Earth Systems Science

Peter Alagona

Peter Alagona's research focuses on the histories of land use, natural resource management, environmental politics, and ecological science in the North American West and beyond. He has particular interests in endangered species and biological diversity, and he is developing a new research and teaching initiative on the history of ideas about environmental change.

Noah Molotch

My research and teaching interests are focused on the processes controlling hydrologic fluxes in semi-arid regions. My research projects utilize ground-based observations, remote sensing, and computational modeling to obtain comprehensive understanding of hydrological processes; in particular the distribution of snowmelt, soil moisture and streamflow. Additional projects aim at developing techniques for scaling hydrological processes and for designing ground-based observation networks tailored for integration with remote sensing and modeling.

Roland Knapp

The general goal of my research is to understand how natural and anthropogenic factors influence the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. The research questions I focus on are the result of my interest in a particular ecosystem: California's Sierra Nevada. Despite the critically important ecosystem services provided by this mountain range to millions of people, many aspects of Sierra Nevada aquatic ecosystems remain poorly understood.

Mountain Lakes Research Group

We are ecologists based at the Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory who study mountain lakes, at the population, community, and ecosystem levels. Our objective is to conduct rigorous science to solve management challenges in California’s Sierra Nevada. To quantify populations, communities, and ecosystems, we employ long-term capture-mark-recapture studies, whole-lake experiments, large-scale synoptic surveys, and modern analytical approaches.

Paul Alessio

My research is rooted in understanding the mechanics of surface processes to analyze how faulting, climate change, and land-use practices affect landscape morphology and geologic hazard potential. Specifically, I study storm driven landslides and hill slope processes, sea cliff erosion and coastal processes, debris flows and land-use management. 

Current project: The influence of rilling on hill slopes and scour in stream channels, determining the rate of mud generation and total sediment budget for the 2018 Montecito Debris Flow

 

 

Roland Knapp

The general goal of my research is to understand how natural and anthropogenic factors influence the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. The research questions I focus on are the result of my interest in a particular ecosystem: California's Sierra Nevada. Despite the critically important ecosystem services provided by this mountain range to millions of people, many aspects of Sierra Nevada aquatic ecosystems remain poorly understood.

Francis MacDonald

Francis Macdonald is a Professor in Earth Science.  His research focuses on the interactions of tectonics, climate, and biological evolution through Earth history. This work begins with geological mapping, and uses stratigraphic analysis, isotope geochemistry, geochronology, paleomagnetism, and paleontology to reconstruct paleoenvironments and tectonic histories.

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