Establishing the Bear River Watershed as a UNESCO HELP Network Catchment
David Chandler - Assistant Professor, Department of Plants, Soils and Biometeorology, Utah State University
Roger Kjelgren - Department of Plants, Soils and Biometeorology, Utah State University
Joanna Endter-Wada - Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University
Theresa Selfa - Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University
Many of the USU Water Initiative goals concur with those of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization Program, ‘Hydrology for the Environment Life and Policy’ (UNESCO HELP). The direction of the Laboratory Watershed component of the USU Water Initiative is currently being driven by the somewhat narrower, and less well defined, design criteria for development of Hydrologic Observatory proposal to the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). Our goals for participating in these programs are to enhance the national and international reputation of water programs at Utah State University and attract additional, external resources to those programs through interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts, as proposed in the Water Initiative Task Force Report. The opportunity currently exists for USU to propose the Bear River observatory for designation as a HELP watershed. Whereas there is currently no funding explicitly associated with this designation, it would formalize the USU commitment to the Bear, which may be useful for attracting other state or federal resources, such as a CUAHSI Hydrologic Observatory project, to USU. Regardless of the potential to leverage resources, applying the broad view and approach established within the UNESCO HELP program to developing the overall conceptual framework for the Laboratory Watershed may be the most efficient path to integrating the breadth of expertise in water at USU. Establishment of the Bear River Laboratory Watershed as a HELP watershed (perhaps as HELP Utah) could thus serve to help Utah State Unversity to organize to HELP Utah face its future water management issues. This effort will not be trivial, so we must not only “Think”, we must “Think big”.
4820 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-4820