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Center to moderate environmental journalism talk

The Center for Watershed Sciences will moderate a Sept. 10 panel discussion on news media coverage of water and other environmental issues. The School of Law's California Environmental Law and Policy Center is hosting the noon - 1p.m. discussion at 1002 King Hall. The event is free and open to public. Seating limited to 50.

Carson Jeffres to present 'Floodplain Fatties'

The Center's Carson Jeffres has a fish tale that, like most others, ends with fish much bigger than they were at the start of the story.

Jeffres, though, swears his story is no exaggeration. He has data, photos and video showing that baby salmon planted in a flooded rice field near Sacramento grew at some of the fastest freshwater rates ever recorded in California.

Center's Joshua Viers departs for UC Merced

Joshua Viers, a highly productive scientist and mentor at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, has joined the faculty at UC Merced as an associate professor in the School of Engineering.

As of Aug. 15, Viers also became UC Merced’s director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), which promotes collaborative research on California’s pressing environmental, social and health care problems.

Mike Taugher, beloved and dogged environmental journalist

We at the Center for Watershed Sciences extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mike Taugher, a former California environmental journalist much admired for his amiable personality and the high level of commitment, depth and talent he brought to coverage of water issues. Mike died July 27 while snorkeling in Hawaii on vacation.

"Mike's death is tragic on lots of levels," said Peter Moyle, associate director of the Center. "He was a really good reporter who checked things carefully."

Jay Lund: 'new environmentalism' needed for water

Environmentalism must move from the era of “no” to an era of “how better,” the Center's director Jay Lund asserts in a commentary published June 30 by The Sacramento Bee.

"A new environmentalism is needed that can redirect and reconcile human activities to better support and even expand habitat for native species," Lund says. "Rather than insist on blocking human use to protect naturea largely quixotic quest nowenvironmental reconciliation works in and with unavoidably human habitats...

Climate threatens extinction for most Calif. native fish

Salmon and other native freshwater fish in California will likely become extinct within the next 100 years because of climate change -- if current trends continue -- ceding their habitats to non-native fish, predicts a new study by Center scientists Peter Moyle and Rebecca Quiñones.

The study, published online in May in the journal PLOS ONE, assessed how vulnerable each freshwater species in California is to climate change and estimated the likelihood that those species would become extinct in 100 years.

University awards Lund for public service

The Center director Jay Lund is scheduled May 14 to receive one of the university's Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Awards for his work in California water policy.

"He has consistently and effectively brought science to policy, influencing policymakers, government agencies and public interest groups," UC Davis stated in its announcement of the annual Academic Senate and Academic Federation awards.

CalTrout casts honors on Lund, Mount and Moyle

California Trout honored three pillars of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences at a May 10 gala in San Francisco.

Jay Lund, director; Jeff Mount, founding director; and Peter Moyle, associate director, each received the group's Golden Trout Award for distinguished and significant contributions to the conservation of wild trout, steelhead, salmon and their habitat.

Snowshoed scientists spotlighted on climate research

The latest UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences magazine spotlights the Watershed Center's climate research in the Sierra. Cover: In January, Joshua Viers (center), the studies' leader, with hydrologist Sarah Yarnell and biologist Ryan Peek at a meadow along the Bear River in Nevada County.

Watershed scientists prescribe stress relief for Delta

Scientists and interest groups involved with the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta generally agree on the actions needed to improve conditions for native fish, but most parties would prefer if someone else bore the financial burden of making the fixes. That's the general finding from confidential surveys conducted last year by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California and discussed in a new institute report released April 29, 2013.

'Fat farm' for salmon gains success

For the second year, a Watershed Center-affiliated experiment in rearing salmon on a farmed Sacramento River floodplain has produced remarkable results.

Baby Chinook salmon grew about 30 percent faster than last year - an impressive average of 0.17 grams a day - in harvested rice fields that researchers flooded to mimic historical floodplains that served as salmon nurseries. Salmon that started at the same size and were released into the Sacramento River at the same time grew only about half as fast.

Journal puts feather in Lund's cap for 'playing chicken'

An environmental engineering journal will be presenting its 2013 Best Policy-Oriented Paper Award to Jay Lund, director of the Center, and one of his former students for their article comparing conflicts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the game of Chicken.

Lund and Kaveh Madani, now an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, used game theory to analyze political strategies among competing stakeholders in the Delta's agricultural, recreational, environmental and water resources.

Mount sees 'a tunnel or two' for Delta fix

Jeffrey Mount, a recently retired professor of geology and founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences, tells KQED radio that California will need to move southbound export water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to comply with current laws that put water needs and the environment on equal footing.

KQED Science Editor Craig Miller caught up with Mount aboard his 27-foot cruiser, “Tugnacious.” An edited version of their conversation aired March 1.

State water board official: 'Decision or doom for Delta?'

Felicia Marcus, a member of the State Water Resources Control Board, is scheduled to talk about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on Monday, March 4, 4:10 pm to 5:30 pm at 1227 Haring Hall. She plans to address the Delta's governance and the critical impending decisions affecting its future as a major ecosystem and heart of the state's water delivery system. The talk is the seventh in the Center's California water policy speaker series, which is open to the public.

Center's work informs state action on tainted drinking water

State water quality regulators cited the Center for Watershed Sciences’ research on nitrate-contaminated drinking water as a "foundation" for remedies they proposed in a Feb. 20 report to the Legislature.

The State Water Board’s recommendations incorporate several “promising actions” that Center researchers identified last year in a board-commissioned investigation of the contamination in California’s most productive agricultural regions.

Researches stock rice field with baby salmon

Salmon and rice may go nicely together on the dinner plate, but can they get along growing up? The Center's fish biologists want to know, because baby Chinook salmon once flourished in the same Sacramento Valley floodplains where mostly rice is grown today.

To find out, researchers on Feb. 19 released 50,000 juvenile salmon into a flooded 20-acre rice field north of Woodland. Learn and see more in today's Sacramento Bee