped up to 32 inches of snow on Fort Collins are still piled around campus, community member’s thoughts may be turning to summer and the drought.

The 23rd Annual Hydrology Days conference, which ended Wednesday, and the “Assessing the Impacts of Prolonged Severe Drought on Aquatic Ecosystems and Water Quality of the South Platte River Basin” conference, which begins today and ends Friday, are two opportunities for students and experts to discuss drought-related issues.

“(The conference that starts today) will have many different scientists and resource managers from many different organizations talking about the ecological impacts of drought,” said Kristin Reynolds, research associate for the Natural Resources Ecology Lab at CSU.

Many different issues will be discussed including, water quality for human consumption, water quality in the rivers and lakes and how drought can affect both of these, Reynolds said.

“The purpose of this conference is not only education, but also to build a collaboration between the (different experts in the field),” Reynolds said.

Hydrology Days was a five-day conference at CSU that also had discussions relating to drought.

“One of the central themes (of Hydrology Days) is the ongoing drought in Colorado and in the West,” said Jorge Ram/rez, professor of civil engineering and chairman of the organizing committee for Hydrology Days.

During the conference, Jos/ Salas, a civil engineering professor, was awarded the 2003 Hydrology Days Award for outstanding contributions to the field of hydrology and related fields.

“Salas is a CSU professor and a worldwide authority on (hydrology) issues,” Ram/rez said.

Salas was grateful for the recognition from his peers for his work in hydrology.

“I’ve been a faculty member here for the past 25 years and I have done much research related to topics like (drought analysis),” Salas said. “It was nice to receive this (award).”

Salas appreciates Hydrology Days because it gives students a chance to talk about hydrology and he says the students are the important part.

“(I have been teaching for a long time) and the process has been very rewarding for me,” Salas said.

Perry Kline, a senior construction management major, believes that studying drought is important for CSU to do.

“Drought is a big issue right now in Colorado and it is good to see CSU taking such an active approach to the issue,” Kline said.

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