Workshop Report

Technical workshop on tree-ring-based streamflow reconstructions

Tucson, AZ - November 1, 2006

Left: Field trip to the Catalina Mts. north of Tucson; Right: Session during the 2006 Tucson workshop

This all-day workshop (preceded by an optional half-day field trip) was hosted by WWA's sister RISA program, Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), at the University of Arizona. Of the 17 participants, ten were from six different water management entities, including the Bureau of Reclamation, Salt River Project, Arizona Dept. of Water Resources, City of Chandler, AZ, and the City of Santa Fe, NM (see Participant List.) We also had good representation from tree-ring colleagues at the University of Arizona laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (LTRR), all of whom are involved with developing tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow and/or climate.

As with all of our workshops, the main objective was to provide participants with a general understanding of how tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow are generated, to facilitate useful interpretion and application of these data. Nearly all of the workshop participants went on the afternoon field trip to the Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson, where Ellis Margolis of LTRR led the group and described research in the ponderosa pine stands there to examine erosion rates. Everyone got a "turn" with the borers and experienced first-hand how we collect tree-ring samples in the field.

During the workshop the next day, Connie and I presented our "From Tree to Trace" presentation covering the fundamentals of how we collect and process tree-ring data and use them to generate the reconstructions. This was followed by presentations (see below) by three water manager-participants on ongoing and prospective applications of tree-ring reconstructions to water planning in their respective entities. These presentations stimulated fruitful discussion on how the tree-ring data might be best used in different planning and operational environments.

Thanks again to our hosts and helpers at CLIMAS and LTRR, and to all of the participants for their interest and engagement.

Jeff Lukas, University of Colorado & WWA

Workshop Presentations:

Jeff Lukas and Connie Woodhouse: From Tree to Trace: How tree-ring reconstructions of streamflow are generated (PDF)

Chris Cutler, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation: Progress on use of paleo-conditioned streamflow data on Gunnison River basin for Aspinall EIS (PDF)

Charlie Ester, Salt River Project: Application of tree-ring research results - Salt River Project (PDF)

Bill Girling, Manitoba Hydro: Need for paleo research - Manitoba Hydro (PDF)