Wyoming Water Forum

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Presenter Information

The Water Forum season runs from September to May, at 10 am, on the second Tuesday of each month. Virtual presentation is welcome.

Presenters, please submit with the Presentation Submission Form above and Mel Fegler will confirm your date via email. There are occasions the the need for back up presentations occurs. If there are no vacancies we still encourage you to submit

Itinerary: 10 am - Primary Presentations, 10:45 am - Questions, 11 am - Agency/Organizational Updates, 12 pm - Adjourn 

Presenter Sign up is OPEN

The months of February and March of 2024 are still open

Water Forum 2023-2024 Season Presenter Introductions

September 12, 2023

Samir Budhathoki, is currently a  Ph.D. student at University of Wyoming in Energy and Petroleum Engineering. Samir is from a small town of Mid western Nepal from a small village of Manpur, Dang, Nepal. He completed his B.E. in Civil engineering and joined UW at Spring 2018, his MS in Civil with an emphasis in the Environmental engineering from University of Wyoming in the Summer of 2021 with a research focused on the Adsorption isotherms leading towards the application of carbon sequestration. Samir's research interest includes CO2 capture, CO2 sequestration, Adsorption and desorption isotherm studies, Clean energy development, and Water and waste water treatment. 

Samir will be presenting his work on the significance of the critical minerals and rare earth elements is important for the increasing standards of living for most of the world's population and meeting the targets for the low-carbon society to manage the climate change impacts. Critical Minerals (CMs) are essential and add value to economic and national security. U.S. legislation defines them as the minerals necessary for the manufacturing of crucial products and have supply chains that are vulnerable to disruptions. European Union (EU) defines CMs as the "Critical Raw Materials" of high importance to the EU economy and the Australian Geoscience society Headquarters defines them as "Metals and non-metals considered vital for the economic well-being of the world's major and emerging economies". Several public and private organizations have developed policies and investment strategies to mitigate the risks associated with critical mineral production. 

October 10, 2023

Pallavi Pokharel is a 24-year-old first-year graduate student from the University of Wyoming. She is a graduate student at the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources. Pallavi is passionate about water and hence is working on climate adaptation research to basically understand the human perception of change amidst the changing water availability. She aims to explore stories around water and her thesis has been to understand the qualitative value people place to. water. She enjoys participating in different events and activities that directly incline with water. In the spare time, she enjoys dancing, singing and cooking. 

Pallavi is investigating how Wyoming residents, in particular, ranchers/farmers and people involved in recreation relate to water or perceive water. She intends to gain understanding in the values and perceptions people place to water and hence wish to ignite meaning, start dialogues and in the long run, build adaptive capacities amidst the ongoing changes in water availability in Wyoming, especially in Snake River and Green River watersheds. 

November 14, 2023

Sarah Collins is an Assistant Professor in Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming. Her lab studies freshwater ecosystem ecology. 

Sarah will summarize work her lab has done on harmful cyanobacterial blooms in an initial WRP Project (2020-2023) where we used remote sensing data to analyze long-term trends in lake productivity and collected field samples to verify remote sensing data. She will also introduce our plans for a new WRP project (2023-2026) also on HCBs, but with a focus on cyanotoxins. 

December 12, 2023

Shari Meeks manages both the Range and Surface Water programs for Sublette County Conservation District in Pinedale, Wyoming. She has worked in natural resources since her youth, taking every opportunity to learn about soils, agriculture, and watershed function. Shari lives in Bondurant, Wyoming with her son and husband. 

Quantity of water has taken the headlines in the Colorado River Basin as of late; however, quality of water is just as important. This presentation focuses on using in-stream water quality monitoring data to determine sources of salinity in the Upper Green watershed and isolate areas that contribute the greatest load into the Green River. This project was completed as a Master's project using 23 years of water quality monitoring data from Sublette County Conservation District. 

January 9, 2024

Austin Madson is an assistant professor at the University of Wyoming within the Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center (WyGISC) and the School of Computing. His research centers around the application of geomorphic, hydrologic, cryologic, and vegetative remote sensing. Recent projects within that realm focus on post-wildfire surface water quality, wildfire fuel loading, landslide monitoring, lake/reservoir dynamics, hydrologic un/loading, and vegetation monitoring (large and small scale). Some tools and methods utilized include cluster/parallel computing, novel AI/ML workflows, UAV/airborne lidar, and high-resolution multispectral imagery. 

The first part of this presentation will center around an overview of the NASA DEVELOP National Program (of which this project was a part of) and how that may fit in to different state entities and stakeholders in Wyoming. The second portion of the presentation focuses on a specific NASA DEVELOP project that was undertaken at UW during the fall 2022 and spring 2023 semesters. In that regard, this presentation will discuss the work that was done to utilize high resolution remote sensing data products along with watershed models to get at a better understanding of which watersheds are contributing more sediment into the Shoshone River above Willwood Dam. 

February 13, 2024: TBA

March 12, 2024: TBA

April 9, 2024: 

U.S. Geological Survey scientists working on the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative and are with the Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. 

The U.S. Geological Survey has been compiling and quality assuring data layers in order to develop geospatial tools to help understand aquatic and terrestrial process on a landscape scale. These geospatial tools, including PROSPER, PReSET, and RCMAP are just a few of the products available for public use to describe soil moisture, rangeland health, streamflow permeance, and sagebrush health. A an example of using USGS online data tools, will explore the question, “How different was the climate of 2022 from prior years, and what was the response of plants and animals?” 

May 14, 2024: Demand Management Demo Project Update

Wyoming Department of Health WPHL Microbiology Water Testing Announcement