Matching Items (4)

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2014 Yackulic, Yard, Korman and Van Haverbeke, A Quantitative Life History of Endangered Humpback Chub that Spawn in the Little Colorado River, Variation in Movement, Growth, and Survival

Description

While the ecology and evolution of partial migratory systems (defined broadly to include skip spawning) have been well studied, we are only beginning to under- stand how partial migratory populations

While the ecology and evolution of partial migratory systems (defined broadly to include skip spawning) have been well studied, we are only beginning to under- stand how partial migratory populations are responding to ongoing environmen- tal change. Environmental change can lead to differences in the fitness of residents and migrants, which could eventually lead to changes in the frequency of the strategies in the overall population. Here, we address questions concerning the life history of the endangered Gila cypha (humpback chub) in the regulated Colorado River and the unregulated tributary and primary spawning area, the Little Colorado River. We develop eight multistate models for the population based on three movement hypotheses, in which states are defined in terms of fish size classes and river locations. We fit these models to mark–recapture data col- lected in 2009–2012. We compare survival and growth estimates between the Col- orado River and Little Colorado River and calculate abundances for all size classes. The best model supports the hypotheses that larger adults spawn more frequently than smaller adults, that there are residents in the spawning grounds, and that juveniles move out of the Little Colorado River in large numbers during the monsoon season (July–September). Monthly survival rates for G. cypha in the Colorado River are higher than in the Little Colorado River in all size classes; however, growth is slower. While the hypothetical life histories of life-long resi- dents in the Little Colorado River and partial migrants spending most of its time in the Colorado River are very different, they lead to roughly similar fitness expectations when we used expected number of spawns as a proxy. However, more research is needed because our study period covers a period of years when conditions in the Colorado River for G. cypha are likely to have been better than has been typical over the last few decades.

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Date Created
  • 2014-01-16

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2015 Surprise and Opportunity for Learning in Grand Canyon: the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program

Description

With a focus on resources of the Colorado River ecosystem below Glen Canyon Dam, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program has included a variety of experimental policy tests, ranging

With a focus on resources of the Colorado River ecosystem below Glen Canyon Dam, the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program has included a variety of experimental policy tests, ranging from manipulation of water releases from the dam to removal of non-native fish within Grand Canyon National Park. None of these field-scale experiments has yet produced unambiguous results in terms of management prescriptions. But there has been adaptive learning, mostly from unanticipated or surprising resource responses relative to predictions from ecosystem modeling. Surprise learning opportunities may often be viewed with dismay by some stakeholders who might not be clear about the purpose of science and modeling in adaptive management. However, the experimental results from the Glen Canyon Dam program actually represent scientific successes in terms of revealing new opportunities for developing better river management policies. A new long-term experimental management planning process for Glen Canyon Dam operations, started in 2011 by the U.S. Department of the Interior, provides an opportunity to refocus management objectives, identify and evaluate key uncertainties about the influence of dam releases, and refine monitoring for learning over the next several decades. Adaptive learning since 1995 is critical input to this long-term planning effort. Embracing uncertainty and surprise outcomes revealed by monitoring and ecosystem modeling will likely continue the advancement of resource objectives below the dam, and may also promote efficient learning in other complex programs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Implications of Learning Outcomes of In-Person and Virtual Field-Based Geoscience Instruction at Grand Canyon National Park

Description

Education through field exploration is fundamental in geoscience. But not all students enjoy equal access to field-based learning because of time, cost, distance, ability, and safety constraints. At the same

Education through field exploration is fundamental in geoscience. But not all students enjoy equal access to field-based learning because of time, cost, distance, ability, and safety constraints. At the same time, technological advances afford ever more immersive, rich, and student-centered virtual field experiences. Virtual field trips may be the only practical options for most students to explore pedagogically rich but inaccessible places. A mixed-methods research project was conducted on an introductory and an advanced geology class to explore the implications of learning outcomes of in-person and virtual field-based instruction at Grand Canyon National Park. The study incorporated the Great Unconformity in the Grand Canyon, a 1.2 billion year break in the rock record; the Trail of Time, an interpretive walking timeline; and two immersive, interactive virtual field trips (iVFTs). The in-person field trip (ipFT) groups collectively explored the canyon and took an instructor-guided inquiry hike along the interpretive Trail of Time from rim level, while iVFT students individually explored the canyon and took a guided-inquiry virtual tour of Grand Canyon geology from river level. High-resolution 360° spherical images anchor the iVFTs and serve as a framework for programmed overlays that enable interactivity and allow the iVFT to provide feedback in response to student actions. Students in both modalities received pre- and post-trip Positive and Negative Affect Schedules (PANAS). The iVFT students recorded pre- to post-trip increases in positive affect (PA) scores and decreases in negative (NA) affect scores, representing an affective state conducive to learning. Pre- to post-trip mean scores on concept sketches used to assess visualization and geological knowledge increased for both classes and modalities. However, the iVFT pre- to post-trip increases were three times greater (statistically significant) than the ipFT gains. Both iVFT and ipFT students scored 92-98% on guided-inquiry worksheets completed during the trips, signifying both met learning outcomes. Virtual field trips do not trump traditional in-person field work, but they can meet and/or exceed similar learning objectives and may replace an inaccessible or impractical in-person field trip.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

Turbulence, sediment transport, erosion, and sandbar beach failure processes in Grand Canyon

Description

This research examines lateral separation zones and sand bar slope stability using two methods: a parallelized turbulence resolving model and full-scale laboratory experiments. Lateral flow separation occurs in rivers where

This research examines lateral separation zones and sand bar slope stability using two methods: a parallelized turbulence resolving model and full-scale laboratory experiments. Lateral flow separation occurs in rivers where banks exhibit strong curvature, for instance canyon rivers, sharp meanders and river confluences. In the Colorado River, downstream Glen Canyon Dam, lateral separation zones are the principal storage of sandbars. Maximum ramp rates have been imposed to Glen Canyon Dam operation to minimize mass loss of sandbars. Assessment of the effect of restricting maximum ramp rates in bar stability is conducted using multiple laboratory experiments. Results reveal that steep sandbar faces would rapidly erode by mass failure and seepage erosion to stable slopes, regardless of dam discharge ramp rates. Thus, continued erosion of sand bars depends primarily of turbulent flow and waves. A parallelized, three-dimensional, turbulence resolving model is developed to study flow structures in two lateral separation zones located along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. The model employs a Detached Eddy Simulation (DES) technique where variables larger than the grid scale are fully resolved, while Sub-Grid-Scale (SGS) variables are modeled. The DES-3D model is validated using ADCP flow measurements and skill metric scores show predictive capabilities of simulated flow. The model reproduces the patterns and magnitudes of flow velocity in lateral recirculation zones, including size and position of primary and secondary eddy cells and return current. Turbulence structures with a predominately vertical axis of vorticity are observed in the shear layer, becoming three-dimensional without preferred orientation downstream. The DES-3D model is coupled with a sediment advection-diffusion formulation, wherein advection is provided by the DES velocity field minus particles settling velocity, and diffusion is provided by the SGS. Results show a lateral recirculation zone having a continuous export and import of sediment from and to the main channel following a pattern of high frequency pulsations of positive deposition fluxes. These high frequency pulsations play an important role to prevent an oversupply of sediment within the lateral separation zones. Improved predictive capabilities are achieved with this model when compared with previous two- and three-dimensional quasi steady and steady models.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015