From Source to Sink: Exploring the impact of climate and landscapes on water's journey
Where does water go when it rains? Where does your drinking water come from? Where does it go after you wash the dishes or take a shower?
This 2-week course explores these questions and much more as we learn about the hydrologic cycle and how our area’s geology gives us the water that we depend on. You will navigate the Pioneer Valley, learning about the geologic and hydrologic processes that shape watersheds and understanding how watersheds function. You will become an expert in the different types of storage reservoirs for water in the surface and subsurface. We will romp through rivers and take measurements of water flux and water chemistry in forests, wetlands, and from monitoring wells. We will take advantage of laboratory facilities (such as the stable isotope and hydrogeology laboratory) in the Geosciences Department at the University of Massachusetts to analyze and interpret data collected during our field experiences. Students will come away from the course with a wide variety of hands-on field experiences as an early introduction into careers as environmental scientists, geoscientists, hydrologists, and environmental engineers. They will understand and appreciate the role of geologic processes that shape how water moves on, through, and beneath our feet. They will gain new perspectives on the global distribution of water and the challenges we as a society face managing this resource in a rapidly changing world.